Auctions used to be somewhere where you could go for a bit of a bargain, but not anymore – they’ve become places where people try to get retail or inflated prices depending on whether or not the item is new or “vintage”.
I regularly wander auction company listings looking for keyboards/synths but usually never see any so it’s back to eBay to troll the never ending shite and bullshit prices. Let’s look at say a Korg Kronos 88 – retail is around the $5,500 mark +/- a bit and what is eBay full of? Yep new Korg Kronos 88’s for that price. I’m confused, where is the bargain that an auction is supposed to bring, sure as hell not anywhere near advertisers of Korg Kronos’.
That’s the new stuff what about ‘vintage’ and I use the term loosely. Let’s look at ermm a Korg M1 there is one retailer/spammer on eBay who seems to think they’re worth a small fortune (or their ego is as inflated as their prices on all their stuff which is fucked up) as in $500 to $600+. My personal opinion on the M1 is one of “BLEH” if you want something like that get a T2EX, but I digress. Other sellers look on eBay to see how much they’re selling for, see this idiots pricing structure and follow suit – my response to that is “BAHAHAHA you cretins!” As far as I’m concerned a mint and I mean MINT M1 is worth no more than $350 as they aren’t a rare piece of kit, and if you don’t like my offer then piss off I’m not that fussed.
There was one there the other week that had a dead keybed, broken keys and a fading screen and they wanted $300 as a starter – give me a break sheesh.
It seems to me that if you put the words keyboard and synthesizer together people assume they’re on a winner – you know the type, find a cheezy Casio at a garage sale for ten bux, take it home, grab a few snaps and stick it on eBay for ten or twenty times the price when in reality the damn thing is a door stop, nothing more nothing less.
Ehh I’m bored now, rant over 😉
Knocked over another Cigar Box Guitar, Libro de los Muertos or The Book of the Dead.
Oak Neck, Fretted – dunno what the fretboard timber is, just scrap, but it burns well. Humbucker knicked from an Ibanez, volume knob from an early 70’s Kriesler stereo, DIY tailpiece with Fender type bits, leather strapping knicked from my old club vest.
Just waiting on the tailpiece timber cover to dry and tweak the frets and that is that 🙂 must admit the damn thing is loud!!
What with near to and 40+ degrees it’s been way too hot to spend time in the shed, but I’ve caught up a bit now it’s cooled down. The V-Star Embossed is ready for final assembly, the neck is black with a transparent black fretboard and ebony fret markers, you can see the internal pup assembly in the photo. This’ll be the first and last tin I use unless I can find a thicker one as this one was just that tad too thin.
Yes, four 😉 Seeing as I had a stack of marine ply I cut it all to CBG size so now I’ve got masses of tops, bottoms, ends and sides, with that said I started on one, then another and another to the point where I ended up with five body’s ready to go. Discarded one as the more I looked at it the more I disliked it and have ended up with the four as shown in the pic.
They are as follows:
From LtoR Rock On’ – Three string acoustic, Libro de los Muertos or Book of the Dead for non-Spanish speakers – Three string semi acoustic with humbucker, V-Star Embossed (cheers Con) – Three string semi-acoustic, Shovellin’ – Three string acoustic oh and the Shovelhead engraving is off centre on purpose, I didn’t want the bridge to cover it.
All need final tweakin’ but not gunna say what to which one 😉
Decided to make the box and all with this one 😉 Talk about getting carried away. It’s got a three string Tasmanian Oak neck with Fender type tuners, just waiting on the neck glue to dry before final shaping – taking my time as I’m also waiting on brass corners for the box.
UPDATE 20th Jan: It’s finally finished – damn neck fought me like you wouldn’t believe.
It’s a 270mm long Montecristo box stripped of all paper and dyed Royal Blue, the neck has a 15 degree scarf joint and is dyed Plain White and the Fretboard is Chinese Red – all normal off the shelf powdered food dyes not the over the counter stupidly priced timber ones, it’s got a split pair of piezo’s in it, the tail piece and hinges are from a caravan mob, nut and bridge are cut down bolts.
Picked up three more records, I’ll get around to adding them to the list shortly (now done).
First is a 1957 press of Juanito Valderrama – Ole Flamenco
Second is Manitas de Plata – Flamenco the Spain of Manitas
Third is a WRC (approx 1971 press) of Stomu Yamash’ta – Percussion
Upper management decided that due to the fact I’m a dinosaur I have to look at a DAW as I tend to do a fair bit of composing/engineering here at home on the analogue synth’s then send the stuff off to the studio for final processing. That said, it was suggested I look at a DAW, that way I can (or should I say “THEY CAN”) find it easier to manipulate so the end product is easier to sort.
