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Tape is Rolling….

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It was bound to happen, an article without the accompanying video. Yes, I’m guilty. But, I think I have a really good excuse: the October release of my new CD.

Anyone who’s gone through the process of making his or her own CD knows what I’m talking about. It is a potentially long, but awakening process. Right now, for example, I’m knee-deep in producing, tracking, writing, booking musicians, editing, mixing, and mastering. That’s a lot of “ing” words!

But this beautiful process is the heart of what we musicians do. It makes us better artists.

One example of how recording can make you better as an artist is the arrangement of a song. Say you recorded a song you’ve been working out live on the bandstand for some time, and it just doesn’t “pop” on the recording like it does when you play it live. In the digital environment, you can switch around sections of the tune and play with the arrangement, maybe making the song more “palatable” for a CD – changing the soundscape, if you like.

Another example is soloing over changes. You might think your approach to soloing over your new song was killin’ when played live, only to find out on the recording that it sounded like you were chasin’ roots. Being in the controlled environment of the studio allows you to compose your solo more thoughtfully and better connect with your song.

The old adage, “Tape don’t lie,” really applies here. On more than one occasion, I’ve tracked a tune that I had high hopes for, only to realize I needed to go “back to the drawing board” for more production. But, even so, sticking with the tune almost always pays off for me, and I’ll hear the song come to life before my ears.

The recording process is a way we get those notes into the air. Obviously, the digital age has greatly increased anybody’s potential to record – which is both good and bad. Good in that you’re not racking up thousands of dollars at a studio – Bad in that we’re not all engineers, and maybe it would be better to record in a studio where professionals do their thing.

Granted, there’s no one way to record a “record” – yes, I still use that word – and if you asked 10 different bass players how to go about it, you’d probably get 10 different opinions. But that’s what I love about it!

As I mentioned, producing your own record makes you wear a lot of hats: the writing hat, the editing hat, the mixing and mastering hats, the $pending hat, and the managing hat – there are those “ing” words again – but what I’m trying to get at here is that for every hat your wear, your spirit will grow exponentially throughout the recording process.

I think this article will definitely inspire a couple of follow-up articles from yours truly, as it is a vast subject and we’ve only scratched the surface. So, if I may conclude with a shameless plug:

New Doug Johns CD to be Released in October!

In my opinion, it’s exactly twice as funky as the first one, and it grooves like a freight train on nitro. Check in on the website and myspace for the exact release date. Keep recording your own material, and don’t forget…. Get out there and jam with somebody.

Doug

Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Ciara Moser

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Interview With Bassist Ciara Moser

Bassist Ciara Moser…

Ciara and I sat down for this interview a few months after the launch of her debut album, “Blind. So what?”

Blind since birth, she is a powerhouse of talent; she is not only a professional bassist, but also composes music, and is a producer and educator. I am just blown away by her talent and perseverance.

Join me as we hear about Ciara’s musical journey, the details of her album, how she gets her sound, and her plans for the future.

Visit online:

www.ciara-moser.com 
IG @ moserciara
FB @ ciara.moser

Photos by Manuela Haeussler

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Gear News

New Gear: Black Ice Boost and Distort, Battery-Free Modules for Bass and Guitar

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New Gear: Black Ice Boost and Distort, Battery-Free Modules for Bass and Guitar

Black Ice Boost and Distort, Battery-Free Modules for Bass and Guitar…

Black Ice Enterprises introduces Black Ice Boost and Black Ice Distort, small, battery-free devices that can be easily installed in a bass or guitar.

Black Ice Boost offers two selectable stages of up to 7 dB of boost, broadly concentrated in the midrange frequencies to add humbucker-like qualities to Strat®, Tele® and other types of single-coil pickups. Black Ice Distort is an overdrive module that can be configured to offer anything from slight overdrive to distortion. Both models are compatible with all passive guitar pickups and electronics (they’re not compatible with battery-powered active pickups).

