Category Archives: DEB ERNEY

Guitarist, songwriter, avid electronics user, video/audio recording enthusiast, artist

PRESONUS AR12 PROBLEMS

I purchased the FIRST PRESONUS AR12 on 3-21-17 and I’m sending back the second one today, 4-25-17 because of manufacturer defects/problems with the PreSonus AR12.

I did a few video reviews on the PreSonus AR12 showing effect and setup. And two more video’s showing the problems I’ve encountered with both PreSonus AR12 units I’ve tested in the last 3 weeks.
Not a good first impression on quality and durability.

This journey began with a search for a mixer (for live) and something (easy to configure/use) for recording 2-4 individual tracks to Logic Pro X in the $500 range.  I was hoping to get something that would replace my Zoom R16, Apogee Duet 2 (a nightmare) and Behringer Xenyx 1622FX.  Maybe too much to ask in the $500 price range???  After paying so much for the Apogee Duet 2, recommended by Sweetwater and having such a bad experience with it, I’m not convinced I have to sell a body part to have a decent setup.

I was looking at the Behringer UFX1204, Allen & Heath Zedi 10fx, Allen & Heath Zed 10fx and the new PreSonus AR12 as all of these are hybrid, mixer, USB recorders.

I emailed my Sweetwater rep asking which one he preferred and if he recommended anything else with my requirements. Several days later I received a 2 line reply saying the “PreSonus AR12 is a very solid pick”.

My experience with Sweetwater is that they tend to be a bit snobbish if your not spending $1,000 or more. But, Sweetwater has a 2 year coverage (at no additional cost) which swayed my purchasing from them.  Though after inquiring about the details, the repairs are made by Sweetwater and if they can’t fix it you have to go through the manufacturer.  In the future that will not be a deciding factor on my purchase.

I received the first PreSonus AR12 a few days later and yes, it was pretty amazing. The sound was crystal clear, the USB interface was clean. A bit disappointing that the SD recording was only 1 stereo track (not 2 mono tracks, one track that they claim to be stereo) which was a minor drawback though not enough to send it back.

Immediately I setup to do a few video reviews/recordings with my new PreSonus AR12. My first video explored the effects available on the AR12, taking the user through each one, showing how to accessed them and how they sounded on the SD recording. The effect volume knobs were not very responsive. I could only hear the effects change at the 10 to 3 o’clock settings. Nothing before and no change after. Oh, well. Another minor setback.

I had been recording several hours within the span of several days before noticing a popping/crackling sound which I chalked up to my bargain cables. I realized the time had come to upgrade to pay the price and upgrade to the Mogami and Fender cables. Very disappointed I found that the popping/cracking was still there only clearer and more pronounced with the newer/upgraded cables.

It was time to call my, ever so helpful, Sweetwater rep, who transferred my call to Tech help, who transferred my call back to my rep after I demenaded a replacement unit which arrived 7 days later.

I video recorded the opening and the testing of the unit. Using each plugin with both XLR and TS cables, checking for volume, unwanted sound, hiss, hum. I checked all sliders and knobs to make sure they were sound free. Happy that I had a reliable, working, soundless, error free unit I went on to record a few music video’s. After a few days and several hours later a popping sound became very noticeable when using the SD recording or playback. I tried several different SD cards making sure they were properly formatted for the PreSonus AR12 and everyone of the SD cards had a loud popping on record and playback.

Sweetwater was pretty quick in deciding the unit was defective after verifying that I had forced a firm-ware update and used different SD cards that were properly formatted. Once again I was transferred to my Sweetwater rep. who wasn’t able to take my call.

My rep suggested that under $899 these units are not professional quality and recommended another hybrid mixer the QSC TouchMix. Which I think I’ll bypass for now. His suggestions have worked out so, well so, far.

As of today the first PreSonus AR12 has been returned and received by Sweetwater. A return RMA has been issued for the second PreSonus AR12 and I’m trying to decide whether I want to take a chance with another hybred mixer or stick with my trustworthy Behringer brands and get a separate audio interface?


