In this edition of Gear Thoughts I look at the “grand daddy of ’em all!” The Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man. As always I specifically come at it from the standpoint of a church player, but I’m sure that non-church musicians will find something useful as well.
This has become a conversation over the past few years in worship ministry. Possibly, it’s even become a battle in some chruches. Should we allow music stands on the stage?
For some, this will seem like a ridiculous idea; how can we know what songs to play without the music? What’s the big deal? Why is this even a question?
While others might say: “yes, and if you don’t get rid of the stands, you’re doing it wrong!” or some other hyperbolic rhetoric.
For this post, I’d like to address the reasons someone would want to ban Music Stands, the pros and cons of those reasons and some practical considerations for you to take into account. Maybe you’ve been wresting with this idea. Maybe this has been an issue in your ministry. Maybe you’ve never heard of such a thing and you can’t understand why someone would do it; but you are going to keep reading to find out.
Can I Buy Equipment With A Credit Card?
I see this question a lot. Mostly on forums and gear groups but sometimes I’ll get an email or something about it. With the cost of musical gear and accessories such as PA or computer equipment being so high, doesn’t it make sense to use a credit card to make purchases on high cost items? Won’t it be too late to use it by the time I save up for it?
Sadly, the answers people give are often over-simplified or limited in their scope. People living in one context might not see that the person asking the question might exist in a different situation then they do. In this post I hope to address the central question and give some perspective that might be helpful, not only in deciding when or if to use credit, but how we buy our equipment in general.
Every so often I get asked in the comments what kind of gear I use on a Sunday morning. While certain things change from time to time, I’ve been consistent over the years with a Fender Telecaster and a Tube Amp (currently my beloved Benson Monarch.)
Below is a quick rundown of my main rig. It’s a rig made up of compromises. Since it’s not the biggest in size, I can’t have everything I want, so these pedals are compromises that allow me to get the sounds I need within the constraints I have set before me.
I’ve been pretty silent on here for a while. Almost 4 years ago my family and I moved from our home near Seattle to serve on staff at a great church in California. Sadly, in April of this year I found out that my time at the church was ending and in November we moved back to Washington State to take some time off and figure out our next step. There’s no scandal or big secret; we just had different visions going forward and how can the two walk together unless they are agreed? (Amos 3:3)
What I use and How I Got There
Multi-tracks, Backing Tracks, and Pads have become more and more mainstream in music in recent years. It’s not just in the church, but its not uncommon to go to shows and concerts and see well known bands with Pads or Backing Tracks going on in the background. I remember 2004 hearing it with Coldplay and over the next few years later I started noticing it with smaller bands in at clubs in the Seattle area.
Programs like Abelton and the easy of Apple’s Garage band have put this technology in the hands of church musicians as well. But it’s not just the mega-churches that are doing this. Walk into churches of ranging in size from 50-150 and you could easily hear some form of backing track going on.
I started using ambient Pads in the background about 6 months ago. I want to walk you through my process, how I got here, and why I use what I use.
Without question, the most widely read post I’ve ever written in this blog’s four year history is The People Vs. JHS. I mean, like, it’s not even close. That post has had multiple thousands more reads then the next closest article, and it shows no sign of stopping.
If you found this blog from that post and have kept reading, then I welcome you.
In the comment section of that post I mentioned that other builders have taken modded clones and passed them off as originals (I’m looking at you Fulltone 😉 but others like Vertex have been guilty of the same thing.) Anyway, in that comment I said in passing that Brian Wampler had done the same thing with the Ego Compressor. I was wrong and I apologize.
This statement was based on this video: