French law now requires clubs, theatres and bar not to exceed 90/95 decibels. Many of the places we played have have closed down or just stopped booking bands. This has generated some changes in the way Dr Pickup is amplified.
The main change is not using any more guitar amplifiers -
we're not talking about the Marshall 100 watt amps but even smaller ones.
or the small but loud Mesa Boogie Mk4 80 watt,
or the Fender Twin Master Volume 120 watts -
Stand in front of these amps and you'll lose your hearing.
Even the tiny amplifiers like the Mesa Boogie
or the Laney VC 30 are being considered as too loud
One solution is the
Valve House Music KT 50
This still means carrying your amplifier with you
Or the other is to use a good preamp plugged into the bandsound system
This pre-supposes your band has a good enough sound system to be able
to handle the different frequencies for bass, keyboards, guitar
and most importantly - voice.
I am now trying out a pre amp (on loan) called the ADA MP1 guitar preamp.
(Thank you Thibeaut).
The ADA company has gone out of business but I remember first checking this out in the eighties and was always impressed by it's Marshall sound and a decent light Chorus effect, and some cool Roland Solid state disco/funk sounds. So when one of these walked pass by house looking for a temporary home I thought why not give it a try and also try and get over my blues at not using a tube guitar amplifier which I consider to be a musical instrument in itself.
Thib who lent it to me had 128 'hot ' sounds in it but I wanted to start off with the presets and take it from there. One of the wonders of the internet is that you can get old owners manuals of things like the Mp1 on line.
I am still at the preset stage for two reasons
1. When you sing on stage you can't be fiddling with knobs between numbers - and the voice is top priority for the overall sound. So for the last few concerts I'm either on preset 10 'Beefy Fender' as in this concert or 13 or 6 clean settings. I then use the
Boss Metal Zone pedal when I need some crunch or overdrive.
I have not even got round to trying out my
Vtwin through this,
I suspect just because of the extra weight and space it takes.
2. There is a foot controller (midi footcontroller) which I can't get plugged in with my bag of adaptors - but in the booklet it suggests using a 7 pin to 7 pin Midi cable. After visiting the Paris guitar, keyboard and cable shops I find out (this is very French) they have been out of stock for the last 6 weeks and don't know when to expect any. So Pascal Rocket my drummer who is the band's expert with the soldering iron has very kindly offered to put this together once I have acquired the 7 pin midi plugs and the cable.
You'll notice that I am not using my
Sabine tuner any more - it was found but I have started using a
Boss TS 2 tuner which is neat as it has a great display that you can read on a dark stage, a bypass switch so you can tune without any one hearing you - like in the middle of a number and it's battery life is over a month long.
Harmony Central and Dogpile for helping with the search.
Dogpile is not related to Scott Henderson or his dogs.
One final word, give me feedback and as there are so many links on this page,
please send me a short note if any of them don't work so I can alter them.
Enjoy and don't forget your gig bag.
New for 2001 - this set up is out as you can see and hear in the October / November concerts.
Gig bag three will feature Fulltone pedals going direct into the sound system ;-)
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