New Clan of Ursula Trax

July 10, 2007 23:30 by keithkaragan
The Fly in July sessions are the latest Clan of Ursula recordings, check 'em out!
Digg It!DZone It!StumbleUponTechnoratiRedditDel.icio.usNewsVineFurlBlinkList

Currently rated 1.5 by 254 people

  • Currently 1.511812/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

New Tune: 54TTL

July 7, 2007 00:56 by keithkaragan
Maybe it's the weeks news, or the summer heat, or something, but it was time to create some noize rock:
54TTL (06:14)
Digg It!DZone It!StumbleUponTechnoratiRedditDel.icio.usNewsVineFurlBlinkList

Be the first to rate this post

  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

New Clan of Ursula content

May 23, 2007 12:00 by keithkaragan
There are two new tracks on the Clan of Ursula page. The entire session was recorded in our rehersal space using a laptop and a couple USB audio interfaces, a lot to remix ... so far only these two tracks. The session recording is known as Mayday and the tracks are Track 1 (9:25) and Track 2 (19:27).
There wasn't a script, or songs, or any conception of what we'd play until we played it - maybe that shows - maybe not ... you be the judge, but that's the guiding principle of the project.
enjoy.
Digg It!DZone It!StumbleUponTechnoratiRedditDel.icio.usNewsVineFurlBlinkList

Be the first to rate this post

  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

New Tune: Mali Soundscape

October 8, 2006 22:30 by keithkaragan
Mali Soundscape No. 1 is a simple soundscape created using the Epiphone LP fretless, and a combination of loops and midi parts in Garageband.
Digg It!DZone It!StumbleUponTechnoratiRedditDel.icio.usNewsVineFurlBlinkList

Be the first to rate this post

  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Fretless Conversion

September 25, 2006 11:30 by keithkaragan

I completed my first fretless conversion project last night. I bought a brand new Epiphone LP Special II at a local music store for around $150, took it home, tore it apart and removed the neck on Saturday, and last night I pulled out the frets. The process was pretty easy to accomplish. It entailed:

 

  • Securing the neck to a solid surface with spring clamps and a protecting the fretboard and back of the neck with a soft, padded cloth.
  • Grabbing the frets with a nice strong nipper tool (in this case it was a diagonal cutter) and pulling up. Sometimes this takes a couple tries.
  • Bang! out comes the fret - they were not glued in.
  • Very light hand sanding of the fretboard to smooth out any splintering.
  • Application of wood puttiy into the fret slots using fingers and a rubber glove
  • Cleaning of excess putty with a slightly damp sponge
  • Let the putty dry for about an hour
  • Sand lightly by hand (with a block) using 220 and 400 grit paper
  • Reassemble
  • Restring
  • Play
  • Set-up the guitar
  • Smile
  • Overall, I'm pretty happy with the results. I picked the LP copy after playing a bunch of low-end models and liking the sustain, nech shape, fretboard, and action on the LP better than the Ibanez and other affordable options. Had the frets been glued in, this process would have taken longer - but in this case the fret pulling to the playing took less than 2 hrs.

    Digg It!DZone It!StumbleUponTechnoratiRedditDel.icio.usNewsVineFurlBlinkList

    Be the first to rate this post

    • Currently 0/5 Stars.
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5

    Glissentar Strings - Reprise

    September 23, 2006 00:43 by keithkaragan
    The strings I ordered from http://stringsandbeyond.com/ on a Friday were delivered on Tuesday - great turn around for such a niche item - I'm impressed. I'll be using them again for sure. Considering that Musician's Friend sells Glissentars, but not the strings - this is a great resource.
    I also got a response from Godin regarding several questions I had (about if strings should have come with the instrument, and about a creeking sound when tuning on several tuners). They referred me to Strings and Beyond for strings (I'd already ordered them by that time though), and didn't indicate if the strings should have come with it - I'll take that as a 'no'. They also suggested some graphite dust in the nut slots to cure the creeking - and also since that noise could have caused the the string breakage since tension between the nut and the tuner could cause this problem, it's exactly the spot where the break occurred - anyway, I used a pencil to coat the string slot in the nut, and this cleared up the creeking. I've heard that Godin isn't so responsive to e-mail (by others posting their experience), however they responded the next business day - so, great job on their part.
    Now to find a decent playing, cheap electric guitar to make a six steel string fretless from.
    Digg It!DZone It!StumbleUponTechnoratiRedditDel.icio.usNewsVineFurlBlinkList

