Hello to you,
I felt it was about time to write another blog post as it has been almost three months since I last wrote. So much has happened in that time. Here’s a little precise of what’s been going on: joined a spiritual music band, been rehearsing since the end of April, been on a couple of camping holidays with family and friends, went to a mini festival, started some musical collaborations, been having fun, getting fitter and more healthy and trying to be a conscious evolving human being, which is so challenging sometimes! However even though some things have been challenging I’ve really been enjoying life and recognising more and more that it is my attitude to life that denotes whether I am enjoying it or not. I’ve been trying to remember that if I’m not enjoying something then I can either change it, or change the way I think about it, which is easier said than done! I’ve also been looking at what brings me happiness and allowing those things to happen. Sometimes I totally forget all the wisdom and end up feeling awful although I think I’m getting better at managing that nasty mind talk now!
So this time I’m going to focus on where I am musically as I’ve so much to say about it. I will post more about my other projects at a later date.
Setting Up The Equipment
So two nights ago I set up all my music equipment in the most complicated way yet so that I can get the most out of the Phonics MU1202 mixer that I’m using. My friend, Simon, helped me out by drawing a picture of all the equipment and what leads needed to go where. Many thanks go to him for taking the time to work it all out for me.
I procrastinated for a long time before I actually set it all up as I had set it up once before but my mic started to give me small electrical shocks and after that I didn’t bother trying for a bit as I wasn’t sure what to do. I did manage to swap my mic as I thought that might help. So after speaking with Simon to clarify a few things about his drawing and armed with my swapped mic I plucked up the courage to actually try again.
It took ages to plug it all in and my head felt a little twisted trying to work out how to use it all. However I’ve did it and it worked! I now have greater control over the Kaoss Pad 3 (KP3) and Kaoss Pad Quad (KPQ). However I do need to learn more about the signal path and how to use the ‘mon & efx’ Aux sends on the mixer as I blew my ears a few times with excessive feedback when I turned the wrong knobs! Eek. In the end I took to wearing my headphones off my ears so that if I did make a mistake by turning the wrong knob then it didn’t hurt my ears. I know that I will master this mixer lark with some practice!
I still found that I got static shock issues from my microphone. I’ve had a few more suggestions to combat this. One is I need to check the plugs of each bit of equipment to see if they are earthed properly. The next thing is to PAT test all the equipment to see if there is an electrical problem at all – I don’t really want to shock myself each time I sing. Once I find a solution then I’ll let you know. For the meantime I found that if I held the mic the whole time and didn’t put it down, it meant that I became the earth and then I didn’t get any shocks. So when I wasn’t holding the mic the static charge was building and the longer I left it the bigger the shock. Not good!!! I will need to find another solution though as I’ll need to keep the mic in a mic stand as I’ll need my hands whilst I’m singing. I’m sure there will be a way of stopping this problem. If you’ve any ideas then do let me know please. Thanks to everyone who’s taken the time to suggest solutions for this challenge – I appreciate it. 🙂
Here is a video of the entire set up so you can get an idea of what I’ve got. In it you can see how many wires I used and why it was so complicated. There are so many ways to plug it all in – I’m hoping that this will do all that I want it to.
Here’s the signal path that Simon suggested so you can get an idea of what’s going on:
1 – EV D767a microphone into channel 1 on the mixer
2 – mono out from ‘1 monitor aux send’ on mixer to ‘Line in’ on KP3
3 – ‘line out’ from KP3 to ‘instrument in’ on RC50
4 – out of ‘Main Out’ on RC50 to channel 3 & 4 on mixer
5 – mono out from ‘2 efx aux send’ to ‘Line in’ on KPQ
6 – ‘line out’ from KPQ to channel 7-8 on mixer
7 – for click track from ‘sub out’ on the RC50 to ‘2t return’ on mixer
I also need to get two ‘mono jack to stereo phono’ leads and possibly another mic for channel 2 on the mixer so I can sing over the top without having to go through any of the KPs. I find that when there are lots of layers in the mix my singing is muddied because the signal is going through so much equipment. With another mic, it’ll mean that my voice will be clearer to hear. Alternatively I could turn the aux sends down and the channel volume for the mic up on the mixer – that should mean you’d only hear my voice. I’d just need to get into the habit of using that process whilst singing live. I’m learning so much new stuff at the moment – it takes a little while for it all to go in!
One other issue that I want to sort out is having a place to leave all the equipment plugged in as it takes so long to set up. Having two young children means that I need a place that is safe to keep it all. My girls are so interested that they can’t help themselves from playing with the equipment. I’d really like to get a case for the KP3, mixer and KPQ that’ll protect them. I reckon it needs to be one of those travelling cases or something like that. Do any of you have any suggestions about this? Eventually I’d really like to have a special hand cart with all the stuff on along with an amp so that I can just wheel anywhere to do a set!
So what’s next for me? I’d like to make a 3 song demo cd so that I can send it off to get some gigs. Recently I went to WOW music festival in Suffolk and had a brilliant time there. As I was listening to the other acts I had a pang of wanting to play there myself. So in order to do this I need to send a demo c.d. to them in early September. This feels like an achievable goal – to write and record three songs by September 2012. I have a friend Mark, who has offered to do some recording for me, so that’ll help too.
So the plan is to get these leads bought, get the earthing issue solved, then write some music and record it, and get the demo sent off. I still have the bones for 3 songs, it’s just a matter of applying them to the equipment and going from there. Wish me luck. 🙂
If you have any comments or suggestions then please do let me know and if you want to keep in touch I’m also on Twitter, Face book, You Tube, Reverb Nation, and Soundcloud – see the links on the right hand side of this page.
Big love to you all,
p.s. Recently I got given a phone so I’m hoping to update this blog more often now from the phone – here’s hoping!