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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone

I haven't seen a thread like this on here yet, but I know there are quite a few people that play. I don't play out so much anymore (the scene for cover bands has really dried up and it's just not worth trying to chase it down these days as there's no money either) ... but I do a fair bit of recording these days in my home studio setup, and I will admit, I'm a bit (well a lot) of a gear slut!

Let's use this thread to post pics of our gear, talk about it and generally be musical geeks. Anyone in?
 
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Discussion Starter #2
I'll start with a pic of my newly setup (but still quite messy) keyboard workstation. I recently picked up a Roland MKB-1000 88 key (weighted) midi controller. I've wanted one of these since they came out in the early 80's but never had the budget ... they were very expensive new and you don't see a lot of them sell used. Found one for a decent price on kijiji a few weeks ago and pulled the trigger on it. It plays wonderfully (I, on the other hand do not, I'm a hack!) and it's very heavy (125lbs without the stand). Was fun getting it into my basement, but was worth the effort (and certainly easier than trying to do that with a real piano!)

I'm totally enjoying it, it's one of the nicest, if not the nicest feeling weighted key piano style controller's I've ever played.
 

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Hey, I'm in.

I don't have the keyboarding skills you have but I make do with a small Edirol MIDI controller keyboard. It's somewhere between a toy and a useful device but it's not a pro device by any means. But it's real fun. In the end I usually push notes around with a mouse as I find it quicker and more precise. I try to build in some organic feel by occasionally doing my own keyboarding and deliberately pushing things (in Logic) just ever-so-slightly off-time.

I have a good fast new iMac, Logic 8, GuitarRig 3 and a boatload of stringed instruments - mostly electric and acoustic guitars but also a couple of basses, a ukelele and a bunch of hand percussion. I use a lot of riddim loops to keep things chugging along but beyond that I am doing more and more with my own hands - less canned that way and definitely more rewarding.

I regard myself as a bonafide musician but I'm not a pro and in a live situation I'd probably choke out of sheer nerves. I'm self-taught and tend to slowly find my way through music by instinct. That said, because I've been playing guitar for three decades now I have a facility with the neck and keep finding new ways to skin the proverbial cat. What's up next? More alternate tuning experiments, more singing my own material (taking a break from all the instrumental stuff I've cooked up over the years), more acoustic stringed instruments. One day I hope to have a much better studio/music lab. I've been making do with an Apex 460 mic for vocals and the acoustic guitars and my monitors are KRK Rokit 5's. I'd like to score Logic 9 (or 10, should it ever arrive) and a subwoofer to complement the KRKs. Also looking to downsize the weed-like guitar collection and trade up to a smaller group of finer instruments. Seems I have become a huuuuge fan of Godins... can't get enough of those guitars.

I'm also collaborating more with people over the net in recent years. Much fun to be had there. Wish I could compose all year round but when I'm a worker-bee there's no time to do anything but riff on an unplugged electric at night, just to keep my fingers in fighting trim (the guitars like to be played, too).

Don't have much in the way of pics of 'the studio,' such as it is... just endless amounts of obsessive guitar shots. I don't imagine it's interesting to non-musicians.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
I was hoping you'd jump in on this thread too Max ... post some of those guitar pics! This thread isn't just about studios or whatever, and it's certainly not limited to pros or anyone for that matter, it's all about the joy of making music whether it be a couple of chords on guitar or plinking around with garageband.

I think you give me too much credit with my keyboard playing Max ... I'm just starting to learn things in a more proper sort of manner (if you can call it that, I found a "crash course piano for guitar players" type website that has some useful info!) I can plunk out a couple of songs (really simple ones) and can formulate a bunch of chords. Realtime ... not so hot but I can learn things if I take the time and practice, or at least I can learn my own version of very simplified things ;) When I do record keyboards I do the same as you, once the midi is in I quantize, fix notes, slide things around, etc :) I'm just more inspired to spend more time playing realtime with this new controller!
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Here's another recent acquisition to get some of the pics rolling ... an early 90's Tokai tele copy. Not the super sought after early 80's ones, but made in Japan and very good quality. It plays awesome! Another kijiji find.
 

