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Messages - Vurbal [ switch to compact view ]

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126
Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: December 03, 2014, 02:58 PM »
Just for clarity's sake, I don't think most vocalists are all that special, in fact I have a better voice and more skill than most. Ann Wilson is in an entirely different league. She could just as easily been the world's greatest operatic soprano. Even beyond her voice, her skill is second to none, but that voice by itself would put her almost in a class of her own.

127
Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: December 03, 2014, 12:40 PM »
Honestly, that wasn't even the biggest problem in his band. His guitarist was a wannabe late 80s hair metal god with as bad a case of LGD (lead guitarist's disease) as I've ever seen.

+1! :Thmbsup: Right up there with Roger Fisher in Heart's original lineup.

Isn't that the truth.  Here's a tip for any aspiring rock stars. If you you have a vocalist anywhere near the ability of Ann Wilson in your band, she will always be your primary focus,  and don't ever forget how lucky you are to have her. Journeyman lead guitarists are a dime a dozen.

128
Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: December 03, 2014, 11:28 AM »
I suspect it was an economic thing - he was touring with Dr. Hook and playing small clubs in the middle of nowhere. I also suspect it had something to do with his love of synthesizers as well.  You can hear that all the way back to They Only Come Out At Night.

Honestly, that wasn't even the biggest problem in his band. His guitarist was a wannabe late 80s hair metal god with as bad a case of LGD (lead guitarist's disease) as I've ever seen. He pulled his head out of his backside during Frankenstein and the one White Trash song they played, but otherwise he was just off on his own all night.

I'd like to think a decent bassist could have helped, but LGD is often incurable in my experience. In any case, I'm not sure Edgar cared that much at the time. At least I didn't pay much to see him, and honestly Dr. Hook was a lot better than I would ever have guessed.

129
Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: December 03, 2014, 07:36 AM »
As much as people who can create music that way impress me - and don't try telling me they aren't musicians if you want me to take you seriously - in the the wrong hands, technology can be extremely frustrating. Back in about 1999 I went to see Edgar Winter in a small club. In fact, I was there with another bassist. Needless to say, we were both disappointed to find out all the bass lines were sequenced.

We were also shocked at how few people showed up to see him. Winter was there on a double bill with Dr. Hook, who went on first. After Dr. Hook finished, a couple hundred people got up and left. Only about 10 of us stayed to watch Edgar Winter.

Not surprisingly, it wasn't a great show,  but I got to see his brother a few months later - in about the same size club - and it was as good a show as I've ever seen.

130
Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: December 01, 2014, 11:42 PM »
He might go for the child board. At the least he'd want in on it if we set it up elsewhere.

Maybe what we need is to show up at his place with our instruments and tell him to get out his guitar. So who plays drums? And who's driving?  :D

131
Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: December 01, 2014, 10:08 PM »
That should help greatly with my technique - especially since I'm not using a pick like I did the first time around.

Nothing wrong with a pick IMO. Just one more arrow in the quiver. I'm a finger player myself. But if you ever play a large venue - or a big outdoor gig - you'll sometimes need to sacrifice that "feel" for the extra definition a pick provides. At least if you want the "pulse" to be heard and felt instead of just blasting out a low amorphous roar.

Check out bassist Scott Devine's website and YouTube channel. He's got some really good bass-oriented instructional videos. Really nice guy. And a talented and dedicated musician. I always find something interesting and worthwhile there. I suggest you subscribe to (at least) his freebie lessons. I was lucky enough to have my GF buy me a subscription to his bass academy as a birthday present last year. I got a huge amount out of it despite having played a bass for most of my life. (If I have any advantage in music, it's my unshakable belief there's always something new I can learn or try to master.)

Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with Scott Devine in any way, shape, or form. I just really like what he's doing for bass players. :Thmbsup:

I've got nothing against using a pick, but it turns out I'm a lot better with my fingers. In fact, it turns out I just sort of naturally worked out a variation of the floating thumb muting technique Scott covers in one of his videos. Billy Sheehan also has some excellent instructional videos for bassists at just about any skill level.

