Tuesday, December 29, 2009

For Your Knowing - A Public Service Announcement Ep. 3

Nerds,

I can't tell you how many stories I have heard of dudes gettin' some major payback from Father Physics by connecting an amp head to a speaker cab with an instrument cable. Yeah, I know it works and you probably haven't had any problems doing it in the past, but that doesn't mean it is to be done! So, while I know you have probably 10 guitar cables to choose from that you would much rather use, just go out and buy a speaker cable...and no I'm not posting this entry on behalf of RapCo or Monster Cables, I know what you're thinking. Personally, I don't care if you blow up your amp. In fact, the thought of it makes me smile...so you know what? Go ahead keep usin' that 21' Monster Acoustic guitar cable to connect your Mesa Triple Rectifier to your Crate 4x12...on second thought, you should use a stereo cable!

Or, you may decide to take my advice and switch it up. Whatever the case may be, just consider me a "good Samaritan", saving all of you out there from blowing up your transformers and all that junk.

Remember playing a stack is a privilege, not a right. Otherwise, you should just stick to combos...hey it's served me well. Except when I want to show off to the dude with the Bogner Shiva half-stack...then ANYTHING GOES...I'll chain my Fender Twin to an Ampeg 8x10 as long as it makes me look cool.

Just kidding...I'm always cool.

Alright, enough of my jabbering...





cutawaycurator

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Best of Both Worlds!

















Hey Nerds,

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday and here's to a great new year!
Well, I gotta say, as far as gifts go I made out pretty good this Christmas. And while I may not have deserved such gifting fortune, I got some pretty choice items.

One in particular I thought I would share with you bloggerheads.

My lady got me a Toy Machine skateboard, which by all accounts automatically gets the ol' Curator's "Rad as Hell" seal of approval. But, she went one step further and got me board with a graphic that is even more super stoke-worthy!

Just check it, a skateboard with amps on it...yeah that's right, AMPS. Does my lady know me or what?!

















The marriage of skateboarding and amp collecting...THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS!

Thanks darlin'.

bye,
cutawaycurator

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Techno Jeep

Nerds,

Sam was kind enough to share this video he stumbled upon, with the Facebook world. But I decided you nerds needed to see it too! I don't know who did this, but it is amazing! I think Space Junk could definitely take a cue from these dudes in the A/V editing department. I mean, HOW THE HELL did these people do this!?
I especially like the proper amount of mics circumnavigating the whole damn thing. I also love that there's a guy totally runnin' the board on this piece of junkyard gold. Also, where the hell did they do this? It looks like the cul-de-sac from my mom's neighborhood. But that can't be, because with the subsequent noise these jankity fools were making, they would have gotten immediately shut down by neighborhood watch.

Well, wherever this supposedly takes place, it's EPIC! So check it...





PS - person specifically assigned to mobile boom mic...PERFECT!

keep it junk'd,

cutawaycurator

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

THE CONSTANT - Live Improvisation 12-2-09

<< CONNECTION ESTABLISHED -- TRANSMISSION INITIATED >>

> Nerds,

> Greetings out there in cyber space[JUNK]...

> This is a transmission from the distant celestial outpost SATELLITE 42. This is our first communication so listen attentively. We will transfer information intermittently in the [recent] future through this portal on SPACE JUNK. The window of communication is narrow due to sustained interference from robot musicians who refuse to think outside the proverbial box. This transmission will be brief, but we will attempt again soon as circumstances allow....

> In the meantime, please retrieve the information contained in the following video downlink:



> Note the use of the following gear in this communication: Dueling BOSS Loop Stations, MXR Carbon Copy Analog Delay, general bad-ass-ness...

> Until next time...
> SATELLITE 42 signing off...

<< TRANSMISSION ENDED -- CONNECTION TERMINATED>>

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Space Junk answers your emails #2

Nerds,

Another installment of "Space Junk Answers Your Emails"!



As always, send your questions, comments or anything to SPACE JUNK here:


'til next time,
cutawaycurator

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

"CONSTANT"LY Working










Nerds,

If you know local music scene hero, Sam Wade, then you know that Sam's love for the local scene has really set him apart as a champion for so many St. Louis bands (that aren't even his own!). If you don't know Sam, correct that as soon as possible!
Well the other night I caught up with Sam and it just so happens that his own project, The Constant is currently in pre-production for their new album. Space Junk is excited for Sam and we can't wait to hear what he and The Constant have in store for the music world! Be sure to stay tuned for more news from Sam and The Constant and who knows, you may even be seeing some posts from our good friend Sam on the ol' Junk in the near future.