Black Ice Boost (SRP: $119.95; MAP, $79.95) can be installed using several wiring options, including a simple “stealth” install that utilizes a single push-pull pot, and a dual-switch option that allows users to select between two different levels of boost. For those using the boost along with Black Ice Distort, a second push-pull pot or switch can be used to select a clean or distorted boost.

The Black Ice Boost module is approximately 2/3 the size of a 9-volt battery, and can be easily installed in most instruments with no routing or permanent modifications required. The tone of the instrument remains completely unaffected when the boost is bypassed.

In addition to use with popular single-coil pickups, Black Ice Boost can also be used with other pickup types. Use it to fatten up a P-90 style pickup, or add girth to a low-wind humbucker. Jazz Bass® players can use the additional midrange content provided by Black Ice Boost to produce a sound that’s reminiscent of a P-Bass® or soapbar-type pickup. Black Ice Boost is not recommended for use with high-output humbuckers and other dark-sounding pickups.

Black Ice Distort (SRP: $27.95; MAP, $21.95) is an overdrive module that can be configured for just a touch of grit, or a more aggressive grind, all the way to a 1960’s-flavored fuzz. While its battery-free circuit will never replace the more refined sound of a well-designed pedal, it provides handy, there-when-you-need-it access to a variety of fun old-school flavors, and is a great way to add additional textures to an already overdriven amp or pedal. Bass players will especially dig its raw dirty grind.

Like Black Ice Boost, the sugar-cube-sized Black Ice Distort provides a lifetime of tone with no maintenance or power source required. A variety of wiring options are included that let you activate the Distort via a switch or push-pull pot, or by easily converting your guitar’s tone control into a control for the Black Ice Distort circuit. It can be used in conjunction with the Black Ice Boost for a wide variety of useful tones.

Black Ice Boost and Black Ice Distort are now shipping.

Visit online at www.blackiceoverdrive.com

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This Week’s Top 10 Basses on Instagram

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TOP 10 Basses of the week

Check out our top 10 favorite basses on Instagram this week…

Click to follow Bass Musician on Instagram @bassmusicianmag

FEATURED @loritabassworks @meridian_guitars @alpherinstruments @phdbassguitars @mgbassguitars @mauriziouberbasses @utreraguitars @sugi_guitars @branco_luthier @blasiusguitars

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Gear News

New Gear:  D’Addario’s New Humidipak

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New Gear:  D’Addario’s New Humidipak

D’Addario’s New Humidipak Absorb Protects Instruments Against Excess Moisture…

Utilizing two-way humidity control technology, D’Addario’s new Humidipak Absorb protects against damage to wooden instruments in environments with too much humidity. 

Humidipak Absorb allows players to safely return an instrument and case to the ideal relative humidity level. Using Boveda’s patented two-way humidity control technology, Absorb automatically soaks up excess moisture at a safe rate, re-establishing the right humidity level and eliminating the guesswork of revitalizing your instrument. 

Like all the Humidipaks before, using Humidipak Absorb is easy—there’s no dripping sponges or manual adjustments. All players need to do is put the humidification packets in the included pouches and place them in the instrument case, close the lid, and relax. The instrument and case will remain at the optimal 45-50% relative humidity level for 2-6 months. 

D’Addario’s other Humidipaks, Restore and Maintain, are still available for those who need to increase and sustain the humidity around their instrument. 

To learn more about Humidipak Absorb, visit ddar.io/absorb-pr 

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Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Travis Book

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Interview With Bassist Travis Book

Interview With Bassist Travis Book…

Bluegrass music has had a very solid following over many years and I am always happy to hear from one of the pioneers in that genre.

Travis Book plays bass for the Grammy award-winning band “The Infamous Stringdusters” and has recently released his first solo album “Love and Other Strange Emotions”. As if he wasn’t busy enough, Travis also hosts a podcast, Plays a Jerry Garcia music show with Guitarist Andy Falco, and is constantly gigging locally in his neck of the woods.

Photo, Seyl Park

Visit Online:

www.thetravisbook.com
www.thestringdusters.com
FB @ TheTravisBook
IG @ travisbook

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