The way I see it, though, there's no substitute for having a good teacher to analyze and critique my technique. One of the many things I'm doing differently this time around is focusing on technique before all else. If you get that down first, everything else will come in time. Technically you can also save it for last, but that takes so much longer - as I learned the hard way in my youth.

That's also something of a benefit to dealing with the narrower nut width for now. It makes me work that much harder at precision fretting - pun only slightly intended.

132
Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: December 01, 2014, 09:24 PM »
Ah me...the things we do for love!

Ain't that the truth! Actually, a friend of mine, who also gave up playing bass professionally (long before we met) pointed out something when he found out I decided to start playing again.  He said even though he occasionally thinks about playing again just for kicks, he has no regrets about quitting because he doesn't need to play. But I do, and he knew that long before I decided to pick it up again.

And now it looks like I have a teacher to take lessons a couple times a month. That should help greatly with my technique - especially since I'm not using a pick like I did the first time around. Even better, I just found out tonight that I'll have a regular Wednesday night jam session to sit in on with some friends of a friend. They came over and played with me a couple weeks back and were so happy to find a real bassist they invited me to sit in.

The best part is, the drummer, who hosts it, is a bachelor whose house is basically set up to play music and games. He even has a decent little bass amp so I won't have to haul mine with me. Good thing too since I just blew the mains fuse and won't have the replacement until Friday. My cab just doesn't sound the same powered by my ancient POS 20 Watt Crate practice amp.

133
Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: December 01, 2014, 05:19 PM »
I don't know that it's the replacement parts business so much as concern about parts builds competing with their stupidly overpriced high end models. Let's face it,the reason people like us don't buy those high margin basses is exactly what you mentioned about the diminishing returns of non-electronics upgrades. The guy who buys a $2000 - $3000 Fender or Gibson isn't considering a DIY Build. Unless it gets cheap enough for small luthier shops to compete on finished instrument prices - and it isn't close - those parts aren't their competition.

I saw some specific numbers for Warmoth's P-Bass body vs USACG's Pea Bass discussed on the TalkBass forum. A guitarist friend of mine we who has bought Strat parts from both said it was the same for guitars. Of course both could be full of it and I wouldn't know better without more research than I've ever bothered to do.

134
Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: December 01, 2014, 03:51 PM »
P.S. I didn't know USA Custom did 32" necks. I though they only did "standard" scale lengths. Good to know. :Thmbsup:
-40hz link=topic=39027.msg370379#msg370[quote author=40hz (December 01, 2014, 01:20 PM)

You should probably take that with a grain or 3 of salt. I've been told they have 32" necks,but I've avoided looking for myself so I don't buy something i can't afford and face my wife's fury.

I do know their Fender compatible bodies and necks are lighter than the Warmoth equivalents. Apparently Fender requires licensees to make them thicker than the Fender originals, presumably to give themselves a perceived quality advantage. Since USACG makes knock offs instead of licensed replacements, they're not bound by those anti-competitive terms.

135
Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: December 01, 2014, 03:39 PM »
I'll say this for the 2 SX basses I've played - mine and my daughter's Ursa Jr P-Bass. The pickups are much better than you get on most ultra cheap models. They're certainly a big step up from what you get in any Squier. In fact, every account I've read about people swapping the Jazz pickups out for standard Fender MIA versions concludes the difference is in character,  rather than quality. If you prefer some of the third party alternatives, that's obviously a different story.

I do plan to swap out the tuners and bridge eventually, although they're good enough that it's not a high priority. However, there is a tiny bit of neck dive which appropriate upgrades should take care of. What it does need badly is new pots/jack/wiring and proper cavity grounding.

The one thing that did shock me when I first picked it up was the truss rod. SX basses are notorious for needing extensive setup, but the truss rod on mine had to be tightened almost 2 1/2 turns. It could have been worse, though. At least you don't have to take the neck off to reach the truss rod nut, like on some cheap instruments.

In any case, for a little over $200 shipped, and including a generic,  but perfectly adequate, hard case, I have no complaints.

