We were fortunate to have some friends capture some pictures and video of the 2013 Halloween show over at The Space in Hamden, CT.  You can also check out some videos over at Garrett’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgSiBbzEZU9JMli3BOmRcvw

OBO will be doing the Thanksgiving eve thang again over at the Lumberyard Pub in West Redding, CT.  We love the Lumberyard!

A few weeks ago I mentioned that Infinitas is finally laying down some real tracks.  Below is the setup I used for tracking the drums…I was fortunate to be able to do this in my living room, with high vaulted ceilings and some nice natural reverb, with 10 mics on Hal’s Tama kit.  Hopefully someone finds the info useful!

I switched over to a Roland STUDIO-CAPTURE and couldn’t be happier.  I’ve used the Echo Layla products for years and had great success, but after needing more simultaneous tracks and having some issues getting two Layla 3Gs to work in tandem, I pulled the trigger on the Roland unit.  It works flawlessly with Cakewalk Sonar and does what any great DAW audio  interface should do in my opinion; stay out of the way :-)

You can hear a sample of the raw unprocessed drums here (bass is a scratch reference track): http://www.trya.us/music/Infinitas/Album/Lights-drumref.mp3

CH1: Tom 1
CAD TSM 411 –> HHB RADIUS 10 CH1
Settings: Gain 2.9 / 10 o’clock, Output 4.5 / 11 o’clock, 90hz cut

CH2: Tom 2
CAD M179 –> HHB RADIUS 10 CH2
Settings: Gain 3 / 10 o’clock, Output 4.5 / 11 o’clock, 90hz cut, 48v

CH3: Tom 3
CAD M179 –> HHB RADIUS 10 CH3
Settings: Gain 3 / 10 o’clock, Output 4.5 / 11 o’clock, 90hz cut, 48v

CH4: Tom 4
EV Cardinal –> HHB RADIUS 10 CH4
Settings: Gain 1.9 / 8.5 o’clock, Output 4.5 / 11 o’clock, 90hz cut, 48v

CH5: Snare Top
Rode NTK –> Audient Mico CH1 –> Rane DC24 CH1
Settings (Audient): -20db, 40+80hz cut, Gain 12.5 o’clock, HMZ IN 10 o’clock
Settings (Rane): Gate Thresh 0, Gate Ratio 1.8, Comp Thresh -8, Comp Ratio 2, Limiter +5, Output 0

CH6: Snare Bottom
Studio Projects B1 –> Audient Mico CH2 –> Rane DC24 CH1
Settings (Audient): -20db, 48v, 40+80hz cut, Gain 12 o’clock, Phase Rev
Settings (Rane): BYPASS

CH7: OH 1 (ORTF)
Sahe Audio Little Blondie –> Black Lion Audio Auteur CH1
Settings – 1 o’clock, phantom, pad

CH8: OH 2 (ORTF)
Sahe Audio Little Blondie –> Black Lion Audio Auteur CH2
Settings – 1 o’clock, phantom, pad

CH9: Kick Outer
Neumann TLM 49EV N/D868 –> Avalon VT737SP
Settings – Gain +32, Cut 40hz, 48v, Filter IN, Comp Thresh 15, Comp Ration 8:1, Comp Attack Fast, Comp Release 3 / 9.5 o’clock, Meter IN, Comp IN, Comp IN, Bass +3 60hz, Low Mid -5 Hi-Q 250hz, Hi Mid 0, Treble 0, EQ IN, Out -8

CH10: Kick Inner
EV N/D868 –> Focusrite Platinum Trakmster Pro
Settings – Low Z IN, Preamp 5 / 12 o’clock, HPF IN, Mid Scoop IN, 250hz, Deep IN, Comp IN, Squash IN, Comp Thresh 4 / 10 o’clock, Comp Gain +10

OBO will be over at the Black Bear Saloon again on Friday night, 11/27. It’s an early show from 7-9, so stop on down in SoNo and do some pre-party night with us ;-)

http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Good-Black-Bears-and-One-Bad-Oyster-.html?soid=1105231689335&aid=jleYFb67wX8

Infinitas…well, we finally have an actual show.  In front of people no less!
 
The odd/challenging part is that it’s on a Thursday night, on Halloween, at 7 PM in Hamden.  While I have no expectations that anyone can actually make it (I’m worried about getting there in time myself), I’m still hella excited about it.

