The Harley Benton TE-52 NA Vintage Series Telecaster is a Fender Telecaster “look-a-like” Telecaster guitar and not only a lookalike but also a ‘sound-a-like’. It comes with all the sparse features the original Telecasters had: 3-way switch, tone and volume, 2 single coil pickups (Roswell TEA alnico-5 TE-style). A solid wood (Ash) body. C-profile neck, decent tuners, 21 frets and deluxe chrome hardware.
The guitar comes with with d’Addario .009-.042 strings according to the Thomann website. I do have some doubts about this. I’ll get back to that later on.
Anyway, how’s that for a guitar that will only set you back EUR 139.00??
What can you expect, build and sound wise?
As I wrote in the post about the MXL770 mic, I turned 50 the other day and my wife gave me a few very nice presents! Apart from the MXL770 she also gave me (amongst other non-music related gifts) this Harley Benton Telecaster. It had been on my wish-list for some time. But I already have a very decent collection of guitars so I didn’t dare to buy another one 😉 She knew, however, that I wanted a Telecaster. So, .. I got it as a birthday present! This now more-or-less completes my wish-lists as far as guitars is concerned!
I started to play in a worship band (in Church) last year and I’m using my electro-acoustic Samick guitar for that. However, on stage I noticed I was having feedback issues sometimes – so I have to turn it down too much. I want to use this telecaster instead. An electro-acoustic is, in the setting I’m playing in (Drums, electric bass, electric piano, vocal-group) just not a good choice. Hope the other band members agree.
I’m having a hard time believing these strings are really d’Addario. Or perhaps a certain type that just don’t feel comfortable to me. On my Gretsch I have a set of d’Addario Nickel Wound (.010-.046’s). They have a different ‘feel’. The ones one this guitar don’t feel slick, they really hurt your fingers when bending or sliding in to a note. So they will be replaced one day soon. I will probably opt for the d’Addario Super Light Plus (.095-.044) because Telecasters aren’t build to have super heavy strings on it but I’m not completely satisfied with these. Anyway – that’s the only “con” as far as I’m concerned. Other than that, it’s a superb guitar for the money!
The MXL770 Studio Condenser is a very budget friendly yet high quality studio condenser microphone made by Marshall. It is a perfect microphone for those recording at home – it’s suitable for recording acoustic instruments like an acoustic guitar, as well as electric instruments and vocals.
So – I turned 50 the other day and my wife gave me a few very nice presents! One of them is this MXL770 studio condenser microphone. My favorite studio condenser, a McCrypt condenser microphone, is having issues after having been in use for over 20 years. So – time to replace it. This is a great replacement. In fact, I think it’s a very good upgrade. While the McCrypt was most certainly a great mic, this one is even better.
In the video there’s a test recording using my acoustic Washburn guitar and some vocal. Both are ‘dry sound’, no processing done. In the end of the video there’s a mixdown of the track I recorded.
The microphone was ordered online at Thomann (Germany).
Is it possible to get free mastering? Even better: free professional, radio ready, mastering? Yes it is! Yesterday I recorded a hymn (“I Surrender All”) and even though the mix was fine, I wanted it to sound “radio-ready”. So, I went online to search for a quick fix. I do my own “mastering” most of the time using Audacity but it didn’t sound good enough.
Google is your firend, right? So, I ended up on BandLab’s website. They have been offering free online mastering for some time now (I never knew,.. and perhaps you didn’t either – that’s why I’m posting this!).
What to expect from a free mastering service? Well, .. to my surprise it does a great job! When you upload a track you have a few options: CD quailty, bass heavy (for radio: don’t!) and clear sound.
I uploaded a few tracks and was amazed to hear the difference!
BandLab’s new online mastering service is the first such tool with free unlimited use and is compatible with all major music formats. The new feature is also integrated across the entire existing BandLab creative workflow so that creators can share final mastered tracks across the BandLab social music platform or download their finished works as high-quality versions for distribution to other services. (MusicConnection)
Here’s a sample of the mastering at BandLab, the song “Summertime”
The mastering gives it a lot more ‘punch’ and depth. Of course the mix was very good also, thanks to Jay H.
