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Welcome back to another episode of the Home Recording Weekly podcast. There is just too much in todays show to simply pick out one subject and then use that as the title. But that is a good thing, right?
In todays show I mention that I am coming at you from inside my temporary bedroom studio, right? Well, here is an image to prove it to you. Humble and quaint, I know.
I mention an amazing resource in todays episode, “The six figure home studio” website. Brian Hood is the man behind the website and he runs 456 Recordings which is the company name, BTW. Brian shares all kinds of pertinent home studio information with the readers of his cool website, like where the money that he brings in actually goes, how he finds clients, how to behave as a home studio owner, how to retain a deposit, and how to make sure you get paid for your hard work. It is very insightful to learn how the income actually breaks down each month. It gives me a sense of what I can expect to do with my studio, and his “business thinking” is infectious. Make sure to check his website out!
I will share links to the campaign, the awesome rewards list, and anything else that pops up, as it goes live. I am actually about to go down into the basement to finish clearing the boxes out of the way, today, and then the video making process can begin. I beg all of you to simply follow along, and to please share my story as it unfolds. Oh, and you will want to check out my rewards, too! Just saying.
Thanks for listening to todays episode, and make sure to come back for the next episode very soon!
Strum is very cool for and for a bunch of reasons. Strum is perfect for a bunch of musicians. First, lets say you are a producer. You are tracking up that brand new masterpiece, the one that came to you in your sleep. You need to lay down guitar parts before they are gone forever. But you don’t play the guitar. What will you do?
OK, now lets say you are the keyboard player in the band. The song that you really want to play has acoustic guitar parts in it, but the guitar player is busy playing other parts. What the heck will you do?
Lastly, you are a home recording nut that simply cant play the part at hand. You have a great idea for a part, but you know that you could never pull it off. What will you do?
The simple answer for all of these situations, and so many more, are to open up Strum and get to work. Strum is a realistic MIDI guitar simulator. Really, Applied Acoustics Systems took the (until not too long ago) troublesome, and too tough to replicate, guitar sound very realistic as a MIDI instrument. Strum is amazing for both recording and for live situations.
The problem with trying to pull off a “believable MIDI guitar” is that the guitar has so many unique and special types of sounds associated with it. As well as picked notes and finger style playing notes, there are strummed chords that can either be strummed up the strings or down the strings. There are palm mutes and slides that travel up and down the neck. There are vibratos and bends galore. Lets toss in bar chords and open chords too. The simple truth is that there are so many little nuances that they all come together to make the guitar one of the hardest instruments to replicate in the MIDI keyboard world.
Applied Acoustics Systems went all out with Strum and they supply the user with a lot of options to play with. To only scratch the surface here, the user can alter guitar body styles, string types, tones, and so forth. What I mean is that there is a whole section devoted to dialing in the minute ways in which you wish to pluck the strings with a pick or a finger, the tone, decay, and volume of the strings, altering the “hammer-ons”, mutes, and body size of the guitar. Then there is a whole section for adding Effects like compression, EQ, distortion, delay, and reverb.
Strum works via a three part setting option that they call “Play modes”. Play modes are easily selected from the main part of the GUI. You can play in three modes, which are Keyboard mode, Guitar mode, and Loop mode. The Keyboard mode is perfect for those wanting to write MIDI parts, as they track up a song. Think notes and chords here. Guitar mode is perfect for those of us playing MIDI keyboards in a live setting, allowing for up stroke and down stroke chords (in keys) and strumming options, arpeggios, and palm mutes too. Loop mode, as you might suspect, is perfect for creating realistic rhythm guitar lines. Or, in other words, you pick the chord with one key, and Strum helps out with patterns and strum types.
To get better feeling of the three “Play modes”, how they work, and what is possible, check out this informative video from Applied Acoustics Systems….
If you are trying to replicate an already recorded guitar sound, or if you are trying to replicate that guitar sound that you can hear in your head, you can do it with Strum. I have just begun to play with the amazing selection of tone altering features and effects. They all change the sound of the guitar in ways that you might expect, and the effects sound very good. I am very impressed with the thought and the attention to detail that went into making Strum so powerful, flexible, and so darn realistic sounding.