It’s $7 in costume or $10 non-costume at the door at The Space in Hamden, CT.  There’s general information here:
 
http://www.thespacect.com/halloween-metal-throwdown/
https://www.facebook.com/events/203568026490575/
 
Doors open at 6 PM, and the line-up is currently as follows:
 
6:30-7:00 – Deafened By Silence
7:15-7:45 – Infinitas
8:00-8:30 – Thera Roya
8:45-9:15 – Lets Get Invisible
9:30-10:00 – In Honor Of
10:15-10:45 – Set Sail At Sunrise
11:00-11:30 – Epoch Era
 
If anyone I actually know shows up, I promise to buy you an apple juice or something (I believe The Space is a dry venue).  There’s always the bar next door I suppose ;-)

Yes!!! It’s finally happening!!!  Despite trying to get this off the ground months ago, extensive equipment debacles, life getting in the way and the world being against us, we’ve finally recorded the drum tracks to put an album together!  So far we’ve got the following:

Cellies – 4:42
Jupiter – 2:48
Kuru – 4:34
Lights – 3:46
Obsolete – 5:04
Pitch Black – 5:05
Used – 3:57

You can catch some video of some of the sessions over at Garrett’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgSiBbzEZU9JMli3BOmRcvw

You can hear a practice sampler of the tracks here: http://www.trya.us/music/Infinitas/Misc/Infinitas-sampler.mp3

Very excited to get to recording the geetars and bass…and who knows, maybe even vocals…more stuff in the works!  I’ll try to get some info posted up on the approach and equipment we took with recording the drums as well as some samples.

OBO will be at Bodega in Darien, CT for a “Day of the Dead” show!  Saturday, Nov 2nd  from 8-12 PM.  Come on down and have some fun.

More info here http://www.onebadoyster.com/

*** UPDATE ***

Pics from the show over at our Facebook page!

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.592217167481480.1073741825.199077836795417&type=1

If you consider “Unknown Angels” a complete departure from his previous works (Tony’s vocals, folk-ish song structures, recurring melodies, and adventurous new-age-world-jazz feel), then “Elevation” is a return to form. I am a huge fan of Tony in general, first being exposed to him via his time early on with Hiromi Uehara. Overall “Elevation” is a great album, and has me very curious already for what’s in store next from a man that has very quickly established himself not only as a fantastic bass player, but a very deep, creative, and original song writer and arranger.  I was fortunate to receive my copy from Abstract Logix (http://www.abstractlogix.com/xcart/product.php?productid=25862) prior to the actual release date on Oct 15 2013, so I figured I’d take the time to write up a review of each track.
 
Track 1 “Guiding Light”: This is a reinterpretation of one of my favorite songs from the album “Chasing Shadows”. This time around it super chill; a good Sunday afternoon ride. Nir’s guitar work is harmonically adventurous, pushing the boundaries of what would be considered a standard tonal structure. There’s also some trippy electronic stuff. I think Nir is a great pairing for Tony’s creative and fresh approach. 

Track 2 “Chicks Chums”: A typical Tony deep pocket rhythm with melodic gymnastics from John Mclaughlin. Interestingly enough, John’s guitar tone reminds me more of John Scofield than what I’ve come to know of John’s work. Overall the tune has that same fusion feel from Tony’s first two albums. 

Track 3 “Freedom Jazz Dance”: Tony and Fuze; a perfect fusion pair if there ever was one! Oddly enough, it reminds me of an Oz Noy song in both structure and melody. Another standard Tony fusion thing, with Dave doing his wacky guitar stuff that I love, and making it work well. 

Track 4 “Floating River Yangtze”: Another reinterpretation off his first album “moving”. It still has that great Eastern-Asian inspired melody, but with a feel that makes me think blue grassy back beat. Fuze’s wacky playing style lends itself well to this tune. There’s some really nice, full bass towards the end, again reminding me of the blue grass feel. 

Track 5 “Galactic Samurai”: A very melodically cool tune. It starts with this really huge sounding guitar piece, and continues on very fluidly with that Tony jazz fusion pushing shuffle feel, but also kind of floaty. I was not familiar with Hotei Tomoyasu prior, but the guitar work great; funky, big, intense, and in your face. 

Track 6 “Elevation”: Reb Beach tears it up on the title track. Another relatively “standard” Tony fusion tune, though I think his solo bass tone is particularly sweet on this one. There’s a very catchy head melody that Tony and Reb sync up on, which is very cool. Reb also does this almost djenty style rhythm in sections, a kind of heavy, funky blend that’s unexpected but welcome. The whole song has a kind of rock hero sound to it. 

Track 7 “Walking In, Walking Out”: Yet another reinterpretation, this time with the legendary Mike Stern. As usual, Stern has a fantastic tone that matches the tune so very well. On the whole this one is pretty similar to the original, at least when compared to the two earlier on the album. Stern’s feel is a great choice for reinterpretation though. 

Track 8 “Dil Chahata Hai”: Similar to the first track with Nir, it’s another reworked tune made mellower. The solo has Nir doing some ear bending harmonies against the tonal changes again…it’s definitely a very different approach, but as we’ve come to expect from Tony, refreshingly different. 

Track 9 “Solar”: An awesome tune with a laid-back, more traditional jazz feel. Fuze is a great choice on guitar again, and I really dig Tony’s tone. There’s a great atmosphere and sense of space set with the drums as well. My only complaint is that the tune is so short; make more like this in the future Tony! 

Track 10 “Someday My Prince Will Come”: Based on the Walt Disney Classic, this tune start off in a manner that had me thinking it would go the direction like something off “Unknown Angels”. Not so though, as just after the 1:20 mark the main/familiar melody comes in, and then it turns into something that makes me think Joe Pass. 

