Blog, Hunter's Music, Why(K)now: Hunter's Power Trio

Goodbye to all that

I’ve been fired from my power trio. Which is kind of a drag, especially given that I was the leader.

The first problem from the band’s point of view is that I was gone all summer. It’s not easy to rehearse when the band members are separated by 2500 miles. And they wanted to rehearse more, not less, for which I can’t blame them.

The second problem is that I wanted to change the band’s direction. In particular, I wanted to do the singing. I’d been singing in my solo act this summer, and I liked it. But I agree that singing and playing harmonica at the same time takes some doing.

Anyway, it’s done, at least for the moment. And I have to figure out what’s next. I’m thinking a lot about developing my solo act further, incorporating prerecorded tracks as well as the looper, and that’s probably where I’ll go from here. The other alternative is to focus on writing and recording some new material, which is not necessarily mutually exclusive with developing the solo act.

So stay tuned for some radical solo harmonica. I plan to have a couple of sets of material ready to roll by March, when I play the Virginia Harmonicafest.

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Pull of the Moon July 20 2010

Take a listen to this piece from WhyNow’s latest rehearsal, July 20 2010: “Pull of the Moon” . Richard Hunter/harmonica, Lexi Bodick/bass, Tracey Kroll/drums. It’s a rough mix, of course, and it sounds cool to me…

I’m using my regular stage rig: Digitech RP250, RP355, and RP255. The main sounds on this piece are from the RP355. The RP250 is adding some parallel distortion to beef up the main sound, and the RP255 is adding echo and delay.

Drop a line to tell me what you like about it!

Blog, Why(K)now: Hunter's Power Trio

A few things to keep in mind when you’re using multiple amp modelers

Warning: this post is all about working with gear.

I've been working out the patch changes for the songs in Why(K)now's repertoire, and I'm developing some new rules for working with 3 amp modeling devices plus an ABY pedal on the floor:

RP250-355-2255 setup July 12 2010
Richard Hunter RP250-355-255 setup July 12 2010;
Note ABY pedal between RP250 and RP355
Gotta do something about those cables...

The ideal situation is one in which a single device makes all the sounds you need, and all those sounds are side by side on the device, so you can switch to and from them fast. 

If you're using two devices to make a combined sound, you can't switch patches on both at once.  (Hendrix talked about dancing on the pedals, but it was a one-footed dance, I'm sure.)  One way to use two devices easily is to combine multiple patches on one with just one on the other, and use the ABY pedal to bring the second device in and out.  Or do multiple patches on one, then multiple on the other, again using the ABY to switch devices.
When you're using multiple FX devices at once, you need to consider whether you want each to have its own reverb and delay, or apply that globally.  So you need to listen to the combined reverbs and delays of all the patches. 

More to come.  I'll record some of the new patch setups this week.  Rehearsing with the band on July 20. 

Blog, Why(K)now: Hunter's Power Trio

The Big Plan for the Big Sounds

I started getting serious about my sounds for my new band Why(K)now today.   (Notice how the band's name is still changing?   It'll stabilize soon.)

First I took one of my effects devices out of the lineup (leaving 3, two running in parallel and one at the end of the chain).  Then I started documenting exactly what sounds I'm going to use on which pieces where.  The next step is to customize each sound so the delays, reverbs, etc. don't step all over each other, and I get the biggest possible sounds from the rig.  Finally I back up all the sounds, then I start rehearsing the onstage moves to make the mid-song switches between sounds.

Lotta work, huh.  I'm trying to do something new.  Stick around for the trip.

Blog, Why(K)now: Hunter's Power Trio

Why(K)now’s Thursday rehearsal–the tunes take form

I listened today to the recordings I made on my Zoom H4 of the Why(K)now rehearsal Thursday night.  The structures are coming together for the tunes, and we're beginning to develop a vocabulary as a band.  I still want to hear more color--I've got to try more combinations of sounds on the FX pedals--and I want to hear us rock out more.  And we still need a singer.  (One of Tracey's friends who sings some was kind enough to help us out by singing the lyrics for the pieces, so we could hear how the arrangements worked with vocals.) 

You can hear our version of Hendrix's Voodoo Chile here.  Let me know what you think. 

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Why(K)now is what now?

Why(K)now is a band unlike any other. Think power trio–Hendrix or Led Zep, with harmonica leading instead of guitar. Already having trouble imagining the sound? Check it out.

The big sounds come from running the harmonica through a battery of amp modeling devices to big it up. I got the idea reading an interview with Korn’s lead guitarist, where he talked about recording simultaneously through 4 amps in the studio. I thought “I can do that,” and put my amp modelers together with a few channel switching pedals. Voila–harmonica as big as King Kong.

The band’s lineup currently includes Lexi Bodick on electric bass and Tracey Kroll (well known for his work with electronic jazzers Spinning Plates, among others) on drums.

Why(K)now: Hunter's Power Trio

Why(K)now is in rehearsals

My new power trio Why(K)now is in rehearsals now.  Electric bass, drums, and harmonica running through 3 amp modelers at once.  It’s like a guitar power trio, only not.  Check this out. Stay tuned for video next month.