Category Archives: Gear and Reviews

Gear and reviews of gear

Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro Review….How good are these headphones ?

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250 OHM Open Back Studio Headphones

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Here is my review on the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro 250 OHM open back studio headphones.

I have owned these for a couple of months now and can’t be more glad that I purchased them for my home recording studio. Eventhough, you should do your mixing on a good set (or few) of studio monitors, it is also good to check out your mix through a good pair of flat response studio headphones (or few).

One of the features I like best about the 990s is the soft material that goes over you ears. You can mix   your tracks or listen back to them in comfort without the pain from headphones resting on your ears. Even though they appear to be big and bulky they are pretty lightweight and I barely notice they are on other than the music in my ears. (though the cord is kind of heavy due to its length but if you have the cord resting on your desk or something it’s not as heavy)

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Guitar Effects Pedalboard … Essential effects for a pedal board.

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A lot of guitarists like and use effects as everyone knows. Even though when I played on stage in the past, I owned a bunch of pedals and multi effect units, I didn’t use them on stage.  I plugged my custom made Ibanez straight in to a marshal artist tube amp and used the amps own built in distortion for my live sound, micd through the mixing board in to the P.A. system. Now days if I were to perform I would probably set up a guitar effects pedalboard.

In this article I will give my opinion on which pedals are necessary to equip your pedal board with, how to go about building your pedal board etc…

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Building Home Recording Studio ….. Bare Essentials

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My home recording studio 2018

If you are a guitarist that writes your own music or in a band that makes originals or if you are thinking about building home recording studio there are many factors to consider…. You can build a simple recording studio using just the bare essentials to get by recording your music, for your own band or for music libraries, or you can get elaborate which can be very costly but will allow you to record demos for local bands in your own home.

I am going to discuss the bare essentials for those that just want to do small recording projects As that is what my home studio is set up for and it hasn’t cost thousands and chances are you already have a computer or lap top to utilize.

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Best Guitar Looper Pedal …. Review of 1 of the best loopers

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Looper Pedals are a great tool in a guitar players arsenal. If you have a looper pedal, your playing can become great if you use it. One way a looper pedal will improve your playing is you can save a chord or progression in it and work on your soloing. Here I am going to give a review on one of the best guitar looper pedal under $150 that you can use to achieve this.

Digitech Jam Man Solo

The digitech tech jam man solo looper is the 2nd guitar loop pedal I have owned. In my opinion, this loop pedal is one of the best loop pedals because you can save 99 of your own loops in it.

 

Features

My dusty looper but it works great

  • You can store over 35 minutes of mono, CD-Quality loops in 99 of your own recordable spots that you can save. If you buy an SDHC card, you can store over 16 hours of CD-quality audio in 99 additional memories, so that gives you a total of 198 riffs or rhythms that you can have saved on this little stomp box.
  • You can also connect it to your computer via a USB cord and use the JamManager XT™ Loop Librarian software to organize and archive your loops with the titles you create and access them from your computer.
  • Slow down or speed up any loop without changing the pitch feature
  • It has a 3.55m aux. Input so you can hook your mp3, CD player, phone, laptop etc. to it and record a riff to either improvise over or if you are having trouble playing a fast lick you can record just that lick and have it loop and with the slow down feature it can make figuring out that difficult passage easier to figure out.
  • Built in metronome with different rhythms and time signatures
  • You can get a foot switch pedal with it (which I did for mine) to make it hands free operations on moving from loop to loop.

 

How to Use

If you plan to use it to record your own rhythms to practice soloing with and improve your improvisational skills, Just plug the guitar in and press on the pedal to record your rhythm and press on the pedal again to stop recording and have it continuously play while you solo. If you want to save it you have to press the save button per instructions.

If you want to, you can also Load up your JamMan with bass lines, drums, keyboards, harmonies, and more and can even create an entire backup band, that you can take it with you, and jam at parties, camping trips, almost anywhere.

You can even do what I do with mine, I use mine to lay down rhythm tracks in my home studio sometimes, just to speed up the process of recording the same guitar part over and over. Then I either have the chorus part or other parts programmed in it as well to add to the track.

Pros & Cons

Even though this is 1 of the best loopers out there for less than $150 it does have some negatives to it.

Pros

  • 99 user patches to record to (99 more if you get an SDHC card
  • Ability to organize and label your saved recordings in to their own file folders on your computer
  • Ability to connect mp3, CD etc. in to it to jam along with or record that hard to figure out solo by slowing it down
  • Ability to slow loops down without changing pitch
Cons
  • You need to purchase the foot switch to make it completely hands free.

(which you can purchase through amazon right her by clicking the link under the picture,once you are ready for it. Once you are ready for it come back here to order it so I can get my little itty bitty commission to help keep this site running, help keep my family fed, keep electricity etc.)

Conclusion

I enjoy using my looper, it has and still does help me improve my soloing and improvisational skills. With the built in slow down feature, if I need to slow down a fast solo I can just hook my phone up to the pedal without needing to get on the computer to slow it down with computer software, nor do I need to hook up my off board, transcriber which does affect pitch when you slow it down to half speed, thus, making it sound muddy and hard to hear.