    Be the first to rate this post

    • Currently 0/5 Stars.
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5

    Glissentar Strings, and 3rd day reflections

    September 16, 2006 17:03 by keithkaragan
    I read a bunch of people's experiences regarding the Glissentar before purchasing one. Most noted that the instrument came with a couple extra sets of strings, since they are hardly a stock item anywhere. The strings are nylon, and wound on all but the 1st and 2nd strings. The one I bought didn't come with any extra strings, and I lamented that I'd need to get some quickly since every new stringed instrument I've ever owned broke strings in the first week of use or so.
    Well, I boke one on day 3 - no strings were ordered at the time, and the hunt began to find some and order them. They're not exactly an inexpensive thing either, at $16+shipping a set. So I ordered a few sets, and I'm awaiting thier arrival. In the meantime, I reading that shangins to other types of nylon strings (Flatwounds, Tapewounds, some folks break other sets up and use them for the different courses of strings on the instrument), I'll have to investigate the possibility of getting other types of strings to work on the Glissentar, and how much of a hassle it is vs. the possible improvements in tone or feel of the instrument. Some folks indicated a small bead can be used to replace the ball-end when using standard classical type strings.
    Another task is finding a hardshell case for the Glissentar.
    The Glissentar has got me hooked on the idea of a fretless electric guitar, so I'm looking around and considering buying an inexpensive (but nice) axe to take the frets out of and see how it works.
     For now it's 10 strings only.Undecided
    Digg It!DZone It!StumbleUponTechnoratiRedditDel.icio.usNewsVineFurlBlinkList

    Be the first to rate this post

    • Currently 0/5 Stars.
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5

    Godin Glissentar - First Impression

    September 13, 2006 15:26 by keithkaragan
    Day one with the Godin A11 Glissentar - Yeowww! This thing is really a blast to play. I had read a bit about this instrument before aquiring it, and internet consensus was that it would take a little time to get used to - and that's probably true, since this guitar is fretless, has 11 nylon strings (5 unison pairs, and a low E), and is based on the instrument the Oud - but with a different scale (longer), a wider neck, and tuned like a standard guitar.
    Well, it didn't take long for me to get the hang of this fine instrument and retune it to a couple different tunings, and then - off to la-la land in a euphoric daze of jamming.At one point this evening I was contemplating how hard it would be to pull the frets out of all my guitars but then I came to my senses.
    The act of playing a fretless guitar is new to me. I've played fretless basses now and again, and play slide often, and my Steinberger's frets are so low it's nearly fretless at this point (but I don't think that counts) - but the intonation of the fretless guitar really didn't cause too much pain in the end, and I really love being able to slide between notes and pitch bend vertically/parallel with the strings, as opposed to perpendicular to them. An interesting consequence of fretlessness (maybe just a newbie thing) is that the normal string bending is hard to do, so you end up using the neck sliding instead. This might actually be the nylon strings, or the doubled strings - but neither of these things are too alien to me, and I just couldn't bend the same old way - the funny thing is that I didn't really care.
    The Glissentar is kind of hard to find in a retail store - I was never able to find one in stock. In fact after 2 ebay auctions that didn't pan out, and no others for sale there, and absolutely no online store having stock, I ended up ordering from Musician's Friend - fortunately the 2 week estimated arrival date for the backorder only ended up being a couple days (maybe they just order them when a customer wants one) - but that's cool because it did get here really quick.
    One bummer was that every article I read indicated that 2 sets of strings come with the instrument - I got nada - It'll suck if I break a string since these are custom strings (Ball End Nylons ? ... I gotta order a few sets to have around just in case).
    I really dig crazy odd instruments, this one ends up not so odd in the end, but does have a unique sound to it. The Godin build quality is pretty nice too - It would be nice to have an Acoustic Electric / Roland Ready version of this instrument since the Godin body style is not so hot, acoustically, when unplugged. Plugged it sounds great.
    Digg It!DZone It!StumbleUponTechnoratiRedditDel.icio.usNewsVineFurlBlinkList

