First page of the Axe-FX II archive.

Makin’ a little noise

Posted by is9582 on December 14, 2015 with No Commentsas , , , , , , ,

Most will know that I’ve made a Les Paul styled guitar and an electric bass guitar, both from scratch (minus the fretboard on the Les Paul). I’ve been playing for a long time (not that it necessarily shows in my chops) and if anyone out there has ever wanted to play an instrument, I have a sort of running shoe style response in Just do it! It can be such a great relaxing tool, and if the instrument you choose is similar to a guitar or smaller, you can take it with you.

If your child(ren) talks about learning to play music, encourage it, as it can also help with their math skills and reasoning, beyond helping round out their person.

Quite a while ago, I posted a little snippet of me playing the electric guitar, which was some pretty hard rock, which I’ve always loved. I recently had some time available and wanted to see if I might put together some background stuff, that I could play over, hitting a different part of my musical thinking. In advance, I played these licks on the first pass over the backing music, so there are at least a few places I’d do over, if the recording was important. This was really more of an idea, and by recording it, I can come back anytime and see if they are useful at that time.

I’ve had hours of playing where I wished I’d recorded in some manner, as the feel of what I’d played never totally returned. This is where the recording studio in many computers, is such a valuable tool. I use Mac computers, and they come with Garage Band, which is really decent. I also purchased Logic Pro X, which is a much stronger recording studio type software, and it comes with a ton of pre-recorded snippets of different instruments, different genres, different beats… There are also modules that allow you to completely control the “voice” of midi instruments, along with loads of readily known keyboards, synths, and on and on.

I’ve been using a Fractal Audio AxeFXII for a number of years, and if you’ve not ever seen or heard of this unit, it will completely blow your socks off! I was a die-hard tube amp guy for most of my life, and tried a number of modeling units that honestly, never sounded like what they were trying to emulate. The AxeFXII is THE REAL DEAL! I know, you’re probably thinking that my ears must suck, as there isn’t any way to have a solid state unit actually sound, play and feel like a tube amp. Before I heard the AxeFX, I was right there with you. This is amazing stuff.

There are more and more professional acts that are seeing the light, and shifting over to the AxeFX. In tube amps, the tubes are always changing, from the day they are made until they ultimately fail. This slight change can be enough to have THAT vibe one day, and you play the lead of your life, to only just not quite have the same feel the next. The AxeFX has the consistency that instills confidence and with that, you can play your best.

Ok, enough about the AxeFX. Here is a link to one of the quick little things I’ve put together. All of the background stuff, from keys to drums, are sounds from the Logic Pro X library, with the drums the only part I didn’t actually play. The guitar is straight into my AxeFXII, going into the computer on USB, and into Logic. I added nothing to the guitar sounds, in Logic, just in case anyone is interested.

Remember, there are some flubs, but it’s the whole of the feel I was after.

Thanks for checking in and let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Lee Laird

Bass Guitar – How Does it Sound

Posted by is9582 on February 6, 2015 with No Commentsas , , , , ,

I know I talked about picking a cool pickup and all, but that probably doesn’t translate extremely well to everyone’s ears, right? Ok, I am just reminding everyone that I am not a bass player, per se. I’ve played guitar for most of my life, and only played bass for a few months back in my teens. So, with that “disclaimer” out there, I recorded two quick takes so everyone could hear just what kind of sounds I’m getting out of my bass and the new Lace pickup. Both clips are with my bass plugged into my AxeFXII, and via USB into my computer, using Logic Pro X to record, and on the second clip, add a bit of texture.


Noodling a bit (above) with no Logic manipulation.

Toying around and adding a little extra flavor in Logic.


Ok, please be kind, especially since I repeat, I am not a bass player. I did want to build this bass for myself, so I could record some parts like I wanted, but it takes much more time and patience for me to record bass, than guitar.

Thanks for stopping by and let me know if you have any questions, or on this one, constructive comments.


Lee Laird

Bass Guitar – Pickup choice

Posted by is9582 on February 4, 2015 with 10 Commentsas , , , , , , ,

I’ve been looking for what might be the perfect pickup, for the bass guitar I built recently (check out the multi-part article at Highland Woodworking) , and I think I’ve found what I was looking for. I searched all of the usual music seller’s websites, and came across a pickup by Lace. This pickup is […]

Guitar Build – How critical is the nut?

Posted by is9582 on March 8, 2013 with No Commentsas , , , , , , , , ,

Now that my Les Paul (LP) build is mostly finished, I’ve been playing it more and more. Most of the time I have it plugged into my Fractal Audio AxeFX-II, and I lean towards a thick/smooth distortion, not unlike what I get out of my Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+. While this type of sound never […]

Guitar build – testing the sound (updated)

Posted by is9582 on January 12, 2013 with No Commentsas , , , ,

Well, the Les Paul still has some work necessary to finalize it, but I wanted to test it out a bit last night. I plugged it into my AxeFX II which is, just as info, running version 9.02 of it’s software, and out into two smallish powered speakers. I was just noodling a bit and […]