Applied Acoustics Systems aren’t new to the whole “amazing sounding and playing MIDI instrument world”. These are the good folks behind “Lounge Lizard EP-4” electric pianos, “Tassman 4” Sound synthesis studio, and “String Studio VS-2” String modeling synthesizer, just to name a few. These have been hailed as some of the best sounding MIDI instruments and some of the easiest to use MIDI instruments to ever come along. I have wanted “Lounge Lizard EP-4” ever since it was released.
Let me get back to Strum. I would never call myself a keyboard player. I play on the keys, sure, but I am far from a keyboardist. That said, I had no trouble learning how to make Strum do the crazy things it can do. In no time at all I could make Strum palm mute power chords (eat your heart out Bryan Adams), pluck out open chords (like my favorite Guns and Roses ballads), and everything in between. I couldn’t help but to think about how realistic Strum can be with such little practice. Most MIDI guitar sims fall way short of this realistic sound for guitar, and most seem to sound more like electric pianos then guitars. Strum sounds like a guitar, and the editing features put Strum way over the top. I just cant find the words to tell you how much it sounds like a guitar, especially when compared to all of the other guitar-like simulation sounds that have polluted the audio world for so long.
It just does not matter weather you are writing music in your home studio, writing guitar parts for yourself or a client, or pulling off a believable guitar part for the band, Strum is a hit! Strum is easy to learn and Strum is as realistic sounding as “MIDI guitars” have ever come. If you are serious about getting a very powerful, very easy to learn MIDI guitar then you need to check out Strum from Applied Acoustics Systems. I love it!
Todays podcast episode is a doosie for sure. I hope it blows minds and inspires many.
Is the 10,000 hour rule not true? You know, the old rule that goes something like this: “if you really want to learn something then you will need to spend 10,000 hours learning that thing”.
Come to find out we have taken this rule way out of context. It is true.
At first, I could not believe what I was hearing. The 10,000 hour rule is a load of bunk?
I was completely taken off guard by the this information. But the more I thought about it, I came to a new conclusion. I already knew all of this, but I had not allowed it to sink in.
Really, I did know this, and I prove it in todays episode.
As promised here are the links that correspond to todays episode:
“How to play chords on the guitar“, the Book I personally wrote, on Amazon. Right now you can grab it on Paperback for only 4.99 or .99 cents on the Kindle. Or, just click on the page shot below.
Here is the YouTube video that got me going on the whole 10,000 hours learning things idea.
Here are the types of people and the training products that might be a best match for each…
Are you a…..
1) Home recording studio owner looking to get started making music with a DAW.
When I got my first DAW I was so excited! I knew my music could finally sound like the pro’s music. But guess what? It didn’t. I had to learn how to properly record first. Here is perhaps the fastest way to grow your skills. As a guitar player I had trouble getting the right guitar sounds recorded properly. This will improve your guitar amp recording and mixing skills.
2) Music maker that is trying hard to get their music to sound as good as it can possible sound.
Once you get your tracks recorded, it is time to mix them down. This sounds easy enough, but it can be very difficult. You must learn about proper mixing practices. Here is an amazing monthly membership devoted to this very task. Here are links for some EQ training and Compression training, and here is some more Compression help.
3) Mixing enthusiast looking to grow their own mixing skills to a professional level.
4) Aspiring mastering engineer trying to get much better, professional sounding masters.
Yep, mastering is the the icing on the cake. But mastering is another art that you must learn. I know your pain. I feel your pain. Mastering is the final step of the process, and it can be full of artistic practices. That doesn’t mean its impossible though. Here is a training video that will help you learn how the pros master todays music, and how to master as good as they can.
With any purchase that you make from Home Recording Weekly, I will let you have the Home Studio eBundle. Its my humble way of saying thank you.
In Episode 71, I mention the UPLIFT DESK from the good folks over at The Human Solution. The desk raises and lowers at the push of a button which allows me to continue recording, mixing, and mastering long after the back pain begins. I love my UPLIFT DESK, and if you like the idea of a raising and lowering workstation you should see what sorts of cool desk ideas they have over at The Human Solution.
