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Posts posted by mettelus

  1. 5 hours ago, Marc Cormier said:

    This last update to MPS 4 was really more for the Groove 3 access and a yet another reverb, to boot.  If those weren’t a part of it, not sure I would have bothered.  Might be the last time I upgrade, at least for a long time.

    Because of the acquisition, reverbs suddenly became part of all the bundles. For some that is a bonus, but for others the added "fluff" isn't enough to make up for the lack of product development. For those of us not interested in Groove 3 or more reverbs, the cost becomes questionable. Subscriptions can be beneficial for some, but for current advanced owners it isn't as appealing.

    The "loyalty pricing" is a joke for some companies... Repeat buyers are their predominant revenue stream. Once you buy something you get flooded with advertising to buy more.

    • Like 2

  2. DSP has matured so much that there is not a whole lot left. The last outright purchase for many of these companies who went subscription covers the vast majority of functionality. O8N2 was the quantum leap for iZotope, with diminishing returns to follow. In some cases it goes back to the "paying for bug fixes" that has popped up over the years.

    • Like 2

  3. Hmmm, reading reviews from the lowest rating first, the thickness of that veneer was stated as 1mm, which is incredibly thin. It is not a cap, and already bound, so the warnings about not sanding the veneer makes sense now. Some of those reviews are actually concerning.

  4. On each of their guitars there is an Assembly Instructions pdf, so I read the LP one and noticed the "Tools and Supplies" list up front with it. The neck is not totally finished, as it has not been set nor the truss rod adjusted. The assembly notes some sanding, nut slotting, and crown work. Some of the "proprietary tools" they sell are a bit on the steep side (nut slotting files stuck out immediately for me), which have either a cheaper alternative, or straight-up workaround. The ones that came to mind:

    1. Feeler gauge (not mentioned in the Tools and Supplies" but is in the instructions) can be bought at an automotive store for around $5 (used for gapping spark plugs).
    2. Fretting hammer - can do the same with a claw hammer and small block of wood. Wood on the fret, lightly tap with the hammer. I would also do this before setting the neck, since is easy to rest on something soft but firm (like my legs).
    3. Fret Crowning File - theirs is simply a triangular file with the corners ground off, so can modify one yourself.
    4. No-chip Countersink (for chamferring bushing holes) - a small strip of 150 grit sandpaper wrapped over the tip of your pinky will do the same thing, just do not ride up on the finish.
    5. Nut slotting files - It appears the nut is already pre-slotted, but needs final adjustment. Oddly enough the tools only mention 3 files, but since the nut wears down fairly quickly, you can do the same with an old set of strings (same gauge you will use) and some rubbing compound (essentially a fine sandpaper in paste form - automotive shop again). Need to tape off both sides of the nut, but you can run and old string through it with compound like a very fine coping saw (be sure to angle so the high side is the fretboard... should slope downward slightly toward the pegs).

    As far as finishes, their lacquer is pretty competitive, but they make a big deal about gloss finishes being a bear (and have a book on it). Tru Oil (used for gun stocks) is a very popular finish (form of linseed oil) that can be put on by hand and built up in numerous layers. Every couple layers it is good to 0000 steel wool slightly, and about 20 layers is what "looks like glass." It will darken the finish ever so slightly, but also has the advantage that to "re-polish" in the future means to simply add another coat or two. I slathered a couple coats with my bare hand on the top step of my basement stairs (redwood) 10 years ago and it hasn't needed to be touched since. I use it on guitars too, but don't walk on them 😄. Oddly enough, Tru Oil is the only thing I have EVER been forced to sign receipt for on delivery... I asked the delivery guy why and he said "gun paraphernalia"... I just chuckled and said "Whatever."

    Another "finish" option, is to get a vinyl print made of any picture/graphic that suits your fancy. Any automotive place that does "car wraps" probably also has the printer for making the wraps. They would need the dimensions of the face so they can properly align/print the "wrap." These are opaque as you have seen on cars (won't see the wood), and go on/come off with a heat gun, but can make anything as intricate as you can imagine (and change your mind later). You will want some base finish under them so that they do not transfer any ink to the underlying wood. The longer they are on, the harder they are to take off... another reason for a finish under them, so if worse comes to worst, you can sand through the vinyl and never touch the wood beneath it.

    • Thanks 1

  5. For those guitarists here that like to tinker, it is worth signing up to StewMac newsletter. I had looked at acoustic kits a long time ago, and they are a bit more complex and pricey; but they sent out a sale newsletter Monday (4/5) and I never really looked at their electric kits, which are pretty impressive. Please note that some of these kits will NOT ship outside of the US, as the only thing they are missing is the logo! The electronic kits are more pre-fab, so is really the assembly/finishing of them. Finishing kits are also 50% off and embedded into some of the kit options, but I wanted to point this out for folks. Example: an "LP-Style" flame top with no finishing kit is $209.99, with a Cherry Sunburst finishing kit is $274.71 (and comes with the stock pickups), which is pretty cheap in comparison to many other options out there (and the necks are already done to boot). The neck being done is actually a HUGE deal, since other options that are less expensive usually have crappy fretwork on them. They have most styles on sale, including acoustics.

