LFA? Who Are They Now?

I said I’d do it, so here it is: I, aka. the Gecko, with the axe in Brooklyn before heading off to work. It may be a Squier, and it may still need some setting up to get it right, and it may be worse than my old Ibanez–but I think it’s the coolest guitar I’ve owned. True, a retro paint job would be ideal, but the black on black is sexy. I’m still looking for a “This machine kills fascists” sticker for it. Also need a Gecko sticker.

Who’s next?

Gator doing what he does best: drinking while riding a pink horse. I hear this is how he gets inspiration for writing lyrics.

Alright, who next?

The Infamous Chopper Newt at his recording station (I added a little film grain filter to the pic for the sake of… nothing in particular):

And, last but not least, the Lizard with no stable moniker: Serpentuh, aka Sir Pent, aka the Metrognome.

Now, if only we had pictures of Gila and Komodo….


81 Responses to “LFA? Who Are They Now?”

  1. the gecko is BACK!!
    nice guitar. the Squier series is good bang for the buck, IMHO.
    my very first electric was a Fender Squier Bullet, Gator may remember it.

  2. Hi, Gordon. Yeah, I dig the Squier, actually. Plays very nicely. I went in to play the Fender tele deluxe ’72 reissue, but couldn’t afford it. Have to trade up eventually, and the Squier custom tele was the closest thing. That said, it sure has one unique sound. Doesn’t sound like a tele, doesn’t sound like a Gibson, doesn’t sound AT ALL like my old Ibanez. Sounds retro.

    I guess you haven’t heard any of the new tunes yet, have you?

  3. the gecko is OLD!!
    If I’m going to put my pic up here, you realize it’s going to be a nude from the perspective of my huge ass-scar from my latest surgery?

  4. Yeah, that’s what we want: a nude, hairy gnome with scars. Yeah. Just so long as you’re playing your electric drums. If you have any pictures from the Freep days of you playing a REAL drum set, send those, too. That would be cool(er than pictures of a hairy old scarred invalid who can’t even play his drum set without hurting himself). Ha.

    And I don’t know what you mean by old. OLD? Just a little gray. Well, time has a way of doing that doesn’t it? I like to kill time and time likes to kill me. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go drink a beer and work on my guitar until dinner time whereupon I have to finish revising this goddamn book chapter.

    I came up with some more ideas for Batphone, although I’m not positive I like the song, at least as much as Kung Fu Lover. Can I do it in 7/8 time? I might like it better if I can do some complicated music. I’ve been listening to Yes, Close to the Edge today and now I just want to do complicated music with inscrutable lyrics. One day of Rush and one of Yes and I’m back to being a music geek.

  5. Did I ever mention how much I love the internet? This eve, in between revisions that are boring the socks off me, I searched for VST effects and found an excellent simulation of a Marshall JCM900 guitar amplifier (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshall_Amplification), the classic British rock amp. It is unbelievable how good it sounds. The same guys also have created a tube screamer simulation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibanez_Tube_Screamer).

    Choopski, you want them? I can send by e-mail. If you have a VST effects folder with Cool Edit Pro (which I assume you do), just drop them in there, load them onto your guitar track and then pretend you are Slash or Stevie Ray Vaughn.

  6. Well…the idea of Batphone is that it’s supposed to be kinda alternative/punk-ish…so 7/8 doesn’t really fit. Not to mention that I am just not good enough to pull off 7/8 time.
    Give me a day and I can come up with some ideas for some prog-rock.

  7. Damn, I’m going blind staring at a computer screen for hours–but I finished revising my Introduction, precis, and bibliography, so I can submit my book proposal to Univ of Rochester Press. I won’t say what I think they’ll really do with my proposal.

    Okay, alterna-punk-ish. I can do that. Anyway, I tried for a few minutes to come up with some funky time signatures and my drum machine simply won’t do them. It’s a crappy drum machine. At any rate, I probably couldn’t do 7/8 either. Maybe 6/8. Actually, I just went back and listened to your Batphone recording and it IS in 6/8. Are there any punk songs in 6/8? It’s like waltz-punk. Cool.

  8. Chopper Newt Says:

    Batphone needs to be emo, like our attempt at getting some of that Fall Out Boy money.

    I think we need to start thinking in terms of sellouts.

    Cause nothing’s more authentic than a bunch of 40 year olds hashing out some emo goodness.