BOSE T1 TONEMATCH RECORDING

After the many comments and questions regarding the recording capabilities of  Bose T1 Tonematch I decided to revisit my recording experiences, using the Bose Tonematch T1, with a new recording of “Landslide”.

First thing I did was to update drivers for the Bose T1 Tonematch which I could not find on Bose.com but were able to locate through a google search with a link to Bose.com.

The recording of Landslide was recorded with the Bose T1 Preamp OUTPUTs going into a Zoom H5.  Using the Preamp OUT, located beneath channels 1-3 on the Bose T1 Tonematch I ran channel 1 Preamp OUT of the T1 (vocal) into the channel 1 input of a Zoom H5.  I then ran channel 2 Preamp OUT from the T1 (guitar) to the channel 2 input on the Zoom H5.  The results were 100% better than my recording with the Bose T1 Tonematch using the Master or Aux outputs.





I’ve tried recording with the Bose T1 Tonematch, Master and Aux OUT that will capture the effects but, there is no way to separate the sound as these outputs are one TRS for a stereo output.  I noticed a bit of unwanted background noise when recording from either the Master or Aux OUT.  See youtube.com/daerney for this video.

Watch for the followup “USB Recording with Bose T1 Tonematch”

Landslide recorded with Bose T1 Tonematch Preamp OUT.

Boss VE-8 recording

Buying new equipment is always a fun thing for me.  Running it through the tests, finding out what it does, what it doesn’t do.  Using different hookups, mics, cables, instruments.  Using equipment with other pieces.  I love to experiment.

I bought the Boss VE-8 a month ago and have been using it to record, perform, practice and just enjoy.  You can see the video’s I’ve posted to date using the VE-8 and be assured there will be more to come.  To date I have youtube videos on Boss VE-8 unboxing and harmonies.

Here is one of the configurations/hookups that have worked well for me.  I’m able to configure the VE-8 to record with 2 separate channels offering me control of the volume after recording the vocal and guitar (2 separate channels) with a Zoom H5.  Either of these setups record well with 2 separate outputs or a stereo output.  I find the High settings for the harmonies to record more accurately than the other harmony settings.

boss-ve-8-hookups-wequipment-jpg boss-ve-8-hookups-14%22

The VE-8 records well with USB BUT, the harmonies do not.  The harmonies are a bit “garbled” & distorted.

I have many videos in the making showing every aspect of using this product.  The VE-8 is a definite addition to enhance the performance/recording for any guitarist/singer.

Crazy Love (written by Van Morrison)

Down load PDF here

{title:CRAZY LOVE}
{subtitle:Van Morrison}
{key:A}

[A]I can feel her [C#m]heartbeat [D]from a thousand [A]miles
[A]And the heavens [C#m]open [D]every time she [A]smiles
[A]And when I come to [C#m]her [D]that’s where I [A]belong
[A]Yeah, I’m running [C#m]to her like a [D]river’s [A]song

CHORUS:
She gives me [A]love [E]love [F#m]love [E]love, [D]crazy [E]love
She gives me [A]love [E]love [F#m]love [E]love, [D]crazy [A]love

[A]She’s got a fine sense of [C#m]humor when I’m [D]feeling [A]down
[A]And when I come to [C#m]her when the [D]sun goes [A]down
[A]She takes away my [C#m]trouble [D]takes away my [A]grief
[A]Take away my [C#m]heartache, [D]I go right to [A]sleep ..CHORUS

[BRIDGE]
[E]Yes I [D]need her in the [A]daytime
[E]Yes I [D]need her in the [A]night
[E]Yes I want to [D]throw my arms [A]around her
[C#m]Kiss her hug her [D]kiss her hug her [A]tight[E]

[A]And when I’m re[C#m]turning from [D]so far [A]away
[A]She gives me some sweet [C#m]lovin [D]brightens up my [A]day
[A]Yes it makes me [C#m]righteous, [D]yes it makes me [A]whole
[A]Yes it makes me [C#m]mellow [D]down into my [A]soul …

CHORUS TWICE:

AUDIO RECORDING ON A BUDGET $100 – $200

Four low-cost recording solutions (both USB and standalone) for a novice recording artist.

