Thanks to Roy Abbate at Battery Plus in Mount Laurel NJ for making me the custom made, Battery Farm. It provides the ultimate in 9 Volt power.
I've got a great product for you, Big Bends Nut Sauce. Don't let the name put you off, it's an amazing lubricant to keep strings from hanging up in the bridge and nut area. It's also great for tuners too, especially the Hipshot bass tuner.
Thank you to InTune Guitar Picks. I am very happy to endorse these great picks from a great company. All of their stuff is custom made. I was able to select the precise materials, artwork, gauge and style. This is a boutique US operation run by actual people you can count on. My days of using generic picks are over!
Try this: the Batt-O-Meter. This unique device measures the amount of charge a battery has while it's still in the unit. No need to get a screwdriver to open up effects pedals and onboard preamps. And as an added bonus, it will let you know how long the battery will last in the unit it powers.
BASS STUFF: .... skip down below for drum stuff
The set up for this is really easy. A P-bass, a cord, an amp. Maybe a distortion box every now and again for a little extra grit? If I need some more fuzz I'll step on either a Z-Vex Super Duper 2 in 1, or a Z-Vex Channel 2. The songs come so fast and furious that tuning is a luxury! Since many of the gigs are outdoors, (in subzero weather, and snow(!) only the strongest gear can make the cut. Here's what's cooking for 2018. For speakers, a 40th Anniversary SVT 8x10 cabinet. Amps, a pair of 70's era Gibson Lab Series L2's named "Isabella" and "Ferdinand". The signal is a combination of a Radial JDI Passive Direct Box, and a Sennheiser 421. Before hitting the road, these amps get a clean bill of health from Twin Cities amp guru Casey Gooby. For basses, a pair of mid 90's P-basses. Nothing fancy, stock everything. They're exactly the same except one is white with a black pickguard and the other black on black. They get set up by either Matt at 30th Street Guitars in NYC, or Eric Collier at Russo Music in Asbury Park NJ . My pedalboard is by Justin Sharbono who makes his own boards. He's pickier about pedalboard design than even the pros who do it for a living. Everything gets played with a pick, courtesy of InTune Picks.
GETTIN' THE BAND BACK TOGETHER-THE BROADWAY MUSICAL
So far, a pretty simple setup. My blue, 90's era P-Bass into a TC Polytune 2 tuner, Z-Vex Basstortion, Boss Bass Overdrive, and a Boss Bass Chorus pedal. It all runs into a Radial J48 DI box and then straight to the house. For the last 3 songs onstage, I switch to my Epiphone Jack Casady. Our crackerjack audio team (including Tommy Grasso (from Rock Of Ages) Kris Pierce, and FOH Mixer Stephanie, never let's us down!
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS-THE BROADWAY MUSICAL
A pretty straight forward setup. My trusty black ROA P-bass into a Boss OC-3, and a tuner. Done! The upright runs from a David Gage Realist pickup into a Fishman Platinum preamp. Done again! You want to keep things as simple as possible on Broadway.
This is an interesting setup. She does a lot of fly dates, so I made a custom pedalboard that fits in the smallest roll aboard bag I could find. Distortion comes courtesy of the Pigtronix Mothership 2, A Z-Vex Basstortion, and the Boss SYB-3 synth pedal, which also has a pretty nifty sample and hold function. And it's needed on "Can't Buy Love". Oh, and an E-bow. Yes, you can use one on the bass, with care. My bass of choice is the blue P-Bass (curretly doing double duty on Broadway) or my white Soul Asylum bass. They are both very comfortable flying on planes, and I'll bring an Acoustic B300 head in my luggage in case there's a problem with the backline amp.
DEMOLITION STRING BAND
This is probably the easiest set up of all. My blue P-bass, strung with flatwounds, a cord, into my Bassman. If I want to tune, I slap a clip on tuner onto the headstock. This straight wire approach yields the best country western tone that this cool band requires. The blue P-bass has a little quieter output than some of the other basses I have, so it's super clean.
One of the nice things about playiing with her was, my setup changed with every show. I was constantly revisiting what to use. The most common was my ROA "black" bass, and my '62, both P-basses. My no-name upright was run through a Bisele magnetic pickup, blended with a David Gage Realist. The whole thing ran through a Fishman Platinum preamp, into my Fender TV Bassman. Electrics, to a pedalboard with a ZVex Super Duper 2 in 1, tuner, Univibe, and a Menatone Mail Bomb pedal. For the acoustic portion of the show, a tenor guitar....