Constantly (not) blogging,
cutawaycurator

Monday, November 30, 2009

...The A-man is BACK!

Sweet Nerds,

After a couple of inspiring shorts from the one and only "The A-Man," we decided to kick it up a notch!

So what did we do?

We did what we always do at the space, we made due with what we had and WE ROCKED! So, enjoy this little vlog entry...

Some quick specs:
-Custom pink Fender P-Bass
-GK Backline 500 with Bugera 4x10" cab (mic'd with a Sennheiser e835)
-Ibanez awesome rock guitar (with uncovered humbuckers)
-Marshall ValveState 100Watt amp with 1x12" Marshall external cab (mic'd with the Sennheiser)
-70's Ludwig silver sparkle 4 piece kit (mic'd with the Sennheiser behind the drummer's ear, and overhead mic'd with my Rode NT1A)
-All drive/distortion is coming straight from the amps.
-Recorded, compressed and mixed with GarageBand.






As always, stay tuned for more in the near space future...

'til next time,
cutawaycurator

Monday, November 23, 2009

...well it's about FREAKIN' TIME!

Nerds,

an update...in video form:

video


fully vlogged,

cutawaycurator

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pedal Demo - Getcha Freq On!

Hey Nerds,

The A-Man is back with another amazing post!

Like I said in a previous post, The A-Man has one of the most unique collections of gear that I know. This week he was kind enough to demonstrate his Moog MoogerFooger Freq Box. I don't know a whole lot about this dang thing, but I do know it makes some pretty crazy noises. He was also kind enough to do this crazy demo with his custom pink Fender P-Bass.

some quick specs:
-GK Backline 600
-Behringer/Bugera 4x10 cab
-mic'd with Sennheiser e835

And now, without further ado, the A-Man, and the FreqBox...


Monday, November 9, 2009

For Your Knowing - A Public Service Announcement Ep. 2

Nerds,

A public service announcement from Space Junk and The "A-Man".

video

You're not alone,
cutawaycurator

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Drums

Nerds,

I know it's been a while. But I'm back with another "recording session" photo shoot...









Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Amp mic'ing has never been more fun!















Nerds,


I realize that I may be speaking to a select few of you out there, but how many times have you recorded tracks through your guitar amp and thought to yourself:

"Man, I need help finding a more unique guitar tone, and this copy of Nickleback's Guide to Recording Great Collective Soul-Inspired Guitar Tracks just isn't cuttin' it."

Well, to those select few I say try messin' with the mic'ing.

I know for me, a lot of times I get carried away with types of guitars, amps, speaker configurations, celebrity endorsements and effects, that I can completely overlook the importance mic'ing has on the recorded sound itself...(duh, I know). So fear not, Space Junk is delving into the world of AMP MIC'ING!
Last week Jon Armstrong and I decided to spend a day working on the ambience that one can achieve when properly mic'ing an amp. Jon had just gotten back from a Jet concert and wanted some REVERB for a change! I don't blame him. Granted we probably could have just turned up that little dial on the ol' Twin that says "Reverb" and just recorded that...but that wouldn't have been nearly as much fun nor as interesting, would it? So enough of my writings...I know you want to see the video.

Some quick specs:
-Fender Twin Reverb reissue
-Fender Jazzmaster
-Sennheiser 835 dynamic mic (close mic'd toward the center of the speaker cone
-Rode NT-1A condenser mic (moved to various places for desired effect)

In the video, the audio from the guitar is panned with the Sennheiser on the Right and the Rode on the Left.

Enjoy.





NOTE: It's pretty crazy how much bigger you can get a clean guitar to sound just by putting some space between the mic and the amp! But like Reading Rainbow, don't just take my word for it...(doaw doaw doaw) DIY.

cutawaycurator

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Road Trip: The Quest for Silver Tone













Nerds,

Last weekend Space Junk right-hand-man and audiophile, Jon Armstrong and I took a little road trip to Carlinville, IL to pick up Jon's recent acquisition: the 1965 Silvertone Twin Twelve 1484.
If you are familiar with this amp, you know that it's quite a find. If you don't know about this amp (I didn't), this is the amp that has been made famous again by Jack White (The White Strips, Raconteurs, and whatever). It is known for its super unique break up, yet distinctive "American" tone. Jon and I were eager to hear for ourselves! So while at Carlinville's Doc Parker's music store, we really put this Silvertone through its paces...and this thing ROARS!

