Revisiting: The Bugera 1960 Infinium part Trois

Now that I’ve had this amp for coming up on a year I wanted to chat about putting it through its paces. After looking further into the design this amp is not 150 Watts it’s a true 100 Watts. As people have mentioned this amp is very loud. However, it’s not any louder than my JCM 800 or my old Carvin X-100B. While I wish I would have held on to the early 80’s JCM I don’t really have a need for that much amp. Since the gig I was ramping up for fell through I still don’t. But…..

There is so much I like about this amp. First and foremost having a class A point to point wired amp even if from Asia is a different kind of beast. I say point to point loosely, when I purchased mine the description did note that. Now that I’ve seen the inside not so much buying that one fully. It is more touch sensitive than almost any amp I’ve ever played. Slight volume and tone rolls on humbuckers create large tonal differences. It is made to Rock and Rock it does, it weighs a lot. The specs online say 47 lbs which is wrong, the amp is far heaver. 

After playing it through both a 2 x 12 open back cabinet loaded with Celestion Classic Lead 80-s and a 4 x 12 with Celestion vintage 30’s it growls. The 2 x 12 is a convertible that can switch to closed back as well. The tone difference between the two types of speakers was minimal with closed backs. The Vintage 30’s break up a bit quicker and are just slightly more throaty than the Lead 80’s but the Lead 80’s have tighter more prevalent low mids. 

The Tonal versatility of the Bugera 1960 is very broad. Most of what I heard online was that classic Marshal JCM 800 Eddy VanHalen tone, but this amp has much more. It goes from a slightly overdriven Plexi, to a mid range Bonamassa-ish, to a full on Matt Pike High on Fire with slight EQ and volume changes. Once your setup for the included JCM Randy Rhoads mod it absolutely goes BOOM! The first day I played it in a sound treated room I was really blown away by the versatility. 

The amp does have a Master Volume but it’s on the back. The PCB boards are only 3 ply so taking it around the world is not likely a good idea. Beyond those 2 things the amp is nothing short of amazing. I’m just quite careful when I move it. If I ever get a standard gig where I would use this head I would invest in a road case which costs as much s the amp. I like the amp that much!

One of the newer (at least to me) gear vloggers Elmo Karjalainen did a review after I purchased this head. He’s reviews are truthful and he has no problem calling out something in a product if he sees fit. He had some cool Yngwie tones in the video for sure. Here is his review from last summer:

Having an old Mac Around can be handy

Having an old Mac around can be handy. In my case a late 2012 MacBook Pro. I have the older version of Master Writer which is A very overpriced piece of software but one that has no competition in the Music industry. Yes there’s a few apps out there that do some of the Tasks MR does but nothing really comes close. I want to preface this with noting that the owner of Master Writer. Berry is one of the most disingenuous people I’ve ever had the displeasure of dealing with. I in no way endorse him or his company, on the contrary if you decide to do business with Master Writer know it’s all about separating you from your money.  

However, If you write lyrics it’s the only software I’ve found that can actually assist without overthinking your creativity and keeping to your original vision. I guess I would describe the software as something that doesn’t get in the way of your flow. 

Master Writer 2 while feature rich is a train wreck in the technology department. It runs on the JAVA platform which the originators no doubt were talked into by the developer. You can’t even resize the UI window. However the features and tools built in are useful, brilliant and well thought out. My largest challenge is having an OS that will not only support JAVA but also a 32 bit application. The answer for me was to purchase a Mountain Lion disk from Apple:

Mountain Lion

Once I installed Mountain Lion I updated the version of Java and installed Master Writer. The challenge and accept process was difficult because master writer wants to force you to update to their cloud solution. I wasn’t going to be forced and I made it clear that lawfully they could not make me do so. This is and always has been a major downside of master writer and it’s owner. The upside here is I can take the MacBook Pro anywhere and I really don’t use it for anything other than writing (Journals, Day Job, email etc.). 

