After well over a decade, Tool has released a great new album. It’s definitely a great experience to listen to in its entirety, but it somewhat lacks any great singles like Aenima and 10,000 Days had. What it does have is great asymmetrical time signatures (5/4, 7/8, etc), providing some awesome rhythmic grooves.
If you like Tool it’s worth checking out. The “deluxe” sort of CD offering is long gone/sold out, and now the price to get one is even more absurd than the $37 that they were offered for brand-new… but the mp3 album is great and goes for $12.
Late last year I purchased a BBE Sonic Maximizer, for both recording music and enhancing music I listen to from my PC into my stereo. While I haven’t recorded all that much music lately, the difference with the Maximizer on or off is astounding.
The bass is boosted without becoming boomy, the stereo separation is dramatically enhanced, and there is a treble and/or presence level EQ enhancement that really clears the sound of music.
It sounds particularly amazing with techno and electronica. My device version is the 882i.
One technique I came up with years ago for an exotic tone from electric guitar is to tune the A and D strings in unison, and the B and e strings in unison, giving about two octaves below the 12th fret for playing “courses” of strings. Tune the E and G strings to a suitable pitch for your chosen open tuning.
Then, place a microphone right up to the guitar and record it acoustically… add some reverb and it provides a wonderful (albeit tinny) sound to change the tone of a song.
I’ve been spending a lot of time lately working on clean, fast alternate picking on electric guitar. I’ve noticed I like a slightly thicker pick for this than general playing – so I’m back to using green Tortex picks, which are .88 size; I might try an even thicker pick at some point.
I also bought a mechanical metronome, which I thought was just cooler than a digital one or a phone app. It’s a cheap Chinese model but it works fine. It’s amazing how much more productive practice is with a strict time, like a drummer or metronome provides.
The work seems to be paying off as I’m playing fast lines much cleaner already.