Hunter's Effects, Recommended Gear

Zoom G3 Tip #1: Set the Input to PASSIVE!

There’s a button on the back of your G3 in the INPUT section (far left when you look at the back of the G3) marked “Active” and “Passive.” MAKE SURE THIS BUTTON IS SET TO “PASSIVE” BEFORE YOU PLUG THE G3 INTO YOUR AMP OR PA. If the button is set to “Active” with a mic plugged into the G3, the resulting output signal will overload the amp or PA input; you’ll get heavy feedback at even low volume levels.

Zoom G3 back view, input jack and passive/active button at far left

Zoom G3 back view, input jack and passive/active button at far left

A simple thing, but important. So check the Input setting before you connect the G3 to the amp or PA. You’ll be glad you did.

Blog, Hunter's Effects, Recommended Gear, Upcoming Performances

Going Out to Jam with the Zoom G3

I’m traveling to London tonight, and tomorrow (Sunday March 15) I plan to sit in at the Sunday afternoon jam at Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues. I’m taking a kit that includes 18 diatonic harmonicas–most of the standard Richter tunings in keys from low F to F, with the rest comprised of Dorian minors, Natural minors, Country, and Melody Makers. It’s what I need to play most of the pieces in my solo repertoire, and it’s a good kit for blues too. I add a C chromatic to the pile and I’m ready for a jam session.

The kit also includes a Zoom G3 running my latest patch set for that device, my refurbished Audix Fireball mic, an XLR cable with a rat-tail transformer, and a long 1/4″ cable to connect the G3 to the PA, which I know from experience at ANBTB is across the stage from where I stand when I play. The G3 runs on batteries, which is the main reason I’m taking it instead of the Digitech RP360XP–it’s a lot faster to set up when you don’t have to find a power outlet.

The last time I played at ANBTB, I had the G3 with only a draft set of patches, plus a different mic, and I couldn’t get comfortable with the gear–too much feedback, for a start. The Fireball mic is easily the most feedback-resistant mic I have ever used, so that eliminates one problem. I’ve completed the G3 patch set since then, so the patches are engineered to be louder and more feedback resistant too. I’m expecting the gear to do its job this time around, which of course makes it more enjoyable for me and everyone else in the room too.

The specific patches I intend to lean on most include the BasmTapEco (Bassman amp with tape echo) and BasmVib (Bassman amp with vibrato). The former is a nice Chicago sound that works well with and without the Tape Echo slapback, and the latter is as close as you can get to an organ sound with the G3, a nice changeup from the basic Chicago sound.

I’ll file a full report on how the gear worked on my return. In the meantime, if you’re in London on Sunday afternoon, drop by Ain’t Nothin’ But The Blues.

Audio/Video, Blog, Hunter's Effects, Recommended Artists & Recordings, Recommended Gear, Recorded Performances (live and otherwise)

4 Years After: Mississippi Queen Redux

I recorded myself performing Mountain’s “Mississippi Queen” about four years ago, and I happened to record it again last week while I was running through my solo repertoire. This performance is backed by the same recorded arrangement I used four years ago, so it’s easy to compare the performances.
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Blog, Hunter's Effects, Recommended Gear

Backing Up the Hardware

As my recent posts describe, I’ve been re-configuring my rig lately. At this point it’s pretty stable, but while I was messing with it I discovered a few problem pieces in my kit. My ART MP tube preamp went flaky, and I pulled it from the rig. (I probably won’t replace it. The rig seems to work pretty well without it.)
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Blog

What I Learned This Week From Kenny G

Kenny G is beloved by the public, if not by a lot of musicians out there. Whenever there’s disparity like that between the appreciations of the masses and the cognoscenti, I wonder what the latter are missing. Yes, the masses like a lot of crap, but they don’t like crap only, and even when they go for crap there’s something different about the crap they go for. I never much liked Kiss, but they definitely weren’t like anything that came before them. Trent Reznor has said publicly that they were a big inspiration to him, and anything that inspired Reznor is worth hearing. So the question I ask of anyone who’s popular is: what is it that makes them stand out to so many people? What’s the single big thing they got right?
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Blog, Hunter's Effects, Recommended Gear, Recorded Performances (live and otherwise)

Big Sounds Looped and Unlooped: Zoom G3 and Digitech RP500 Combined

I’ve been jamming with my new rig, and as usual I’m recording those jams. The new rig lets me get big tones in two different ways: first, I can combine the amp modelers and the iStomp running SwingShift to get big textures with lots of motion in them in real time; then, I can loop those sounds and add more on top.

The rig that makes the amazing big sounds

The rig that makes the amazing big sounds

Here’s a cool sample that combines the Zoom G3 with the Digitech RP500. The Zoom is running a patch from my new set for Zoom G3 that features an autowah with a Twin Reverb amp model. The Digitech RP500 is running the patch called “TuffSli” from my patch set for RP500, and it’s also getting its input from the iStomp running SwingShift, meaning that there are multiple octaves in the signal. You can hear the pitch of the RP500 moving up and down against the G3’s tones as I work the expression pedal to shift the pitch.

This one uses the same patches on the same devices as the first, but the lines are played in chords. The pitch on the Zoom G3 doesn’t change in tandem with the RP500, but because the RP500 patch has a stronger tone than the G3, you hear both sounds as shifting pitch, with the autowah putting more attack on the tone.

This sound is created by looping a phrase from the Digitech RP500 using a single patch from my RP500 patch set, MA816D, which shifts the pitch two octaves down or 1 octave down depending on the expression pedal. I record a phrase using both, then play over that using a very nice clean amped tone based on a Fender Twin amp model with a big medium-length delay.

And finally, a nice funky phrase that uses a Zoom G3 patch that combines a Bassman amp model with the G3’s very funky phase shifter, over which I play various tones from the RP500.

All these samples were recorded with a Zoom H4 parked a few inches from the front grill of a Peavey KB2 keyboard amp. Sample volumes were normalized to the same level; otherwise there was no post-recording processing applied.

Enjoy!

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