Let me start this review of the Mackie CR5BT monitors off by stating that I know all about Mackie. Mackie gear is everywhere in the world of music. I use Mackie gear in the home recording studio world and in the live music world. I own Mackie mixing boards, and I have run many Mackie boards and consoles, acting as a sound person. I know the history of Mackie, as a company, and I know a lot of their products inside out, on an intimate level. I have come to trust Mackie, and I request Mackie.
Let me continue with a quick introduction. I am a home recording studio owner, and as such I track up songs and then I mix them down. I also master quite often, but that is not my forte’ so to speak. I also have a podcast that needs to be tracked up and mixed down quite often. I also listen to a ton of media, which is mostly professionally recorded music, through my system, and that can be via CD, MP3’s I get mailed in, and music from the internet. I also spend a great amount of time editing YouTube videos, watching YouTube videos and I enjoy shows and movies too, all online. Like most folks today, my life is ever increasing in the number of Bluetooth enabled devices that lay at close reach at all times. The fact that I can listen to, say, a reference mix, or a video sent from a friend, via Bluetooth, sounds great to me.
That said, I have two pair of “speakers” (one pair of studio monitors and one pair of pro-consumer grade speakers) that share the duties of moving the air, and brining sound to my ears. For the recording, mixing, and mastering duties, I employ a professional grade studio monitor with an 8 inch woofer and a dome tweeter. Nothing too over the top, here but maybe in the 250 to 300 dollar range. For everything else, I use a pro-consumer grade pair of speakers that have a 5 inch woofer, dome tweeter, and a eight inch bass box. This pair of speakers runs in the 400 dollar range with the bass box included.
My plan here, with this review, is to run everything that I listen too through the Mackie CR5BT monitors, starting now. That way I can help two kinds of people with this review. Those wondering how the Mackie CR5BT monitors will hold up in a recording studio situation, as mix checking monitors, and those employing the Mackie CR5BT monitors as every day listening speakers. Each job requires a select set of demands that must be in place.
The “CR” stands for creative reference. These monitors are aimed at todays multimedia or content creators. I am a content creator, so they are aimed right at folks like me.
As I unboxed the Mackie CR5BT monitors, I couldn’t help but notice how well made they feel. Everything feel rugged and well attached, and I got the feeling that these monitors were going to last a long time. I read online that they are constructed with real wood cabinets, and that feels good in my hands. That is a nice feeling since so many monitors and speakers suffer from cheap construction. I have used, and I currently use a lot of Mackie products, and it is nice to see that Mackie quality that I am so used to, put into a monitor. They also shipped with what I call “Isolation pads”, which is a nice touch. Most recording and mixing folk would have shelled out about 50 bucks for these pads, so that was cool to see. If you don’t know, monitors that are placed right onto your desk top can suffer in the bass frequency department. The sound energy transfers into the desk itself instead of making it into the air. The idea of “ISO pads” is to remove the “monitor to wood contact” from the equation all together. Then, if you remove one of the two pieces of foam, you can better tilt the monitor towards your ears. Nice touch!
The Mackie CR5BT monitor cabinets are ported in the rear. Porting cabinets allows manufactures to “tune” the cabinets. Sometimes manufactures can obtain better frequency response, too, and in this case I assume the low end has gotten some help. The low end just sounds great. The Mackie CR5BT monitors have plenty of routing options. First, there is an ever handy “Aux input” and a headphone output on the front of one of the monitors. That simplifies things for us everyday listeners. There is no need to stand up, get behind the monitor, and plug things in.
On the back of the Mackie CR5BT monitors you will find a choice of inputs for simple connection to almost any audio source via 1/4” mono, 1/8” stereo, and good ole’ RCA. This makes the Mackie CR5BT monitors perfect for everything I use speakers for. Like I have mentioned, for all of my devices, there is the whole Bluetooth enabled feature.