 

 

 

 

With the recent Musician’s Friend Stupid Deal of the Day, and some coupon incentives, I took the plunge on the Ashdown LB-30.  I had always wanted a low wattage all tube head, and I particularly loved the LB-30 on paper… I just wasn’t going to pay $899!  Now that I have the amp, I can in hindsight tell you that is it in fact worth that asking price, though as a “nice to have” on the G.A.S. calculator, I’d still be waiting or searching for the reduced price I found it at.

So far I think it’s a really cool amp.  It gets much louder than I expected, though I’ve only paired it with 2×12′s so far.  It took me a while to understand the passive EQ section, but now that I’ve got the hang of it, it’s quite fun and interactive.  Despite getting loud and angry, I wasn’t entirely sure it could keep up with a loud, heavy band practice with Infinitas.  Turns out I was wrong!

Granted it wasn’t the sound I’m typically after, but it was still cool. The bass register wasn’t what I’m used to (thinner and tubby, vs. full and articulate), the midrange was very pronounced, and there wasn’t much articulation higher up in the treble range (or at least it wasn’t cutting through, when I was tapping for example).  You can see the settings in the middle pic above.  In fairness to the Little Bastard (that sounds funny, no?), I didn’t spend a whole lot of time tweaking, I was just curious if it could even keep up.  I was running my Warwick Thumb Custom Shop BO 6 broadneck into the High input on the LB-30 and then into an older Genz Benz NeoX-212T.

As a comparison, I typically run my Genz ShuttleMAX 12.0 with this band.  At practice the Shuttle is typically set with the Gain at max on the tube channel, various EQ settings, and the Master at 2.  We’re a 3 piece, not super loud, but not exactly tame either.  Dave (the guitar player) uses a Mesa Triple Rec through a 4×10.

To be able to really punch through, I needed to boost the input.  I alternated between a Fuzzrocious Oh See Demon and a Wren and Cuff Phat Phuk B. If you own a LB-30 and want any kind of grind or overdrive, you owe it to yourself to get a PPB!  It was already one of my favorite pedals, but it has really opened up another world in front of this amp.  Like I said above, the sound wasn’t super versatile, but if you’re playing any kind of aggressive music and aren’t doing any super extended range stuff, it’s a very cool sound.  I really need to try the same thing with a more traditional passive bass, I think it would be killer.

I grabbed a couple of sound clips with my Zoom H2, and wouldn’t you know, I think I’m actually TOO LOUD in the mix!  Check this out from “Cellies”: Cellies-LB30test.mp3

I looking forward to picking up an Ashdown VS-112 to pair with the LB-30 for a more manageable recording volume.  There’s a great overall review of both the LB-30 and VS-112 in Issue 9 of Bass Gear Magazine, I highly recommend it.

As many of us have come to know, Gear Acquisition Syndrome, or G.A.S., is both a bit of a joke and somewhat of a true pain point for musicians.  Something somewhere pointed to legendary guitarist Walter Becker creating the term “Guitar Acquisition Syndrome”, and from my additional reading online, it seems the concept may have originally started with photographers.

Back in the day of the early Internetz, there was the goofydawg GAS Evaluator, which I though was a particularly clever attempt an actually qualifying purchases that may be G.A.S. driven.  That site is no longer around, though with a bit of help from the Way Back Machine, I’ve created my own take on it.  I’d also like to acknowledge a group of non-musician friends that helped me qualify some of the weighting scheme and play out the scenarios a bit.

It’s pretty straightforward; run through the questions, keep track of your score, and then compare your totals to the classifications at the end.  Note that this does not take into consideration trading, or selling an item to get a different item…we all know that’s totally legit and not an indication of anything problematic or impulsive…!!?!?  ;-)

NEED
Does this item solve a real issue right now, or is this something I just want to try out?
- Solution (0)
- Experiment (1)
- Purely cosmetic (2)

USE
Am I involved in anything right now that requires this item?
- Yes (0)
- Near future (1)
- No (2)

FIT
Have I done research, evaluation, or comparison vs. competing products?
- Yes, extensively (0)
- A little (1)
- None (2)

ADVANTAGE
Do I have the skill to use this item effectively?
- Yes or N/A (0)
- Not immediately, but it will help me grow (1)
- No (2)

UNIQUENESS
Is this item materially different from what I already have
- Yes (0)
- No, but I need a backup (1)
- No (2)

FUNDING
Will this purchase have a significant impact on my available funds?
- No (0)
- Only temporarily (1)
- Yes (2)

PAYMENT
Am I paying for this with cash or credit?
- Cash (0)
- Credit, but I will pay off before I accrue fees (1)
- Credit (2)

Final Scoring Classifications
0-4 = You can feel good about making the purchase
5-7 = You should think long and hard about if you really need the item, or if now is really the right time
7-11 = Either now is definitely not the right time, or you really just don’t need the item