    Yeah, I think I can use those effects, Gecko… send ’em on out.

  9. Chopper Newt Says:

    Oh, and that kind of freaked me out that somebody not in the band posted a comment. But in a good way. Wassup Gordon.

    Does anybody wonder if there’s some lurker in a basement in Kansas reading all this and avidly following the Lizard renaissance, but never making their presence known? Cause I do.

    Let’s try to provoke them to make a comment, like on “Ghost Hunters”.

  10. Paranoia still reigns supreme in the heart of all Lizards…

  11. Yeah, I’ll send them. I wanted to record something last eve using the Marshall stack, but had no time other than to listen to the effect through my headphones. Unbelievable how good it sounds. The Tube Screamer is funky, though, not like my old Metal Charger which used some of the same circuitry but had a “harder” sound.

    I never got anything that grooved for Batphone. I’ll wait for CN to come with an idea.

    As for lurkers, it is indeed possible, but with millions of blogs out there what are the odds? Someone would have to know about us already to have looked us up, I think.

  12. Chops, I e-mailed the effects to you.

    As for the fear of lurkers, if Metro posts nudy pictures of himself we may well start getting lurking pervs on this site.

  13. My first attempt at writing lyrics for a “prog-rock” song has been e-mailed to all active Lizards.
    For those who care, the song is equal parts ripped off from:
    RUSH – Red Barchetta
    YES – Wondrous Stories
    TOOL – every drum roll out of a musical break that they always do

    When Kings Were Green

  14. Good lyrics, as I said in the e-mail. I might work on the number of “whys,” however. A few of those lines are definitely Yes inspired, what with the mathematical references. Not just Wondrous Stories, but also Close to the Edge and You and I. I suppose it also has the sort of weird futuristic nostalgia of Red Barchetta.

    Listened to some Waco Brothers on the radio driving home from the airport just now. If I knew country music could still be like that, I’d like country music. Those guys rock, or whatever the country equivalent is: they honkeytonk?

  15. Feel free to arrange and do with as you will. If the song goes anywhere NEAR the direction I’m thinking you might take it…I would gladly acquiesce to the drum machine. I think a song of this style needs metronomic precision.

    (Any guesses from any on the “symbolism”?)

    I’ve never heard the Waco Brothers…to my memory, that is. I’ve heard the Flying Burrito Brothers.

  16. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waco_Brothers

    Haven’t thought about the symbolism yet, but I have thought about the song arrangement, which might require some rearrangement of the lyrics.

    Can’t do a drum machine. I find it very difficult to create good stuff. SWM and CB just use prerecorded loops and fills. In fact, they use many of the same ones, just at a different tempo and with different compressor settings. But I would record with a metronome or drum loop to keep good time, then you can add drums.

    How many pads and symbols do you have on your e-set, btw? It would be easy to add extra symbols or other percussion over your own drumming, if desired.

    Chops, have you tried that JCM900 simulation? Can you try it live, or only in post-recorded processing? It doesn’t work perfectly, but I downloaded ASIO4all, the use of which eliminates almost all latency problems, so I can jam the Marshall stack live.

  17. i prefer the term groupie to lurking perv (goose to gander?)

    though we groupies only actually get into the band’s trailer backstage if we’re 16 year old leggy gum-chewing daisy-duke-shorts-wearing little girls with dried secretions in our hair.
    Which I’m not… anymore.

  18. Secretions of what?

  19. Ok, ok, I know I’m just being willfully obtuse about When Kings Were Green. Too painful to think about too much–what might have been is the story of everyone’s life. We were kings and we were green because we were lizards.

    I, of course, am all in favor of a concept album, but it can’t be the first one of the Lizards Renaissance. We have several good tunes already for Bloomington Democracy–if we ever get Sir Pent’s drumming and a good bass line so we can do a final mix, that is! Metro: is this pal of yours up for joining and are you going to introduce him to us virtually, or should I audition some virtual bassists? If nothing else works, I will eventually buy a MIDI keyboard and add bass lines that way. Or perhaps CN can do that, since he’s rich.

    But album number two? Lizards From Afar: Renaissance. Perfect title. I also realize that our band name, while still ridiculously goofy, has become ironically more appropriate since we are indeed making music From Afar.

    And where are the pictures? Gator, you too. Since you don’t have a bass, you can always picture yourself at a table, pen in hand, writing lyrics.