There are better loopers out there in the higher price range that have a lot more features and capabilities, but, I am pretty positive that this looper will provide you with hours of enjoyment. Especially if you are one of them bedroom guitarists, this would be the only looper pedal you would need. Besides, I’ve seen professional guitarists use looper pedals just slightly cheaper in price that have even fewer features and banks to save loops in than this one.

If you plan on using this looper in a band setting or performance situation, I suggest that you get the foot switch for it, seems I paid $39 for my foot switch but it does make life easier and it comes with a long cord to connect to the looper pedal itself so you could keep your stomp box off the floor like I do ( I keep the pedal on my half stack and the foot switch in front of the cabinet)

Over all, I like the durability of the pedal as it is constructed with metal instead of plastic like some stomp boxes, and the foot switch is constructed with metal as well and it has great features for the price.

Thank You for visiting my site and for reading this article, if you were considering buying this looper, I hope my review gave you some insight and answered questions you may have had.

Just a reminder : If you do plan on buying this looper through amazon please get it through my site where I can get a little percentage from the sale to keep my site and reviews going. It will not cost you anymore buying anything through any of my links on my site than if you got them from amazon or any place originally.

  click here to get looper and footswitch package from Amazon

 

 > or you can find it at zzounds if you click on this ad link and search through their extensive equipmentzZounds

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Black Star Fly 3 review …. Little power house of an amp

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Help this site and click below to buy this from Amazon.com $57.99

 

 

 

I decided to give a Black Star Fly 3 review since I see a lot of people asking for recommendations on a practice amp. Here’s a little story for you on how I ended up buying mine.

I was at guitar center looking at used amp heads trying to find a better tone so I sat down and tried this white EVH amp head they had there which was priced at $700. I played through it and was not that impressed. Sitting there next to it was a black star beige amp head I don’t remember the model but it was priced at $450 used and I wasn’t impressed with that amp head neither. There was a 3rd amp head there which was a Peavey Piranha priced at $250 if I remember correctly (Maybe it was $200) and again that was not the tone or amp head I was looking for.

After playing through the 3 amp heads with no luck in my search of a good tone, I figured I had made a wasted trip. When all of a sudden, I was walking toward the door when I passed an end cap that had a few small amps on it, I don’t remember what all amps were on them shelves but I remember asking if I could try out that black fly 3 just for the fun of it, never expecting this little 3 watt amp to sound better than the 3 amp heads that I had just played through that cost way more than this $69 amp. Needless to say I ended up walking out the door with it.

This amp sounds so good that I used it when I recorded my video assignments for the online guitar course I was taking by having my cell phone leaning against it and not only did I have good tone in the videos but, the notes were loud and clear.

Features

  • 2 Power Options, Dc or Battery. This little fire cracker can operate on a power supply (which isn’t included) or it can operate on batteries (6 double A, also not included).The size of it (170 x 126 x 102 (mm)) and the fact it can operate on batteries makes it very portable where you can take it anywhere (camping, parties, vacations etc.) and you can move it to any room you want to play guitar in without having to heft it around since it is very light (less than 5 pounds) even with batteries in it. I move it back and forth between the kitchen table and living room end table.

 

  • EQ, ISF ( infinite shape feature ) so you can have an American sounding amp or a British sounding amp.
  • Delay it has built in delay with a small knob you can turn for the amount of delay where when it is turned all the way left there is no effect and all the way right is full effect. There is a bigger control knob, the same size as the main knobs on it that controls the time of the delay
  • Headphone jack even though at 3 watts you aren’t playing with much volume to begin with, this amp does have a 3.5mm headphone jack so you will not disturb others around you (other than the noise from picking / strumming the strings). With head phones it also makes it easier to hear guitar parts if you are trying to figure out a song by ear since the music is right in your ears. which, brings us to the last feature of this awesome amp.
  • Mp3 / line in it has a 3.5mm input jack that you can hook your mp3 player up to or your lap top headphone out to for you tube videos etc. (like I do) or even the headphone jack of your phone for you tube videos (as I do as well) so you can play along to your favorite songs or backing tracks.

They do have another speaker cabinet equipped with a 3″ speaker that you can get for it and hook up as well which I do plan on getting eventually.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  1. Portable (small and light)
  2. Battery operated (have amp can travel lol)
  3. Awesome tone for 3″ speaker
  4. Price (can’t beat it with the punch this amp carries)

Cons

  1. Doesn’t come with power supply
  2. Doesn’t come with batteries

Over All

The black star fly 3 is well worth the money and I highly recommend it if you are looking for a practice amp. I couldn’t see anyone mic it on stage or through a p.a. system but for something to take on the fly it’s one of the best amps out there. Personally I can’t wait until I get the speaker cabinet to hook up to it. That’s what I should have used the guitar center card I got for Christmas on. To late for that as I used it to get a couple guitar books, can never have enough of them.

If you want to purchase this awesome amp, it costs $57.99 I have a link here that will take you to Amazon.com so you can purchase it, It is an ad link where I will get paid a very small percentage which probably won’t even cover the time it took to write this review but by informing you about my experience with this amp so you are educated on it, makes it worth it.

By getting it through my page, your end price will not be any higher than if you ordered it through amazon itself so if you decide at a later date even to buy this amp, come back to my page to help me continue helping you make informed decisions of products that I have tried and / or own myself.

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