My cousin Mary and I started collaborating our music.  This meant recording and transferring music files back and forth.  This is not anything Mary had ever done and she relies on her husband Gene for much of the technical know how so, I have a mission to find something that both of them will be able to use and at the same time provide good sound quality.

I’ve used a Zoom H2 which is very simple to use and can be used with the USB (with quite a bit of finessing).   If you can use a tape deck, you can use this.  The biggest draw back of the Zoom H2 is that it only has a 1/8″ plugin.  Mary uses an older synthesizer that has 2,  1/4″ outputs.  She could use a 1/8″ to 1/4″ Y adapter which will work but, provides the lowest sound quality which would be improved significantly with a digital recorder.  Standalone or Audio Interface.

Second choice is an older Zoom H4.  This has a few more bells and whistles but is still fairly easy to use and has 2 of the XLR/TR combo jacks.  While the Zoom H4n is quite a step up from the H4, (with USB capabilities) it is also a bit more complex to use.

I’m also considering the smaller Tascam PocketStudio’s. These are very basic, easy to use and very portable. They have both the XLR & TRS inputs for vocal and or instrument input and can be used as a standalone or USB recorder.  A computer savvy person can have fun with this and a novice will be able to figure it out.

The best option for sound, in my opinion, is using a USB mixer such as the Behringer Xenyx Q1002USB.  I get some of my best recordings with a mixer L/R running into my Zoom H5.  But, once again, you have to finesse the drivers to work properly.  Not something a novice is going to know without hours of research, learning the proper settings of software, hardware and finding drivers that will work.

I have narrowed MY FINAL PICKS to these four recorders.
1. Tascam DP-006
2. Tascam DR-40
3. Focusrite Scarlet 2i2
4. Behringer Xenyx Q1002USB


Deb Erney & Mary Sutton

I WANT YOU BACK – Michael Jackson

[E]When I had you to myself, [G#dim]I [A]didn’t want you around
[C#m7]Pretty [G#m7]faces [A]always [E]make you
[F#m7]stand out [B7]in a [E]crowd. [A] [E]
[E]Someone picked you from the bunch,
[G#dim]one [A]glance is all it took
[C#m7]Now it’s [G#m7]much too [A]late for [E]me
to [F#m7]take a [B7]second [E]look. [A] [E]

Chorus:
E(bar)
[E]Ooh baby, [E/C#]give me [E/B]one more [A+9]chance –
to show you that I love you
[C#m7]Won’t [G#m7]you [A]please let [E]me
[F#m7]back in [B7]your [E]heart. [A] [E]
[E]Ooh darling, [E/C#]was [E/B]blind to [A+9]let you go
And [C#m]now [G#m7]since [A]I’ve [E]seen [F#m7]you it [B7]is [E]on [A] [E]

Interlude:
I want you back, ooh, ooh, yeah, yeah
I want you back, ooh, ooh, baby, yeah
I want you back, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
I want you back, oh, oh, darling

[E]Trying to live without your love is [G#dim]one long sleepless [A]night
[C#m7]Let me show you, [G#m7]girl, that
[A]I [A]know [F#m7]wrong [B]from [E]right
[E]Every street Ive walked on, it [G#dim]had [[A]]tear stains on the ground
[C#m7]Following the [G#m7]girl [A]I didn’t [F#m]even [A]want [E]around

Chorus:
E(bar)
E]Ooh baby, [E/C#]give me [E/B]one more [A+9]chance –
to show you that I love you
[C#m7]Won’t [G#m7]you [A]please let [E]me
[F#m7]back in [B7]your [E]heart. [A] [E]
[E]Ooh darling, [E/C#]was [E/B]blind to [A+9]let you go
And [C#m]now [G#m7]since [A]I’ve [E]seen [F#m7]you it [B7]is [E]on [A] [E]

I want you back, ooh, ooh, yeah, yeah
I want you back, ooh, ooh, baby, yeah
I want you back, oh, oh, nana
Want you back