  20. Chopper Newt Says:

    I found that CEP2.0 only does DirectX effects, not VST, and I’m not smart enough to make a “wrapper” work, so I don’t think I’m going to get any joy out of the effects Gecko sent. I don’t think I could use them “live” anyway, so even if I could the usefulness would be limited. (I can’t get the built-in effects in the program to work live either, that’s why I think it wouldn’t work).

    I will send a picture at some point. The spirit will have to move, as ever.

    If I buy anything, it’s going to be a cheap-ass bass.

  21. Chopper Newt Says:

    Dear Gordon,

    I’m kind of creeped out by the things you said.


  22. I wasn’t necessarily writing it for an “album”. You said you wanted a RUSH/YES song…so I gave it a try. (I wrote it during break at work yesterday.)

    I love the idea of a concept album too. Not a RUSH style concept album or a horrible one, like KISS did.
    I was thinking a punk concept album. Kinda like Green Day did…except good.

  23. Too bad you can’t use that Marshall amp or Tubescreamer simulations. They are awesome. I’ll post a sample next week of me playing it. I can’t believe CEP won’t use VST as well as Direct X. Mixcraft will work with both, but all the “community created” ones tend to be VST.

    I just checked the Adobe Audition site, which is what CEP 2.0 is now, and they say it accepts VST effects. Whether you can use them live depends on CPU power and the quality of your sound card. With my Sony VAIO I can “test” the effects live, but when recording the whole thing tends to get messy, or even off-time, especially if I run an effect live. So, I record clean using as few tracks as possible, then add the effects and sims. But nothing would beat having my own real Marshall half-stack….

    As for Green Day’s concept album, I loved it when I first heard it, but I’m now tired of it, at least partially because all the songs are the same high level. Gives me a headache to listen to them too long. They’re like a loud commercial in the middle of a nice quiet film. Anyway, we’re not punk enough for a punk concept album, but it could have punk parts!

  24. If we’re trading photos, I think my favorite is at http://www.flickr.com/photos/36302896@N00/1253799537/in/set-72157601722457130/

    You can see an awful lot of them on the flickr account at http://www.flickr.com/photos/36302896@N00/

  25. Thanks, Iv.

  26. I thought you wanted to post pics with our instruments?

  27. Sure, Metro, but the closest thing I have to an instrument these days is my speculum collection.

  28. Chopper Newt Says:

    I sent Gecko a picture. Really, I look like I should be locked up, or perhaps given a Silkwood-type scrubbing. It’s like first thing in the morning and I wanted to get this out of the way, so what you see is what you get. Try not to let me creep into your nightmares.

  29. I’ll see you, Chopper … in your wildest dreams.

  30. Matt –
    Did some further research on the Blue Snowball USB Mic.

    1) Seems to work a LOT better for MAC than Windows (sounds like Windows users should just go with a Samson)

    2) Latest software has resolved hi and low end complaints

  31. Chopper,

    You’re creeped out by me?
    Ivan’s got a speculum collection!

  32. CN’s pic is posted. It is a little creepy! But in a good way.

    Metro: I’ve given up on the condenser mic for now. Perhaps if civilization doesn’t collapse next week, or if I stay alive I’ll buy a USB dynamic mic for less…

  33. Weird telecaster, by the way. It’s a real Fender?

  34. Chops doesn’t look any creepier than normal.
    I sent Matty my pic, but I’ve got the beard going which I usually do not have. (Long story.)
    …now, I just need to finish that photo-realistic painting I’m in the middle of where Carm is being sodomized by Bozo the Clown (& loving it)…then there’s Komodo…

  35. Chopper Newt Says:

    Yeah, I think it’s a real one. Based on the serial number it’s a Japanese built one made between 84 and 87.

  36. Got the Metro pic, which will go up soon. We need that electric set, though!

    Forgot to mention, I played a Yamaha electric drum set on Friday.

    I hear from CN that he bought a bass. CN: What did you get?

    The Japanese Fenders are well made guitars, I hear, so I’m sure it plays nicely. Sounds good, too. Just not a “classic” tele in appearance, what with the bizarre color and the two single coils and a humbucker–not to mention the tremolo. Is that a Floyd Rose? I had one on my old Ibanez. Worked great, but was a pain in the ass to set up.

