Jon Dreyer: Equipment
Shen SB180 hybrid bass, sold and set up by Mark Carlsen. I bought it as a spare. Mark told me the Shen would become my first bass. He was right!
- Ugly early 20th century flatback acoustic bass, possibly Czech or German. Based on some scribbling at the base of the neck, I guess that it spent part of its wretched life in a high school. I rescued it from the attic of a music junk store outside of Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore (Ted's Musicians Shop?) and got it restored by Bill Gailes around 1980. Usually strung with Thomastic Spirocore Weichs.
- Ehrlund Acoustic Pickup (EAP) Linear Microphone. This is an amazing cross between a pickup and a mic. It sounds more like an actual bass than any other pickup I've used, but a bit light on the low end. It is very sensitive to placement, including the thickness of the goop. It also can feed back. I also have two Fishman Full Circle pickups, and a K&K Double Big Twin pickup that I don't use much.
- Czech Juzek cello, circa 1930.
- Electric upright bass by Jensen Musical Instruments. (Apparently defunct.)
- Braided carbon fiber French bass bow bought for about $90 (!) from a no-longer-extant Chinese company called YouBow, and another non-braided one that I don't like quite as much from some random amazon seller.
- Greenboy Fearless F112 speaker cabinet built by Don Barry of Greenboy Audio.
- My current amp is an an Acoustic Image Ten2 Series III. Years ago I wrote a review of its predecessor, an original Acoustic Image Coda, which is still a great amp and which I still use.
- Gollihur Upright Bass Bag 3/4 size. It's not the greatest bag; the handle placements are wierd, but it's otherwise well made and decently padded despite being relatively light, so I'm reasonably satisfied. (I don't understand Gollihur's suggestion that the more professional you are, the heavier the gig bag. Yes, you're more likely to have a nicer instrument, but you have to carry the thing around more too.)
- Tiny binaural mics from Core Sound. Sometimes I use them as a piano mic using my Core Sound piano mic hack. I also use their musical instrument mic for recording my bass. These mics are physically tiny and they sound just like the music they
hear. Listen to some recordings.
- Zoom LiveTrak L-12 digital recorder/mixer. Better for my purposes than the Zoom F8, mostly because of the extra tracks. So far I've only used it as a recorder, not a mixer.
- Audacity, an excellent, free, open source software package for audio editing and recording.
- VLC, an excellent, free, open source media player. When I need to slow a tune down to transcribe it, I usually use this.
- LAME, an excellent, free, open source mp3 encoder.
- Impro-visor, my practicing partner. An open-source Band-In-A-Box-like program with some amazing abilities, most of which I don't use. With The Imaginary Book, changes to lots of tunes in Impro-visor format.
- iReal♭, the successor to the iReal Book, a multiplatform chord-changes-only fake book/accompanist that works on iEverything, Android, Mac and Kindle Fire.
- iGigBook for my iPhone, but the screen is really too small. One day I'll root my old Samsung Galaxy Note 10" tablet and install the latest Android so I can run iGigBook on that.
- MuseScore, a free open source program for creating sheet music that works well for jazz lead sheets.
- Polytone Mini-Brute III amp (sold)
- Ampeg B-15-N Portaflex bass amp (sold)
- My 1971 Fender Precision fretless bass is now one of
Bob Gollihur's "eclectic basses"
- Zoom F8 Field Recorder. I splurged and got this to replace my Zoom R16. This is much smaller, 7"x5.5"x2.1". It has much better mic preamps, optional phantom power on all 8 inputs, records at up to insane resolutions (up to 192 kHz×24 bit), and can be controlled via iOS over bluetooth. So far neither SD card I bought passes both its compatibility tests, but both work fine at 44.1kHz×24 bit.
- Zoom R16 recorder/interface/controller. Records 8 simultaneous tracks, combo inputs. Not as flexible as I'd hoped, and not always able to get enough from some dynamic mics, but looks like it will do the job, and an amazing piece of technology for the money.
- Edirol R-1 portable solid state recorder. This was one of the first recorders in that genre. It does a wonderful job of recording audio to a CompactFlash card (remember those?) in .wav or .mp3 formats. This model and brand are no longer made but you can find lots of portable recording devices at Sweetwater Sound.
like me! •
Jon Dreyer •
81 Baker Ave, Lexington MA 02421-6228 •