Interlude:
I want you back
All I want
I want you back
All I need
I want you back

Chorus:
E(bar)
[E]Ooh baby, [E/C#]give me [E/B]one more [A+9]chance –
to show you that I love you
[C#m7]Won’t [G#m7]you [A]please let [E]me
[F#m7]back in [B7]your [E]heart. [A] [E]
[E]Ooh darling, [E/C#]was [E/B]blind to [A+9]let you go
And [C#m]now [G#m7]since [A]I’ve [E]seen [F#m7]you in[B7]his [E]arms [A] [E]

Outro-Interlude:
I want you back, oh, oh, yeah, yeah
I want you back, ooh, ooh, baby
I want you back, oh, oh, yeah, yeah
I want you back

BOOT SCOOTIN BOOGIE

[E]Out in the country past the city limit sign
well there’s a honky tonk, past the county line
The [A]joint starts a’jumpin’ every night
when the sun goes [E]down
They got [B7]whiskey, women, music, and smoke
It’s where all the cowboy folk go to Boot [A]Scootin [E]Boogie

[E]I got a job, I work hard for my money
when it’s quittin’ time, I hit the door runnin’
I [A]fire up my pickup truck and let the horses [E]run
I go [B7]flyin’ down that highway, to that hideaway
out in the woods to do the Boot [A]Scootin [E]Boogie

[CHORUS]
[E] [E#] [F#] [G#] [A]
Yeah[A]Heel toe, Do-se-doe, come on baby let’s go, [E]Boot Scootin’
Oh [A]Cattalac, Blackjack, come on meet me out back
were gonna [E]boogie
Oh [B7]Get down, turn around, go to town, Boot [A]Scootin’ [E]Boogie

[E]The bartender asks me says “Son, what’ll it be.”
I want a shot at that red-head yonder, lookin’ at me
The [A]dance floor’s hoppin’ and it’s hotter than the forth of [E]July
I see [B7]out-laws, in-laws, crooks, and straights
all out there makin’ it shake doin’ the Boot [A]Scootin’ Boogie [E]

[CHORUS]
[E] [E#] [F#] [G#] [A]
Yeah[A]Heel toe, Do-se-doe, come on baby let’s go, [E]Boot Scootin’
Oh [A]Cattalac, Blackjack, come on meet me out back
were gonna [E]boogie
Oh [B7]Get down, turn around, go to town, Boot [A]Scootin’ [E]Boogie

[E] [E#] [F#] [G#] [A]
Yeah[A]Heel toe, Do-se-doe, come on baby let’s go, [E]Boot Scootin’
Oh [A]Cattalac, Blackjack, come on meet me out back
were gonna [E]boogie
Oh [B7]Get down, turn around, go to town, Boot [A]Scootin’ [E]Boogie
hyhh

I’M NOT IN LOVE – 10 cc

Intro:
Play over 1 verse

[A]I’m not in love, so don'[Am]t forget it.
[G#m]It’s just[G#7] a silly phase
I'[C#m]m going thr[C#m7]ough.
[A]And just because I call y[Am]ou up,
[G#m]Don’t get me wro[G#7]ng,
don’t think you’ve go[C#m]t it made. [C#m7]
[A]I’m not in love[F#m], no[B] no, it'[E]s because…

[A]I’d like to see you, bu[Am]t then again,
[G#m]That does[G#7]n’t mean you mean
t[C#m]hat much to me.[C#m7]
[A]So if I call you, don’t[Am] make a fuss;
[G#m]Don’t tell your[G#7] friends about
th[C#m]e two of us.[C#m7]
[A]I’m not in love[F#m], no[B] no, it'[E]s because…

[CHORUS]
[Am]Ooh, you'[D7]ll wait a long tim[G]e for m[Em]e.
[Am]Ooh, you’ll [D7]wait a long time. [E] [G] [A]
[Am]Ooh, you’ll wa[D7]it a long time for[G] me. [Em]
[Am]Ooh, you'[D7]ll wait a long [E]time.