    • Like 3

  6. On 4/3/2021 at 4:51 AM, Marshall said:

    As I approach retirement my fear is that the subscription model will become the norm. I recognize that from time to time upgrades will be necessary, but I simply cannot afford to add a lot of extra monthly direct debits just to maintain my music making. 

    One perspective... there is a definite advantage to having a locked set of tools. You get proficient with what they can do and adapt to what they cannot. Sometimes gaps require other tools, but DSP has matured enough that many upgrade features are hit or miss either from very specific audiences intended for them, or if those tools will actually get used (sometimes yes, sometimes no). Updates can end up wasting time that could be spent making music.

    • Great Idea 1

  7. +1 to the Erhu. One of my personal favs. An older gentleman was playing one in a park in Beijing a few years back and the person I was with suggested asking him to play it. I just shook my head at the time but said as we walked away, "That is one of the rudest things you could ever do to a musician performing."

  8. You don't need to take to the level of transcription to paper, but simply playing something on your preferred instrument. Sheet music came from an era where recordings didn't exist, so not as necessary as having a sound in your head and being able to play it. The more you work through things, the easier it gets.

    The guy I bought my first guitar from "practiced" by playing to the radio, which was nutty. He had a knack for hearing a solo once then playing it second time through. 

  9. Yup, I got 4 of these around 2005 to stick to car oil filters (they were on sale for $10 a piece then). Definitely NOT toys, but they will mess up a CRT at a range of 6-8', so I used to stand behind people and move it around to watch their reaction. The other funny thing would be to stick one to a steel door and ask someone to get it off. The sides are so slippery that most who could do it had to slide it to the edge first so they could tip it and wrap their hand around it. K&J Magnetics also make much smaller ones that are "toy-like" (magnets have many useful applications) but definitely respect the larger ones... they are totally unforgiving of anything between them and their closest target.

    The other useful application was to put one in a leg from an old pair of jeans and drag it through ashes to pull nails after burning old deck lumber (would get a pound of nails at a time). The jeans made it easy to release the nails by turning it inside out and pulling the magnet off. Same trick works for finding dropped screws, nails, nuts or bolts where you cannot see them (in grass or leaves). I also used one to thread pots back into the holes on the 335 by letting it pull a needle through the hole for me (but in hindsight, definitely put dental floss on the pot's post before removing it and there are no worries that you got the path correct).

    I actually got those initially to serve as welding magnets to hold sheet metal in place while welding. At that time, they were far cheaper, stronger, and smaller.

    • Like 1

  10. Single coils and DAW work can be painful. In the old days of CRT monitors (there is a whole generation now that has no clue what these are), a single coil was troublesome even perpendicular to the screen because they can be so sensitive. Both humbuckers and lower outputs will "help" working straight into the box, but it is hard to replicate an amp 100% anyway. The Epiphone stock humbuckers are fairly tame (may not have any real  feedback issues either), but being an acoustic not many look for "piercing tones" anyway.

    I remembered you were in Australia, and didn't even think to look deeper into the Micro-Mesh site above (doh)... they do have 2 distributors in Australia (seems both are east coast). There is a "Find a Distributor" link on the left on their site.

    Good to hear you are enjoying the new guitar!

  11. I have an Ibanez archtop I forget the bridge is floating on till I change the strings. Never fails... loosen them up, bridge moves (or just falls off) and I just think I cannot believe I did that yet again. Only guitar I have to adjust intonation on every string change (a bit of a PITA actually). It is rosewood so superglue won't be enough to actually secure it so I have just dealt with it.

    I am glad this thread popped up, since Micro-Mesh is pretty much the bees knees for polishing work. The backer is gel, so not only do the grains sink into the backing, but they also fold over as you work so they are less aggressive (and why you can polish with them). Turns out that StewMac has one of the better deals (and $15 off this month if you sign up for their newsletter). It is about $5 a sheet elsewhere, and two 9-packs is a better deal than the 18-pack (and get another block to boot). StewMac says they ship internationally, but I am no sure how much that is (i.e., how much that would affect you, domestically shipping is $9.99 so the discount offset shipping basically). I actually needed it for automotive finishing, but the finer grits are so fine that you can polish just by wet sanding and polishing compound similar to the video above. Most folks don't have access (or need) for the massive buffing wheels luthiers polish with. The end of this video, Dan is drysanding frets with it.



    • Great Idea 1

  12. 4 hours ago, Tezza said:

    Yes it looks as though it's on pretty tight and I can see what appears to be glue in the joint, my fear is, if I try to get it off it will rip the lacquer off and possibly take some wood with it.

    Most glues will shear pretty easily with a simple tap perpendicular to the glue plane and the intended break line etched before the tap. Tape on the face and a wooden block used to protect the bridge should protect the bridge and face. IF that glue is extruded on the edges, I would trim that off first and use a utility knife blade (laying flat on the taped face) to etch a small groove all the way around he bridge before any tap... cracks will propogate along a defined flaw naturally, which is also how you can break glass, etc., with a simple etch before breaking. If you have *any* questions about this, I would reach out to StewMac (Contact Us) at the bottom, they are responsive and know just about anything you could ever think of related to a guitar.

