Countryfunkin'

It’s been a (long) while since I posted anything. This is not really country and not really that funky, but it’s something to get the playing and recording habit going again. I’ve adjusted the levels and loudness through Wavelab - I think I’ve unintentionally monstered them but hey ho, I usually set them too low anyway. Any comments and suggestions on anything happily received.

https://soundcloud.com/stevr-1/countryfunkin

Steve.

So much to say about this one! First of all, thanks for posting after, what 3 years? Second, man, can you play guitar!!! Third, I seem to recall that the last time you posted those many years ago, you were playing around with a Roland guitar synth? So I’m guessing that’s the bass and the other supporting material that sounds like an organ? You say country, but I’m hearing Scofield, and maybe Oz Noy, mixed in with a little Jeff Stern. Love the tone of your solo, which could be a little louder. Here it sounds like Joe Satriani, which is meant as a huge compliment. If you wouldn’t mind detailing some specifics about the guitars, or anything else, I would appreciate it. The overall balance and mix is quite good, so nothing to say about it. Give us more!

Thanks so much for putting this up. You must keep doing this!!!

Hey Leon, thanks for your generous comments, very much appreciated. Has it really been three years? May well have been. A couple of years ago I got knocked off my pushbike on the way to work and broke my left shoulder - luckily it was a clean break and no complications, but all I could do for a while was hang my hand on the neck of the guitar and not be able to move it up and down. You’re right, previously I was playing around with a Roland synth; there’s a little bit of ‘piano’ synth on this, but most of the ‘organ’ is from the electro harmonix B9 pedal - if you haven’t tried one, it’s good fun to play around with. There’s a little bit of Halion vst clavinet in there as well. The bass is a five-string Squier Jazz Deluxe - really good value bass. The rhythm and melody guitar is a Godin Session 59 in coral blue (really pretty!), and the solo is a new Les Paul custom classic light ( :blush: ) - one of these thin Les Pauls that’s not as expensive as a lot of them. (I remember once making some rather sniffy comments about you using a Les Paul and not your Strat on one of your tunes, because of my bias towards single coil sounds, but I’m now more balanced about humbuckers and they fitted much better for the solo tone.) Tone is from my little Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister 18 with a Hughes & Kettner Tube Factor overdrive in front, recorded from a mix of the direct output, an SM57 and an Se R1 ribbon mic (although I think the SM57 on its own would have got the same final result). I know you’re being generous about the mix; the trouble with me is once I get something reasonably finished, I don’t spend enough time listening and balancing and mixing. (I did laugh at your invitation to turn the guitar up - it’s taken me decades to be able to turn it down!) Thanks again.

Steve.

STEVE!!
Wow!
Good your posting this…finally …good to know what kept you busy so long.
F@#%in good playing :smiley:
Push up the drums a little in the mix and it will blow my speakers, good energy!
I will let you get away with the ‘hammond’ :wink: but it fits well in the mix I have to admit. :cry:
Come along with those tunes !!!

Peter

yep! good stuff Steve ,you can sure rip it up, i like the tune reminds me of ray gomez ,try panning the chords away from the bass and guitar in the middle section and maybe a bit of eq to seperate them and yes drums up a tad , but wow man ,post more.and be carefull on that bike.

Thanks Peter; I really enjoyed ‘solo swapping’ with myself but it’s not the same as the real thing! As a guitarist though, I think these new EHX pedals are a lot of fun - but a long way from a Hammond or in fact any real keyboard.

I appreciate your comments about the mix; I will definitely have a more disciplined listen and change a few things as suggested. Thank you for listening and commenting.

Steve.

Thanks a lot Polgara, appreciate your comments. Thanks for the ideas about panning - do you mean guitar and ‘organ’ panned away from centre, or backing chords spread a bit? Perhaps I’ll try both.

The old bike got mangled and I haven’t yet plucked up the courage to get a new one yet…

Steve.

Now I understand why you haven’t posted, and sorry to hear. Just another remark or two:

  1. I love the Les Paul Classic Light sound you’re getting. I have an even cheaper version that is the guitar I use on most of my recordings - the Les Paul Studio Deluxe. I do think the pickups are more important than the amount of wood behind them.
  2. I was thinking the bass sound was artificial in some way. Just the way I’m hearing it, it should not be so boomy, and it should have some of the high frequencies that reveal the player’s articulation (you I guess).
  3. I wish I could play like you.
  4. I’m getting that gear lust for a Godin guitar.

Steve,

very sorry about your accident. Must have been frustrating during the
recovery, but no sign of impairment in what I’m hearing here! :wink:

Great stuff. Very cool playing.

