domenica 28 agosto 2016

How to clone a tone: Paradise City Clean by guns'n'roses

My First step is alway gather some good information: what was used in the studio?

Everyone is ok with the fact that there is Chorus and Reverb (obviously included in every preset mentioned here!), and that it is a clean channel pushed to the limit of the volume.

The model?

Either the famous Marshall JMP 1959T Super Lead or some unnamed Fender "tweed".

My starting point was testing the various British. There is a problem. Fender did not put a Britsh Clean channel in the mustang. I used what i have: very low gain but with all the volumes cranked. I dont like this very much, but that's all you can do without a british clean tone. I tried the different 4x12 cab model and i found that the greenback have the right degree of frequence separation for the clean suff.

To my taste the better solution was to tweak my trusty Fender 57 De luxe model, emulating the maxed volume with that bit of gain to compress the sound. I keep the default cab that was just so good to me. Maybe the British 70 was the best matching tone, but using the F57DL allowed me to have a more versatile tone, that works better with the neck pickup and allow me a cleaner sound with the volume pot. Overall a preset that really deserve his slot on the amp.

I will update later with link to the 3 presets i made!

venerdì 26 agosto 2016

Two words of amp EQ

Ok, you have 3 knobs. Looks easy. TREBLE, MID, BASS. It is a no brainer. Or not?

I was reading an article on the web. The writer suggested to start with a setting. 3 numbers. No mention what amp or channel was used.

As you may know, reading about amps is a passion of mine.

Reading the above article i decided that there was some information that need to be shared with you reader. If you have a fender mustang you have up to 17 amp models (v2 numbers). So you need to know that  every amp model may use its EQ in a different way.

Let me explain.

EQ can act in 3 different way.

1) 100% (all cranked) is the standard volume and 0% is (almost) no volume: the knob act as cutter
2) 50% (mid position) is the standard volume and you can either cut or boost the frequencies
3) 0% (opposite of cranked) is the standard volume and you can only boost frequencies (usually you can boos A LOT)

This 3 way are often mixed, so you can have an amp with BASS and TREBLE that act as a cutter and MID that can either cut or boost. So you can get totally different sounds in different amp with the same "numbers". You can understand the issue in the above article...

 A concrete  example:

my Champ 12 has no MID knob, only a boost switch, so you have only 2 MID settings, TREBLE and BASS are cutter, you can handle this but not every combination is possible. You cannot scoop mids!

Another one:

American 90 model (like the good old mesa) higly boost Basses so you need to set the BASS know as much as it can but without became muddy.

Last tip: the tonal variaton of the guitar pickup conbination (Fender Stratocaster vs Gibson Les Paul) is about a +10%/-10%. Do your math!

giovedì 25 agosto 2016

Raspberry Mustang Raider: it works!!!

Big news (for me).

After solving some problem the basics seems to work fine!


In the screenshot you can see the deamon mode outputting the preset change i was doing with the amp knob.

Actually, via command line, it output a lot of staff i sorta-of-need to understand, see this sample:

root@raspberrypi:~/mustangr/mustang-raider-master# ./mustangr c 13
ENGL amb v2
Current preset: 0
Mk2c Insane V2
Current preset: 1
Mesa Raw RGD v4
Current preset: 2
Megadeth TS v3
Current preset: 3
Mesa Raw Boomer V3
Current preset: 4
Piezo 7 v2
Current preset: 5
Liquid Solo V3
Current preset: 6
Metal Clean v2
Current preset: 7
Satch Lead Delay v2
Current preset: 8
Satch Wah M2K v4
Current preset: 9
Drive Solo V4
Current preset: 10
Slash
Current preset: 11
Mesa Mk2c Rob V3
Current preset: 12
Piezo Chorus v2
Current preset: 13
Bassman Screamer
Current preset: 14
Bassman SRV2
Current preset: 15
Thrash Metal v4
Current preset: 16
Prog Solo
Current preset: 17
Erotomania SZ v4
Current preset: 18
Megadeth Rip V2
Current preset: 19
zdream
Current preset: 20
Stomper
Current preset: 21
Bassman Screamer Ch
Current preset: 22
Deluxe Reverb Class
Current preset: 23
Bassman Screamer Ch
Current preset: 22
Tri Chorus Light
Current preset: 0
Chorus Deep
Current preset: 1
Flanger
Current preset: 2
Bias/Sine Tremolo
Current preset: 3
Vintage Tremolo
Current preset: 4
Vintage Tremolo Fas
Current preset: 5
Vibratone Slow
Current preset: 6
Vibratone Fast
Current preset: 7
Track DoublePitch S
Current preset: 8
Phaser Slow Deep
Current preset: 9
Phaser Medium
Current preset: 10
Step Filter
Current preset: 11
Double Small
Current preset: 0
Stereo Tape Delay
Current preset: 1
Mono Delay Long
Current preset: 2
Small Room Reverb
Current preset: 3
Plate Reverb
Current preset: 4
Large Hall Reverb
Current preset: 5
Fender '65 Spring
Current preset: 6
Fender '63 Spring
Current preset: 7
Tape Delay/Room
Current preset: 8
Tape Delay/Lg Hall
Current preset: 9
Ducking Delay/Sm Hall
Current preset: 10
Close DL + Arena
Current preset: 11
Mustang Raider 0.2
t for tuner ON
PATCH 13 -
OK
No argoument!
Usage: mustangr tuneron
       mustangr <virtual_port> <midi_channel#>

