Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Guitar Massacre

Hey everybody,

today we played the first try-out of our new Vanillewijs theater show for children. We're very happy with the result after many months of hard work.
For you guitar guys I'm posting a part of the soundtrack that we wrote for the show. This piece is the only one which has just guitar tracks in it. It goes with a fight scene between a sea monster and two kids (don't ask, just go and see the show ...). It was quite some fun recording a bit of good old rock guitar, just listen for yourself:


More news coming soon!


Monday, September 3, 2012

Boss ME-70: into PA and guitar amp?

Hi everybody,

just sharing some more of my experiences with the Boss ME-70. I've had it for a few months now and I used it in several live shows. I'm actually not a big effects guy but sometimes I play commercial gigs where I need some effects, and I find the ones in the ME-70's pretty good for my purposes.

I got the ME-70 because I wanted to connect it directly to the PA, so for certain gigs I wouldn't need a guitar amp. This actually works pretty well because the built-in amp simulations sound quite good. I played a few gigs with just the ME-70 and the sound was pretty OK. The only problem I've had with this approach was the fact that I'm totally dependent on the monitoring. Sometimes it was good, so no problem, but sometimes I couldn't hear myself well enough. So my next idea was to bring along my  Laney Cub-12, just as a small guitar monitor. But to my disappointment I found out that the ME-70 doesn't really support using the recording/PA output and the guitar amp output at the same time. What happens - and I have no idea why they did it that way - is that as soon as you use the recording/PA output, a cab simulation is activated - at the guitar amp output! I cannot imagine any use of this "feature"; for me it is actually quite annoying because connecting a cab-sim'ed output to a guitar amp doesn't sound too great, and you can hardly compensate for it with the amp's EQ knobs. So far, the only solution to this problem is to connect my own active monitor box instead of a guitar amp to the guitar amp outputs of the ME-70. Anyway, it all remains a compromise that I'm not really happy with. I might as well go back to using my guitar amp with a microphone in front of it, but the whole idea of using the ME-70 was to get rid of the amp and the mic ...

Don't get me wrong, the ME-70 is a good pedal with great value for money. I believe that most of the effects are really good, and definitely good enough for live use. It's just that one thing about the automatic cab simulation applied to the guitar amp output as soon as there's a plug in the recording/PA output that annoys me, especially because I don't understand why anybody would want that; as far as I can see it's just bad design, and that's not something I usually would associate with Boss.

OK, enough of complaining, I'll let you know which solution I'll end up with. It'll take a bit more of experimentation ... If anybody has found a solution to this problem, please let me know!


Monday, August 13, 2012

Guitar lessons starting again!


welcome back everybody! I hope you had a great summer. I'm back too and I will start teaching from this week on. I'm looking forward to seeing all of you again and I'm also happy to welcome some new students this year. I hope we all learn and improve and have fun at the same time!

See you soon,

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Student concert tonight @ Kraaij en Balder!!!

Hi everybody,

tonight is the big night! Our students will play many great songs in Café Kraaij en Balder. There will be singers as well as guitar players. Here are some of the songs they will perform tonight:

Little Wing - Jimi Hendrix
Always with me, always with you - Joe Satriani
I'm Alright - Neil Zaza
SRV - Eric Johnson
Breakeven - The Script
Make you feel my love - Adele
The A-team - Ed Sheeran
You've got the Love - Florence and the Machine
I'm yours - Jason Mraz
The only exception - Paramore
Who Knew - Pink

and many more ...

19:30 @ Café Kraaij en Balder (Strijpsestraat 79, Eindhoven)

Be there and join us for a great night full of music!


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Radio Show: listen to the songs

Hi everybody,

as announced earlier, we were interviewed by Hubert Mol from the Dutch radio station Omroep Brabant and we also played three songs live on air in a small acoustic setting. We were announced for 15:00 but the soundcheck and everything else went so smoothly that we started the interview at least 30 minutes earlier. That's also why many people who tuned in at 15:00 missed us. But don't you worry, here you can listen back to the songs ;)

Irida - vocals | Shidhi Bouwman - backing vocals | Mathias Lang - guitar | Bob Willemstein - bass | Yori Olijslagers - percussie

Enjoy listening!

Write to you soon,

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Irida Radio Show + Interview: 2 June, 15:00


next Saturday we will be in the studio of the Dutch radio station Omroep Brabant where Irida will give an interview and we will play a few songs live.

You can join us via internet:
The show starts at 15:00 on Saturday 2 June.

All the best,

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Students' concert 14 June

Hi everybody,

it's been a busy year and - as usually - towards the end of the season there will be a STUDENTS' CONCERT!!! I'm looking forward to our show in the best and coziest jazz club in Eindhoven: Kraaij en Balder, where we've already spent many good evenings with nice people, good atmosphere, good beer, and - of course - good music. Join us on Thursday 14 June from 19:30 and enjoy singers and guitarist showing what they've learned during the past months.

Hope to see you there,

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Irida: CD-release Party Vienna

Hi everybody,

we're just back from Vienna where we celebrated the release of Irida's CD 'Samsara':

We put together a great band and we played all songs live in the local bar in Vienna. The show went very well, we had a lot of fun on stage and we met many old and new friends. And this is the band, right before the show:

From left to right: Peter Huber (tr), Peter Schiefer (b.voc), Albert O. Mair (keys, b.voc), Rue Kostron (b), Hermann Aigner (dr), Betty Semper (b.voc), Mathias Lang (gu), Irida (voc), Shidhi Bouwman (b.voc), Iris Camaa (perc, b.voc), Florian Braun (b.voc).