My only comments would be that the drums could do with a punchier
kick…perhaps there is too much squeeze at the mo? Hats sounded…dunno…
not quite right…almost exaggerated in terms of open-close dynamics.
Like time-stretched or something. Hard for me to describe, but then most
things are.

Welcome back to posting music, and keep this wonderful music coming.

Hi Leon,

It’s been a revelation to me to realise there really can be a big difference in how pickups sound. Now, I completely agree with your statement; I couldn’t replicate the sound of the humbucking Les Paul with my Strat or my Godins. And I love my Strat and my Godins. But for a long time previously I’ve always thought single coils could always replicate any humbucking tone.

Your comments about the bass are interesting and spot on. This is why I need to spend more time properly listening to mixes and balances. And more importantly (possibly), how many stages of compression/normalising/limiting I apply to stuff.

Gear lust! Don’t hold back! Seriously, I bought the Godin Session Custom 59 because I had been looking for a reasonably priced Tele. I really fancied the Baja, particularly because of the awesome sounding switching possibilities. The Godin was on special offer from a small UK shop, and I went for this over the Tele because a) it had even more switching options; b) the neck radius is 12" not 9.5"; c) it had a whammy bar. I really like the Session, but ironically I can see the benefit now in having a fixed tail guitar for double stops and country bends and so on (although I think the Stetsbar is excellent at holding tuning during bends, I don’t know if you agree). However, I would ALWAYS recommend Godin guitars to anybody. They are great value and they are great to play. And the 12" radius fretboard makes them feel flat and fast, like Gibsons tend to feel.

I will change the bass sound (amongst other things) after the advice and comments I’ve had here and I will update the mix. I really appreciate your comments.

Steve.

Yes, the Stetsbar has been really good on my LP Studio Deluxe. I think the Fenders in general will have better luck with whammy bars because the string path to the tuners is almost straight, but I do fine with the LP. This particular LP model has a coil tap, and I’ve just been experimenting with it, and liking the results to imitate a Fender-y sound. A little more time eq-ing in the mix, and I’m happy.

Thanks very much Jet, very much appreciated.

The drums are BFD3, and I made what is probably a schoolboy error in that I mixed down a stereo mix of the kit at the beginning of the tune. I kept turning the drums level down, because the snare was too loud, but that ended up with very little coming from the kick or the toms. I was aware that the drums were a bit top heavy. And what you say about it being a bit squeezed proves to me that some people really can analyse what they hear. I put compression on the individual tracks, and then on the master track, and then I put it into Wavelab and normalised it and I think squeezed the bejesus out of it. What you say about the dynamics of the hihats, I think I can hear that as ‘pumping’ from the compression and limiting and EQ I put on the master track. The same thing I think happens at the beginning of the ‘organ’ solo - there is a level variation in the track that sounds like somebody riding the channel levels badly.

Thanks for your detailed observations - I will be remixing with these in mind. Thanks again,

Steve.

That’s the one bad thing about the custom classic light - it doesn’t have coil tap. But I’m currently embracing everything that is humbucking, so I hope I don’t end up regretting the lack of coil splitting. (I’ll post something with a cleaner LP sound when I can, because actually to my ears the custom classic light sounds quite ‘snappy’ to me - I’m wondering if the thinner body means proportionately more maple than mahogany in the mix.)

Yours in guitar geekdom,

Steve.

Well, as long as we’re on guitar geekdom, of my four electrics, 3 are Gibsons with humbuckers, and of those, the snappiest/brightest is the Les Paul. It’s brighter than the SG, and the SG is a little brighter than the ES335 (although I think they may have identical pickups). My theory is it’s the pickups, and you could put them on a piece of plywood and they would sound the same. And on my last couple of annual party performances, of course, I used the Strat! Which has quite a reliably predictable sound. Although I admit on any of these I’ve never used the bridge pickups!

Haha! Are you sayig you’ve NEVER used the bridge pickups on ANYof your guitars? That’s great! There’s a whole new world out there for you to explore… I totally get it with clean sounds - a bridge pickup can sound too scratchy. But with any level of distortion, the bridge pickups are a great option I think, certainly for soloing.

Interesting that your LP is brighter than your SG. I wonder if that’s your ‘pickups independent of wood’ theory, or my fledgling ‘maple makes it brighter’ theory. Either way, it’s time you tested it on a new guitar. Buy the Godin!

So good. :sunglasses:

Arimus, thanks!

Steve.

Really not the genre of music that I like to listen to but it’s wonderfully sculpted & played. Well done.
Neil

Thanks very much for listening and for commenting Neil, particularly as it’s not what you would normally listen to. Much appreciated.

Steve.

Fantastic playing and melodies.
If he hasn’t already been mentioned, I hear a little Steve Morse in there too.
Very nice interplay between contrasting tones and moods in the piece.
Liked and following!