I was also fortunate to find a nice deal on a decent amp. For less than $250 I got an 80's Trace Elliot AH150 SMC GP7 and a 4x10 Hartke aluminum cone driver. A lot of people don't care for the TE sound, but I find the mid boosting Pre Shape to be nice for rounding out the J-Bass sound. The cab is an old Transporter, so not exactly what I'd prefer, but good enough to get me through until I can upgrade.

136
Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: December 01, 2014, 11:10 AM »
I certainly have no problem with Schecters, or any number of other brands a lot of musicians turn their noses up at. Actually, the bass I bought when I decided to start playing again is an ultra cheap, but also workmanlike,  SX J-bass. Except for having the standard 1.5" jazz nut, it's exactly what I listed in my last post.

Unfortunately SX basses don't have the same pocket dimensions as a Fender or else I'd probably look into just replacing the nec. If I go that route, and I probably will eventually, a Squier is almost certainly what I'll start from. However, I'll probably be looking at a neck from USA Custom Guitars since Warmoth's 32" scale necks are all designed for 1.5" nuts.

Alternatively, I may get lucky and find a 32" scale lefty SX P-Bass before then. Even new it would be well worth the (sub $200) price just for the neck

137
Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: November 30, 2014, 08:16 PM »
I'd be happy if I could find what I want for relatively cheap, whether it's off the shelf or as a kit. Unfortunately, if you 32-inch scale basses are fairly rare to begin with.  Make it a lefty J-bass witha P-bass nut width and you might as well be looking for Bigfoot hanging out with the Loch Ness Monster.

The sad thing is it's my own damn fault I have this problem to begin with. Although I am technically left handed, I  actually have a high degree of cross dominance. That means I can generally learn things either left or right handed with equal ease. Also, I had already been playing cello for 7 years before I was given a right handed bass.  Being young and foolish - and also a fan of both Paul McCartney and Jimi Hendrix, I chose to have it restrung and play lefty instead. Whenever I'm shopping for a bass I find myself wanting to go back in time and kick my ass for that.

138
General Software Discussion / Re: Music Identification via Sound Card
« on: November 12, 2014, 12:01 PM »
Missing on The Ocean and Good Times Bad Times is a pretty fundamental fail. If you hadn't mentioned your results with Money, I'd be inclined to suspect it was ignoring bass frequencies. Of course, The Ocean is just as recognizable from just the guitar.

Oops,  guess you didn't mention Money.

139
Admittedly this would be overkill if you only need the SMS interface, but PDANet works nicely for this.  Or at least it did back when I used it a few years back.

140
Living Room / Re: Thoughts on the tech on the TV show Scorpion?
« on: November 07, 2014, 12:07 PM »
I guess the problem I had with the show really wasn't the magic tech in and of itself, although solving the real problem would probably fix that as well. The core problem is that you really need a higher level of intelligence behind the scenes. It's the same reason I disliked the one episode of Elementary I watched.

It may not even be the intelligence of the writers per se as much as the reliance on typical studio formulas. What sets really smart people apart from the norm is primarily that they think differently than other people. It's fundamentally just cognitive creativity. Scorpion tries to simplify that by writing smart people as being mostly like other people, but just knowing a lot more stuff and having some personality quirks that mark them as nerds.

For example, in the first episode the main character looks at a group of air traffic controllers and just knows one of them is a coder because he looks like a nerd. That's the sort of conclusion somebody who sees computers as PFM (pure @#!%ing magic). Either that's representative of the writers' perspective, or perhaps some network or studio executive who won't sign off on anything that goes over his head. In either case, it's not something I can bring myself to watch.

The rare exception would be shows which go so far over the line they come off as satire. I watched CSI Miami for a while for exactly that reason.

141
Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me!
« on: November 05, 2014, 09:05 PM »
Electric bass. Though I'd seen them all. Fretted and fretless...4-string...then 5-string...then 6-string...then 8...then 12...

Then along came Mark Sandman of the band Morphine with his unique 2-string slide bass technique. At which point I thought I had heard it all too.

But now there's a pedal steel bass dubbed the "Slideking Bass" made by Jackson Steel Guitar Co. and played by none other than Zane King.