ROCK OF AGES THE BROADWAY MUSICAL
I'd like to give a shout out to all the guys in the audio department who made it sound great, and made my job easy: Front-Of-House engineer Bob Etter, (now retired, congratulations!) Monitor Mixer Rob Lindsay, and Sound Designer Peter Hylenski. I used my trusty black P-Bass, and a 5-string Fender P-Bass as well. The signal path was: tuner, chorus pedal, Avalon DI and then off to the monitor desk into a Neve 4081 Quad mic pre and split, one way to in-ear monitors, the other to front of house.
My Nena setup is pretty simple too. My '62 P-Bass, and late model 5 string P-Bass (yes, Fender makes a 5 string P-Bass) into a pair of Ampeg SVT-7Pro's into 2 Ampeg 4x10 cabs. Upright bass runs direct for the song "Wunder" All that gear lives year round in Germany.
This was a combo of electric bass (a 90's era Jazz Bass), the MicroKorg keyboard with the tiny keys, and Logic. All of it was running through one bass output channel, straight into an amp. The selecting was done with the mighty Boss Selector pedal.
BILLY HECTOR (bass)
I switch between two setups: For smaller rooms a Fender Bassman TV 15 combo amp. I'll throw an effects pedal into the mix now and then to liven things up a bit. For festivals and BIG rooms a Gallien-Krueger 1001 RB Head and an Ampeg 4x10 cabinet. For upright stuff, my upright gets amplified with either a David Gage Realist pickup if it's quiet, a Bisele magnetic, or some combination of the two. The upright signal gets fed into a Fishman Platinum Series Preamp.
BILLY HECTOR drums)
With Billy Hector, I use a Yamaha Power Special kit, 12" rack, 16" floor, and 22" kick, 14x6.5" Gretsch metal snare. For Cymbals, Paiste 2002 18" medium crash, 20" or 24" medium ride. Yamaha hardware and pedals, Remo heads, Vic Firth sticks, Rhythm Tech percussion.
This is similar to the Billy setup above, but much more stripped down. Just the kick, snare, floor, one cymbal, and hi-hat. Done.
Now it's called, The Power Station NYC. I was there for a week tracking the cast album for, Gettin' The Band Back Together. I brought a bunch of gear: my red 5 string P-bass, Black, Blue, and '62 P-basses, and my Gretsch. The bass went straight into one of the studios' great custom DI boxes, and straight to ProTools. Easy as pie.
At Avatar Studios NYC ---I tracked the song, "Queen" for Frankie Grande. I was lucky enough to have as bandmates, Doug Derryberry, Matt Beck (co-producer), Jeremy Schonfeld (writer), "Hoops" on keyboards, and Clancy, Roy Hendrickson was behind the board. The bass was my black ROA P-bass, I plugged into one of Avatar's custom DI boxes, and then into their Ampeg fliptop.
At Avatar Studios with producer Walter A. I wound up using just my '62 P-Bass, and the Jack Casady. It was the debut of recording with the Fender Bassman TV 15 in the studio...
Nuthouse Studios Hoboken NJ--- T he Demolition String Band roared into Nuthouse to record their new record. Boo and Elena, plus Kenny Soule playing drums. For this, the setup was easy. I alternated between my '62 P-Bass, and my Trusty Black P-Bass. No effects. Straight into a nice B-15 that producer/engineer Tom Beaujour had in his collection. He's got a few, so I got a chance to audition a couple. Everyone is the same room, playing live. After we left, I tracked one of the new tunes at my place, Leisuretowne Studios. It was a fast moving punk rock song, so I dialed up my black Soul Asylum bass, "David Bowie" into my Reeves Custom 225.
Leisuretowne Studios is my place. It has a decent size control room, two iso rooms and a HUGE wooden 40X30 drum tracking room with high ceilings. Here's a taste of what's been happening there:
The new Daredevil Squadron record. Gear: My "Brown" jazz style bass tuned to low C#. On the DI side a little bit of parallel compression from a Barber Tone Press into a Radial JDI to a Grace 101 mic pre into Logic. The whole album was recorded with Logic and it sounds great. Amps were miked, through a Focusrite ISA One. They can squish it more when it's time to start mixing.
Bass overdubs and background vocal tracking for the new Soul Asylum record, "Change Of Fortune". The basic tracks were recorded at Waterbury Studios Minneapolis MN, The band cut live with producer John Fields behind the board. I found a nice Edison NJ era Ampeg B-15 buried in a road case in the band's rehearsal space, so it got drafted into service.
I played drums on a track for the new Oklahoma record. Produced by Justin Sharborno.
I played drums and percussion for the Kara Laudon's Christmas song, "A Holly Jolly Christmas", produced by Justin Sharbono.
If you have any questions about any of the devices that I use, just