       port = 0..n,  channel = 1..16

As you can see it output the whole preset list i sdumped actually.

martedì 23 agosto 2016

Some outing for my new project

https://github.com/mordor74/mustang-raider

Here you can read what i am doing right now.

Hope to post a proof of concept soon!

sabato 13 agosto 2016

Notes for my new project!

My new project involves a Raspberry PI and my Fender Mustang.

I have some testing script, and i am collecting here some preliminar information.

You can guess what my project is...

pi@raspberrypi ~ $ lsusb
Bus 001 Device 004: ID 0a12:0001 Cambridge Silicon Radio, Ltd Bluetooth Dongle (HCI mode)
Bus 001 Device 005: ID 1234:0123 Brain Actuated Technologies
Bus 001 Device 006: ID 1ed8:0004
Bus 001 Device 003: ID 0424:ec00 Standard Microsystems Corp. SMSC9512/9514 Fast Ethernet Adapter
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 0424:9514 Standard Microsystems Corp.
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub

So 1ed8:0004 is my mustang I v1.

Some more information:

root@raspberrypi:~# lsusb -s 6 -v

Bus 001 Device 006: ID 1ed8:0004
Device Descriptor:
  bLength                18
  bDescriptorType         1
  bcdUSB               1.10
  bDeviceClass            0 (Defined at Interface level)
  bDeviceSubClass         0
  bDeviceProtocol         0
  bMaxPacketSize0        64
  idVendor           0x1ed8
  idProduct          0x0004
  bcdDevice            1.00
  iManufacturer           1 FMIC
  iProduct                2 Mustang Amplifier
  iSerial                 3 96A1FF323230573057086026
  bNumConfigurations      1
  Configuration Descriptor:
    bLength                 9
    bDescriptorType         2
    wTotalLength          132
    bNumInterfaces          3
    bConfigurationValue     1
    iConfiguration          0
    bmAttributes         0xc0
      Self Powered
    MaxPower              100mA
    Interface Descriptor:
      bLength                 9
      bDescriptorType         4
      bInterfaceNumber        0
      bAlternateSetting       0
      bNumEndpoints           2
      bInterfaceClass         3 Human Interface Device
      bInterfaceSubClass      0 No Subclass
      bInterfaceProtocol      0 None
      iInterface              0
        HID Device Descriptor:
          bLength                 9
          bDescriptorType        33
          bcdHID               1.10
          bCountryCode            0 Not supported
          bNumDescriptors         1
          bDescriptorType        34 Report
          wDescriptorLength      32
         Report Descriptors:
           ** UNAVAILABLE **
      Endpoint Descriptor:
        bLength                 7
        bDescriptorType         5
        bEndpointAddress     0x81  EP 1 IN
        bmAttributes            3
          Transfer Type            Interrupt
          Synch Type               None
          Usage Type               Data
        wMaxPacketSize     0x0040  1x 64 bytes
        bInterval               1
      Endpoint Descriptor:
        bLength                 7
        bDescriptorType         5
        bEndpointAddress     0x01  EP 1 OUT
        bmAttributes            3
          Transfer Type            Interrupt
          Synch Type               None
          Usage Type               Data
        wMaxPacketSize     0x0040  1x 64 bytes
        bInterval               1
    Interface Descriptor:
      bLength                 9
      bDescriptorType         4
      bInterfaceNumber        2
      bAlternateSetting       0
      bNumEndpoints           0
      bInterfaceClass         1 Audio
      bInterfaceSubClass      1 Control Device
      bInterfaceProtocol      0
      iInterface              0
      AudioControl Interface Descriptor:
        bLength                 9
        bDescriptorType        36
        bDescriptorSubtype      1 (HEADER)
        bcdADC               1.00
        wTotalLength           30
        bInCollection           1
        baInterfaceNr( 0)       1
      AudioControl Interface Descriptor:
        bLength                12
        bDescriptorType        36
        bDescriptorSubtype      2 (INPUT_TERMINAL)
        bTerminalID             1
        wTerminalType      0x0200 Input Undefined
        bAssocTerminal          0
        bNrChannels             2
        wChannelConfig     0x0003
          Left Front (L)
          Right Front (R)
        iChannelNames           0
        iTerminal               0
      AudioControl Interface Descriptor:
        bLength                 9
        bDescriptorType        36
        bDescriptorSubtype      3 (OUTPUT_TERMINAL)
        bTerminalID             2
        wTerminalType      0x0101 USB Streaming
        bAssocTerminal          0
        bSourceID               1
        iTerminal               0
    Interface Descriptor:
      bLength                 9
      bDescriptorType         4
      bInterfaceNumber        1
      bAlternateSetting       0
      bNumEndpoints           0
      bInterfaceClass         1 Audio
      bInterfaceSubClass      2 Streaming
      bInterfaceProtocol      0
      iInterface              0
    Interface Descriptor:
      bLength                 9
      bDescriptorType         4
      bInterfaceNumber        1
      bAlternateSetting       1
      bNumEndpoints           1
      bInterfaceClass         1 Audio
      bInterfaceSubClass      2 Streaming
      bInterfaceProtocol      0
      iInterface              0
      AudioStreaming Interface Descriptor:
        bLength                 7
        bDescriptorType        36
        bDescriptorSubtype      1 (AS_GENERAL)
        bTerminalLink           2
        bDelay                  1 frames
        wFormatTag              1 PCM
      AudioStreaming Interface Descriptor:
        bLength                11
        bDescriptorType        36
        bDescriptorSubtype      2 (FORMAT_TYPE)
        bFormatType             1 (FORMAT_TYPE_I)
        bNrChannels             2
        bSubframeSize           2
        bBitResolution         16
        bSamFreqType            1 Discrete
        tSamFreq[ 0]        44100
      Endpoint Descriptor:
        bLength                 9
        bDescriptorType         5
        bEndpointAddress     0x82  EP 2 IN
        bmAttributes            5
          Transfer Type            Isochronous
          Synch Type               Asynchronous
          Usage Type               Data
        wMaxPacketSize     0x00c0  1x 192 bytes
        bInterval               1
        bRefresh                0
        bSynchAddress           0
        AudioControl Endpoint Descriptor:
          bLength                 7
          bDescriptorType        37
          bDescriptorSubtype      1 (EP_GENERAL)
          bmAttributes         0x00
          bLockDelayUnits         0 Undefined
          wLockDelay              0 Undefined
Device Status:     0x0000
  (Bus Powered)

