Washburn SBF80: The hunt for information

Me and my Washburn SBF-80Many months ago as I started my blog, one of the subjects I covered was the make and model of the guitar I currently use most when I perform, which is a Washburn SBF80. Since posting about it, Google search queries have brought many people to my site on a regular basis, telling me that there are some folks out there, like myself, who would like to know a lot more about this guitar. I have since gone on my own web search for pertinent information, only to find, or should I say, NOT FIND, much. Here's what I encountered, followed by what bits of information I did manage to uncover.

Sites like Ebay, Craigslist, or music outlets that sell used instruments only had basic info about the SBF80, usually provided by the person selling it. Wikipedia has no listing for the SBF series (which included an earlier model SBF24) in its current writeup of the Washburn Guitar Company's history. When you google "Washburn SBF80" you get all sorts of forums and ad listings and music store listings. Again, all with

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The musician's life...about those compressors

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I have had a rather contentious relationship with compressors over the years. The need for them is both obvious and not in any given situation. Usually the first question that comes up though when things are getting out of control with clipping and distortion in a sound system is, "Are you using compression?". Because I have not had much personal experience with, or training on the proper set up and use of such a device, I have avoided using them or really getting to know about them all this time. Circumstances have begun to nudge me in the direction of becoming more knowledgeable and thus more confident and able to A.) better identify when and where to use compression and NOT, and B.) make the best use of that piece of equipment. I figure I can't possibly be the only man or woman in the sound business dealing with this sort of issue.

singer-songwriter-musician-soundman-Kris-Ferris-behind-the-board-at-showcase-of-original-musicMe behind the boardAt a recent event I saw a buddy of mine Jim Harvish, who has been behind a few mixers in his time. I motioned for him to join me at the sound-board. As we both listened to the group playing on stage and I pointed out the sound issue I was having, I showed him the unit I was using and the settings I had chosen. He admitted, to my relief, that compressors, were somewhat perplexing to him too. The next day, I found an e-mail he had sent me with a link which proved to be a nice place to start my learning process. Since he was considerate enough to share it with me, I thought I would do the same and put it up here in my blogs, believing like I do with everything I write, that those who need to read it will find it. I hope this will be of interest and service to some of you.      www.ovnilab.com         I am still reading myself, but already there is a statement that has stuck in my brain and will be useful to me from now on when using compression and that is..."when using compression properly, the listener should never know it's there". This may sound confusing, but when you read the supporting theory, it is beautifully simple. Happy reading.

picture-of-behringer-composer-model-mdx2100There are a bazillion resources out there in "Googleland" and you don't even have to ask nicely or know exactly what you are looking for, just start typing and refine your question if the first search doesn't get the desired results. I will always share what comes on to my radar or is presented to me as this resource was. I will NEVER bill myself as an expert, or try to convince you or lead you in any particular direction. But I will try to help when I can. Here's to better sound gigs, for all of us!

Let’s Talk Gear

Sound tech, Kris Ferris, working at the board with his young friend, Summer Solstice, 2012, Lindley Park Arboretum, GreensboroSound Guru instructs his protege at Summer Solstice 2012Here we are smack in the middle of 2012 and technology has turned many a “technician” into a “musician”. By that I mean that many of the latest marvels of electronics make it possible for people who have had little or no formal music training to create decent, even credible music. There is nothing really wrong with that and, let’s face it, it is the relentless march of progress and the evolution of man we are talking about so there is no fighting it. Ok, so maybe I am covering up for the fact that I feel intimidated by the onslaught of ever more complex and complicated electronic devices in the digital world. I suppose I would then have to admit that my reluctance to keep up with the pace of advancement is largely behind my using what I do these days for my live shows and recording. So be it!

      Today, one person, with the right technology at their disposal and some basic understanding of music and instrumental skills can put together tracks to sing to, or perform along with that make them sound like a whole band. Not only

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