Thursday, December 27, 2012
Yes, it has been a loooong time since this blog has been updated. I left it on a bit of a sour note. I've since had my second son and he is 22 months. I can't play guitar if he's awake and I cant if he's asleep.

So whats up yo?
I'm glad you asked. I'm still playing with Bevan Lynch as we werechanges. We are going under the name Lynch now. I'll fill you in early next year about it as we are develpoing some stuff for you.

I'm expecting to get back into it big time this year. Some hopefuls include a short lesson with Rowan Stuart and his new project Light in Cages.  Check out the music page and hear the track "Sorry it didn't work out." I love it.

I've gotten rid of  a bunch of gear.  No more BR600. No Cube 80X and no more MIM Delxue Power strat. The latter was silly sale but I'm getting over it. Maybe if we're lucky I'll get my hands on a BR800 (if someone's keen to send me one in lieu of some video lessons...)

What else caught my ear was an interesting band from Durban, Gangs of Ballet. Somewhat interesting as they are a normal band, but what stands out to me is the production of their songs I won't say much more, you can listen for yourselves...

oh, and just for fun....

Tuesday, February 15, 2011
I read many blog or forum posts from people who own studios, teach music or are in some way involved in the music industry where they claim to know and profess all truth.

It seems to me that there are far too many experts who have done nothing further with their involvement that writing about it online. How do you now who to trust?

I always like to look at it this way, has the person done enough with their knowledge to be considered known for it? meaning is the person at least semi-famous as an engineer, producer, musician, teacher etc. Have they written for any publications that matter or are they doing a buddy a favour?

If the answer for that is no, then I consider how honest the person is. Do they say they are still learning but this is what I know so far? Are they humble about what they know? One can only despise the guy who says, "I teach people how to sing therefore I AM the authoritae on song writing." I've come across someone like that before. He tried to tarnish the good name of my band because we didn't agree with him.

I maintain one thought though, listen, take what you need and can work with . But ALWAYS follow your own thoughts. Nobody knows your plans better than you.
Friday, January 28, 2011
I'm not a big fan of HSS Stratocasters. I've never liked the sound that you get from the humbucker. Maybe I don't use enough gain when I play a strat but it doesn't sound right. In fact it doesn't sound like it's matched to the others. It feels like such an afterthought. "Oh, Ibanez can do it, why don't we?"

The Fender Stratocaster is awesome with 3 single coil pickups. They work well together, when matched correctly, and give you a sound and tone that only a strat could. They have made major improvements for noise reduction and their tone is only getting better.

I put the Fender Hot Noiseless pickup in the bridge. I left the Tex Mex pups in the middle and neck position even though I feel they are not 100% suited to the sound I am after. I am keen for a set of Toneriders or maybe Kinmans if anyone wants to send me a set to demo... hint hint.

Here's the video comparison for my now, better sounding, strat. Enjoy

Wednesday, January 26, 2011
A while back I acquired a Fender Hot Noiseless pickup which I immediately chucked into a 1990 MIJ Squier Stratocaster.

Well, I recently got my hands on a set of Fender pickups from an American Stratocaster. Of course the first thing I would do is apply them to my Squier and make a video of it. Wouldn't you?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011
I do get the odd question from the videos I upload to YouTube. I thought I'd answer them publicly to make myself feel important. ha ha

The first mail comes from Neil. 

Hi Donovan Firstly, I would like to thank you for your youtube vids for boss br600. Really helpful. I wonder if you could send me a copy of the drum track list that you mentioned as I had trouble locating it on your blog page. Keep up the good work. Thanks Neil
Thanks Neil and I apologise for taking so long to reply. I might have moved it or misplaced it when I changed servers. So I have loaded it here for your benefit. Enjoy. I certainly found keeping a record of what I had done very helpful when arranging.

The second mail comes from Steve,

Hi there...I can export my ttrack 1 through 4 and 5/6 to my computer but when I try to export 7/8 it says card I'm exporting so I don't understand why it says card full as I have plenty of memory left on the computer external card... Any help is appreciated and thanks for your other videos, I wouldn't be able to do this without your posts :) steve
What the BR600 does when you export a track is copy the .wav file to the USB folder on the card. Which means that if you have recorded 8 tracks, then export 8 tracks there are effectively 16 .wav files on your card taking up storage space.
What I found to be more effective is the Boss WAV converter which can be downloaded here. Basically it is more visual when downloading WAV files from the BR600. I will try get a video done for that soon.

Have fun recording guys.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
That's the question I hear all 65 of you ask about the recording of my last gig.

Not so great, is the answer.

There was a lot wrong with the way the whole event was executed to begin with and there are some things we can all learn from here.

There were 13 bands, each playing 2 songs with no sound check in between. The stage was nicely laid out with enough gear and we as the band knew what was expected of us. We were prepared. So we thought.
I got on stage and made use of a Laney Cub amp. I chose that over the other 2 Fender amps because I knew it had good tone and figured since it was mic'ed up, I could have the mix in the monitors and not hear it too much from the source. Unfortunately when I should have told the sound engineer which amp I was using I didn't because I was rushing to set up. I will NEVER forsake quality of sound for time. The result of this was that when I broke into my solo, and it was a great one, it was inaudible. You could hear nothing at all. I tried in between sections to crank the amp but it was at 10 and still nothing.

I just carried on playing and by the second song I was definitely hearing guitar. My moment had passed. Nobody heard me. I checked with the engineer recording the audio and he had recorded the stereo mix and not each instrument on separate tracks. Recording stereo can work out awesome when the live sound is up to the right standard. Unfortunately, now there is a recording with absolutely no guitar, not even a track that can be compressed and amplified to rescue it. I can probably try dubbing some guitar over it after the fact but I am not sure how usable that track, or the recording will be.

We played our two songs with gusto and pizazz. The audience enjoyed us and we had fun. Hopefully the end product is usable, or at least YouTubable (c) so you can see it. Maybe I can also get my hands on the audio and add what guitar I can but we will see.

Frankly I can't blame anyone for the shortcomings but myself. We knew what we were getting into and we prepared for it. I just disregarded lessons and experience that I have had from this same venue. I knew something was going to fail and didn't look hard enough at what could go wrong.

I still had an awesome jam though....
Saturday, December 11, 2010

We're playing a 2 song set along with some other great bands. The event is being recorded to be released on DVD with the Zack's compilation album. Stay tuned for more details.

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Donovan Banks
Durban, KZN, South Africa
I am a musician who does anything and everything else. I write about what I do and how I do it. Enjoy and feel free to comment.
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