Here’s the 3rd installment of videos around getting great guitar tones from a computer using MainStage. This video showcases how to split up guitar sounds into multiple patches to switch between within songs.
MainStage Song Parts For Multiple Guitar Sounds
The reason behind setting them up this way is simple – it’s the best way to control the system for the Tuning function, as well as for making patch changes function via a single button press. Because we all love simplicity when playing live.
Part two in my getting great guitar tones in MainStage talks about creating multi amp setups. Imagine if you could take the amplifier rigs of people like The Edge, Joe Bonamassa, Aerosmith, Joe Satriani, and reduce them down to a single laptop with a midi foot controller. You can. Watch and find out how.
Multi Amp Setup
This is scratching the surface of what this software is capable of doing. See me live and join the revolution in guitar tone by utilizing multi amp setups to achieve big sounds.
Ah the behind the scenes part of playing music live that most people never think about – rehearsing
I’ve been putting together a new group of people to start playing out live more. Having done a ton of music for film, TV, and now even a theme song for a TV show (more on this to come in the next few weeks). Plus, I’ve created a special MIDI controller (HIVE) for playing live. Whether it be for a solo acoustic show or a full band type of show.
See, I’m now running a computer for all my guitar sounds. No more heavy amps. No more multiple speakers. No more worrying about the mic placement and hoping the sound guy is able to get a good sound. Maybe that last part is still prone to issues if the sound guy isn’t any good. Consistency is now the name of the game. Once I get the setup for a song, it remains the same time after time. Mind you I can still tweak and do things. But if I’m out on tour and wondering if its going to sound correct to the audience, I know I’m providing a consistent feed to the PA.
The first show for this new rig is happening October 16th at Brewskis in Ogden UT. Lucky devils get to experience the future of guitar players.
One thing I’ve come to enjoy is the process of getting a group of people together to play music. Its a time to hash out how to perform the music in a way that makes sense at the time its being played. Plus it gives me time to work the kinks out of the entirely new guitar rig I’ve gotEach song now has it’s own sound. Sometimes its directly related to the sound on the recording. Some of them however go into different territory sonically. Setting up each sound varies in time. Meaning some sounds took no more than an hour. However, the more complex ones can take several hours of tweaking.
In the first rehearsal, all the sounds were there, but I hadn’t really gone thru them to find out how loud they were in relation to each other from song to song. Thus I had to make notes and spend another couple of hours after rehearsing to fix songs that had sounds that were either too loud, or too soft.
The second rehearsal went much better, the rest of the band knew their parts better. My guitar sounds were way more consistent from a volume standpoint. Though there were still a couple of tweaks that needed to be made from an EQ standpoint. Due to the way I’m now creating sounds, I use no outboard/plugin EQ. Its not needed. But one song, which sounded great in my studio didn’t sound so awesome with the rest of the band in a PA. It needed thinning out. Pull up the amps and tweak their EQs. Problem solved.
The owner of the rehearsal studio sat in with us, listening, taking pictures and occasionally adjusting sound. Actually he didn’t really do much of that after we got the levels set at the start. BTW – the photos in the post are all from him, Dave at Razman-Studio. After rehearsing we chatted a bit. He had some initial reservations about a computer being able to put out great guitar sounds. From the pictures you can understand why: he’s got tons of amps sitting around waiting to be used. Then he said something interesting. He stated, I am now a believer.
You will be one too! See you on the road soon.
Another Open Letter For Apple
Dear Apple & Taylor Swift,
A kind thank you goes out to Eddy Cue for taking swift action (pun intended), or rather reaction to the open letters from Taylor Swift and many other artists in regard to Apple about Apple Music and their non payment of royalties to artists during the trial phase of an account.
Here’s his three tweet response to Taylor Swift and Indie Musicians:
@cue: #AppleMusic will pay artist for streaming, even during customer’s free trial period
@cue: We hear you @taylorswift13 and indie artists. Love, Apple”
Eddy / Apple Music obviously felt more of a sting from Taylor Swift than they did from musicians like me. For that, I am happy to have Taylor speak up about something all musicians should be more vocal about.
Personally I don’t allow my music to be on services that pay no royalty at all. While I can understand why others aren’t happy with Spotify’s freemium model – I actually like it. I’m very interested in seeing how Apple Music can differentiate itself from the herd and build a product people want to use.