[A]I keep your picture upon th[Am]e wall.
[G#m]It hides a nasty s[G#7]tain that’s l[C#m]ying ther[C#m7]e.
[A]So don’t you ask me to give it back. [Am]
[G#m]I know you know it[G#7] doesn’t mean tha[C#m]t much to me. [C#m7]
[A]I’m not in love[F#m], no[B] no, it'[E]s because…

[CHORUS]
[A]I’m not in love, [Am]so don’t forget it.
[G#m]It’s just [G#7]a silly phase
I’m [C#m]going throu[C#m7]gh.
[A]And just because [Am]I call you up,
[G#m]Don’t get me [G#7]wrong,
don’t think you’ve [C#m]got it made. [C#m7]
[A]I’m not in love, [Am] I’m not in love… …

Outro:
[A/B] [B] [A/B] [B] [A/B] [B] [A/B] [B] [G#] [A]

BOB WILLS IS STILL THE KING – Waylon Jennings

[A]Well the honky-tonks in Texas
were my [D]natural second [A]home
Where you tip your hat to the ladies
and the Rose Of San Ant[E7]one
[D]I grew up on music that [A]we called Western Swing
It don’t matter who’s in Austin,
Bob [E7]Wills is still the [A]king

[A]Lord I can still remember,
the [D]way things were back [A]then
In spite of all the hard times,
I’d live it all a[E7]gain
To [D]hear the Texas playboys and
[A]Tommy Duncan sing
Makes me proud to be from Texas where
Bob [E7]Wills is still the [A]king

You can [D]hear the Grand Ol’ Opry in
[A]Nashville Tennessee
It’s the home of country music,
on that we all a[E7]gree
But when you [A]cross that ol’ Red River, Hoss,
that [D]just don’t mean a [A]thing
‘Cause once you’re down in Texas,
Bob [E7]Wills is still the [A]king

Well if [D]you ain’t never been there,
then I [A]guess you ain’t been told
That you just can’t live in Texas
unless you got a lot of [E7]soul
It’s the [A]home of Willie Nelson,
the [D]home of Western [A]Swing
He’ll be the first to tell you,
Bob [E7]Wills is still the [A]king

DIFFERENT DRUM (Guitar Tab)

INTRO: 2X
[G] [Bm] [C] [D]

[G]You and [Bm]I [C]travel to the [D]beat of a [G]different drum[Bm]
Oh [C]can’t you [D]tell by the [G]way I [Em]run
[C]Everytime [D]you make e[G]yes at me [Bm] [C] woo[D]h

[G]You cry and [Bm]moan and [C]say it will [D]work out [G][Bm]
But [C]honey child [D]I’ve [G]got my [Em]doubts
You [C]can’t see the forest for the [D]trees

CHORUS:
Oh [C]don’t get me wrong it’s not that I knock it
It’s [D]just that I’m not in the market
For a [C]boy who wants to [D]love only [G]m[Em]e
Yes and [C]I ain’t saying [D]you ain’t pretty
[G]All I’m [Bm]saying [C]I’m not [G]ready
For [A7]any person place or thing
To [Am7]try and pull the reins in on [D7]me

Soooo [G]Goodbye[Bm] [C]I’ll be [D]leaving I [G]see no [Em]sense
In this [C]crying and [D]grieving
We’ll [G]both live a lot [Em]longer [C]if you [D7]live with[G]out me [Bm] [C] [D]

CHORUS:
Oh [C]don’t get me wrong it’s not that I knock it
It’s [D]just that I’m not in the market
For a [C]boy who wants to [D]love only [G]m[Em]e
Yes and [C]I ain’t saying [D]you ain’t pretty
[G]All I’m [Bm]saying [C]I’m not [G]ready
For [A7]any person place or thing
To [Am7]try and pull the reins in on [D7]me

Soooo [G]Goodbye[Bm] [C]I’ll be [D]leaving I [G]see no [Em]sense
In this [C]crying and [D]grieving
We’ll [G]both live a lot [Em]longer [C]if you [D7]live with[G]out me [Bm] [C] [D]

Pyle Musicians Stool/Chair

I had the misfortune to purchase a Pyle Portable Adjustable Musicians Stool in August of last year.  Got it thinking it would be lightweight and comfortable to carry to gigs.  When it arrived I knew I would be sending it back but, I wanted to put it together and see if it was something I would want them to re-send.   The more I unpacked the more damage I found.  The box had been re-sealed, re-packed.  Was ripped, torn and tapped.  The inside product didn’t look much better.