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Beautiful butterscotch tele. I love it. What a classic look. Congratulations! Back when I was studying at Guelph, I used to come back to Toronto on the odd weekend to jam with an old pal who played keys and sang. His brother was an accomplised guitar player and he'd leave his early 80s cream Tokai Strat there, which is what I'd pick up and play. Phenomenal player. Wish I had one, believe me. I strayed into Tele territory once but I ended up selling it. Still looking for the one to speak to me.



So OK, a guitar picture. This one's my first electric guitar and remains my sentimental favourite. A 1971 Guild S-100, which I picked up at a pawnshop downtown when it was a decade old and when I was 21. It's just a wonderfully sentimental thing to me but it also plays like the dickens and has fantastic pickups. I had it punked up a few years ago so it's far from its original gloss black self, but it's just so cool to still have this baby around. I put it through hell back in my garage band days but this one guitar carried me through for many, many years before I was to eventually get into home recording and all the gear I've bought since.

Any other musos out there? Come on, don't be shy!
 

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tilting at windmills
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Well, I don't play anything other than air-guitar and air-drums and air-flute, but I can and do sing.

I wanted to learn how to play the mouth-organ, so I went out and bought two (quite expensive) harmonicas - one a Blues harp and the other a standard one that does the entire spectrum of notes. And then, I never played them - they are lying in their cases for the last three years.

I do go and sing Karaoke in the local bars occasionally though.

Cheers
 

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I've played forever, but never professionally. I have two guitars, both acoustic and both old.

1975 el Degas Hummingbird copy
1992 Norman Studio 68

I traded in a Fender Mustang for the el Degas. I was getting married and knew that I was going to be living in apartments for awhile. This guitar has been through all my kids and it still survives. It does not have a great deal of volume, but it has a great action for an acoustic and I still love playing it. I just treated it to a new set of machine heads.

I bought the Norman for my 40th birthday. It is a lovely guitar. Spruce top and solid rosewood back and sides. It just rings. The action is a little higher than the el Degas though and I have really small hands.

I play from time to time. I wrote myself a little database for songs and it is kind of neat to just sit in front of the laptop and play. I don't have to go back through three of four different books.

I'll try to take some pictures.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Some of those old El Degas acoustics are awesome (so are the electrics). The only thing you have to watch out for is the bridge starting to come up/pull up the top.

Growing up we had an El Degas copy of a Hummingbird 12 string that I played for a long time. Sadly it ended up getting broken at one point during a move (an accident, someone literally snapped the neck off of it) :(

Lots of that early Japanese made stuff, which was thought of as cheap copies at the time, are better than the brand name counterparts! I've got a few older japanese instruments and they all play and sound fantastic.
 

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Some Links for interesting guitars

I missed out on an el Degas Hummingbird 12 string. It showed up on the local Kijiji for $60.00. I had not been watching and it had been there awhile. I sent off an email, but never had an answer.

I did have a Kent 12 string. It was a gorgeous guitar, but it was a hand buster. The neck started to bend so I cut it down to a 6 string and lowered the action. Even that wasn't enough. It finally gave up the ghost.

Here are some links to interesting guitar sites:

This is Mario Proulx's site back up where I used to live. He makes really high end acoustics for the bluegrass crowd in Nashville. If you dig down a bit there is a series of pages showing a fairly complete build of both a guitar and two mandolins.

Welcome to Proulx Guitars & Mandolins!

Here is William Cumpiano's site. He and Jonathan Natelson wrote the classic "Guitar Making Tradition and Technology", which is one of the bibles for hand making guitars. there are some interesting guitars there. There are also some pictures of a lute restoration.

William Cumpiano, guitarmaker

Here is a link to Liutaio Mottola's site. He is building some experimental guitars and basses. Scroll down to the section Some Stringed Instruments and Plans. there are some interesting instruments in there complete with plans.