    I dig my Squier Fender, but it’s a piece of crap. I mean, the neck is awesome to play, and the guitar is cool, but it suffers from poor quality control. That’s what you get for a guitar made in Indonesia. It even has two stripped screws, one holding the bridge and another, less important one, in the pickguard. I didn’t notice until I’d had the guitar a few weeks and decided to check the tightness of the screws. Two of them don’t tighten any further.

  37. As soon as you said Yamaha, it reminded me. That’s what I have…I think. I got it on a “whim” with NO research. My cousin-in-law plays guitar and we talked about a general idea for a band:
    2 minute songs – 3 chords max – fast as we could play (without being stupid)

    Well, I had sold my drums, didn’t have much money or space.

    We went to guitar center. There was a clearance sign on it for $1,000 from $2,500. I asked the salesman why the price. (I’m thinking it is either broken OR crap.) The salesman thought I was bartering and said, “The best I can let it go for is cost. $500.”
    I bought it along with a little bass amp that was on sale for like $49.

    We took it home and set it up. His friend came over with her brand new bass and giant bass-amp…only to say she had never played a note. After 5 or 6 more rehearsals, the band died.

  38. Chopper Newt Says:

    I sent a pic of the bass. It’s a Squier P-Bass, and I think it is supposed to be like the one Mike Dirnt plays based on the signage. Our Samuel Music location in Bloomington is apparently being closed and stuff was cheap, so I had to grab and go. It will do the trick.

  39. I was at Willis Music here and they had a few Yamaha e-kits set up. I played the high end one just to see what it was like and it is really great. Had a high-hat that played just like a real high hat. And all the drum pads gave different sounds depending on where you hit them and how hard. Great instrument for recording since you don’t have to figure out how to mic the drums. But it does lack coolness.

    the P-bass looks good, too. How much of a deal did they give you?

    Forgot to mention, I’ve come up with music for When Kings Were Green. Even though you were thinking of Yes and Rush, I ended up being more influenced by Led Zeppelin while coming up with the music. The acoustic intro “quotes” Bron-Yr-Aur, but in a different key. There’s also a quote of “Stars” by us. There had to be.

  40. I’ve hear of this Led Zeppelin. They’re not as well known as Rush or Yes…

    My kit is in NO way as cool as those. As I said above, I bought mine on clearance…but it was on clearance because it was discontinued. Even when I bought it, there was a much “newer” model available in the store that played a lot better and sorta had the look of real drums.

    …and why isn’t my pic up?

  41. Sorry, I was having trouble logging in to WordPress. Don’t know why. Now it’s up.

  42. It IS good to see everyone. Maybe I can get one of the Phish kids at the local coffeehouse to let me pose with their bass.

    And Gordon, the speculum collection is hardly the creepiest thing I’ve got laying around. Or does the name “Herbert” mean so little to you? You can flee across many continents, my old friend, but escape? Escape is a dream.

  43. Chopper Newt Says:

    Well, I looked across the internets to see what kind of deal I got exactly. List price was over 300, which is ridiculous. I think the store’s usual price was like 270. Seems like the main online offenders are all coming in at 250 for this exact model. I got it for 180, so that’s actually pretty good, no?

  44. Big Cock seats for Iron Maiden.
    Top Line bass guitars.

    Where are YOU getting all the cabbage?

  45. Flight canceled this eve! Stuck in the midwest! Which is good in that I get to hang out with the family longer, but bad in that I hoped to record something this eve. I have some good music going for this Kings Were Green tune.

    Good deal for the bass, I think, CN. My tele was $240.

    And the new CB does sound better with the real bass. Sounds excellent, really.

  46. Did you put a filter on my pic too…or do my eyes REALLY have that big og bags under them?

  47. Since I had put a film grain filter on my pic, I put one on everyone else, too–except Gator, whose pic is simple linked here. Makes you look a little ghoulish, doesn’t it?

  48. Gator,

    My poor tortured mind has repressed the memory of “Herbert” (but the left side of my face twitches violently when I say the word.. hmm).

    what must i do to escape the icky??!!

  49. Chopper Newt Says:


    Each day I trade a little piece of my soul for some money. Downside=loss of soul, upside=gets paid.

  50. I turned into an outright whore about 7 years ago and entered management.
    Since then a few silly financial decisions (like having almost our entire house renovated in one swoop) and the never-ending string of medical bills prevented me from reaping the fiduciary benefits.

  51. Chopper Newt Says:

    Turned into. 7 years. Hilarious.