Anyway — There’s no excuse not to use BandLab – it’s free, it delivers you a good mastered track. Head over to BandLab to get your songs mastered!
More of our songs at BandLab can be found at this link:
Are you looking for original Blues, Country and some raw Rock and Roll? Can’t afford much or perhaps even nothing for music? Pay whatever you can (“name your price”). Or download the album for free if you’re willing to allow us to add your email to our contact list at BandCamp. And we promise, we won’t start spamming you!
This is Solid Rock Blues Band’s 3rd album and we think it’s one of the best albums we’ve ever recorded! We want the word to get out and want it to be heard. So, we’re offering it for a “whatever you can afford” price.
It took us over a year, but here it is and it’s all yours for free. Although we’d love to cash in big on this album we believe in sharing the joy of music. And if you can, yes we’d be very grateful if you’d be willing to pay some for all our hard work and effort that went into the recording and production of this album.
Also available on ReverbNation (paid download) and free streaming at SoundCloud and Audiomack. However, on BandCamp ONLY there are 3 additional (hidden) bonus tracks available!
BANDCAMP [FREE DOWNLOAD]
Includes three, exclusive, bonus tracks!
At Reverbnation, you will get 6 tracks for US$ 5.00
ZOLDERSTUDIO (LOFT STUDIO)
All songs recorded, mixed and mastered at the ZolderStudio (Loft Studio). The ZolderStudio is our home recording project studio where the albums of the Solid Rock Blues Band are recorded as well as other bands/artists.
No Limit (On Love) is the new single by the Solid Rock Blues Band home recording project. A lovesong, but not the standard lovesong. Fast and up-tempo power chords blues-rock.
There ain’t No Limit On Love. You can’t get no speeding ticket for loving someone so much it’s almost illegal, right? All right! So here’s our new track “No Limit (On Love)”. You can listen for free on SoundCloud, AudioMack and BandCamp.
The song was written and recorded in high speed, just as the song itself is in high speed. It took only two days to write the lyrics and music and record and mix it(!) that doesn’t make it a substandard songs. Some awesome songs were written in studio’s “on the spot”. Remember the story about U2’s album “October”? The lyrics (for some songs) were lost (stolen), so Bono had to write some lyrics while they were in the studio!
It’s a fast song, power-chords based and recorded at the Zolderstudio Homerecording Studio. It probably would fit the Bluesrock bag or Rock and Roll. Anyway – it’s about the favorite theme of most people: Love. And this is a love-song that isn’t about Red Roses and fast heartbeats.
Like it? You can download a HQ Audio version from BandCamp for only US$ 0.70.
“Day By Day” contains six strong, classic, spiritual songs (hymns) in a more modern setting: instead of organs and choirs, you will hear a band using Drums, Bass, Guitars and Harp. The title track, Day By Day, was written in 1865. Most of the tracks, except for one original song, date back at least 100 years and have been popular for many decades in congregations all over the world.
Over the years I’ve recorded several gospel songs (traditionals). Of course, not as you might know them from Church. Some are a little more up-tempo. Instrumentation has been modernized. Drums, Bass, Guitar, Harp. All recorded at the “ZolderStudio” home recording studio.
At this moment the EP (only available, for now, on BandCamp, AudioMack and Soundcloud) contains six tracks, including one original song. All tracks can be downloaded for free. The album might include more tracks later on but for now, this is the “as is”, first, free, pre-release version.
Tracks inlcuded are traditional hymns like “Day By Day”, “What A Friend We Have in Jesus” and “Just A Closer Walk With Thee”. All songs dating back, originally, well over a hundred years yet with lyrics that still are powerful, comforting and with deep spiritual meaning.
We’re planning to add some more tracks later on and after that make it available as a “commercial” realease at CDBaby and BandCamp. We hope you enjoy this free (EP) Album. Feel free to share!
Installing Ardour, the Digital Audio Workstation, on Linux Mint or Ubuntu isn’t too difficult if you follow the steps shown in these tutorial videos.