Liutaio Mottola Lutherie Information Website

The final two are Michael Dunn Art Guitars and Shelly Park Gypsy Jazz guitars. These are both Canadian Luthiers building Selmer-Maccaferri style Gypsy jazz guitars. These are really neat guitars originally built by Selmer in Europe. These were the first guitars with a cutaway. They were also Europe's answer to the American arch top guitar which was far too expensive.

You will see two basic models, one with a D hole and one with a small oval sound hole. The D hole was normally used for rhythm and the oval hole was used for lead. They used very light steel and silk strings.

Michael Dunn Art Guitars: Canadian hand-builder of unique jazz guitars and other acoustic instruments
Shelley D. Park :: Gypsy Jazz Guitar Luthier in the Style of Selmer Maccaferri

If you want to hear what they sound like, hear are some videos for Van Django, a Gypsy Jazz ensemble out of B.C. they are playing with the D hole as lead and the oval hole as rhythm.

VAN DJANGO | Gypsy Jazz inspired by Reinhardt & Grapelli
 

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Normans are great guitars. My brother in law in Montreal has an old early 70s Norman dreadnought that rings like a bell. It's tone is gorgeous. Very sweet and pure. A pleasure to play, too. I always look forward to strumming it.

I have a Larrivee dreadnought I bought as a gift to myself when I turned 40. It's like a cannon. Very loud and a big bottom end. To balance that out I have a nice Washburn Festival Series from the 90s... lighter, less projection, more delicate, but very sweet. I have pix of both, but on my work Mac. Here's a shot of my white Washburn. Thank you, Craigslist.

 

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I suppose I should chime in! =)

I do most of my production in Logic and with that I use mostly Native Instruments Massive for creating my synth tracks. Although, I'm partial to the ES2 in logic as well. =) For studio monitors, I'm using KRK Rokit 8 G2's. I just spent a lot of money on DJ gear, so buying my FirePod is going to have to wait! :eek:

DJing, I use Traktor Pro 2, 2 Native Instruments Kontrol X1's and an Allen & Heath Xone 2D. :heybaby:

I have ready access to a couple of studio's though, if I do need to record some live tracks as I'm also a drummer and dabble with bass. Though, creating EDM doesn't really require that too often! ;)

Here's a pic of my DJ gear. =)
 

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peek-a-boo
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well, I have some recording stuff, nothing ground breaking, a pair of near fields, an m-audio fast track ultra, and various guitars, a TD 10 roland kit.

But live, I have lot of drums, a few ludwigs, this is my current fav, a 1971 white marine pearl 22/13/16 I have a '48 wfl 26" swapped in, this pic was them used in a video shoot (note the t sirt in the hats to shut em up).

and second pic, the 1965 gold sparkle ludwigs I was using to record with in this one.

I consider these serious vintage gear I'll never ever, part with. the white marine pearls have been all over US/canada, best sound ing drums I've ever played. I have a bunch of snares, the one in the oic is the classic ludwig lm402



edit, oops the pics were too big, resized one will do the other later.
 

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On Normans and family

Normans are great guitars. My brother in law in Montreal has an old early 70s Norman dreadnought that rings like a bell. It's tone is gorgeous. Very sweet and pure. A pleasure to play, too. I always look forward to strumming it.
Normans are one of the less well known of the Godin family of guitars. From what I can see Norman, Seagull and Simon & Patrick all give really good value for quality. All made in Canada in Quebec.

I'm playing a Norman. Both my sons picked out Seagulls and my daughter in BC picked out a Simon & Patrick. I found it interesting that they all picked Godin varieties, especially my daughter who picked on her own. I went digging to find out the differences. The Seagulls have the widest necks, great for larger hands, which both boys have. The Normans are in the middle. Simon & Patrick is the narrowest neck. So their choices made sense.

My youngest picked out a Seagull Maritime Solid Wood Series with solid rosewood sides and back. I am not that big a fan of low gloss finish, but this guitar is really light and rings like a bell right through the whole spectrum and has a really nice action. It is about double the volume of my old el Degas without even trying. It is a dreadnought size but has brilliant trebles. Playing riffs on it is a joy.
 