If you know me you’ll already know my opinion on suits so I won’t bother going in to that again, I’ll just be doing a comparison between the three DAW’s that are in the title. Now personally, I hate them (DAW’s that is). No let me rephrase that I tolerate them, as I find it easier to find the sound I want by turning a knob or pushing a slider than waving a computer mouse around. But to get them to shut the (insert expletive) up I’ll be comparing three. Propellerheads Reason 7.1, Acoustica’s MixCraft Pro 7 and Cocko’s Reaper Version something that escapes me and publishing my thoughts here just to prove to those who pay me I have actually looked at them 😉 it’s not going to be a real super in-depth review, just my personal view so take it or leave it.
So me being me – captain negative bastard, I’m going to start with the con’s as I found them, the computer I’m using them on is a Windows 7 64bit system with a dual core cpu and eight gig of ram. Apart from that I’m computer knowledgeable but far from a geek – so on to it.
Reason: No support for VST’s which is madness in this day and age as Arturia do some brilliant stuff and I actually enjoy tinkering with Korg’s Legacy, but neither will work in Reason so that to me is a big no major failing.
MixCraft: Regularly crashes due to the fact that a lot of VST’s are 32bit and from my understanding they themselves acknowledge the issue. Sadly a lot of the better VST’s are 32bit and they aren’t being ported to 64bit so if this issue will ever be sorted who knows. I’ve actually had it lock up my machine to the point where CTRL/ALT/DEL don’t even work so a forced restart is needed.
Reaper: I found I had to troll through too many drop downs to get to what I wanted, whether that was a VST a filter or an FX.
Now as for the good bits, I’ll start with midi. All three found what I have plugged in at the moment, the Moog Little Phatty, Roland RS and Korg MS2000 which run through an E-MU 2X2 well the Moog has a USB also so – they also found the Arturia Beatstep and Keylab 61 but that would be expected considering the latter two bits of hardware are essentially made for DAW’s.
As for audio in, I run everything that isn’t midi capable e.g. the modular, guitars, voices etc through a Behringer mixer, I also run the three listed synths through it too as I find there are sounds there that just aren’t available and I just couldn’t be bothered hunting for a similar sound in the DAW’s (yes there’s the dinosaur again).
Reason finds audio in (I use ASIO) without a single hiccup, both Reaper and Mixcraft took a bit of dickin’ about. I actually gave up with Reaper, it used to work but for some reason it now refuses to. Mixcraft however was happy enough to find the audio but the volume was so low and the help files were too vague so I gave up on that too.
Exporting audio, now personally I like Mixcraft for that as you get a number of choices be it FLAC or WAV or MP3, why anyone would export a serious file as an MP3 escapes me but ehh it’s there.
Midi: All three seem to take midi files without argument, in Mixcraft you even have the choice of seeing it in the midi edit feature as a score (I compose some really complex stuff at times – scary) which is a real treat, BUT that’s as far as it gets, either I missed something or Mixcraft can’t handle automation, tempo etc. a good example would be Rossini’s ‘Dawn’ from the William Tell overture. The time sig is 3/4 and the tempo is from memory 54 or there abouts. Loading my comparison midi in to Mixcraft saw it tag the time sig as 4/4 and 120bpm ermm not quite right is that, Reason and Reaper handled it fine. As far as editing a midi file I must honestly say you can’t go passed Reason, both Mixcraft and Reaper were too frustrating – as they say less is more and Reason has that.
Addons: Reaper and Mixcraft make use of VST’s along with inbuilt stuff so essentially your bank of instruments is all but endless oh and Mixcraft also has Izotope Mastering Essentials which I happen to like. Reason on the other hand does come with a fair bit but to get the most out of it you have to obtain refills and and rack extensions which can become expensive.
End Bit: Which one is the better? None really (the dinosaur’s back) but I suppose I have to pick one. Reason has its stability, Mixcraft looks and feels better and the ability to utilise the squillions of VST’s out there, Reaper is cheap hmmmm a toughy.
I think I’ll have to lean toward Reason only because of its stability, if Mixcraft was more stable or the 32bit/64bit issue wasn’t then I’d be leaning toward that instead. If I had to give them a rating out of 10, Reason would get an 8, Mixcraft a 7.90 and Reaper a 6.5.
Picked up another Montecristo Cigar Box which is destined to become another Cigar Box Guitar 😉 I’m all but finished with the body as you can see in the before and after photos, I promise I won’t go apeshit with pictures this time ’round.
The carcass was stripped of all paper work and dyed blue which was a logical colour for a blues slide 😛 then I clamped it in the CNC machine and cut out the maps of Texas for the sound holes and got carried away and engraved Texas Blues on it as well. Next cab off the rank is fit a couple of hinges as this make of box doesn’t come with them and line the inside with white paper – I’ll do that tomorra.
Update 8th Dec: Made the neck and fretboard, decided to do the neck white and the fretboard red with white fret markers (it’s fretless) and white stars instead of plain dots – def goin’ the Texas road 🙂 I’ll get photo’s up shortly, I want to wait until the scarf joint on the neck is rock solid before I finish it off.