Before you jump right in and start installing Ardour, you will need to download and install Jack Audio Server. Search for qJack or Jacl on your installer and install it. After that, configure it as it is shown at the website. You can edit the configuration files using a text editor like NANO from the command line or a graphical text editor. Please do apply them as you are told over here:
After that, take a look at this video:
It’s slightly outdated since they use an older version of Jack but you will find the settings in qJack when you go to Setup → Settings → Advanced.
There’s a good reason to follow these steps because it will help you to install and configure realtime audio (and you will need this!) in a correct manner. The Realtime Audio will even turn a system with an onboard sound card into a good mixing and editing machine. For recording, I use a dedicated machine with KXStudio/Ardour with a 4-channel USB interface (Behringer U-PHORIA UMC404HD). But you might even be able to use a standard soundcard for recording (I have not tested this!).
Now you can install Ardour. And that’s easy! Open your software installer, type in [ Ardour ] in the search field (no brackets) and install it!
In the video below I will show the above mentioned steps.
– Audio (voice over) recorded using Ardour 4.0
– Video recorded with “record my desktop” and edited with kdenlive.
The recordings for the Solid Rock Blues Band, The Barking Aunts, Mirjam Tamara and some other demo’s for other bands and vocalists were al made using my computer as a ‘DAW’, a Digital Audio Workstation.
For many years I’ve recorded in the livingroom. But since 2015 I’m having my own small home studio. In this video I give a short tour of the studio and a short recording demo.
When I began recording I used my computers build in soundcard and a cheap microphone. These days I have some “serious equipment”. One of the things I made a rule of thumb: “It shouldn’t cost much”. So it is a budget studio, but despite that, it is possible to record decent sounding tracks!
The more-or-less full list of equipment in my studio can be found here.
Recording and mixing with Ardour for Linux, Windows or OSX isn’t as challenging as many think. In fact, it’s pretty easy once you know what to do and how it works. In the below in-depth video you can see how I record and mix drums, bass, guitar, vocals and midi keyboard using Ardour. The duration of the video is almost 25 minutes.
The song that was recorded is an original song, written by RJF Mensies and me in 2015 and recorded for the “Telenovelas” album by the Barking Aunts Project. This is a new recording and although the music is more or less the same as far as the vocal line and chords are concerned it still is pretty different.
You can listen to the song on SoundCloud or Audiomack.
Click here for Audiomack
Click here for SoundCloud
This video will walk you trough the full recording and mixing process. Ardour is very easy to use and allows you to do a professional audio recording on a shoestring budget!
More (and shorter!) video’s on recording with Ardour at the Recording page.
When the video was finished I’ve added tambourine and did some final tweaking on the midi track. After I recorded and mixed the song I “mastered” it using Audacity. Using a high pass filter (20Hz, -6 dB) and W1 limiter (-2.7dB, -0.3dB ceiling). Hope you like the song and video and if you do like the video: thumbs up & subscribe.
Today I’ve recorded “Sing Me A Song”, a free song available on SoundCloud (and Audiomack also soon) in my studio. It’s less than two minutes(!) and the full lyrics are included at soundcloud. I’ve posted a short demo of it before. Including a video.
The song was recorded using Ardour Studio (here’s a video about the small and low budget studio I operate) and for the acoustic guitar I’ve used my Washburn guitar. For recording this great acoustic guitar I’ve used a (very) cheap Chinese pickup I’ve bought some time ago (video/demo). I also added a condenser mic in front of it, so it’s got two sound sources in the recording giving it more depth and ‘space’.
For drums and bass I’ve used my Digitech Trio pedal and finaclly the electric guitar is my Fender “Starcaster” Stratocaster on rhythm and lead guitar. For this guitar I used the JoYo “American” pedal. A superb pedal that works very nice with Fender guitars but also with my Gretsch of course.
Finally I recorded the vocals using my BM-800 mic. One of the best condenser mic’s you can get for the money, paid less than $20 dollar for it!