Learn something new every day.



 :Thmbsup:

I know John Paul Jones adapted  a pedal steel guitar into a bass many years back. More recently he had  Hugh Manson build him a lap steel bass. 

Of course you could give Jonesy a rubber band and a popsicle stick and he could make it groove.

142
Living Room / Re: Thoughts on the tech on the TV show Scorpion?
« on: November 05, 2014, 02:05 PM »
Based on my extremely scientific sample of the first 10 minutes of the first episode (I couldn't watch any more) plus occasionally walking past the TV while my wife was watching it, I dispute the premise that there's any tech or intelligence on the show.  All I saw was a bunch of magic.

143
General Software Discussion / Re: The most stupid Windows error?
« on: October 31, 2014, 05:31 PM »
The well-liked Win7 and hated/despised Win8 seem to make the unloved Vista Win6 and well-liked XP Win5.

And 2000?

That's the big problem with that meme. It requires you to ignore NT 3.5, 4, and 5. Windows XP isn't version 5 BTW. Windows 2000 is NT 5 and XP is 5.1 IIRC.

144
...ACTA looked the same way until protesters in Europe buried it in a matter of weeks.

Yes, but, like hydra that seems to be rising again. The potential "Internet freedom killers" are remorseless and, like rust, never seem to sleep - plus, they are apparently extremely well-organised, despising of democracy, powerful and highly motivated.
I'm not sure whether Internet freedomnicks are up to it for the long haul - whether they have the stamina or motivation, or even really understand/care all that much about what is going on.
Would loss of Internet freedoms really be so bad? "Freedom" is, after all, just something that can be likened to a feel-good concept that people have been taught to believe is their natural right, and we know that a "belief" is an irrational thing. They could easily unlearn that if they become sufficiently fatigued by the battle and its creeping, incremental erosion of individual/democratic freedoms predicated on "for the sake of the good of the many", or something. There could be some sense of security, after all, in benevolent collective enslavement to what seems to be a form of state corporatism - a sense of all being the same and having a trust in the masters. Most Western democracies and many other nation states have  arguably already gone, or are going through this process, which is apparently being spearheaded by the US.

Of course its rising again. For starters, defeating ACTA, was a single battle in a larger war. Additionally, once this war is over,it's just on to the next.  As I've said many times before, that's just the normal care and feeding of democracy. The price of freedom really is eternal vigilance,  certainly against outside threats,  but even more so to protect us from our own inherent weaknesses.

Fundamentally, what we're experiencing today is almost identical to what the British colonists went through leading up to the American Revolution.  It's cosmetically different,  due to the fact our 'colonies' are purely economically based, due purely to the nature of modern economics.  However,  in every way that counts, this is a revolution against the power elite in the US.

Unfortunately, the majority of the US population doesn't recognize it. Those of us who do simply have to rely on the rest of the world, particularly in Europe, but also in Australia, New Zealand,  Brazil, and a handful of other countries, to do most of the heavy lifting. All I can really do in this case is to help people like you stay informed, and also to assure you that it does make a difference - no matter how well the enemy hides it - especially from themselves.

145
For those as may be interested and for your action: There is a potentially useful crowdsourced(?) report at OpenMedia.org to push back against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Internet censorship plan with a positive alternative from the pro-Internet community: OUR DIGITAL FUTURE

I actually think it may be like the proverbial "p#ss#ng in the wind" as the TPP rather looks like it was a done deal at the outset.
Democracy it ain't.

ACTA looked the same way until protesters in Europe buried it in a matter of weeks.

146
What is the criteria for saying that it's the only complete office suite for android tablets?

Judging from his posting history, I'd say it's the fact that CoolCat26 works for (or is otherwise paid by) SoftMaker. There's nothing wrong with promoting your software here, but pretending to be a customer off the street when you're an insider is a lie IMO.

For anyone who doesn't feel like doing the legwork themselves, I'll just post it here.

OpenOffice is horrible when it comes to interoperability with MS Office, LibreOffice not much better, both are hungry for resources and slow.