I unpacked everything and put the chair together with bent legs, missing pieces, etc…  IT WAS HUGE AND VERY HEAVY.  There was no way this was portable or easily adjustable.  Adjustments could be made but only by taking it apart.  I immediately sent this back and reflected my experience with an Amazon.com review.  This was in August of 2015.

Today, May 17, 2016 I received an email from the company asking to remedy the situation.  The email would have been nice to receive after receiving the damaged unit in August 2015 – NOT 9 MONTHS LATER.

Needless to say the email upset me enough to want to post the whole situation for all to experience.

This is what I thought I purchased from Amazon/Pyle

Pyle chair 1

 

This is what I received in the mail from the seller.

Velcro Laptop Peripherals

If your like me you are constantly toting around a spare hard-drive, external mouse, external USB hub.
I just bought a new Macbool Pro Retina 15″ and love it. But, it definitely has its limitations. First issue is the newer flash hard-drive sizes. I understand that the flash drives ar much faster but, what good does it do me when I have over 500 GB of software installs on a 500 GB hard drive.
I do quite a bit with audio and video, both memory extensive, and always need more storage space than I have.

I’ve tried using USB flash drives and SD cards to no avail. While they are great for transferring files and for storage I have not been able to run Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro X or any Adobe programs.

I’m also stuck with the limitations of 2 USB ports. Apple boasts about the capabilities of iCloud but, I’ve not had much luck using it. Files are hard to get to and the procedure for file transfer from MacBook to iPad is always changing and not very reliable. I’ve resorted to transferring images, documents, etc.. with email.

The track pad on my Mabook isn’t very conducive to my arthritic hands so, one USB port is used for an external mouse, the second port is for the use of an external hard drive. The external hard drive is constantly being flung to the ground as I fold my laptop to take it to the office or back home.

There has to be a better way. Well, I’ve come up with a functional work around until Apple wishes up and furnishes the storage and USB ports needed for a MacBook.

I’ve been using Velcro to attach an external hard drive (up to 3) and USB hub to the surface of a Speck plastic laptop case. You can also use double sided tape and as this is on a laptop case and not the surface of your laptop you don’t have to worry about the glue residue on the surface. I played around with the positioning and you can set this to your preference. I’ve also found that the tape can be removed for repositioning.


With one hard drive and a USB hub attached I’ve hardly notice the attachments. The more you attach the more notice let it is.

I have found this to incredibly convientant and thought I’d pass it along.

HOME RECORDING STUDIO

Most of the newer songs on www.deberney.com and www.youtube.com/daerney were recorded with the Zoom H5.  Some were enhanced/overdubbed with bass and harmonies using an Apogee Duet.  You can see my comparison video of the Zoom H5 – H6 . 

“Thorn Tree in the Garden”, “You Aint going Nowhere”, were two songs I recorded with the H5 only.  “I’d Love you To Want Me” was recorded with the H6 with the only addition being a Cello added via iPad App – THUMBJAM.

The songs on the top of the Deb Erney Cover Tunes (songs listed above “I’d Love You to Want Me”) are recorded with the Zoom H5.  Direct TRS/XLR input of rhythm guitars and main vocals into the combo inputs of the H5.
The songs below “I’d Love You to Want Me” are recorded with Zoom R-16 and Apogee Duet.

I like to sit with a stand alone recorder on (Zoom either the H5, H6, H4n or R16, with vocal XLR and Guitar TRS inputs) and record several songs.  Sometimes I will use a Behringer 1822USB mixer using the left right mixer outputs into the Zoom H5 XLR inputs.  In a few days (or more) I will go back and listen to them.  If I like what was recorded I will build on it or over-dub using an Apogee duet.  I use a Rode NT1 mic  (that is nothing short of amazing)  with the Apogee Duet to over dub vocals and harmonies.  I don’t use it with the scratch recordings because it does pick up the guitar more than I like on my vocals with the scratch recordings.  If I don’t use the onboard mic for the H5, H4n I will use an Audix OM2.

