Monday, January 25, 2016

Fishman Makes Tele Pickups

Greg Koch is the funniest man in music these days, and here he's showing off the new Fluence pickups from Fishman. I couldn't make them sound as good as he does, but he certainly makes a case for them here.

I might want a PowerBridge up in there, too.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

After-Warranty Report: Kliq TinyTune

I didn't just complain on my blog yesterday.

I made an Amazon review. A three-star Amazon review.

I also got the order ID, registered the Kliq pedal, and submitted a report of faulty gear.

They took my address and shipped me a new pedal. In fact, I know it's in town already.

We'll see how long the new one lasts, but I have to say their customer service is right on. After a few times playing out, I might revise and extend that Amazon review.

Monday, January 4, 2016

After-Action Report: Improvise, Adapt, Overcome

For Christmas, I asked for and received a Kliq TinyTune tuner, which I placed at the end of my pedalboard, taking off the EHX Signal Pad I had used as my mute. There are three things I needed on my board that a tuner pedal provides:

  • Muting. I play in church, so it's play-sermon-play, and I like redundant volume control. I turn down both on the guitar and the volume pedal, but if I forget to turn off dirt, there can be a hum that goes to the amp and can be heard on stage, even if the sound guy routinely mutes those mics.
  • Tuning. Nobody wants to sound out of tune.
  • Verification. There are three systems: Guitar -> amp hidden back stage, Amp mic -> PA system, and PA -> on-stage in-ear monitors. Especially when the system is being set before or after a significant event, it is easy for problems to arise in one of these systems, and if the sound man is busy elsewhere, it can be difficult to diagnose where the problem is. With the tuner last, you can know your signal is getting to the end of your board and (likely) out to the D/I box, so the problem isn't you. This is crucial, if for no other reason than to have cast-iron evidence you can yell at your sound guy.
First time I took the board out of the house, I found that the pedal was stuck in the "on" position, meaning it was only in mute/tune position. Far better than it being stuck in bypass, but it did mean I was quiet. 

I've been torn between two pedals recently. My Washburn Soloist, switchable between overdrive and distortion, sometimes sounds acceptable and sometimes sounds horrible, so I don't trust it. My Digitech Death Metal has too much gain, and I struggle to find a way to make it sound like something other than a hive of angry bees. I've found the secret is to cut back on guitar volume. I'm still not sure of the use, but that's where I'm stuck right now, with my Bad Monkey as my go-to dirt pedal. These Digitech pedals have two outputs: To Amp and To Mixer, and I was able to use that as a splitter to allow me to feed the tuner without killing my output.

I also had extra power and the Soloist around, so I put that in the chain and turned the volume to zero to mute. I suppose I could've done the same with the Death Metal, but oh well. 

As a tuner, I'm happy with nearly everything about the Kliq. I have another tuner, about the size of two normal pedals, and the size of it makes it useless to me. The Kliq is the size of the TC Electronic Flashback Mini, so the size is right. It's bright enough and fast enough, and the price was right. I hope to get the registration and warranty issues worked out soon so I can get another tuner on my board. 

I should also mention that I broke a string mid-song. I had replacement strings, but should've had a second guitar instead (and usually do). As the SEALs say, "Two is One, One is None", so be prepared.