    There’s a good picture of Carm at this addy:

  52. I did preface it with “outright”…

  53. Yeah, it’s the filter that makes Metro look a little ghoulish. That’s the one.

  54. Daddy Warbucks sure has it in for me today, doesn’t he?

  55. I like the ghoulishness. No good looking too normal, right? Not that there’s any chance of that, no matter what the filters.

    After a marathon of travel, and a tremendous headache, I made it to my campus, and here I am checking the blog instead of working! But I did check my e-mail and University of Rochester Press is going to “consider” my book manuscript. This means they’ll look at it for several months then say, “go crawl back under the rock you came out from under.”

    Just realized that with CN’s new low-endedness I need to re-send my tracks of SWM, CL, and KFL without my crappy guitar-bass lines. Will do that. I’m also wondering, still, who is best set up to do final mixes: CN or me? Perhaps we should send both of us the WAV files of everybody’s tracks and see which mixes sound the best.

    As for selling one’s soul for money, as an academic I can say my soul is relatively intact. Taking the professorship in NYC resulted in me getting a raise of more than $20,000 over what I was getting before, but what with the NYC cost-of-living and my insane weekly flying to Ohio I end up with less than before. I’d be better off financially… doing just about anything else.

  56. I like the idea of both doing it.
    Also, if Chops gets the WAV files to do “his” final mix-down, I could always take a trip down to Bloomie and provide my 2-Cents…which is probably equivalent to a duffelbag full of dried dogshit.
    I suck and you guys should probably stop associating with me…

  57. On the way back from Queens today, stopped off at “Guitar Center” on 14th St in the Village. Fucking corporate monolith music shop, one of a chain across the US. About the least cool music shop I’ve ever visited, but they have just about everything else except coolness. Played a Gibson SG plugged into a little Marshall solid state amp and felt like Angus Young. I always thought Fenders were cooler than Gibsons, but that SG is one nice instrument.

    At any rate, I went there in the first place because I found out online they had mic cables that went from XLR to 1/4 inch, so I figured I could then plug my little old dynamic mic into my computer and record both vocals and classical guitar. I imagined doing a “sketch” of the vocals for KFL…. But it didn’t work: the mic doesn’t have enough power on its own; needed a preamp to boost the signal. And when I tried upping the volume all the way on the computer, all it did was pick up local radio noise. So, that was a failure. There’s no low-cost answer to this issue. Have to buy a USB condenser mic, or go get a mixing board. Neither are going to happen anytime soon. Maybe I’ll just call Choopski and sing him KFL so he can get the idea….

  58. Mr. Metro,

    did you get my email? had a file attached.


  59. Did find a relatively low cost solution during a 5 minute internet search: the Line 6 Toneport GX (http://line6.com/toneportgx/), a guitar and mic USB pre-amp and amp “modeler” which contains its own sound card. Need this anyway, since my computer is not liking to record music. Not enough CPU or soundcard power, especially to use those VST effects. I tried recording something using the Marshall amp simulation and it unerringly made Mixcraft go crazy. Bummer.

    Might work for you, too, CN….

  60. Gordon,
    You sent it to the LFA e-mail…which I haven’t checked in a couple of weeks. I forwarded it to my home and will listen to it tonight. Will also forward to the other boys…

  61. Listening now to Gordon’s “Boy Band” tune, which is darned funny. Who is singing? Reminds me of the B-52s guy. Guitar sounds cool, too.

    I have become a Master of Tone now, by the way, having purchased that Toneport device this afternoon. Taking me way to long to get it to work correctly, tho’, which is par for the course when it comes to ‘puters ‘n me. But I’ll post a sample at some point, rather than finishing the grading I have to do this eve….

  62. I heard 2 different bands in Gordon’s song:
    – B-52s (I thought it was hilarious you said that too Matt)
    – Aquabats (mostly in the content, but also in the guitar work and some vocal)

    Overall, very funny I thought.

  63. Chopper Newt Says:

    I too heard the B-52s in the boyband song, I think it was just the intonation of some of the vocal which reminded me of Fred Schneider. Enjoyed it immensely, it has taken its rightful place in the zune shuffle rotation. Thanks Gordon. We should do a split double A-side 45 sometime – how hipster-ish would that be?

    I think NW sounds good, maybe a little slow? I actually like that the guitar line I used to play is already on there, frees me up to attempt some atmospheric stuff, maybe trying to get some Crazy Horse feedback in there for color, and in case it already doesn’t resemble a Neil Young song enough.

