01 January 2012

Machine Head guitar tuning

A lot has been written about the subject, but here's the deal:

Machine Head doesn't tune to A440, they tune to 450 Hz.
So configure your tuner to reference A as 450 instead of 440 Hz, tune to Drop B and it'll sound good.
Tuning (low to high): B F♯ B E G♯ C♯ (So 1,5 steps down from Drop D)
That's all there is to it. \m/

Boss NS-2

Right, I'm going to kick start this with something I've noticed about the Boss-NS2.

I wanted a noise gate because my setup was pretty noisy, especially at high gain.
So I Googled for a bit and decided the entire ISP Decimator vs Boss NS-2 discussion is a bit like Nintendo vs Sega, Vi vs Emacs, Jap bikes/cars vs Euro bikes/cars, Apple vs Microsoft etc etc etc
(btw, the correct answers to those are, in order: Nintendo, Vi, Japanese bikes/cars and Debian)
Anyways, apparently it's very hard to try and make an objective opinion about the damn pedal.
"There's tone sucking going on", I've read that a gazillion times on forums and in reviews.
Nice information dudes, cheers for that!
Well, I haven't tested the ISP so I can't compare the two, but I noticed something:

I never really liked the sound of my Hardwire TL-2 distortion on the Blackstar HT1 in some situations.
It was ok for everything except for those real chunky down stroked riffs Metallica is known for.
As soon as I engaged the pedal on either channel of the amp 2 things happened:
* the chunkiness disappeared and no matter what I did with the TL-2's settings, I couldn't get it back. It sounded pretty tame actually.
* high tones got boosted slightly ("high" dial at 12 o'clock). Wasn't that big of a deal, just turned the dial down a little.

So, I got the Boss NS-2 today (it's a lot cheaper than the ISP and if it's good enough for Mr Hetfield, it's good enough for me) and I set it up like this:

guitar -> NS2 input
NS2 output -> amp
NS2 send -> TL-2 input
TL-2 output -> NS2 return

So the standard "let's put the distortion pedal in the NS2 loop" set up, basically.
I engaged the distortion on the amp's clean channel and lo and behold, my chunky sound is back.
Don't ask me why, I have no idea... but I'm digging the sound a lot.

So, is there tone sucking?
Define tone sucking... my tone has definitely changed, for the better that is.
The chunk is back and the highs sound "normal" again.
The distortion pedal now sounds like what I'd expect from a distortion pedal.
It took the NS-2's effect loop but it sounds good to my ears now.

The noise reduction and gating function of the NS-2 works like it should on my set up btw, thought I should mention that as well.
Some people on the forums I've read on the subject claimed it didn't work for them, YMMV.

For completeness' sake here's the gear used in the set up:

* Epiphone '84 Explorer reissue (EMG's 81/85)
* Blackstar HT1
* Digitech Hardwire TL-2 Metal Distortion
* Boss NS-2

First post!!!one!!111!!1

(in case one of my friends should bump into this...)

I hate blogs, I really do, and here's why:

I don't give a fuck what kind of spaghetti you like best.
I'm not interested in seeing your baby pictures.
I don't care about what you think about politics and I can do without reading about your kid.

I like _useful_ information, the kind of information that can help you solve a problem.
Well, the problem is that I often search for information on something on Google but the information I'm after is nowhere to be found. 
A shitload loosely related stuff (but always very vague, of course) on blogs and mailing lists, yeh, but not the specific info I'm after.
And that, random reader, is why I start this blog.
To cache information which wouldn't be on Google otherwise, Blogger stuff gets cached so the information I want to share will be easily accessible.
Topics can and will include anything that I think is interesting and I feel should be cached...

Oh and don't send me emails expecting me to do your job for you.
I've had it happen before... what I've learned is employers generally don't like to hear stories about members of their staff being in charge of stuff they don't know shit about; who would've guessed?
I'm not doing this because of some altruistic urge you know, just saying.