Check out SoftMaker FreeOffice which shows a very good compatibilty to MSO, further, it installs quicker, takes up less hard drive space, and opens faster than the other ones mentioned.

Give it a try, it's free:

freeoffice.com

Untill December 24 SoftMaker runs a charity campaign:

They give away a complete office suite including word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation-graphics program at no charge.

Good enough. But even better: for each free download they donate 10 Euro cents to charity projects.

Everyone can monitor how much downloads created how much money and where it flows,

check it out and share this information, I think it's a great thing:

www.loadandhelp.com

147
While Gillette's innovation really did some good (compared to straight razors -- and I still want a razor sharpener if I can find one...), I can't see any value at all in this. Sounds like a 'bait & switch'.

The Gillette comparison seems apropos, and for the same reason the bait and switch suggestion seems unlikely. Like Gillette, Keurig most likely just failed to plan for (or at least to successfully execute) a follow up to keep bringing in profits on the scale to which they had become accustomed.

In Gillette's case, it was purely a matter of the original safety razor patent expiring. For Keurig it was probably a question of market saturation. Considering the pricetag, I'd be willing to bet the profit margin on their coffee makers is insanely high. It isn't even a particularly bad price, at least so long as the quality is high enough for them to last a long time. In my experience, that seems to be the case.

Unfortunately, that quality has likely become part of the problem. Most people aren't going to consider buying a product that expensive (relative to the norm for the category) and then replace it a year or 2 later. While there are probably still a lot of people who would like one, I'm betting they're mostly folks who either can't or won't buy until the price drops substantially.

As is typically true of people who see sudden success, the executives at Keurig almost certainly believe their good fortune is purely (or at least mostly) because of their personal genius, which must surely be unique in the history of man. Yes, that's an exaggeration, but not by much. If, in fact, they are such special little snowflakes, it makes no sense to take the obvious step and simply lower hardware prices, and therefore profit margins. Instead, they've chosen to find some other scheme to replace that profit by artificially inflating the price of consumables.

On a side note, while it's not an achievement on the level of the safety razor, which remains the last significant advancement in razor technology IMNSHO, I find Keurig's coffee makers much more impressive in reality than they seemed in theory. I still wouldn't buy one, but for a lot of people they make perfect sense. And, as I already mentioned, I've found the quality to be top notch.

If I weren't such a coffee snob, I'd at least covet one, although I don't think I could justify the price. So long as the technology to retain the flavor of freshly ground beans for months, or at least weeks, isn't available, I won't even be tempted. I guess you could say I was raised a coffee snob, even before I started drinking coffee.

Back in the 70s, when finding whole beans in a regular store was unheard of (around here at least), my parents used to get beans from a local restaurant. We even had an ancient food service (Hobart) grinder which ended up lasting about 30 years or so. The only thing I've ever added to my coffee is cream. I don't mean creamer or half and half. I mean heavy cream. Otherwise I only drink it black.

148
Coding Snacks / Re: for %%a in (*) do start "" "%%a"
« on: October 13, 2014, 09:14 PM »
:nono2:

The best advice ever when running random code posted in a forum, is exactly as Stephen alluded to:
NEVER run code that you don't know what it is going to do.  Perhaps you wanted to run this script because you saw it as a batch-bomb of sorts, and wanted to look into how to prevent it from crashing your system.  But not knowing?... just don't do it.


At the very least run it in a vm. I can understand if you're the type of person who needs to see something in action to understand it. Given that it's both easy and free to do it safely, when somebody who ought to know better chooses to play Russian roulette, I have to think they're getting what they deserve.


149
I haven't followed the link, but running Android apps isn't exactly a selling point on its own. I mean Android phones already run Android apps. What does it do that justifies the huge gamble on a company that's unlikely to exist in 3-5 years?

150
Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: September 22, 2014, 01:45 PM »
I'm also a bassist, although I haven't been in a band for more than 2 decades now and didn't pick up an instrument for almost 10. Now that I'm hanging around with a lot of musicians again, I've picked it up again and hope to be in another band within the next few months.

Nothing recorded to share though.

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