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Song Surgeon Professional – Version 4, Review by Eric Parsons

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Song Surgeon Professional – Version 4

This month I am reviewing Song Surgeon, another software product from TMJ, Inc.  Song Surgeon provides the user/musician with a multitude of software tools that will aid in the process of learning and transcribing songs.

Getting Started

Song Surgeon  software is available for both Windows and Mac operating systems.  The Windows version has recently upgraded to version 4 while the Mac version is currently at version 3.  The software was delivered digitally and was easy to install and activate on my machine, with no complications or rigorous security processes.  Once installed, the user is provided with an exceptional amount of support documentation in the form of :  a quick start guide,  a user guide, a large selection of training videos and a help desk.

Song Surgeon Professional - Version 4-1

I find the main GUI to be well laid out with an intuitive design.  A song can be loaded by opening an audio file already stored on the computer hard drive, by ripping a file from a CD or by using the “Sniffer” – which allows the user to extract the audio from an internet video site such as Youtube.

Song Surgeon Professional - Version 4-2I find the upgraded Sniffer to be one of the most innovative and useful tools included in the Song Surgeon package.  While reviewing this product, I was offered a corporate function gig that required me to learn a couple dozen old-school tunes in a rather short time frame.  Some of the tunes were obscure and the bandleader also specified renditions by specific artists.   With the Sniffer, I was able to quickly locate the material I needed to get the job done.  The Youtube Sniffer simply requires that the user  copy and paste the URL for the relevant video and then the Sniffer extracts the audio and converts it to a .WAV file for use with Song Surgeon.

In Use

Once a song is loaded into Song Surgeon, it’s simply a matter of pushing the play button and then setting the start and end loop points in order to focus in on learning a desired passage.  I like to set the loop points in real time and then, if needed, I will go back and refine the loop placement by zooming in on the wave image to make adjustments

Song Surgeon Professional - Version 4-3

Song Surgeon Professional - Version 4-4

Song Surgeon Professional - Version 4-5If you lean toward making numerical adjustments, simply select the edit button to fine tune your parameters.

The user can readily adjust the tempo and pitch of the entire song or the selected loop by using slider controls, selecting preset numerical values or by clicking on the available plus or minus buttons for these parameters.

I have also found the pitch function to be a real lifesaver when dealing with older tunes that were not recorded at concert pitch ( with the A note at 440 HZ).

Loop 1 – Pitch Shift Up a Third

Loop 1 – Slowed to 75%

Version 4 Upgrades

Version 4 has added some upgrades that I find to be quite convenient.  When opening a file, the user can now quickly navigate to “Recently Opened Files” which greatly speeds up the process of accessing files that may be stored in different locations on your hard drive.  There is also a Loop Bypass button which allows the user to toggle between playing a specific loop or the entire song without loosing the loop settings.  The user now has access to a 31 band graphic equalizer to enhance or de-emphasize selected frequencies.

Song Surgeon Professional - Version 4-6

Loop 1 – Flat

Loop 1 – Bass Enhance

Additional Functions

At this point, I have covered the functions that I commonly use to learn songs with Song Surgeon.  There are, however, several more tools and functions that are available to the user.

Some of the other additional functions include:

  • saving a song as a project
  • exporting: loops, the entire song or even a Song Surgeon Project
  • audio file conversion of multiple songs via a batch file process
  • the ability to record audio information/notes in sync with the song file
  • comprehensive editing of the song file
  • production and editing of song markers
  • vocal reduction in a song file
  • the ability to produce musical notation and notes using the Music Pad function

In Conclusion

I find Song Surgeon to be an extremely useful tool for any musician who needs to transcribe musical parts, particularly when on a short time frame.  At the time of writing this article the MSRP of Standard and Pro versions of Song Surgeon  were $69.00 and $99.00 respectively, but were being offered at a sale price of $55.20 and 79.20.

 For more information, or to download a fully functional demo go to :  Song Surgeon

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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