In referencing what I tweeted last night: Thank you Apple, Apple Music @cue and Taylor Swift for Thinking Different. I appreciate that a company can see the forrest for the trees and make good for the very art they’re attempting to build their platform with. If only all the other services did the same thing. I only support those that do. However the streaming landscape pans out, I will have my music on the services that properly compensate artists and people use and pay for. That you can count on.
Thank you for reading this, supporting my music and I hope see you in the streaming future!
Open Letter To Apple & Apple Music:
That’s right Apple Music, time to listen up from the trenches.
Do the right thing.
Dear Apple & Apple Music,
I’ve been using your products for a long time. I’ve enjoyed every computer, iPhone, and iPad that I have had in my possession. I’ve defended your business on many an occasion whether it be on price or about your software. In doing so, I’m quite sure that I have helped your business grow to the behemoth that it is now – the richest corporation in the world.
I have purchased and I still purchase your products to create the music I put into the world. I respect your business and it should be compensated appropriately – even when you purchase a company I had an endorsement with (Emagic) and you in-turn disband their endorsements. I still buy those products I use to create the music you need for your service.
I was excited when I helped CD Baby create the path for artists to be a part of iTunes. Which I saw as a way to level the playing field between those signed on major labels and those who opted to avoid them.
However, the recent news of your Apple Music streaming service has me befuddled.
How can the richest corporation that once heralded the arts and their creators, especially music, now drive a stake through our hearts? Seriously. Apple & Apple Music, asking those of us without major label deals to forego royalties for 3 months is OUTRAGEOUS. Its reprehensible. To put it mildly its thievery. The humor is Taylor Swift, an artist who could actually weather this type of “lull” in her income, has also stood up in solidarity about this injustice.
Mind you Apple & Apple Music, I’m a massive proponent for streaming. Its where music is going, I fully understand it and welcome it with open arms. But what I do not understand, is how you can place such a burden on the very people that create the content you need to make your streaming business actually work. At least Spotify pays on their “freemium” model, and pays quite well.
Apple, Apple Music, or more directly Tim Cook/Eddie Cue, unless you’re going to start giving me computers, iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches for free 3 month trials and subsequent lower payment rates – I see no plausible reason why I, or any of my colleagues, should give you the labors of hard work to promote your business for free. That’s bad business. Its bad enough that you won’t allow non-signed artists to get promotion on the iTunes store [nor likely in Apple Music either]. Its bad enough that you won’t allow us to sign our own small labels directly with you (forcing us to use 3rd parties to distribute our catalogs to you at additional cost to us and introducing more middle men into the system). Treating us like 3rd world citizens despite the fact that non-signed music represents more than ⅔ of your catalog over the major labels is, what I call, classism at the expense of art.
This is what I [and I’m sure many of my fellow musicians who do believe in streaming] would ask of you: Think Different and Do The Right Thing Apple Music.
What is “Do The Right Thing Apple Music” you might ask?
Simple: Pay us our paltry royalty for every stream regardless of the 3 month trials you’re offering. Hell, right now you’re getting a discounted royalty rate as it is; as has been set by Congress. Paying us (writers, publishers, producers, artists) out of the billions in your hoard of cash reserves should not be a problem for you. While at the same time it will prove to your customers that you have a service worth paying for because our musical art is there and properly compensated.
So I ask you to Think Different, Apple Music… and do the RIGHT thing.
Apple introduces an Apple Watch. Earlier today, like many people, I took a little time off to sit and watch the Apple Event. Yes, I’m still an Apple nut. Hell all the new singles I’m stockpiling for imminent release were recorded on a multitude of Apple computers. So yeah, I pay attention. Of course if you’ve been listening to the rumor mill then you’d heard the iWatch was sure to unveil and sure to be like all other tech companies who rushed their watches out to market to “beat” Apple. Instead they got the Apple Watch.
As a disclaimer, I don’t wear watches. It’s not my schtick to do so. There’s so many clocks around, on the phone, in the car, everywhere you look, there’s a clock. Thus, I don’t have a strong desire for a watch. That being said, I can very much appreciate the detail and fine design that has gone into the Apple Watch. Do I really want one? No. Would I get one? Maybe. Would I wear it? I haven’t a clue, but I did end up buying one – I’d make sure to wear it.