The Mackie CR5BT monitors can pump out a reported 50 watts of power. Let me tell you, 50 watts is a lot of power, if you have the speaker to move air. These are plenty loud, but don’t expect to drown out the band. You can expect the Mackie CR5BT monitors to fill your room with sound, so that every member of the band can hear the mix.
The Mackie CR5BT monitors as everyday listening speakers…..
My knee jerk reaction to the Mackie CR5BT monitors, as every day listening speakers is that they are, well, different. I didn’t think they would easily replace a set of “pro-consumer” speakers that have a cross over and bass box. The interesting truth here is that they did! I will not tell you that they are equal, in sound type, but what I will say is that the Mackie CR5BT are great, but different. I will say it like this: The Mackie CR5BT monitors “cut” better. There seems to be less frequency information getting in the way (a problem with over hyped pro-consumer grade speakers). The Mackie CR5BT monitors seem to deliver audio straight to my ears without trying to sound massive. They sound direct, if that makes any sense at all. Allow me to continue explaining, and say the low end is there, and it is clear and audible. It is clearly more focused than the speakers they replaced. The fact that they are rear ported makes the bass present without being too over powering. My ears seemed to enjoy what I was hearing, even though it was different.
The Mackie CR5BT monitors are plenty loud too. The built in amplifier is powerful, and super quiet. I can’t hear a “hiss” at any volume level. The sound that the Mackie CR5BT monitors reproduce sounds uniform at all volume levels, and the sound continues to cut very well across the volume spectrum. Imperfections in audio, when I am working on my video editing content, was clear and small imperfections were rather noticeable. That is good, by the way, as I am editing after all. I managed to get great sounding videos with little effort. The Mackie CR5BT monitors excel when listening to movies, shows, and professional music too. There is no ear fatigue happening, but the Mackie CR5BT monitors do sound “different”. Using the Bluetooth feature can make life easier for many, and my devices found the Mackie CR5BT monitors without problem.
The higher frequencies that the Mackie CR5BT monitors push out is, well, also different. These monitors are not hyped. That means the top end, or the higher frequencies are not exaggerated like a lot of home entertainment speakers can be. The highs are clear and present, but far from being over powering. The Mackie CR5BT monitors has not caused the all too common “ear fatigue” that can come from overly hyped speakers. I like to think my ears are getting pretty good at detecting good from bad sound, and if they are, the Mackie are quite good.
The only thing that I miss, in the pro-consumer every day listening environment that I had before the Mackie CR5BT monitors showed up, is the remote control for volume level. I got attached to the remote that I used to have on my desktop. I am constantly adjusting the volume levels of videos and also music. However, all I now need to do, with the Mackie CR5BT monitors, is to reach up on the right monitor and turn it up or down. It is not a big deal at all, but instead a minor complaint when compared to my old set of speakers.
The Mackie CR5BT monitors as recording/mixing monitors…..
This is the part of the test where I wanted to dive in and push the Mackie CR5BT monitors. I use my monitors a lot. I have come to trust them, and I know what a mix sounds like when played through my monitors. Replacing my monitors with the Mackie CR5BT monitors was going to be interesting, to say the least.
Why? First, Mackie CR5BT monitors are half the size of my personal monitors. Next, the Mackie CR5BT monitors are back ported, while my personal monitors are front ported. I had no idea what role that was going to play, but I felt as if it would come into the test somehow.
Just to be as honest, transparent, and fair as I can be, I listened to a rough track that I am tracking up, and have yet to actually mix down, through my favorite monitors. I listened close, while placing myself in the “sweet spot”. Being in the sweet spot allows me to listen for such things as the stereo image and the “ghost mono image”. I also listened to the bass and the treble hitting my ears. The track I used for this review has hard panned guitars in the stereo field and a solo guitar right up the center, in mono. There are drums with cymbals and bass. So there is a nice mix of things placed all about the stereo field, and in the center, in mono.
Next, I played the same track, at the same level, through the Mackie CR5BT monitors. I told myself that I would pay close attention to the same exact types of things as I did just a moment ago. But the first thing I noticed was how close the two pair of monitors were. No joke. There are subtle differences in the bass, the top end (treble), but nothing that would beg me to change any track level or panning choice. I told myself that I think I would get the same final mix down no matter which pair of monitors I used. This was a surprise. For some reason I really thought they would be miles apart, and very different. Not the case at all.