  64. Exactly, the intonation of the vocals. What’s Gordon’s band called, and is that him singing? If I ever met Gordon, I’m afraid I don’t remember.

    I can, of course, speed up NW, which would mean rerecording, although that would take about… how long is the song? The speed does make me think of Neil Young, however. I realized listening to it on the way to work that my lead guitar might be a little too loud, if that’s possible. Naw. At any rate, I want to redo the solo at some point. It’s a stinky one-off.

    Can you get feedback through your system? I don’t know how to make an artifical amp feedback, although I have feedback sounds on my recording software–but it’s not manipulatable, if that’s a word.

  65. thanks guys.
    matt.. the singing is coming from Canadian Colin Dunne, who hadn’t sung in a band or picked up a guitar before we met.
    I played guitars on that song.. so thanks for the compliments!!
    ‘Tuh.. I’ve never heard the Aquabats.. but i shall.

    as i’ve said.. our band continues to be influenced by the Lizards.
    so… we’re spazzing out over here waiting for NEW Lizards material.

  66. ‘Tuh could send you our most complete demo of the tune Clipboard, but we’re still waiting on Sir Pent to get off his invalid ass and record his drums. Right now the new tunes are held together by my drum machine software.

    How did you record your music, Gordon? And what is powering your guitar? If you miked an amp, it sounds good. I just discovered this amp simulation technology and it is pretty cool for recording, I have to admit. Cheaper than buying my own Marshall stack by a long shot!

  67. Chopper Newt Says:

    I don’t know if it’s feedback per se, but things get weird when I up the gain on the mixer. Weird… and maybe useful. We shall see.

    Oh, and it makes it really, really buzzy, too. Not as useful. But we work with the tools we’re given.

  68. In a good mood since I found out I’m to receive a grant to travel to Europe this summer. And it is just such a nice day here in New York–not a cloud in the sky, and warm.

    In my good mood, I just “altered” a picture of me playing acoustic guitar, so there’s my acoustic guitar, the steel string anyway. And there’s me standing in front of a psychedelic thingy playing the guitar. Dig?

    Oh, pics are on the new “Band Photos” page, to be found over on the links to the right.

  69. Gordon – the Aquabats are my favorite band, bar none.

    If you want to see a great blending of TWO of my favorite things – the Aquabats and Invader Zim – go here:

  70. That’s a pretty good song, and the Invader Zim is good, too. Never seen or heard either of these before. Now I’m going to have that song stuck in my head all night.

  71. That’s the point – earworms. When you visit Crystal Lake I’ll show you a full season of Zim over martinis.

  72. Chopper Newt Says:

    Gecko, I ordered that little box you’ve been talking about.

    So does it give you any problem with multitracking? Right now, for instance, I am able to play back track A and record track B without getting them mixed together on the record track, but it seems like that is because I’m using line-in as my record source, not wav (the sound card).
    But it seems like using this device and the software, won’t I have to switch my recording source to the sound card, and thereby get the playback tracks mixed into my new recording?

  73. The Line6 Toneport GX?

    I haven’t had any major problems–and I can record vocals now: if I get a XLR to 1/4″ adapter since the device serves as a preamp. Actually had one of these, but returned it to get the Toneport. Is that ironic?

    I haven’t had problems with multitracking, but I had to fiddle with the set up. The issue is monitoring your processed guitar sound for recording. The guitar goes into the Toneport, which connects to the computer via USB. My recording software can pick up the digital signal–I can set each track for a particular source: line in, microphone jack, or whatever else is available. After installed the TP it showed up as a possible source. The TP acts as its own soundcard, however, so the signal is never sent to the computer’s soundcard, which means there’s no way to “hear” the guitar through the computer’s speakers or headphones attached to the computer. There’s an 1/8″ output on the TP, however, so you can plug your headphones in there and, I think, route all computer sounds through the TP, which has a better sound card than most computers anyway. What I did was even kookier: I plugged a line from the TP into the computer’s mic jack–I just happened to have a cable with 1/8″ male heads on each side–and now I hear everything “through” the computer. So long as I select the correct source for recording (the TP), the sounds don’t get mixed together.