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Norman Story

I bought the ST 68 in 1992. I was up north at the time. There were lots of bluegrass players buying Martins and Gibsons, Martins especially. Norman was pretty much unknown.

I showed my neighbour down the street my shiny new guitar. He asked if I had had it made and who the heck was Norman. So I told him, "Yes, I found a really eccentric luthier. He gave me a great deal on a hand made guitar, but one of his eccentricities was he gave every guitar a name and I had to live with it. He called this one Norman".

I was able to hold a straight face for about an hour.
 
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Discussion Starter #17
edit, oops the pics were too big, resized one will do the other later.
Beautiful drums. Can't wait for the other pic. My acoustic kit is totally frankensteined (and was just taken down and put into store room for my studio re-arrange), it's pretty funny actually, but they sound great and never leave the studio so what can you do hehe. It consists of Obelisk 22" Kick, 12" tom and 16" floor (all maple, keller shells), 10" 10 ply birch (think it's a Maxim?), 8" DW Pacific. A few snares but my fav's are the 5x14 80's yamaha recording custom (maple), and a Yamaha FBR (fiberglass) 6x14" snare -- talk about the big boomy 70's sound. I'm also waiting on (2 years and counting) a custom steam bent 13"x5" maple snare that I don't have in my possession yet, but have a few friends with them and they are stellar. No pics of it, but it's nothing worth looking at. Lots of decent cymbals tho ;)
 

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peek-a-boo
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I actually found, a 48 white marine pearl slingerland radio king, it'd match my wfl 26 perfectly. boy, that would something to show up at a gig with 2 '48 26" BDs, I'd have to find a 16 to place in the middle of them :) (and 16 clear octobans and smile menacingly at the band so they wonder when I'm going to use them...)

Snares, I'll have to do a little photoshoot for them. The 3 I use most, I have an early 80s, tama 6.5" maple, with the rosewood inlay. Rare drum, but fantastic dry bite. Of course the 402, and one I literally put about 250k of travelling on, an 8" tama artstar birds eye maple, I bought it at L&m in 86, it's a limited edition it has a super thin shell, and I've had standing offers on it. But at some point, the airlines dropped their carry on allowable size and now it doesn't fit. So I refuse to put that into baggage.

Yamaha recording customs are a great series, I bought a kit in black in 86, and those poor drums were abused hard on the road, but sound awesome. It seems almost everyone is using keller shells. One snare I regret sellin, but the band hated me using it because it was mind bendingly loud, was the 6.5 ludwig hand hammered brass. That was the loudest drum I ever heard. :)
 
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Discussion Starter #19
LOL yep those ludwig's can be obnoxiously loud ... every single mic on the stage will pick them up. That and some of those little brass piccolo's! I just gave an old Ludwig chrome/ludalloy 5.5x14" to a buddy a few months back -- well it was kind of a trade. He gave me the yamaha recording custom years ago and wouldn't take any money for it and told me that he'd like a decent metal snare at some point so it was a fair trade ;) My recording custom is a one trick pony, it only has one sound and you have to crank the hell out of the head .. it just doesn't sound good any other way, but when it's done like that it sounds awesome.
 
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Discussion Starter #20
Here's one of my current fav guitars ... another kijiji find. Very rare, japanese made (Matsumoku factory) and was sold only to the Canadian market. The company was called Phoenix and was founded by Larry DiMarzio. Scuttlebutt is that when the "law suit" happened with the Japanese copy makers and they couldn't use the direct knock-off headstocks anymore Larry bought up the stock of whatever they had left for parts and had these lines built (which is why he sold them only to the Canadian market). From what I can tell there's not many of these around at all. This one plays like butter and is nicer than most of the real Gibson 335's I've ever played. The pickups are not stellar (old DiMarzio's of course), but I have a pair of 59's that I have to get installed into it -- it's a royal pain with hollow bodies, lots of fishing wires around which is why I haven't done it myself!
 

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