Here is what I noticed. The bass was too powerful in both instances, but the Mackie CR5BT monitors seemed to be a tad more punchy, and focused in the low end. The stereo field was nice in both monitors, and nothing jumped out at me there. When I listened back through my favorite monitors, I noticed a problem with the hard panned acoustic guitars. I had heard it before, but I had long since forgotten about it. The acoustic pair of guitars just sound too metallic and the attack is too high, if you understand that jargon. My point, here, is that when I played the track through the Mackie CR5BT monitors this issue was heard easier. That must have something to do with the tracks’ problematic frequency area, and the subtle differences of the two monitors. The issue that bugged me was easier to hear through the Mackie CR5BT monitors.
Next, the stereo image was about the same. I noticed little, if anything at all. I did notice that the mono tracks were right in the “ghost center image”, right where I had hoped they would be. One small thing I noticed was that the delay effects that I placed on the lead guitar part, on the reference track, sounded too heavy through the Mackie CR5BT monitors. Nothing mix destroying, but again, I assume it is the slight difference in the size of the woofers at work. If I used the Mackie CR5BT monitors when adding the delay, I might have dialed it back a tiny bit. Really, the two monitor pair are that close, it is uncanny. I did not expect the Mackie CR5BT monitors to replicate the mix that I have gotten so used to.
The bottom line, here at this point of the review, is that I like the Mackie CR5BT monitors for mixing purposes. You need to know that I do not say things like this lightly. I could mix the same track, using each pair of monitor (first my favorite monitor, and then the Mackie CR5BT monitors) as I mixed the track, twice, and I think that both of my mixes would be very close. The Mackie CR5BT monitors would be perfect for a second mix location, or perhaps for travel. The many input types including the Bluetooth feature, makes listening to reference tracks (from all sorts of devices) a breeze. I now wish my personal favorite monitors had Bluetooth as a feature.
Since I have brought up Bluetooth, let me tell you what I found out. All I had to do in order to use the Mackie CR5BT monitors with my iPhone was to push the Bluetooth button on the front of the Mackie CR5BT monitors. Then, it began to flash and my phone saw the Mackie CR5BT monitors as a “Bluetooth device” and they connected automatically. Boom, done. Just to be positive, I played a song from my iPhone, and sure enough, it played over the Mackie CR5BT monitors. I love that feature, as I see new and exciting uses for it.
To wrap up my review of the Mackie CR5BT monitors, I would say they are great. They are way closer to what I am used to, what I hoped they would be, if that helps you. They reveal artifacts and relate what is recorded, which is exactly what we all want and need. I can’t say that they are better than this monitor or that monitor since it is all relative. But, if you use reasonably priced monitors in your home recording studio, these are a serious contender.
These are aimed at the everyday content creators out there, and that is what I am. I find myself editing music, audio podcasts, and videos through monitors, and the Mackie CR5BT monitors are perfect for these duties. You will have no trouble hearing those issues that might need fixing. That is what monitors are used for in home studios, right? The Mackie CR5BT monitors are great at supplying the listener with an honest representation of what has been recorded.
Add to that the fact that they sound great as every day listening speakers too. The amplifier inside is extremely quiet and rather powerful. My ears do not fatigue with the passing of time, and there is no annoying “hiss” at all. The audio seems to cut much better than I expected, and the Mackie CR5BT monitors just sound fantastic. I like the front mounted volume, headphone jack, and “Aux” input.
The Bluetooth feature is also a nice feature to have in todays home studios. I am learning how to exploit this feature, more and more with each passing day, and it has proven to be a great and handy feature.
The Mackie CR5BT monitors not only passed each test that I put them too, but they surprised me many times over. I was not expecting them to sound like my favorite monitor. That was a bonus. I was hoping they would be helpful to those working with video and podcasting, and they excel at that stuff. Working long hours with the Mackie CR5BT monitors proved easy as there is no ear fatigue happening, and that is because they are not hyped in any way. The amplifier is powerful, and sounds great at all volume levels. There is no “hiss” constantly plaguing the listener, which tells me the Mackie CR5BT monitors are as well made as they feel. I am well pleased with the Mackie CR5BT monitors.
