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

“Me and the Devil” is a Tip on the Euro Americana Chart!

I just learned that “Me and the Devil” by Chris Cacavas & Ed Abbiatti, the title piece of which features two (count them, two) harmonica parts by me, is a “Tip” on the Euro Americana Chart:
http://www.euroamericanachart.eu/

As per my previous comments on this site, I recorded my parts for the title song with a Digitech RP355, using a rotary speaker patch for a backing part and a pitch-shifted sound with an added 4th down (my Ed Abbiatti Devil Sound) for the solo. I used an Audix Fireball V mic for both parts. The parts I sent to Ed were straight off the RP355 into Cakewalk Sonar 8.5.3 via USB connection to the RP, then exported to WAV files, without any additional processing. Both parts are prominent in the mix, so effected harmonica is both a key component of the accompaniment and the lead instrument on this track. Both these patches, of course, are included in my latest patch set for Digitech RP355.

You can hear the music and buy if you like at iTunes or CDBaby.

Me and the Devil: red-hot Americana

Me and the Devil: red-hot Americana

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

The 21st Century Harmonica Band: One Harp, One Looper, and My Patch Set

SPAH has announced that part of its program for SPAH 2014 will be the Harmonica Band reboot, in which attendees will have the opportunity to perform with a harmonica band featuring bass, chord, and diatonic or chromatic lead harps. I don’t have much desire to perform with a harmonica trio–its artistic appeal aside, it’s a format that excites little public interest in 2014, and I don’t see why that’s going to change–but the announcement made me think about some of the loops I’ve done lately in which the harmonica fills all the roles of a modern rock band except drums.
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Audio/Video, Blog, Hunter's Effects, Recommended Artists & Recordings

12 July 2014: Kicking out the Jams in Jackson

I spent the weekend in Jackson, Wyoming, where I had a gig with the cream of the local rock scene: Derrik and the Dynamos, Derrik Hufsmith’s stellar band that on this occasion included Phil Round on bass and backup vocals and Ed Domer on drums along with Derrik on guitar and lead vocals and yours truly on harp and keys. The occasion was a wedding, and the groom had specifically requested a harp player for the wedding band. How often does that happen? Not often enough…
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Blog, Hunter's Effects, Recommended Gear

The Huntersounds patch set for Digitech RP360/360XP is available NOW!

It’s official: our patch set for Digitech RP360/360XP is available for sale at our store. You can get it now for $50. It includes 50 great patches, all of which make the most of the RP360’s performance features and its huge palette of great amp models and FX.

The RP360XP: a very nice device, and the host of our latest patch set

The RP360XP: a very nice device, and the host of our latest patch set

We’ve carefully balanced the output levels of the patches in this set to ensure smooth volume transitions between patches, too. All in all, this is our best set to date, and that’s sayin’ somethin’.

On a related subject, we’ve updated our RP500 patch set to v18. This version includes a few new patches, as well as the same balancing on patch levels that we put into the v18 RP360/360XP set. It makes a very good thing even better.

All current licencees for our RP500 patch set will be updated to v18 for free. We expect both the RP360/360XP set and the updated RP500 set to be available for sale at Rockin’ Ron’s within a week.

We’re delighted to offer these terrific sounds to harp players everywhere. Get yours now!

Blog, Hunter's Effects

The G3’s First Public Appearence: Mixed Results

I used the Zoom G3 onstage with two different sets of players at the Monday night jam at Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues in London this week, and the results were mixed.

The setup I used for the jam at ANBTB on Monday 9 June: Zoom G3, Shaker Dynamic mic, 2 cables

The setup I used for the jam at ANBTB on Monday 9 June: Zoom G3, Shaker Dynamic mic, 2 cables

Good stuff first: the basic sound of this setup was very nice for blues. Plenty of guts, gratifying shifts in tone as my playing went from soft to loud.

On the not so good side, I couldn’t seem to get the setup loud enough to compete with two guitars effectively. I had feedback issues from the start. I was able to reduce the feedback by turning off the graphic EQ and delay FX in my patch setup (a basic Fender Bassman patch), but I was never able to get the setup as loud as I can get one of my Digitech RPs.

The situation is somewhat complicated by the fact that I was using the Shaker Dynamic mic for the first time at this jam. When there are two moving parts in the picture, it’s tough to know which is the main culprit. I hereby remind myself not to test more than one piece of gear at a time going forward.

Anyway, the G3 needs more testing and adjustments before I release this patch set. As an interim step, I’ve asked several people who’ve expressed interest in this set to do a little beta testing, which should take around a month. Stay tuned for more information on revised release dates.

Blog, Hunter's Effects, Recommended Artists & Recordings

Me and the Devil

Ed Abbiatti and Chris Cacavas have just released their latest CD, “Me and the Devil,” a tough rock record with plenty of classic rock and Americana in it. I’m playing harp on two of the tracks, including the title track, where I contributed two parts recorded through the Digitech RP355: an organ-like rhythm track recorded with a Bassman amp model and a rotary speaker effect, and a lead line recorded with my “devil sound,” a Matchless amp model with a pitch-shifted line a perfect 4th below the original tone.

I recorded all my parts for this record using the RP355 as the audio interface, direct via USB into Cakewalk Sonar 8.5. The recording was done in my kitchen in Idaho last summer. (Kitchens work well as recording studios with this setup.) The mic on these tracks is an Audix Fireball. That’s the gear list.

You can find out more about this release at http://www.harboursong.co.uk/artists, where you can buy it too if you’re so inclined.

Me and the Devil: red-hot Americana

Me and the Devil: red-hot Americana

Blog, Hunter's Effects, Recommended Gear

London with the Zoom G3

I arrived in London this morning (Sunday 8 June), and I plan to visit the Monday night jam at Ain’t Nothin But the Blues. When I do, I’ll be packing the Zoom G3, as opposed to the Tech 21 Blonde pedal that’s been my go-to jam session box for a while.

Zoom G3, Shaker dynamic, two cables

Zoom G3, Shaker dynamic, two cables–just add harps and you’re ready to rock

There’s nothing wrong with the Blonde. It just doesn’t do everything that a Zoom G3 can do. Like the Blonde, the G3 runs on batteries, which means that the road kit can be stripped down to the G3, a mic, and two 1/4″ cables, one to connect the mic to the G3, the other to connect the G3 to the PA.

For this trip I brought the Shaker dynamic mic that’s been in my kit for years, during which period I’ve barely used it. I’ve discovered recently that this mic sounds very good with amp modelers in general, and its very light weight and handy ergonomics make it a good choice for a road trip.

This’ll be the first onstage test of my new patches for the G3, which I expect to release within days of my return. Stay tuned–I may get audio or video of this jam.

Blog, Hunter's Effects, Recommended Gear

Coming Soon: the Huntersounds Patch Set for Zoom G3

It’s been a long time coming, and it’s almost here. I will offer my first patch set for a non-Digitech device within the next few weeks: my ultra-cool setup for the Zoom G3.

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Blog, Hunter's Effects, Recommended Gear

The Huntersounds RP360 Patch Set Is Getting Close

I’ve been steadily working towards the release of my patch set for the Digitech RP360/RP360XP, and we’re pretty close to go. There will be a few changes in this set versus previous sets:
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Blog, Hunter's Effects, Recommended Gear

Digitech RP360XP or RP500? Here’s how I make up my mind

I published most of this post in a response to a question posted in the comments here. I figured that it was worth publishing as a post in its own right. So here are a half dozen things I think about when I’m choosing between a Digitech RP360XP and an RP500.
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