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The Bass Geek

New (and Last) IMN Podcasts

The last IMN podcasts are up - download them at the site. You can also listen to one of the episodes on WFYI HD2, Thursdays at 4pm and 10pm. But not the one with the dirty words. That's download only.

And that's it. Thanks for listening, to all those that listened. Thanks for voting, all those that voted. Thanks for contributing, all those that gave us music. Hopefully, we got folks to hear some great music they otherwise would not have listened to. There have always been great bands that were criminally under-listened, but the podcast and the site presented the opportunity to remedy that situation for a few years. Glad everybody that found each other did, and please stay in touch.

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New IMN Podcast and Bass Track

The new IMN podcast is up - download it or listen at the site or on WFYI HD2, Thursdays at 4pm and 10pm. Next week is the last one.

While recording a track for Gabe Harley last week (actually, several tracks for the same song - you can never have TOO many options for bass lines), I was able to sneak in a little time for the cover of Michael Jackson's "Human Nature" I performed last month. I'm getting it mastered and such right now, so look for it to pop up on Soundcloud soon. Just for fun.


New IMN Podcast and the Return of Bass Porn

The new IMN Podcast is up - download it or listen at the site or on WFYI HD2, Thursdays at 4pm and 10pm. Only three episodes left - the last one goes up 12/22.

A YouTube video introduced me to the JanAid line of basses out of Spain - this beauty particularly stands out, and the bass being played in the video sounds amazing. I'm particularly impressed by the leaf-like pickup covers on some of the other models listed on the site. Not that I mind the look of pickups with exposed pole pieces or anything, but the covers look great and lend the bass a lot of personality. Excellent craftsmanship all around.


New IMN Podcast and SoftStep Settings

The new IMN podcast is up - download it or listen at the site or on WFYI HD2, Thursdays at 4pm and 10pm.

The Thanksgiving vacation and other event conspired to prevent me from posting more about last week - and I'd meant to talk a little about my first public solo performance (went well, quite nervous, reviewed here). I also did a little work and finally got my SoftStep Reason and Everyday Looper patch put together just the way I wanted it. The Reason patch contains start, stop, and record buttons, four loop trigger buttons mapped to the Dr. Octorex loop player, and three pressure-sensitive buttons I map to an Echo device initially, but it could obviously be changed to different devices as necessary. I'm posting the entire JSON I used for my SoftStep (it also includes the default settings for Garageband, the Korg iPad synth, and more) for download - feel free to edit and revise as you wish for your own.


New IMN Podcast and Music Services

The new IMN podcast is up - download it here or listen on the site or WFYI HD2, Thursdays at 4pm and 10pm.

So now that iTunes Match and Google Music are available, I'm thinking that Google might have have come up with the winning service here - if only because it's free (versus $24.99/year for iTunes match). You might have to spend a little more time and effort to upload the tracks, but the mobile version of the site played just fine on my iPhone browser. And that's key - if it's mobile and browser-based, you'll (theoretically) be able to get it on more devices. The interesting thing to me is that both services don't restrict necessarily by size - they restrict by number of songs (25,000 for iTunes Match vs. 20,000 for Google). There might be some file limit size, but cloud storage is evidently cheap enough that they're not worried about it anymore. Toss in Amazon, and all three will hold on to the music you buy for you (unless you're an ubercollector and have too many songs).

But this all sounds a lot like the debut of Best Buy nationwide to me - remember when CDs were loss-leaders to get you to buy more at Best Buy? Music is still a loss-leader for these companies, and only the products have changed. Apple wants to sell hardware, Google wants to sell you as part of their advertising and analytics ventures (as do streaming services like MOG, Spotify, and more), and Amazon wants to sell . . . everything else they sell on Amazon. The convenience and portability of the music is wonderful, but there's actually been precious little shift in the ecosystem for these larger companies. The content drives the purchasing of other goods, and that leaves music in a surprising familiar neighborhood for all of the recent changes.


New IMN Podcast and more Tonic Ball News

The new IMN podcast is up - download it or listen at the site or on WFYI HD2, Thursdays at 4pm and 10pm.