Check it out!

video

Needless to say, Jon has some major plans for this amp, so stay tuned.


As always, great work, Jon!

cutawaycurator

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALEX!











Today is the birthday of SPACE JUNK friend and local bass ripper Alex Hammond. If you know Alex then you already know that he's probably the nicest dude you have ever met or ever will meet. If you don't know Alex, don't be surprised if you meet him on a plane, at a Starbucks (while he dances to GummiBar in his head, waiting for his chai), or really any major metropolitan area - seriously, I can't tell you how many stories I've heard of someone I know meeting the "A-Man" somehow in Michigan, New York, Colorado, Iowa, Germany, and California, just to name a few. What can I say? He's everywhere. But aside from his overall nicety and supposed omnipresence, the dude is an amazing musician. You should hear him play the bass, guitar, drums, whatever he can get his hands on. The dude is just talented. Not to mention, he has probably the most unique collection of gear in the tri-state area...so expect to hear from Alex in future SPACE JUNK happenings.

Happy birthday, the A-Man.












cutawaycurator

Sunday, October 18, 2009

EMAILS!

Space Junk answers your emails...so write us!





cutaway curator

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

One Man, One Mic

video

The background tracks were done via computer composing software. The drums and bass were recorded as you see it here, with a Shure Beta58.


DIY!,


Stay Tuned,
cutawaycurator

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

For Your Knowing - A Public Service Announcement

Space Junk is proud to bring you the following Public Service Announcement.

video

cutawaycurator

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Write "The Junk"


Nerds,


Questions, Comments, Just bored?



We here at Space Junk want to hear from you!



Every week we will answer your emails!



So write us!


photo by: Michael Worful

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Weekend Recording Session


















Nerds,

Some photos from a weekend recording session. That's all for now.


CutawayCurator

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A True Companion
















Nerds,

About a month ago I was in Kansas City and I went to a thrift store called "2nd Chance" or "2nd Wind" or something about second whatever. Anyway, I found this awesome little organ. An Orcoa Companion Organ made in Italy. All the keys worked and it came in a really cool case. I had to have it! So I spent $50 on it and brought it home. Here are some photos and video of it (with HQ audio).

Start being jealous.

video

cutaway curator

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sound Check: FrankenTele















Hey Nerds,


My good friend and audio aficionado, Jon Armstrong recently finished a fun little project of resurrecting a cheap, used Squier Thinline Tele and trying to make it sound like a professional working axe. Jon apparently had quite the undertaking, replacing the pickups, pots and all the other guts...quite impressive I must say! To measure his progress, he pitted it against his infamous Epiphone Sheraton II (I've played it, it is awesome).

so can a used Squier be made to sound like an iconic Sheraton II by simply replacing the guts? Well, one thing's for sure; if ever there was a platform for a semi-hollow body "shoot-out", it is certainly THESE TWO GUITARS!

The result is VERY GOOD...I haven't played this FrankenTele, but from these sound clips, I can tell that he succeeded in what he set out to do. It wails! Great work, Jon.


Some quick specs:
-both guitars are "semi-hollow bodies"
-both have dual humbuckers
-both have three-way pickup switching
-both were recorded the exact same way


video


So the next time you're in the market for a new axe, remember there are plenty of cheap used guitars out there that can really sing with just a little love and little soldering.

Thanks to Jon.

bye for now,
Cutaway Curator

Sunday, September 27, 2009

AC Booster Demo (shortened version)

Nerds,

Here is it...MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE!

video

Thanks,

Cutaway Curator

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

StanManJamBand











Nerds,

Last weekend a bunch of amateur musicians assembled for a semi-regularly scheduled historic event known only as "StanManJamBand." As the name implies, it's a jam band that goes down at Stan's house. Who's Stan? If you do know, all you need to know is he's probably one of the raddest dudes on the planet! There were quite a few in attendance and the night was replete with memorable moments. To name a few...
-Ryan P. playing bass on Blondie's "Heart of Glass"
-Aaron Esquire tearing it up on some Jimi, and the subsequent dropping jaws from onlookers.
-Jonny A. playing bass on a song he didn't know he was playing until about 2 minutes in...never missed a note though!
-New guy Paul RIPPING on guitar, and not to mention his amazing Fender Super Six (modded, to use only 2 power tubes...talk about break up!). Here are some photos from the night. Well done, fellas!


















