DR blog – Cologne

Jumped in the merch van again for the overnight ride from Luxemburg into a bit of a slow one meal day with a short ride around town.

I like it here, nearly always stay out near the Dom. Since we have two days off will save adventuring for tomorrow.

I must admit the election has left me feeling sad and depressed. A helpless frustration and realization that perhaps believing in honesty, integrity and compassion is just for fools as selfish greed and divisiveness is how the real winners roll. Create scapegoats and unify the masses and we are living in animal farm.

Oh well, I don’t like like it and don’t have any belief it will ever cease to be common. I guess at the end of the day I just need to have made the decisions that help me sleep at night with the feeling I did my best to do what’s right.

Ok, enough about my reality, let’s move onto audio. So the second unit in the photo is a Lexicon PCM60. Must have been the late 80’s when I bought the first one. It was a budget buster at the time and was a replacement for this horrible sounding Yamaha R1000 reverb we were using.

As the years past, I have switched to numerous other units but I could never get the sound I was seeking.

In a reverb unit for live, I rarely am looking for a realistic sound as a realistic reverb just puts the instrument in a different room. Rather I am looking to extend the time duration of an instrument or vocal. Yes I want it to sound farther away but really I seek a texture that is different than the room sound. If the reverb is really clean and realistic, I find I need to add a lot for it to be audible or have an impact. Adding a lot if reverb is counter productive for most large live shows.

Rather I want it to be as audience as possible using as little as possible.

In general I use very few effects and for peppers, all effects I do are on just 2 units. A few effects, like the vocoder on By the Way and vocal effect for Monarchy are created on stage by Chris Warren or monitor Mark respectively.

Keep in mind there is no right or wrong with effects, just choices that have a higher probability of giving you the outcome you desire. I’m just sharing what works for me.

So, the PCM60 has 4 room sizes, 4 decay times, a plate or room option and a low and high cut option all on mechanical buttons.

I find that I can get every verb sound I desire from a short sharp gated sound to a long dreamy wash just by punching a few buttons. Plus, a quick glance tells me exactly where I am set.

The real secret to the PCM60 though is in the input section. I discovered this year’s later when using a PCM90 that had a PCM60 emulator setting. Try as a may I could never get the sound I was looking for. Finally after going back to an actual PCM60, I discovered the secret.

The input section on a PCM60 when driven hard into clip has the most wonderful thick distorted sound when overloaded. Turns out that the reverb sound I crave is created when the snare or toms clip the input adding a crunch to the drum sound being sent to the reverb.

The reverb sound created can be altered by how much i overload the input and I can create the big thick crunchy verbs and add them back to the mix at very low levels. This allows me to get the sound I want without losing the clear, up close and personal sound I try and deliver to the audience.

Cool cool, that’s enough for now, a few pics and gonna publish without proof reading again, so please forgive any errors.

The open road, at night in the dark