DEB ERNEY COVER TUNES
Recently I’ve started recording a “RAW” series of older songs I grew up with (60’s, 70’s folk rock, soft rock) which are recorded with the Zoom H5 using xlr mic input and 1st guitar into XLR/TRS of the Zoom H5.  I’ve liked some of these songs and have left the original vocal and guitar them without any further tracks.   On other songs I will add bass and harmony using an Apogee Duet.  I usually leave the “scratch” of the guitar and original vocal on most of my recordings as all my recordings start out with a scratch recording with one of the Zoom handheld recorders.  When I’m in the mood to record I don’t want to spend an afternoon trying to get the DAW setup and going.  I want to record then mess with the DAW.

Blue Christmas                        Apogee Duet
Susie Q                                      Zoom H5 & Apogee Duet
Help                                           Live with Zoom R16
Thorn Tree in The Garden     Zoom H5
Diamonds and Rust                 Zoom H5 & Apogee Duet


2/OVER COVER TUNES
The recordings of  2/OVER songs I used the Zoom H4n or R-16.
Most of these recordings are from live events or practice recordings as my bandmate, Ken,
has no patience for recording nor does he like to play/sing without effects. When recording with Ken, I run everything through the R-16 into the mixer for hassle free recording or I will run one of the left/right from a Behringer 1822USB mixer into the XLR of the H5 or H4n Zoom and another Left/right out to our PA system.  If I get a decent recording I will go back to mix it and add bass and/or cleanup some of the guitar/vocals. Most of the 2/OVER songs are recorded with the Zoom R-16 or Zoom H4n.

JoAnne                                     Zoom H4n
Knockin on Heavens Door   Zoom H4n
Crazy Love                              Zoom R-16
KoKomo                                   Zoom R-16

If you are thinking of getting the H5 GO FOR IT!!!  I love my Zoom recorders.  I preferred the H5 over the H6 because of the overdub functions. Both had great sound and were easy to setup. The H6 is capable of 6 XLR/TRS inputs (with the additional capsules). If you need the 6 XLR/TRS inputs this would be a good choice. If you can get by with 4 XLR/TRS the H5 would be a good choice that adds better overdub functions.

DEB ERNEY ASTORE FOR RECORDING EQUIPMENT

ACOUSTIC GUITARS UNDER $400

ACOUSTIC GUITARS UNDER $400

 

There are quite a few “inexpensive” guitars out there that will be fine for the beginner guitarist as you will probably want something different once you’ve discovered your own preferences and playing style. I advise people to stay with the major brands, as all of them have low end guitars that are well made. Most of the preferences can be set with the neck tension, bridge heights, string gauge, etc..  I wouldn’t recommend getting anything under $125.  The more you spend, the better the instrument.

I also recommend that beginners start off with (at least temporarily) nylon strings until they develop denser finger pads. A heavier – denser nylon sting can be used as the first set of strings. The nylon strings may not sound as good as the steel strings but, your fingers won’t bleed and you will be more inclined to stick with it.
My first guitar was a YAMAHA with “cat gut”, black nylon strings. That was in 1972. I’ve been an avid guitar player since and have bought and sold many guitars during this time.
I would recommend to go with a “name brand” that is a known guitar manufacturer.
Brands I would recommend are for the under $400 would be YAMAHA, EPIPHONE, ALVEREZ, FENDER, TAKAMINE, though everyone has their own preferences. I would also recommend getting your first guitar from a local music store that can help with the guitar setup and general care for the instrument.
You could also get a used guitar at a great price. But, I would advise to do some research on how to check for neck or belly damage.
Guitar lessons are always a great idea. I’ve learned more in the two years of lessons I’ve taken then I had learned from friends or had been able to learn on my own in the last 40 years. You can get references for instructors from your local music store.  Lessons range in cost.  At the time of this post I am paying $125 for 4 weeks of 30 minute lessons.
I’ve promised my neighbor that I old post some basic lessons to get started with and I will post them here for all to use and learn from.  Take care and have fun learning.

Below is a list (and links to buy from my aStore) guitars that would make great first guitars.