I love effects that can bring movement and clarity to tracks without being too over the top.
AUDIFIED STA effects are perfect for this, and they are packed with professional features. The professional features that I love are the “tap” sync feature, the way that you can use these as either a series or parallel effect by removing the dry portion of the signal with a touch of the “wet” button, take your effected track from mono to wide stereo with the twist of a knob, the ability to select from multiple wave forms, and the metering is nice too.
“STA” stands for Summing tube amplifier. Let me explain…
As taken from the AUDIFIED website: STA mixes the wet and dry signals and it adds a nonlinear distortion resulting in a more vintage sound. Primarily, this effect is designed to be used as an insert effect to fully exploit the summing circuit. The plugin has also a “Wet only” option when only the signal processed by the tube circuit is sent to the output. It allows to use the plugin also in a send bus.
These effects all sound professional, crisp, and clear. AUDIFIED STA effects are a great choice when it is time for you to upgrade from your stock effect plugins. The AUDIFIED STA effects are also affordable, somehow, and provide incredible bang for the buck. I love these plugins and they are much more flexible than stock effects. AUDIFIED STA effects are really a no brainer since they sound great and cost little.
The plugins other than your stock plugins, that we often times reach for can be thought of as spices, right? Adding the AUDIFIED inValve effects to your “spice rack” of plugins will only make you a better cook, if you will pardon the metaphor.
The plugins other than your stock plugins, that we often times reach for can be thought of as spices, right? Adding the AUDIFIED inValve effects to your “spice rack” of plugins will only make you a better cook, if you will pardon the metaphor.
The AUDIFIED inValve effects is a three unit package that consists of an inValve Preamp, inValve Compressor, and the inValve EQ.
All three AUDIFIED inValve effects sport analogue saturation at the turn of a dial, and can inject that tube warmth into your tracks and mixes.
The inValve Preamp injects tube like warmth into whatever track you place it on without altering the track too much. Think of it as a simple way to warm up sterile, digital tracks.
The inValve EQ is a very good problem solver EQ and I love how it is set up (laid out). It sounds fantastic on all kinds of tracks, and I love what it can do for stringed instruments. The inValve EQ cleaned up the acoustic guitars and the electric guitars (in the video) in no time at all, and then the saturation put it over the top. The tracks seem to just “cut” way better after applying the inValve EQ.
The inValve compressor is just as fantastic, and it has a wide range of uses since it can go up to a 50:1 ratio! Weather you use it on drums, guitars, or the master bus, it sounds great. Add to the equation the warm sound of saturation, and the inValve Compressor is a no brainer.
You should have these tools in your plugin folder. You can instantly get better, more tape like sounds from your DAW, even if you only use them only for the tube like warmth that they can bring to your mixes. Yep, even if you leave the EQ and Compressor settings alone, things just sound better after you have put the AUDIFIED inValve effects on your tracks, busses, and masters. The plugins that we often times reach for can be thought of as spices, right? Add the AUDIFIED inValve effects to your “spice rack” of plugins.
Let me ask you a question. Do you think the JOYO PXL4 Looper pedal can help make you more professional sounding, acting, and help you make fewer mistakes each night?
Before I got one I might have said “no way”. However, after hooking one up and seeing for myself how much it can simplify even the most confusing of rigs, I changed my outlook. Perhaps after reading this review and after you have watched the demo video, you will agree with me on this one.
I feel as if I have a big pedal board. Yep, I have seen bigger boards, and I have seen smaller set ups too. I have a “double tiered” pedal board and it is kept chock full of stomp boxes, at all times. This can become troublesome at times. As I play the guitar, I often times found myself doing “the pedal dance”. Trying to change my sound, or my tone, by toggling several pedals on (or off) at the same time, is about impossible. I wanted a way to “bring in” or “bring out” many pedals, all at the same time, and all with just one “click”, or step. I have heard about “pedal switching loopers” before, but I have had no experience with one. Here is what I found out about them, or my experience with the JOYO PXL4 Looper pedal.