Thanks for reading,
cutawaycurator

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Songwriting from the Future

Nerds,


I have recently been trying to expand my songwriting horizons while at the same time trying to improve my overall acumen on all things technological. With that being said, I am now attempting to write songs on my computer. Through the help of several different programs, I am now converting my thoughts and ideas into electronic blocks of tone and duration which appear on my computer screen. I realize that as you are reading this you are probably detecting a hint of surliness in my words. But I assure you, this transition is for the best I believe. A lot of times when I get an idea in my head I generally don't write it down or memorize it or use any particular pneumonic device to help me remember said musical piece. As a result I of course forget whatever the hell it was I working on in my brain-space. Frustrated, I then proceed to play Sheryl Crow songs on my guitar for the better part of an hour; not that there's anything wrong with that. So now, as an act of counter-balance, and in the name of pro-action, I have decided to embed these musical brain matinees into my CPU's hard drive for a later date. Sounds easy enough, except that I don't know what the hell I am doing on a computer half the time I use one...it's a bloody miracle that I was able to create such an awesome blog, let alone try and manipulate blocks of "SquareRezBass" and "Taiko Drum" fragments into a coherent masterpiece. I think it's just going to be a learning process. I am really enjoying the total freedom of choosing instrumentation and arrangement of tones and patterns...instead of just me banging away on my guitar and starting to tear up after about 15 minutes because it's not sounding the way I want it to. What can I say, I'm a rather impatient songwriter; I need instant gratification. Hopefully, this new process will allow for such greed. Need drums? Sure, just add 'em. How about that bass? It would sound better what a little "ElecPiano2" melody in there...and done!


So, to conclude this rather verbose blog entry, I am enjoying this "songwriting 2.0" so to speak, but I'm having a little trouble adjusting.


















Wish me luck in my near future.


I will update you as I begin to get a better working knowledge with some of these programs.



Your friend,

CutawayCurator

Saturday, September 19, 2009

WTFender?! The Tigers are SUPER GOOD!













Nerds,
Last night was EPIC! We went to see The Republic Tigers play. They are phenomenal, and if you haven't heard them, get their album, "Keep Color." My good buddy, Ryan, was sportin' his awesome surf green Jazzmaster and a unique potpourri of effects. I was also pleased as punch to see that the other dudes were reppin' Fender pretty hard as well.

Rad dudes, rad band...

video

Peace out playas,
Cutaway Curator

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

How old is that thing?

That's the first question I get asked when people see this amp. But this practically brand new amp has just been through a rough life. This is story of the newest addition to my amp collection...














Nerds,
A couple of months ago I bought an Epiphone Valve Junior head from the used section at an area "Plaza De Guitarras" (actual store name protected). I paid $89 bucks for it, plus another $30 for an 18-month warrantee. I considered this to be an exceptional deal, since they cost $130-150 brand new and the warrantee covers anything that might happen to it within the next year.

So here are some quick specs on this thing:

Epiphone Valve Junior
-5 Watts
-All tube, single-ended, Class A (like that means anything to anyone anymore). Tube Compliment: one 12AX7 (preamp), one EL84 (power amp)
-1 input, I/O switch, volume knob
-about 10 pounds (I guess)
-3 different load outputs (4 ohm, 8ohm and 16 ohm)

It's got a very cool vintage feel with cream and crimson tolex; very vintage. But this amp, which could only be 3 years old at the most, looks a little worse for the wear.





























So why do I say that it's already been through a rough life?
When I first got it, someone had completely defiled it by removing the handsome "Epiphone" badge and slapping a HUGE chrome "CRATE" badge right on the red tolex. To further accentuate this awesome modification, the previous owner had also super-glued two chrome flame magnets to the red tolex (one on either side of the awesome Crate logo.) It took me 15 minutes, and one big gash in the tolex to get the Crate logo off. Needless to say I left the flames on there...just kidding...those took another 15 minutes and more tears in the tolex. The worst of it is that the black magnet-backing of these chrome flames is still adhered to the amp, I was only able to remove small fragments...man, what did this guy use? Gorilla Glue? Anyway, it looks super beat-up, but pretty cool regardless, and sounds great. Also, the previous owner had taken the stock "chicken-head" knob off of the volume pot and replaced it with a Fender "witch-hat" style knob...so awesome! There is also a treble cleff sticker on the face of the amp as well, for some reason...maybe it was owned by my fourth grade music teacher, who seemed to have treble clefs EVERYWHERE! Regardless, it's a nice touch...keeping it.