    As far as finish damage... I totally LOVE watching Dan Erlewine work, and he has a lot of the Trade Secret videos on StewMac. He has some of the coolest and simplest methods to do things. This one is fixing chip damage on the face of a guitar (guitar repair meets autobody, which makes it even cooler). Dan is a big proponent of superglue (where applicable), which also has the advantage that it dries clear, but the razor blade/sanding technique in this can be used is SO many areas.


    • Like 2

  13. 21 hours ago, Tezza said:

    You think that because you've tightened the pickup mount screws against the soundboard that they are tight, so it can't be the pickups.

    The other shocker I got with the 335 stock PUP was that the PUP shield is only magnetically mounted to the PUP. When I pulled that PUP out, the shield fell off! The screws in the shield are just for show, they do not go into the poles. You may need to use an adhesive to bond them together. Mechanically they are "close fitting" but loose enough they fall apart when not mounted. If it is the same design (looks to be), you will know by unmounting one. I put a post in the old forums about that issue.

    • Thanks 1

  14. 20 hours ago, craigb said:

    Good looking guitar!  But, with all things Epiphone, definitely play it and check the electronics.  I've only had one, but it needed to have the electronics just about completely replaced...

    Definitely play it for both this and feedback tests. I replaced the bridge in a 335 Dot and working via the f-holes was a pain, but putting thread on the pots BEFORE pulling them makes reassembly easier. The Epiphone PUPs are not the best.

    • Thanks 1

  15. Unfortunately there are a couple things missing in CbB for work like this - noise reduction (removing a static background sample from a track), and loudness matching.

    Another option *if* you have a program that can run batch files (for loudness on files) is to split the audio in the obvious places, then do a "Save As..." on the CbB project and select "Create one file per clip" option in that dialog box. All the clips you split will then appear as files in the Audio folder. If you run a batch on those and keep the same names, when you reopen the CbB project again, they will show that adjustment (and probably more tweaking).

    In some cases, a few "soft" compressor passes (no heavy-handed settings) will work at that point, but this is also where noise reduction comes in... if that original file has enough noise in the quiet parts, a compressor is going to raise noise levels too, so the editing might become obvious. Noise reduction should be done first if possible.

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  16. 16 hours ago, Hatstand said:

    checked disk manager

    On Win 10 I have noticed just about everything plugged in internally needs to pass through Disk Management to get recognized. I am glad you got it worked out! Changing drive letters is no big issue, but the Disk # I have never figured out, and mine are all out of order. That only bothers me when I use an app that sorts by Disk #, but doesn't affect anything else.

  17. 5 hours ago, Magic Russ said:

    In a lot of the plugins the preset names themselves are baffling.  Whatever is "Thracian porridge" supposed to sound like?  (aside from output of a random name generator?)

    Ain't that the truth ... that free patch set for TH3 that labeled guitar settings based on the song they were trying to emulate was a nice change of pace, but that was definitely outside the norm.

  18. On 3/12/2021 at 8:06 PM, pax-eterna said:

    And that was with D/L speeds from about 900kb per second up to about  a 6MB per second.

    Connection speed and reliability of that connection factor greatly into anything "real-time." Your fastest speeds will always be in the box (ITB), and you will not need to deal with the syncing background processes that Glenn mentioned above.

    Even as a backup solution, definitely test your download speeds first... if you only get an effective "14 MB/sec" download speed, 6TB will take 119 HOURS to download back to your system (and possibly 1400+ hours to put it there, since upload speeds are far slower).

    If an app needs to go through the CPU smoothly, stay ITB. For archiving (and "possibly" data access, depending on port speeds) external drives are more likely a cheaper and safer solution (no one can hack anything not jacked into a network).

  19. I am assuming that your reference track is imported into the project and only one track... that is the best way to compare to a reference track... then use the Exclusive Solo on the reference track only... when you click the reference track, you only hear that track, when unchecked, you hear the rest of the mix you are working on.

    Alternatively, if you have issues with other routing, you can mix down your current work to a new track, then go back and forth using exclusive solo on that mix down track and the reference track.

    • Like 1
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  20. MXXX (and MXXXCore) look great on paper, but the complexity of them makes them difficult to use in most real-world scenarios. They also have the disadvantage that if you set up something, then walk away from it, that you cannot visually track how it is set without running through the modules, much akin to trying to figure out your sends in an old project. Another downside (for me), is that I would love to be able to have the outputs go to other tracks so they could be further processed as separate entities. I saw some post saying this can be done using surround channels but was never able to get that to work (and would much rather just output them to other tracks).

    • Thanks 1

  21. 2 hours ago, scook said:

    This is why my upgrade to the MComplete bundle is $547.

    That is actually depressing to see, since the delta between those two bundles to buy them outright (now) is only $96. Those 3 synths are $773 (regular price), so $547 doesn't even pass the Eternal Madness muster ($386 if caught in the 50% off weeklies), let alone the "current delta" between the bundles 🙁.

    Matt had said a while ago that the best deal is to go all in on MComplete when it hits one of these sales.

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