The good folks at Tonic Ball just posted the lineup for the Michael Jackson stage at this year's event - take a look at the scheduled goodness here:

  • Ryan Williams - Human Nature + an original
  • Freddie T and the People - Don't Stop Til You Get Enough and Can You Feel It
  • The Calumet Reel - I Want You Back
  • Skyhunter - Smooth Criminal and Say Say Say
  • Rob Vargo - The Way You Make Me Feel and Ain't No Sunshine
  • PK and the Big Stir - I'm Going Back to Indiana and Money Honey
  • Buster Eagle - Leave Me Alone + an original
  • Household Guns - Dirty Diana + an original
  • The Trumans - Man in the Mirror and Billie Jean
  • Henry French - Pretty Young Thing
There's also REM and David Bowie stages, and the section of Prospect St. between these venues are going to be MADNESS. Really looking forward to this event, and I think I should practice now. Go get your tickets!

New IMN Podcast and Home Recording For Musicians For Dummies

The new IMN podcast is up - download it or listen at the site or on WFYI HD2, Thursdays at 4pm and 10pm. Only a few more shows left!

I was grateful to receive my copy of Home Recording For Musicians For Dummies in the mail a few days ago - this is the second edition to which I was able to contribute technical editing, and Jeff Strong's book turned out wonderfully. This project is exciting for a couple of reasons. First, it's starting to take into account the ability for mobile devices to provide recording capabilities to the home recordists. I can remember classes in 2001 where the professor talked about one day having virtual touchscreens control audio in the studio, and that day is here. And for a lot cheaper than I expected it to be. Second, the book demonstrates that, no matter what tools you use, a little knowledge and common sense goes a long way. Go get the latest edition - thanks!


New IMN Podcast and Farewell Vollrath

The new IMN podcast is up - download it or listen at the site or on WFYI HD2, Thursdays at 4pm and 10pm.

So I won't be mentioning the Vollrath on Fridays anymore, simply because there isn't a Vollrath anymore. The building is closed and the liquor license is headed to a Super Bowl entertainment speculator. Comments I've seen from the talent booker indicate they're trying to reschedule the shows at Indy's Jukebox - this seems like the most reliable calendar I've found for them, but there seems to be some gaps in there. Best of luck to the Vollrath folks, and sorry to see you go.


New IMN Podcast and Restringing my 5-String

The new IMN podcast is up - download it or listen at the site or on WFYI HD2, Thursdays at 4pm and 10pm.

I've been threatening to take my 5-string bass from a low B to a high C string for a bit - it's a bass that doesn't get a ton of use, and the neck seems unusually sensitive to weather and needs more adjustment (especially in the summer) than I'm always comfortable with. After my last round of tweaking and the recent cold weather, though, the bass seems to have calmed a bit. I'm going to take it on a few shows this week to see what I think, but I'l still considering the move. I like what Matthew Garrison has been doing with a similarly stringed bass, and my move towards more solo songs and looping (plus the chordal studies I took from Todd Johnson) make it seem a good move.

I'm just cheap and don't want to run through a set of strings, I suppose. 🙂 The only set I've found for 5-strings with a high C are the Fodera Matthew Garrison sets (I'm sure they're out there, but my research continues), so I'll give it a shot when I can throw away some string money.


New IMN Podcast and More SoftStep

The new IMN podcast is up - download it or listen on the site or on WFYI HD2, Thursdays at 4pm and 10pm. Incidentally, this is show 320, and it looks like we'll end up at around show 331.

And then I'll have to find something else to write about on Thursdays.

It's easy to go deep into the rabbit hole with the SoftStep programming software - I'd been using the factory-standard toggle preset in both Reason and Everyday Looper for transport controls and loop triggering. However, I wanted to get a mix of toggles and pressure-sensitive pads on the pedal in order make full use of it in Reason. I ended up going with the Easy Editor provided by the SoftStep folks - it locks the pedal into a single setting, but it gave me the mixed use I need and was really easy to edit and save. I also turned off the backlight per the instructions to eliminate some hum coming through the system. So SoftStep now controls the iPad and Everyday Looper with the audio signal coming into the iRig via the headphone jack and makes for a nice, transportable setup. Toss in a few effects pedals and I'm ready to go. On the Reason side, the additional pads control settings on the Echo device (playing around with analog-style dub delay on the bass is just so much fun) and trigger different loops from the Dr. Octorex machine. Which also makes me happy - who needs a band anymore?