We had the whole band back this week, with the exception of Scott who is still recuperating as well as seeing concerts and posting them up on YouTube and doing all that stuff that he does. It will be nice to get him back on drums develop the whole group once again, so don't hold up too many video cameras and hurt that shoulder, we need you ready for the drums.
For the first time since getting my new Apollo Recording unit I have expanded past eight tracks by ending getting eight more tracks using a Presonus Digimax D8 preamplifier and analog to digital converter. It plugs into my Apollo interface using an ADAT fiber optic wire and work clock cable. For this jam just gave me the ability to add Alan's vocal as well as a couple of more mics on Lee's drum kit. I didn't have all the proper cabling to do anything I wanted to last week, because I wasn't even confident it would work. After taking the music home and listening to it, the thing worked perfectly and I am totally confident with its abilities at this point to be used on any channel. I have therefore obtained an 8-channel snake to get me 15 feet away from the unit and next to the instruments to mic, most likely drums, so hopefully it will be quick and convenient to add these additional channels and won't add too to much to set up and takedown nor the additional weight I have to haul. This snake enables me to take fewer redundant mic cables with me.
Back to the music, our sound test/opener we chose was the Hey Pocky Way which was a great way to launch us into the night. I stubbornly attempted to use my Boss CS-3 Compressor throughout most of the night based on the video I had just watched by one of my YouTube channels that I subscribed to by a guy named Scott Groove, "Doctor Groovy" as he calls himself, he was showing explaining why this compressor, which I happen to own, was so good and useful during the jam. Unfortunately, what I didn't have was the second half of the equation, which was a volume pedal to go after the compressor to provide the additional volume needed when the compressor actually chokes off to your volume. So I found a bit frustrating, but I stuck with it and it does give you the compressed sound that Doctor Groovy was talking about in the video I link to below. Without getting a proper volume pedal, and he suggests a Morley that uses optics to adjust the volume and nothing else, I probably won't go back to this technique cause it is challenging without the volume pedal. One day I will set up a proper pedal board with the compressor and the volume pedal and all else in between and then I can probably do the compressor thing without too much thought, but until that day then going to kiss that compressor goodbye.
After a few standard first sets songs including a Loser that had a messed up first lead we launched into a multilayered Terrapin Station sandwich on Uncle John's bread with Playing in the Band garnish, If you know what I mean. It was a nice 40 and change minutes of music. The sandwich was a nice concept, quality ingredients, but they didn't meld as well as expected. I thought we struggled with the transitions more so than they needed to. Nevertheless we did make our way through it all to wrap up the sandwich. Maybe the altered setup with Rich in the middle contributed to the lack of communication, I was a bit further from Lee and Alan than has been the case in the recent past.
During the sandwich prep, Steve and Lindsey showed up and enjoyed the second half of that Terrapin sandwich as well as the end of the first set which was pretty crazy Deal. To open the second set we fulfilled Lindsey's request for a Whiskey in the Jar which we have played I guess in a very long time. I'm not going to say "ever" because I assume we have done it before but this was the first one long time. It was pretty good I enjoyed it; that it's a fun little diddy and we are just past the old St. Patty's Day holiday. Now it's time hopefully to launch into spring.
Feel Like a Stranger was pretty good with the exception of the ending of it which flubbed. Hurts Me Too also had some good feelings to it. Because of the new equipment I was able to pick up Alan's harmonica. The rarely done by Grateful Dead song Louie Louie had some nice moments to it. Giving it another few tries may a little better, and no matter how boring Kevin says it is, Louie Louie still gives you an opportunity to have some fun with in the melody and rhythm of the song.
Lee went for a quick bathroom break and I jumped on his drum stool and decided to play one quick song which was the Sitting Here in Limbo. From the first moment it felt like a mistake cause I didn't have any drumming capabilities coming out of my body. I was having trouble doing it but by the second verse I was able to get into a groove and wasn't feeling totally spastic.
Box of Rain was one we did with Rich singing lead vocals since Scott wasn't here this evening and it sounded pretty good. I turned up my compressor's sustain knob during this song and you could hear me trying to get that country -esque thing going on guitar lead, I still didn't like it as it added too much noise and kept me caged up, but who knows maybe if I practice and learn I can be as groovy as Dr. Groovy. I know that'll never happen. To close the night I played the Lovelight thinking somehow maybe it would work and it almost did, but it eventually fell apart we really don't know what to do during that song, Maybe that's one I should work on because I think if I knew the lead lines with confidence I could push us through it. So check out the Dr. Groovy videos, especially the one below about Fu%king you guitar, and with that I say, "Freak Out!"