I wish I had been smart enough to document this amazing display of useless modification, but instead I have created this little "re-enactment for you"...this is EXACTLY what it looked like...



















Right now I have this thing running into one 12" Celestion Heritage 75W 16 ohm speaker cab. It sounds great from 5-10, but i find it's a little muddy in the lower gain stage (1-5). But when it's fully cranked, I have really been enjoying the open, AC/DC type overdrive. The amps has also responded well to pedals, although the DL4 doesn't sound as good through it as the Twin, but then again, it's the Twin! Last week I gigged with this little amp and it carried just fine on stage over drums and bass and the tech didn't have any complaints over the house mix. So I think it's going to be a great little amp for me!

Currently I have made no modifications to it, yet. I plan on installing the "Bit-Mo Trio" in the hopes that it will brighten up the tone at lower volumes. I did however change out the pre-amp tube which was a stock, generic Chinese 12AX-WB to the quieter 12AX-LPS. I chose this tube because I have been doing recording with this amp and the less noise produced the better. I have found that while it does run quieter, I actually haven't had to sacrifice gain, it really does break up quite well. I also switched out the stock Sovtek EL84 with a JJ EL84 in the power stage in the hopes of tighten up the overdrive a little bit, I haven't noticed much a difference though.

Overall I rate this amp 8/10 for what it is. It's a small, versatile giggable and recordable amp. It looks great, it sounds great, it super modifiable (even a word?) and it's cheap! My only gripe is that it can get pretty muddy at times (especially with humbuckers) and the volume setting takes some getting used to. But it's a great amp and I like it a lot.


Video and Audio clips of this little amp will be featured in future posts.


Thanks for reading,

Cutaway Curator

Monday, September 14, 2009

Everybody's got a Strat, right?

It's true, you either own one yourself or know someone who has one. Maybe you traded it for that Fender GDEC amp that's sitting in your bass players garage right now. Or maybe your Mom's new "boyfriend" had one that he played in his Grateful Dead cover band, "Turtle Junction". Well whatever the case may be, it's pretty safe to say that 97 out of 100 people have at least played a Fender Stratocaster once in their lives. With that said, my preferred "backline" and arsenal of gear, both on stage and in the studio, has never included a Strat. And among the guitars that I have played in my life, I have never officially declared myself to be a "Strat player."

But I do have Strat.

It was the first guitar I really coveted. My dad bought it from some pawn shop in '92. A vintage-looking "Squier II", Arctic White with maple neck...it was so awesome! I always wanted to play it, or even just hear it. Then one magical day in '95 my Dad bought a brand new sunburst American Standard and handed the old one down to me! For years I played that guitar and loved it. When I went off to college, my affinity for Hardcore and emo/screamo/dreamo left the Strat in its case; never to be played again. As my tone snobbery fully heightened, other, more expensive guitars made their way into the lineup, with the ol' Strat taking a tertiary priority in my list of tonal possibilities. In fact, I had almost forgotten about it altogether.
Then last weekend I found it...



























It was leaning against the wall of my old room in my Mom's house; no case, old strings, rusty screws on the pick guard, the maple neck aged just every so finely. I grabbed it and immediately took it over to "The Space." I plugged it into my Fender Twin on the Vibrato channel, with the "Bright" switch on.

This is the result...

video
...maybe I'll call myself a "Strat Player" after all.

Thanks for reading,

Cutaway Curator

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Welcome to SPACE JUNK

Dear Nerds,

SPACE JUNK IS HERE!

This blog is dedicated to amateur audio production, musical gear, songwriting and all-around music creation. So if you're not into all that, then go check out some sports blog or somethin'.

We're gonna get rad as hell on this thing!

Some things we have planned in the near future:

-Gear reviews
-Experiments in Sound Recording
-Special guests
-Overall hilarity

So stay tuned, duh!


hy-fi,

Cutaway Curator


video