    Currently rated 4.0 by 1 people

    • Currently 4/5 Stars.
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5

    Godin Glissentar - First Impression

    September 13, 2006 00:00 by keithkaragan
    Day one with the Godin A11 Glissentar - Yeowww! This thing is really a blast to play. I had read a bit about this instrument before aquiring it, and internet consensus was that it would take a little time to get used to - and that's probably true, since this guitar is fretless, has 11 nylon strings (5 unison pairs, and a low E), and is based on the instrument the Oud - but with a different scale (longer), a wider neck, and tuned like a standard guitar.
    Well, it didn't take long for me to get the hang of this fine instrument and retune it to a couple different tunings, and then - off to la-la land in a euphoric daze of jamming.At one point this evening I was contemplating how hard it would be to pull the frets out of all my guitars but then I came to my senses.
    The act of playing a fretless guitar is new to me. I've played fretless basses now and again, and play slide often, and my Steinberger's frets are so low it's nearly fretless at this point (but I don't think that counts) - but the intonation of the fretless guitar really didn't cause too much pain in the end, and I really love being able to slide between notes and pitch bend vertically/parallel with the strings, as opposed to perpendicular to them. An interesting consequence of fretlessness (maybe just a newbie thing) is that the normal string bending is hard to do, so you end up using the neck sliding instead. This might actually be the nylon strings, or the doubled strings - but neither of these things are too alien to me, and I just couldn't bend the same old way - the funny thing is that I didn't really care.
    The Glissentar is kind of hard to find in a retail store - I was never able to find one in stock. In fact after 2 ebay auctions that didn't pan out, and no others for sale there, and absolutely no online store having stock, I ended up ordering from Musician's Friend - fortunately the 2 week estimated arrival date for the backorder only ended up being a couple days (maybe they just order them when a customer wants one) - but that's cool because it did get here really quick.
    One bummer was that every article I read indicated that 2 sets of strings come with the instrument - I got nada - It'll suck if I break a string since these are custom strings (Ball End Nylons ? ... I gotta order a few sets to have around just in case).
    I really dig crazy odd instruments, this one ends up not so odd in the end, but does have a unique sound to it. The Godin build quality is pretty nice too - It would be nice to have an Acoustic Electric / Roland Ready version of this instrument since the Godin body style is not so hot, acoustically, when unplugged. Plugged it sounds great.
    Digg It!DZone It!StumbleUponTechnoratiRedditDel.icio.usNewsVineFurlBlinkList

    Be the first to rate this post

    • Currently 0/5 Stars.
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5

    New Live Guitar Rig

    February 22, 2006 04:00 by keithkaragan
    New for 2006, I've re-vamped my 'live' rig to accommodate my newly evolved playing style. The only new gear is the Digitech Jamman stop box, which is really a very cool toy that allows looping of your playing. You can pre-load loops and samples onto the device if you want, and then overdub your licks over that, on and on until you run out of memory. It has a CF card, so you can have a significant amount of loops and overdubs before that happens.
    I'm running my Ibanez 'Roland-Ready' guitar through the Roland GR-33, and looping in the Korg PX4 Pandora for guitar sound processing, and then this all goes into the Jamman. I've loaded the Jamman with loops of the rhythms I want to use and off I go.
    A few complications include:
    • For different guitars (non-synth electrics and acoustics) I need to jack these into the PX4 which is in the effects loop of the GR-33, so I'll need to solve this soon.
    • Many loops are pretty short, and that's great for memory conservation, but for having enough canvas to have an interesting progression running over it it's limiting - and editing a ton of drum samples to extend them is a pretty mundane task ... I'll need to solve this too.
    • The Jamman wants to see  44kHz, Mono WAV samples and most of the ones I have are stereo, so they need this editing done too (I need to find / write a batch converter).
    • The Jamman tempo can be set in an XML file that is inserted into the CF card memory, and the LooperTools application handles this, but you still need to fish this meta-info out of the WAV file to enter it in the application ... it would be nice if it detected it (and did the mono conversion too? too much to ask? How about the extension of loops too while I'm at it? maybe in a future release) - anyway, this is more footwork to do to load it up.
    • The PX4's power adapter is not a standard size plug that I could find at Radio Shack, had to order the original - luckily it was only $10 ... cheaper than Radio Shack  - but have to wait for it.
    • Also had to order the Jamman footswitch, since navigating presets is near impossible while playing otherwise - another mail order Odyssey since the local shops didn;t have it in stock.
    • One main drawback is adding effects to the GR-33 and/or Jamman output ... I don't have another processor to do that with, so yet another loop edit to add ambiance if needed.

    Thoughts for further expansion:
    • Scrap the loops on the Jamman and use it only for instrument loops and overdubs.
    • Get a decent PCMCIA pro sound card for my laptop.
    • Use Ableton LIVE for drum and supporting loops and run the rig through this for mixing.
      • Problem is I don't have a foot controller for this (LIVE) to make things smooth.
    Digg It!DZone It!StumbleUponTechnoratiRedditDel.icio.usNewsVineFurlBlinkList

    Be the first to rate this post

    • Currently 0/5 Stars.
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5