lauantai 13. syyskuuta 2008

My Les Paul

My Les Paul

I started playing guitar in 1982. First I got an crappy acoustic guitar for Christmas, but in February 1983 I was already so hungry for an electric that there was no other choice but to get one.

So in the market for my first guitar the first one I got for trial was a Les Paul, It was a really nice red burst vintage Tokai Les Paul, but god damn it, somehow stupid little me wanted a Stratocaster. And soon, I had a really crappy eastern-block el cheapo Musima Stratocaster.. Bad bad decision. I could now have been a Les Paul player for 25 years, but no.. I ended up on a 25 year long journey among Stratocasters and 'Superstrats'.

That is coming to and end now.. After a long (25 years) consideration, I came to the conclusion that I really need to get myself a Les Paul too... There is nothing like that sweet mahogany singing.

After studying hard what is available, looking at Gibsons, Epiphones, Tokais, whatnot, I came to the conclusion that right now, the Epiphones and specially with their new factory in China that is said to be pumping out awesome guitars at a low price (at the moment with the weak dollar against strong Euro and all), to go for an China Epi.

But then.. which one to get?

I looked trough the whole range of what Epiphone had to offer, and from the huge pile of guitar player and guitar world magazines I have been reading during the past 25+ years, I always remember the Les Paul Goldtop with it's P-90 to appear on many many top productions. So that one was one of my ones on the top list immediately. Then I thought that the P90s are really nice mics, but so are PAF humbuckers too.. so.. what to do... hmm hmm.. The only answer was to get TWO Les Pauls.

So with the '56 Goldtop checked I started looking trough all the other ones that were offered... That was some hard decisions, because they are all nice guitars. I even had my eye on an SG for a while, but decided that I am in market for Les Pauls now, get the SG later.

I'm rarely into 'fancy new stuff' and didn't even take a look at the 'Ultra' model because of it's name. But after ignoring it for a week, i took a look at it just out of pure boredom and wow. That Shadow nanomic on it seemed awesome!

I listened to some demos and it really works. I always hated piezo mics, but this time Shadow really nailed it on that one. So my quest for the second Les Paul was over. The Midnight Ebony (sounds like a porn movie) looked really nice with it's quilted maple top, so I just fell in love with that. And in a way it's a perfect companion to the Goldtop. I mean, getting the whole historic soundrange of Les Pauls from a p90 sound from the 50s right up to the modern tones of the 00s with the Ultra, plus some acoustic tones, and I even like to think the Ultra could pull off a 335 kinda sound with a tiny blend of acoustic tone mixed in with the humbuckers.. well see when it arrives.

So yesterday I want to the local dealer, an old school mate, and ordered the Epihone Les Paul '56 Goldtop and the Epiphone Les Paul Ultra II Midnight Black. He said they would be here in about a week..

I will keep update when they arrive...

- Jesse -

tiistai 26. elokuuta 2008

I got Mac

I picked up a MacBook yesterday and I'm loving it already. I'm Installing all kinds of interesting utilities and applications on it as we speak. The Leopard OSX is really nice.

I have to mention that I got new 'Mac friends' at day one, all my buddies who have Macs have been really supportive and all given me tips and sent me links (via Adium).

Main point getting the Mac was to get a solid work platform.
My plans is to run Logic Express and Final Cut Express on it as soon as possible and then Photoshop at some point. The licenses will cost as much as the MacBook, so I'll just have to settle to learning the new OS at the moment.

I just installed the Roland Fantom G Editor and Librarian on it.

It should be mentioned here that the Fantom G Editor looks and feels a lot smoother on OSX than on XP.

Now I'm just waiting for either Fantom YASE™, Rel. 2 to be released as a Mac version or that Roland corporation releases a newer improved version of their editor with similiar functions.

sunnuntai 17. elokuuta 2008

Waldorf Blofeld 1.03 update

Wonderful news!

This news just came in from Stefan Stenzel from Waldorf:

- - -


I just uploaded the firmware version 1.03 for Blofeld:

This is mainly to be considered a bugfix release, addressing many problems
that users kindly reported to us. So the most prominent bugfixes are:

-PPG Filter in combination with wavetables without noise
-Phaser in FX1 slot without spurious crackling
-Parts 5..16 stereo and optional mix into FX2
-Only audible Effect parameters editable
-Eliminated spurious encoder crosstalk

There are many more bugs that have been fixed, but we are too embarrassed
to admit those ever existed.


- - -
I downloaded the new firmware and the .syx update process was quick, easy and successful with MIDI OX via USB.

So now I have my PPG filters and wavetables working, something I was sad about in my last post.

I'm blessed to get the bugfix so soon, as my Blofeld only arrived last thursday!

The blofeld is an really inspirational machine, thank you for that!

- jessej -

torstai 14. elokuuta 2008

Waldorf Blofeld - First impressions

My Waldorf Blofeld finally arrived today after waiting for months to be able to get one shipped to me. Here's a photo of my Roland Fantom G and the new Blofeld sitting on top of the Fantom G screen. (If anyone of you who read this have a good idea about a better stand, please leave a comment! I have very limited space depth-wise in my little home studio room, so I would like to stack things) You can see a MS-20 in the background. These are pictures from my personal home studio where I do most of my songwriting.

I hooked it up to my Roland Fantom G that enables me to send multi-split keyboard via MIDI to the Blofeld multis really nicely - A perfect match with the Fantom G I'd say, just as I had hoped, both sonically sound wise and MIDI wise!

Nice sturdy design, the little thing is heavy and feels quite solid indeed, but I really think Waldorf should have included a physical MIDI OUT into the design. (There is only a physical MIDI IN, but the USB has both in and out)

I really have to send some standing ovations to Germany for how intuitive the blofeld is to use - I instantly understood how the Blofeld works.

There's a lot of nice presets included (1024 I think) , thank you for those, specially to the stars on the waldorf mailing-list who participated with some top class presets!

I think I will have a wonderful time with my Blofeld and that it is going to serve well for many years to come!

There's a few negatives with the current OS 1.02:
- Headphone amp unacceptably noisy as reported before.
- "crackling sound on phaser FX and PPG filter"
- Some patches have problems with the waveform 'clicking'
- The reverb algorithm is not pretty
- A multi-mode with smart features is needed.

In all I am very impressed with the Blofeld although that PPG filter crackling is really making me sad at the moment.

(since I wrote this the 1.03 update has fixed issues above)


Here's a quickie demo I threw together in 15mis on day one.

Drums & one synth in the background are from the Fantom G, the 3 other synths are from the Blofeld.

- Jesse -