Archive for the ‘Sonic Assault’ Category

The newest member of the family

I just scored the COOLEST new slab-o-wood to add to the family.

She’s a no-bullshit for-reals 1981 Dean ML.  Not some crap knockoff reissue piece of trash made in <insert 3rd world country here> and then sold for <insert ridiculous price here> at some local  GuitarCenter retail outlet chain.  It’s not some nonsense “dinky” shitbox either.   This is an actual 1981 U.S.A. made Dean ML.  No f’n kidding.  And it’s AWESOME!!!!

 

This beauty even survived the lame trend in the 80s & 90s of filing down frets too, so they’re amazingly untouched and nice and crisp.  It makes this thing fast as hell.

 

And you wanna hear the most insane part… it’s serial number is 666 guitars off the line later than the infamous Dean From Hell.  I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried.

This baby plays f’n beautifully!!!  Having finally gotten my greasy hands on one of these, I understand why Dime was so crazy about these guitars.  They’re going to have to bury me with this one as well ’cause there’s no way in hell I’m ever parting ways with it.  Took me over 2 years to even find one of these…and then to have it end up being the evil twin of the DFH, well… I tell you what, my neighbors are putting the cops on speed dial for noise complaints.

 

Now I can’t wait to jam her at this year’s upcoming Dime Tribute and actually lay-down & represent. (there we no MLs and no Randalls at the last event…kinda sad IMHO).

R.I.P. Darrell Abbott.

 

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The Rev’rend was in town…

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Gawd Damn I love playing Guitar

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The reason I even play guitar

Me-and-Billy-G   Nothin’ a little dose of the Reverend can’t fix fo’ y’all.

Hail to his majesty…

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All hail Uncle Al – enough said….

Restoring a SoundCraft 600 (x16)

Gotta start this post being both thankful, yet disappointed.

 

I got a RAD board out of the deal – at a great price…yet… I’m left thinking… “REALLY!?!?!??!  SERIOUSLY!?!?!??!”

It takes 1% of effort to keep yer shit clean.

A windex paper towel once every 45 years is too hard???

This board simply needed some contact cleaner, some q-tips, and some paper towels and it once again is AWESOME.

Yer loss, my gain…I’m fine with that.

(I do have to say tho, without naming names, a “studio owner” that lets their shit degrade into this poor a condition…needs to find another fuckin’ job)

 

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So, got ‘er home and it’s DIRTY as shit!!

 

I literally cannot sleep at night knowing my gear is this nasty.

IMG_3997A screwdriver later…pretty simple circuitry honestly.  Not like I’m debugging at the ICU level, but some ribbon cables are easy to handle.

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Start by blowing out the slider and pots w. compressed air.

 

Next, I’d gently soak each push switch w. contact cleaner.

 

I’d then click each button in-n-out like 10-15 times.

Same deal w. the pots.  Soak ’em.  Spin ’em a buncha times.  F’n simple “repair”.

 

Then it’s on to face cleanup.  This is where how NaStY dude let this gear get really sunk in.  FUCK!!!  so many q-tips, windex, paper towels, and contact cleaner!!!!!  Shameful is the resonant word while I’m scrubbing all this shit back to life.

 

And finally … VOILA!

CLEAN

Blasting Zone has commenced BLASTING!!!

The Blasting Zone has just fucking detonated!!

 

OUR MOTTO:  Guitars until your anus bleeds and napalm runs out your fucking ear holes!!  We are here to KILL your guitar tracks and sound.

 

Everything louder than everything else!!!

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RG100 – yes, DIMEBAG’s AMP!!!! (the carpet version and everything!!! – no fucking joke)

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WALL OF AXE ™ !!! – and there’s more as well…. not every guitar fits on the wall at once

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AMPS! AMPS! AMPS! AMPS! AMPS! AMPS! AMPS! AMPS! AMPS! AMPS! AMPS! AMPS! AMPS! AMPS! AMPS! (the Mesa Boogie Mark IV is Lamb of God’s Amp!!! – you can TOTALLY HEAR IT!!! – the FUCKER screams!!! (and it’s beautiful)).  The Marshall JMP1s are also some bad ass kit.  If they’re good enough for Ministry, they’re good enough for us.