AUDIO INTERFACE UNDER $300

Under $300 Recording

I’ve been asked few questions regarding audio interfaces that are under $300. Believe it or not there are quite a few audio interface units that produce good results. I have used quite a few of these myself before purchasing my Apogee Duet. If you are a recording singer-instrumentalist there are some very good options at your disposal.  I have used Presonus, Zoom, IK Multimedia, Tascam, Behringer, all with good results.

I’m a big ZOOM fan and prefer their products to any other.  The support is great, knowledgeable.  You don’t have to go through the typical phone menu systems to get support.  You call Zoom, a tech answers and your problem is solved.  I’ve been using ZOOM since purchasing a Zoom H4n in 2005.  I have recently replaced the H4n with the ZOOM H5.  I use the Zoom R16 to record band performances, practices and get my initial scratch recordings.

I had been a loyal Tascam user (Portastudio’s), for many years,  until I had a DP-24 Portastudio die after 4 months.  I was so upset to find that Tascam warranties only cover 90 days labor, 1 year on SOME parts.  So, I was stuck with a repair bill on a 4 month old unit.  I haven’t bought Tascam since.

The IK Multimedia IRIG products are so easy to use, easy to carry, very portable.  Perfect for a spontaneous, quick recording.  HOWEVER, these units tend to sound a bit muddy and only have one input/output.  But definitely quick, easy, and worth the money.

The Focusrite products have good reviews, loyal users and boast many  units under $300. Most of these units are decent, basic audio interfaces. I haven’t used Focusrite and can’t vouch for their performance.  But, reading other reviewers opinions of Focusrite I would not hesitate to purchase any of their units.

I’ve used Behringer mixers (X1622USB,  X1832USB) for some nice recordings.  The downside is that you can only output 2 channels.

If you are only recording a few tracks, have a fairly new PC/Mac and use a decent microphone you should be able to create some pretty amazing songs.  Problems don’t usually kick in until you start to multi-track over 4 tracks. In my experience the more you edit, record, add the more noticeable the latency and loss of sound.  I have read articles claiming that latency can be controlled by adjusting the direct – out, sound signal with the processed – out, sound signal volumes. I like to hear the effects on my instrument and vocals as I’m playing/recording and this is not a sacrifice I’m willing to make.

For basic 2-4 track recording/editing you should be fine with any of the under $300 audio interfaces I have listed here.  If your needing more tracks, editing, live recording, crystal clear recordings you may need to jump up to the more expensive units.

I  prefer the standalone recorders for the scratch track. If I start with the Macbook/Duet/Logic Pro, my creative mood has passed by the time equipment is configured and setup. I enjoy the simplicity of plugging in a guitar and mic, put the GoPro on a mic stand, play along with music on my iPad using the Songbook or Onsong apps, hit “record” and the magic begins. Some of these recordings are good starts to a multi-mix, some not so good. But, it’s always enjoyable for me to sit with the songs I love and record them and hear what I can do with them. After recording 5-10 songs I’ll let them sit in a folder until I’m ready to come back and mix/edit them.  Some are good, some are not.

I’ve had incredibly good results using my Zoom R-16 (both as an audio interface and a standalone recorder) and the Zoom H5 (even better sound), no latency, good sound, easy to use, and they both always work when I’m ready and the songs are always there in my RAW folder, with audio and video for when I have the time/motivation to go back with overdubs, vocals and instruments using my Apogee Duet and Logic Pro.
Most of my recordings start out with either the Zoom R16, Zoom H5 or Zoom H6.

You can hear my music HERE

THE STRING CLEANER vs GHS FAST-FRET

THE STRING CLEANER VS GHS FAST-FRET  VIDEO
I wasn’t able to get THE STRING CLEANER to perform as advertised. It looked like a great idea but it didn’t remove any of the tarnish from my strings. I got much better results from the tried and true GHS FAST-FRET cleaner, using a polishing rag to clean the top and bottom of strings.

I have used the GHS FAST-FRET string cleaner for years.  Works great, conditions the fret board, stretches out the life of my strings by removing grease and tarnish.  This is the best product for this use.