Sometimes keeping that old Mac around can be beneficial. Most times dealing with charlatans is not. 

Drum Session Full Review

I’ve had some time to work with Drum Session in a few environments. This app really sounds great, far better than anything else I’ve tried. I’ve used it with Cubasis, Auria Pro and the newcomer Audio Evolution which I’m really liking. I have primarily used inter-app audio thus far.

There are some things I’ve found in these last few months both positive and negative. Since the samples in Drum Session are top notch, most of my experience is positive. I’ve been keeping an eye on Derricks FaceBook page. He’s posted some images of the reworked UI and ta video clip upcoming iPhone version of Drum Session.

Inter app audio has not been solid, however I think this likely has nothing to do with the Drum Session app. It works the best with Cubasis but crashes with Auria Pro and Audio Evolution Mobile. There’s also a few instances of buggy behavior. More than likely these would be feature requests.

Changing the Drum Kit and saving does not save the changed kit or the loop, see video below:

The video is lacking because I’m holding my iPhone sorry about that. Note the loop settings and the different Drum kit was not saved to the file although, the kit and loop were present when toggling from song to song. It’s only when you close out the Drum Session app that the changes disappear.

These would be features I would think everyone would use and would be a part of the original release. For all I know this could just be my iPad. Derek Buddemeyer the developer for Drum Session has been really good about stopping in once in a while. Maybe he can comment on these feature requests.

Below is a screen shout of the new Drum Session UI / UIX that I believe will be in the next software release:

ss2

This looks fantastic! Very easy to read and much more so the look and feel of a traditional DAW. I am waiting patiently for the next release, I believe this release will be a big step forward for Drum Session.

As I had eluded to previously I was using inter app audio for most of the work I’ve done so far with Drum Session. IMHO inter app audio still has a ways to go but I’m grateful it’s being developed. I’ve moved everything over for the track I am working on into the DAW with Audio Share. I really like Audio Evolution Pro as a DAW but it’s still very new to iOS. Inter app audio  is not very tight on  Audio Evolution Pro or Auria Pro. It’s solid on Cubasis but I find the Cubasis UI difficult to work with.

I give Drum Session a Solid 4.5 stars. There’s a few things that need improvement, but at the end of the day for me it’s all about how good it sounds.

Drum Session sounds GREAT!

I must admit I have not had the time to dive deep into drum Session, but I’ve put some good solid 2 hours into going through the UI and mostly listening. I just took a new position that I am so ecstatic to have, it’s a perfect fit for me. In my defense, the hours I’m spending at the day gig are long. Usually, I would be all over a great app like Drum Session.

Since today the first update rolled out of the iTunes store, I felt compelled to write about Drum Session before I updated. This is not a review just yet… Here’s what I know thus far:

It sounds fantastic!
It’s very simple to use
The MIDI piano roll portion of the UI is very solid.

The piano roll was updated in the Version 1.0.3 release today, but I’m still running the original version. I think it’s solid! I haven’t updated the app yet to V 1.0.3, I wanted to finish this blog before I had scrum release blues opinions.

What really stands out:

  • There is a plethora of drum kits in Drum Session. This is great because most of the samples are mixed with different reverb and compression levels. However most have a reasonably dry mix for each kit. That is really a feature I like A LOT!
  • Drum Session sounds so much better that any app I have heard since launching my iOS music creation experiment in March of this year. This is the KILLER Drum app I have been waiting for.
  • There’s a lot of choice for $24.99. It’s scalable for the price, It’s scalable for sound, It’s scalable for custom beat creating when you can compare to other apps available. That’s a huge value add for me.

The only feature request I have for you Derick Buddemyer if you read this is the font color in the UI. I’m not sure if this is because I am using the 12.9” screen of the iPad pro, but the dark font color against the dark grey background is difficult to see on the top buttons and the black piano keys of the UI. That’s the only feature enhancement I can suggest.