    Got it? I think I confused myself. Now I’m off to Ohio for spring break. Not taking the electric guitar, but I will record some acoustic over the week. I did the first two verses and choruses of Metro’s new tune “When Kings Were Green,” and it is very cool. I’m trying to figure out how the first solo and bridge will sound. I can send the parts I’ve done thus far next week, after I add the acoustic bit I want.

    I’m also altering the lyrics a little bit. Is that ok, Sir Pent?

  74. Chopper Newt Says:

    That was like reading stereo instructions. Oh, I guess it kind of IS stereo instructions. Oh, well, you got it to work, and with my years of experience jury-rigging audio equipment and computers to play nice, I expect I will be able to get it going as well.

    I had read comments from others about the GX that mentioned that it acts like a sound card, so you are correct, it was the amp-modeling side I was concerned about. I get enough of what you’re saying to make me think that I can make it happen the way I want.

    This all came about because the 1/8″ output on the Rockman is just too, too messed up, and I can’t get it to hang together long enough to get through a song anymore, otherwise I’d have stayed with it. Anyway, I can use this solution with the bass as well. This ought to be really nice, and I see by my home email that it’s shipped already, so word up.

  75. Chopper Newt Says:

    Pour some liquor out.

    Danny Federici of the E Street Band has passed away.

  76. Ivan.. i now too dig the Aquabats!

    Matt.. re: boyband guitars.. telecaster -> TS-808 (ibanez tube screamer) -> Roland cab amp (solid state) -> shure sm58 mic (?)

  77. Ah, Gordon, you have a TS-808? Is it original?

    Somewhere, but I can’t find it, I have an old Ibanez Ms-10 Metal Charger from the mid 80s. Not as vintage as a Tubescreamer, but had the warmest distortion I ever found. Wish I could remember where I put it.

  78. Matt..
    yeah, you need to find that MS-10.. i’ve never played one, but it sounds more versatile than the TS.

    i bought my TS-808 a couple years ago in a guitar shop here in korea.
    it’s my workhorse these days.
    my current setup goes.. tele -> TS-808 -> DS-2 (turbo distortion ) -> big muff pi -> amp

    what did you use for Kung-fu Lover?

  79. Nice set up, although a tube amp would be more fashionable….

    Since we are recording “via satellite” as you say, I did not use an amp at all, only a digital amp modeler: the Line 6 Toneport GX which is perhaps the most awesome tool for guitar I’ve ever used. Once I told Chopper about it he bought one, too. It connects to the computer via USB and delivers amazing tones. For Kung Fu I used a freakishly accurate model of a 1968 Marshall plexi lead with 4×12″ speaker cabinet and some classic distortion effects that more or less mimic my old MS-10. With the toneport one can even choose the type of mic and set up its distance from the speaker cabinet. Great fun.

    If and when I buy an amp, I’m looking for a Marshall tube amp–maybe the JCM 900, Slash’s amp of choice. Love that classic crunch.

  80. agreed, tube amps are better.. then again, i know that the tube screamer sounds better on solid state amps than on tube amps (i guess that’s the point). ah well, i didn’t feel like dragging in another piece of equipment. the studio was halfway up a mountain, if you can imagine that. colleges in Busan seem all to be on mountains.. don’t ask me why. maybe something to do with why all the Buddhist temples are on mountains too.

    i’ve worked a bit with amp modelers as plug-ins on Logic, and it’s taught me a lot about real amps.. sort of a virtual crash course.
    i’ve since switched to amp mic’ing. can’t live without the feedback. 🙂

    how much was the toneport, may i ask?

  81. Yeah, they say the tube screamer was designed for solid state amps, but it doesn’t sound bad on a tube amp either. At any rate, it used to be that I could care less about tube or solid state (all the old LFA stuff was with a solid state Washburn amp with the MS-10 for overdrive), but I once had an Ampeg tube amp from the late 60s and it really did sound better, warmer, richer–but was that really the tubes or the design of the speaker cabinet? I don’t know. After all, the Toneport just simulates tube amps, so one doesn’t really need tubes to get a vintage sound…

    I agree about the feedback. I’ve wondered if there’s anyway to get it or fake it with the Toneport, but haven’t figured it out yet.

    I’ve used software amp modelers and some are good. Here’s a good free one: http://www.simulanalog.org/guitarsuite.htm.

    They use tremendous amounts of cpu power, however, and can crash your computer. The Toneport takes on most of the burden itself and even will operate as an independent recording-quality sound card. I got it for only $49.

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