For those guitar, bass, or keyboard players out there that have several in-line overdrive pedals, and you enjoy stacking them as a song part calls for such techniques, you are not only reading my words perfectly, but you are understanding my words perfectly. For those of you that also sing as they play, and then mess with your pedals too, well, help is here. Lets end the “pedal tap dance” once and for all. Get yourself a JOYO PXL4 Looper pedal and route those pedals into it.
Let me explain how the JOYO PXL4 Looper pedal works, coming from a guitarist. (Before I do, however, please know that some folks call these loopers “switcher/loopers” and that might help you to better understand what is going on here). Simply route four of you personal favorite effect pedals that you switch on and off for each song that you play (or four loops of your personal favorite pedals that you switch on and off for each song that you play) into the JOYO PXL4 Looper pedal.
Now stop and have a think. Decide which (two) group of pedals, or which (two) loops of pedals, you need to switch on and off. You only get two sets here, and they are called “patches”. Enter your two “patches” into the JOYO PXL4 Looper pedal. Once you like the two patches at hand, simply move up a bank and repeat the process of making two more patches. There are eight banks in total, each bank has two patches to fill up with pedal loop goodness. Each tap of your foot can now bring in, or bring out, up to four pedal loops worth of effects.
So you can see that you have 16 tonal options to configure, and they are in some kind of order. But, if this is not enough for you, you can opt to purchase the JOYO PXL8 Looper pedal, with eight loops to fill up with your pedals and loops of pedals, and eight banks of four patches, which is twice as many. The JOYO PXLive Looper pedal adds a “MIDI out” for all sorts of creative uses, and same the same massive eight loops of pedals with eight banks of four patches. The JOYO PXL pro can be broken up into two “four loop pedal loopers”, and adds four channel switches (think amp channel switching), and a tuner interface. I think the JOYO PXL4 Looper pedal has way more then I will ever use, but in time I may learn to use these pedals better, and I might find myself going for a much larger looper. Only time will tell.
So, if you are the type of player that likes to “introduce overdrives”, one on top of another, as a song builds in energy, and you introduce the JOYO PXL4 Looper pedal, one step will now do a lot. If you are the type of player that likes to set up (up to) eight “tones” that define who you are, as a live player, and you introduce the JOYO PXL4 Looper pedal, one step will now do a lot. Please note that these two hypothetical set ups are “before the amp”, and just as much can happen if you use the JOYO PXL4 Looper pedal in the effects loop of your amp. As a matter of fact, my head becomes overwhelmed with the possibilities here.
Then there are those among us that play in cover bands. You must set things up to “flow” as a song unfolds. If you have sets of pedals (small pedal loops) that you need to bring in and out of a song, or set, to sound like other guitarists, then the JOYO PXL4 Looper pedal is going to simplify your night od pedal stomping. Bringing mini loops of pedals in and out in one step is what the JOYO PXL4 Looper pedal is all about!
The JOYO PXL4 Looper pedal shipped out from the company very fast, and contained both the unit and clear instructions. The very first thing that crossed my mind as I held the JOYO PXL4 Looper pedal for the first time was “this pedal feels very well put together”. Yep, it just feels nice and solid, and as if it is going to last forever. I like that feeling. Our feet are attached to the strongest muscle groups we have, our legs. We place a lot of pressure on pedals and that can break cheaper units.
I don’t know why exactly, perhaps because I am a simple man, maybe because I am new to looper/switcher pedals, but I had to put the JOYO PXL4 Looper pedal down and have a nice long think about how to set it up. I knew that the JOYO PXL4 Looper pedal was going to help my current “pedal dance” situation. Heck, that is why I have it now. But how was I going to do this? I had to draw out some possible sketches, using the pedals that I must use, in my most important setting. I am happy to report that in no time at all I saw the light.