I wonder if it will be like an iPad? Actually, I kinda wanted an iPad when they were announced. I could see the usefulness of it immediately. I’ve started reading a lot of books since I’ve had the thing. I used it constantly. I just don’t see why I’d want a watch that requires me to have my phone with me in order to use it. Why look at pictures on a tiny Apple Watch face when I could whip out my iPad or my iPhone and see it there on a bigger screen? Same can be said for music? It’s got an iTunes app. However, they don’t show where you listen – again, I think it’s tied to the iPhone, or other iDevices.
I suppose it will come down to whether or not I think it’s worthwhile to get an Apple Watch as a health tracker. Then again, the iPhone already does all this and more. *sigh*
The real cool/frightening thing that was announced was Apple Pay. In my own efforts to reduce the clutter in my pockets I’ve stopped carrying credit cards or a wallet. I have to remember when I need them. However, it would be extremely cool to have it tied to my phone. As Apple has now done with the upcoming iPhone 6 and iOS 8. Their feature is super cool. The consumer version of their security features sound great, but the reality is something we know nothing about yet. Hopefully we don’t start hearing stories of Apply Pay horror like the recent Apple ID hacks of naked celebrity photos that everyone thought was a direct issue with iCloud. Mind you, I went and deleted questionable photos of myself off my iCloud when it was announced
Transcript of what I said in the video:
This is the really condensed version of how I became the first non-signed artist on iTunes.
Derek Sivers started a little company called CD Baby a bunch of years ago in order to help independent musicians sell their music on the web. I didn’t want him to sell my music when he first contacted me. So he actually hounded me for four months before I finally relented and started selling CDs on his website.
CD Baby was originally more of a Windows, Linux, kind of a platform and I’ve always been an Apple guy. Any time there was an issue with the website I would contact Derek and have him try to fix it, so that it would work for Apple customers.
Over the course of a few years Derek and I got to be really good friends. One day a few years ago I was driving down to the NAMM show in LA and Derek called me while I was driving in my car. He calls up and he says “Guess where I am?” And I throw out a couple of random answers and Derek is like “No. It’s not there. No, it’s not there.” And eventually he tells me that it’s Cupertino and he’s about to meet Steve Jobs at Apple.
So I’m like “Fuck You.” (laughter). Because I’ve always wanted to meet Steve and unfortunately as we now know, Steve is no longer around. And the reason he was up there is because Apple wanted to bring in the CD Baby catalog to the iTunes catalog. So that they could pump up their numbers and make them sound really big. Because everyone wanted to have a million tracks and nobody had it with all the major label songs.
A couple of months later Derek calls me up again and he says “Are you in front of your computer?” And I say “Yes I am.” I type in the URL that he gives me and low and behold it is a little special place on CD Baby to find out how you can fill out all of your information to send your music to iTunes. I filled out the information. I hit send and Derek calls me back and says “Congratulations. You are the very first person in the database going to iTunes!” And I’m like yeah. Actually I didn’t actually do that, but it felt like I needed to say that just now.
The next step was to wait around until the music actually got uploaded to iTunes. Unfortunately Apple was dragging their feet and Derek was having problems with a guy by the name of Moses Avalon, who was creating all kinds of trouble.
Couple of months later, Derek calls me up again and he says “I’m thinking I want to dump the whole digital distribution thing. Because all I ever wanted to do was sell CDs.” And I’m like, “Derek, you don’t want to do that dude. Digital distribution is the future.”
The decision was made to stick with the digital distribution. Derek decided that it would be a wise idea to return everybody’s money. In the end, what ended up happening was, Derek returned everybody’s money and people still got to go to iTunes through CD Baby. And I ended up being the very first person in the database to go to iTunes.
And that is how you are now able to get on iTunes. Thanks to a guy like me.
There’s an adage that states, better late than never. That is part of the story line behind this movie. Those words also fit the fact that I didn’t post this sooner. What this means is it’s my first appearance on Apple’s trailer website. I couldn’t be happier in that I did all the music for this trailer of Father Of Invention starring Kevin Spacey.
Here’s the link: Father Of Invention <- to the page at Apple’s Trailer Website.
If you’re more inclined to see it right here, then look below.
p.s. – if you’ve seen the movie, let me know. I’ve yet to see it and I’m a fan of Kevin Spacey.