And during the show ... (unfortunately, not everybody is visible here):

We got a lot of positive feedback afterwards and it was great to hang out with friends and fans:

Me and Bart from Let's Play Music Center Eindhoven
There will also be a video of the show. I'll post a link as soon as it's finished.

That's it for now. Take care,

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Boss ME-70 guitar effects pedal

Hi guys,

I want to let you know about my first experiences with my new Boss ME-70 multiple effects pedal. Maybe this can help you with your own choice of effects. First of all, I was NOT looking for expensive high-end effects. I'm not an effect guy anyway; my preferred setup is a tube amp with a wah-pedal and a booster/drive-pedal between the guitar and the amp. I usually use a cry-baby wah and a Hughes&Kettner Tube Factor.

OK, having said that, there are occasions where I need some other effects. When I play more commercial stuff it's nice to have more sounds, a bit of chorus, delay, maybe an octaver. So I checked out some effect pedals and soon it became clear to me that for my purposes a multi-effects pedal would offer the best value. After some research and testing, my two favorites were the Vox Tonelab and the Boss ME-70. And these are the main reasons why I finally went for the ME-70:
  • the ME-70's user-interface works better for me
  • much better sound when plugged directly into a PA (maybe this was only because the ME-70 is much easier to tweak, but then again this is a good reason to get the ME-70 ...)
  • I like that the expression pedal always acts as a volume pedal when switched off
  • I could get a better clean sound from the ME-70 than from the Vox (another user-interface problem? ...) 
The effects that I need are all pretty good in the ME-70, but the ones in the Tonelab were also OK. One more thing I thought about was the tube in the Vox Tonelab; I couldn't actually hear that it gives a great advantage over the solid-state modeller of the ME-70. So I thought I'd rather avoid the risk of a tube in such a unit, because I guess that if the Tonelab gets kicked around it's much more vulnerable than the ME-70 (I haven't actually checked this ...).

Anyway, I think that there are not many general guidelines when looking for an effects-pedal. Nowadays almost all of them deliver good sounds if you know how to adjust/program them well. It mainly depends on what you actually need it for, which type of amp (or no amp at all?) you use, and if you're looking for special features such as a USB-output for recording etc.

If you like, share your ideas and opinions with me. Good luck with your own choices!

best, mathias

Monday, March 5, 2012

Live gig with Yamaha Silent Guitar SLG130NW

Hello everybody,

I would like to update you on my experiences with my new Yamaha silent guitar. Last weekend I played my first live show exclusively with this guitar and I was actually pretty happy. We had quite some time during the soundcheck, so I could experiment a bit. Just for fun I tried to go directly into the mixer (jack input, no DI) but the result was not that great, as expected. Then I connected my LR Baggs Para DI box and after some EQing I got a really nice sound. What I did was leave the mixer EQ flat and add some presence and treble from the Para DI. I also added a little reverb from the mixer. The reverb built into the Yamaha guitar is only useful for practicing with headphones, definitely not for rehearsing or playing live. My conclusion is that I will keep this guitar and I will use it live whenever I need a nylon string sound.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My new Yamaha SLG 130NW

Hi there,

just wanted to let you know that I got myself a new guitar: the Yamaha silent guitar with nylon strings. I've been looking for a nylon string guitar for recording and for playing live for quite some time and I finally decided to get this Yamaha guitar. The main advantages for me are that the silent guitar is light and small and that feedback is obviously no issue because there is no resonating body. So far I only used it during rehearsals. I connected it via an LR Baggs Para DI directly to the mixer and the sound was OK. I don't use any of the built-in effects, just some reverb from the mixer. I still need to experiment a bit to optimize and get used to the sound because I'm not totally satisfied yet. Next weekend I'll use it live for the first time and then I can tell you more ...
And that's how it looks on me (isn't it cool?):


Monday, February 27, 2012

Back from rehearsals in Austria

Hi everybody,

I'm just back from rehearsals for Irida's CD release party in April. We had two intensive rehearsals with a great band. Everybody was well prepared and the songs sounded very good already. There will be one more rehearsal a few days before the show. We're all very confident that the show will not only sound very good but that it will also be a lot of fun to play!

And this is the band:

Iris Camaa: percussion + backing vocals
Shidhi Bouwman: backing vocals
Florian Braun: backing vocals
Albert Mair: keyboards + backing vocals
Peter Huber: trumpet
Rue Kostron: bass
Hermann Aigner: drums
Mathias Lang: guitars

Come and see us live in the Local Bar in Vienna on 15 April!


Friday, January 27, 2012

CD release party on 15 April 2012 in Vienna

Hi everybody,

we've fixed the date for the release party of Irida's new CD Samsara. It will be on 15 April 2012 in the Local Bar in Vienna, Austria. We've put a great band together and there will be some rehearsals in February. Check out Irida's new website for more news, music etc.:
More info coming soon!


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Irida video finished

Last September I told you about the shooting of Irida's video "Karten auf den Tisch". Now the editing is finally done and that's the result:

The CD is almost ready and we're planning a release party some time in spring. I'll keep you posted ...

Happy 2012!

Hello everybody,

I wish you all a great year 2012 with a lot of music and happiness!
I was on a vacation for a few weeks but now I'm back full of energy and eager to start again. Tomorrow is my first teaching day this year and I'm looking forward to seeing all my students again.
More news coming soon!