Seems like now i need to understand endpoints!

mercoledì 9 marzo 2016

Why Fender has not released a Mustang v3 yet?

Well, this is my guess but...

Over the years of life of the Fender Mustang v1 and then v2 a lot of video appeared demostrating how good and close is a Mustang to a Valve amp.

I mean, maybe when you have the 2 amps in your room you can feel the difference in the way the sound propagate from the amps, its dynamics and so on...

But on a recording, a good recording is hard to tell the difference.

So people who start with a 100$ Mustang may not be motivated to invest in a 1000$ amp...

So my guess is... why should Fender upgrade the mustang and make it even better?

If you look at Amazon is already one of the best selling guitar amp. Sells more than cheap line6 or cheap peavy. It cost less and has good quality.

No reason to make it better, could not sell more than that!

venerdì 26 febbraio 2016

Go playalong: A really cool learning tool!

Go Playalong is a tool that allow you to sync an audio track with a guitar pro tab.

How does it catch with a Mustang amp.

One of my learning tools is Rocksmith, but when i use Rocksmith i miss my Mustang tones.

Before Rocksmith i used (like many people) guitar pro. It is good but i'd like better play along with the original track...

Another good tool i use is Jammit but lacks of songs and you also have to pay. You pay for multitrack version of the song so it really worth the money but when a track is not available there is nothing you can do!

Well... it looks like GPA is what i was missing. I synched Enter Sandman in minutes and now i dont need anymore rocksmith to play it (it is a recent addiction to my rep and i still need hints on the structure, more than on the single note).

A side note: GPA is not an editor, but you can edit the Guitarpro file in anymoment and GPA will update the next time you load the song. Very well done! Tuxguitar is a free tool that may match well with GPA for editing pourpouses.

Free version allows you to synch 3 song. After i fill the 3 free slot i will surely pay for the full version.

I did not find a forum or a community online. Too bad! A good community will make this tool fly!

Very soon i will do an youtube demo of the tool, stay tuned!