After 2 hours, I love this app and I think many others will too!

Things I’ve learned about iPad DAW in the last 30 days

In the last month I’ve been in the wood shed daily working with the new iPad, the Presonus interface and new apps. I’m having so much fun! I really think the challenge of the learning curve is something I needed and truly enjoy. Challenges for me like most people are great in life especially, musical challenges. Doing what you love and workig diligently at it.

Most of what I’m going to share is about are the apps I’ve purchased:

  • Bias FX
  • Bias Amp
  • Bias JamUp Pro
  • Bias Final Touch
  • IK Multimedia SampleTank for iOS
  • DrumPerfict Pro

Positive Grid’s Guitar Plugins are IMHO the best you can purchase for the Macintosh platform. Although I usually mic up Guitar amplifiersin the PC realm, I use Bias Peak with Logic and Pro Tools to re-amp and layer. Bias Amp sounds just as good to my ears as it does on the Mac. I am blown away by this app on the iPad. Bias FX and the amps in JamUp Pro are just as great on the iPad.

Final Touch was something that was somewhat of an impulse buy because it was on sale. I’m quite happy with this mastering suite and grateful I picked it up. I’ve loosely mastered two demos with it so far, the tracks really came to life nicely. On labor day I paid a whopping $4.99 for the app on sale, Positive Grid has amazing holiday sales. The Memorial day sale prices are still current, GO BUY THEM!

 

  • Bias FX- Normal Price $29.99 Now  $9.99
  • Bias Amp Normal Price $19.99 Now $4.99
  • Bias JamUp Pro Normal Price $19.99 Now  $4.99
  • Bias Final Touch Normal Price $29.99 Now $4.99

 

I’ve always thought SampleTank had great sound samples, the Neil Peart Drums are awesome. I’ve had the free version of SampleTank for iOS on my iPhone for years, I knew the sounds were solid. Since it’s on sale for $15.99 for fathers day I pulled the trigger. It has great organ and electric piano samples, I’m happy I purchased it.

DrumPerfict Pro is touted as the Superior Drummer 2 / BFD for iPad. I can tell you it is no such thing. Firstly, the drums samples are horrible, I mean really bad. I can’t believe this has the positive reviews it has. Drummer inside of garage band sounds light years better that DrumPerfict Pro.

Second, the user interface is a train wreck. It’s a mishmash of screens that have no rhyme or reason other than the grid screen. How could you screw up a grid UI yes? After thinking it over I am going to ask Marinus J.G. van de Molengraft for a refund. While I applaud his efforts to bring a product like Superior Drummer to iOS, he falls miles short.

Lastly, I just ordered an iRig keys 37 that should arrive at the end of the week. I’m pretty excited about that. I have some really nice samples but no vehicle to bring the sounds to life.

 

 

 

 

Presonus AudioBox iTwo unboxing

Finally! The Presonus AudioBox iTwo has arrived, and I only had to pay for 3 of them!  I thought I would make a little unboxing video with the new iPad Pro since I have not shot any video yet. As you can see you really need a tripod to shoot video with an iPad haha….

Junior High Metal Band Unlocking the Truth Sign Million Dollar Record Deal

Amazing Jr. High School students Malcolm Brickhouse, 13, Alec Adkins, 13, and Jarad Dawkins, 12 — better known as metal band Unlocking The Truth — have signed a record deal with Sony Music that could end up being worth north of a million dollars.

Check these kids out! – Click Here for the Radio.com full story

Mesa Cab Clone Yum!

This is an integral piece of studio gear that I have a tremendous need for. Palmer does a bloody brilliant job in this arena, but their products are very pricy. However, this item manufactured by a great well known”tried and true” amplifier company (Mesa Boogie) has me very intrigued and excited.

This is on the top of my “Musician Radar” at the moment to demo.

$299 US street price FTW! Nooice!