 

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The Soundcraft 600 16 channel – the new heart of Blasting Zone.  It sounds as awesome as an analog console should!!!

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JCM2000 TSL 100 – loads of burn!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What happens when you EQ all the mids out…

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My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult

I Love me some Groovie Man…

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How to play GuitarRig ‘live’ though the speakers – OSX

In my office, I have a badass computer.  MacPro tower, dual quad-core CPUs, 32G RAM, 3 monitors, etc.  I use this system for work and it’s awesome. I finally invested in myself and threw-down on a killer rig that lets me work at my demanding pace and not have to wait on applications.

If it's too loud... die already!Anyway, in my office, when I take a break, I like to bust out the git-fiddle and jam a bit.  I’ve got a rockin’ guitar rig (the REAL thing – lots of physical amps, a stack of rackmount boxes with blinky lights, and loads of shit to step on to make funny noises)…but the trouble is, it’s in the basement and on the other side of the house.  It’s not really convenient to go fire up the reactor and warm up the tubes when I’ve got 5-10 minutes of downtime here and there at work.

Enter the desire to be able to plug the ol’ axe into something in my office.  While some folks would think to themself at this point, “self, why not just use a damn amp?”…I like to make shit harder than it needs to be sometimes.

See, I’ve also got this kick ass piece of software called GuitarRig (the virtual kind of Rig)…and it’s got even more toys than my basement…so naturally I want to be able to play around with this beast as well.  Seems like the perfect option for my office – a small-footprint “rig” that makes all the cool squeals and nasty growls I want to hear.  Now to just sort out how to actually play through the damn thing.

A couple months back I purchased an Apogee ONE so that I can plug a guitar directly into my Mac to then ‘jack-into’ GuitarRig.  It’s a pretty cool little unit – nice and small – with a single volume knob and jacks for 1/4″ and XLR.  It hooks to my tower via USB.

To get sound into GuitarRig via the Apogee, it takes some trivial audio setup.  Connect the ONE and install the bundled Maestro 2 software.  Fire up Maestro 2, select the input device named ‘Inst’ (for INSTrument – ie, the 6-string weapon of choice) and make sure you’re seeing input and output in the Maestro level meters.

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Once the guitar levels are recognized by GuitarRig via the ONE, I jack-in, hit some strings, and see the input levels in GuitarRig start flashing away.  The ONE is overall a pretty sweet little gadget.  There’s one catch to the design though.  To actually HEAR the output of GuitarRig, you are supposed to jack headphones or external speakers into the Apogee ONE.   Call me stubborn but I want to be able to hear the damn output without having to put on headphones or clutter things up with a second set of speakers.  I’ve got nice speakers already hooked to the MacPro and want to just listen to the output via these.

Should be easy, right?

Not so fast.  The way the signal path routes, the ONE can’t for example send it’s output back through the USB…it’s ONLY way out is via the 1/8″ jack.

So how do we take the output of the ONE and then feed it back into the computer? The MacPro has a ‘Built-In Line Input’ 1/8″ jack on the back next to the speaker output jack.  Can I perhaps connect a stereo 1/8″ audio cable from the ONE output to this input?

I did a bunch of digging around and found that it’s not possible in OSX by itself to take the input from the system’s ‘Built-in Line Input’ and have that output directly to the system’s ‘Built-in Line Output’.  I did find out however that there’s a kick-ass free add-on utility that CAN accomplish exactly this.  The utility is called aptly, LineIn.

Getting this operational at this point was a breeze.  Install LineIn – Fire it up.  Once it’s running, select the ‘Input from:’ value of ‘Built-in Line Input’, select the ‘Output to: value of ‘Built-in Line Output’ and click ‘Pass Thru’.  DONE!

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Once this utility is running, fire up GuitarRig, crank up the axe’s volume, and slap some strings.   You should see input levels in GuitarRig from the git-fiddle, output levels in GuitarRig for the noises yer making, and activity levels in LineIn for the audio as it’s passing through.

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Tune your signal levels at each step to make sure things are sane and not clipping out the ass, and you should finally be able to hear that sweet sweet sound of Rock-n-Roll bleeding through your fingertips and out your speakers into your noiseholes.  Enjoi.

A diagram of the signal-path is below:

Signal Path - Guitar to ONE to MAC to GuitarRig to ONE to MAC to speakers

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