Let me add right here that the JOYO PXL4 Looper pedal is true bypass. That is perhaps most important for those pedal purists that hear stray circuits bleed (from pedals like wah pedals), and those that wish to avoid buffers at all cost.
That brings to light another use for the JOYO PXL4 Looper pedal, true bypass switching for pedals that suck tone. If you must have a “tone sucking pedal”, perhaps your vintage wah pedal, you can employ the JOYO PXL4 Looper pedal for true bypass switching. When you want to use the wah pedal, simply click the loop in. When you are done wah-wah-ing the crowd, click it back out.
What I mean is that the JOYO PXL4 Looper pedal has a lot of possible uses. I can plug in four pedals, or I can plug in four loops of pedals. With the JOYO PXL4 Looper pedal you can set up two patches, using any combination of the four loops. There are eight banks in total, and each bank has two patches. That is a lot of patches.
Then I just couldn’t help myself. I tend to ponder about such great things, and then I try to change what others have worked very hard to build. I began to wonder if I would rather have two “banks” with eight patches per bank? The JOYO PXL4 Looper pedal has eight banks with two patches per bank. That began to hurt my brain, and proved fruitless, so I quit the day dreaming. The good players over at JOYO Technology know what they are doing. The JOYO PXL4 Looper pedal was designed with this sort of stuff in mind, so you know it was done right. I need to learn how to use the JOYO PXL4 Looper pedal, and not try to change it.
Please allow me to detail the good points and the bad points…..
The JOYO PXL4 Looper pedal will help you to achieve a level of professionalism that only employing looper switcher pedals can. Removing all of the unnecessary “pedal tap dances” from your set can only free up your attention enough to work on your attention grabbing, crowd pleasing “front kicks”. Removing all of the muscle memory involved with switching all of those pedals, in some sort of time and in some sort of order, is certainly a professional advance. Besides, this sort of simplification of your gear makes room for better concentration. This equals a much better performance.
After just a few minutes of using the JOYO PXL4 Looper pedal, I noticed a very cool feature. This cool feature is that the selection that you are playing through remains as you click up or down through the banks. This means that your performance will sound perfect and the loop will not change until you want it to. For some reason I assumed as soon as you started clicking through the presets your tone (or loop selected) would follow suit.
This also allows you to set things up for a change. For example, you can select a loop preset, and start playing your part. Then, as you play, you can scroll up or down to the next loop preset that you will need in the song. But do not enter it. Wait until the change is up, and then select the “A” or “B” preset for the bank you are setting on. This will make the preset change nice and smooth, and right on time. This is a great way to simplify your pedal switching program. Man, I am finding cool new ways to use my JOYO PXL4 Looper pedal each time I play through it. I can only assume you will too.
The bad news is that you might need to purchase or make your own (if you are like me) patch cables, in order to employ the JOYO PXL4 Looper pedal. Remember, you must route in all of those pedals, and/or loops of pedals. I opted to make my own set of cables on account of my own personal design choices. I wanted a set of patch cables that had a 90 degree mono insert on one end, and a 180 degree (straight) insert on the other end. This patch cable design makes room for all of the loops going into, and out of the JOYO PXL4 Looper pedal unit. The 90 degree ends allow for close positioning of your pedals. But this is all small potatoes, but something I failed to think about when I opted to get the JOYO PXL4 Looper pedal. If you are like me, and you like things to be nice and neat, get the same type of cables. You will thank me latter.
Learning how to add a looper switcher to your complicated rig might just set you back, and require a nice long think. I can only assume that this is a normal reaction, and well worth the energy it requires. In return for your hard work, and extra cabling, you will gain an ease about things when injecting your favorite tones and textures into the songs that you play. You will miss fewer and fewer cues, too, as one click is all that you will need to do many things. This translates into fewer mistakes, which means you have become more professional.
Being more professional is a good thing. Making fewer mistakes makes you look like the pro that you are.
However, you will then want to get the bass player and the keyboard player their own JOYO PXL4 Looper pedal loopers. Being this simplified just feels so good that you are going to want to pass on the Karma.
The true tale that proved I need to slow down and GIRATS. Plus, we examine the Song Production Pyramid.
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