Holiday Show 2014

We are absolutely pumped about our upcoming “A Very Mannschaft Holiday Show” at the Flying Beaver Pubaret. As always, the best way to get on Santa’s naughty list is one of our shows, because us bassoons are rebels without a Claus!

On December 12 at 9PM, come in from the cold and warm up to your fav tunes played by the hottest, and world’s only electric bassoon band. We will be performing the usual fare…thats right, only ALL of your favourite sing-a-long songs from your party years…whenever those might have been…

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Flight Guidelines

Thanks to Air Canada’s policy members for creating the following air travel guidelines for bassoonists everywhere… http://www.aircanada.com/en/travelinfo/airport/baggage/music_inst.html#a-viola-bassoon That is straight from the Air Canada Website…no lies…we couldn’t make that stuff up. So, with this new folding policy we suppose that we Read more…

Electric bassoon setups 1

Since we’re planning on having a pedal rehearsal in the next week, I thought I’d try out some new toys I got over the summer. I got a Line 6 Verbzilla (which has been on my wish list for a while), and a tube preamp (you can actually see the tube glow!), but my most exciting acquisition was a hand-wired pedal by Mark Stephenson (of Stephenson Amps) called Fix My Duck. Seriously.

Catherine's pedal explorations

Catherine’s pedal explorations

For the last while I’ve been using my Zoom Multi as an EQ, which made it more complicated to use for what it is designed to be — an FX pedal. Fix My Duck is a multifunctional pedal, but I find that the treble boost has done much of the heavy lifting previously done by my Zoom. I’ve spent a number of hours with Fix My Duck, and now my Zoom is freed up and loaded with chorus, wahs and pitch-shifters!

Could this be the answer to my EQ woes?

You might notice I also have two different overdrive/distortions. The big orange beast is Dr. Distorto by Line 6 — lots of tweaking possibilities and good clean overdriven sound. There’s also an Octave option, which adds a bit of scream an octave above my played pitch. I love this pedal, but it’s VERY noisy and I haven’t worked out how to correct that yet. I have a noise gate on my Zoom, which is after it on the effects chain, that helps, I’m going to be doing more research on noisy pedals.

The Blue Box is by MXR is actually on loan from my hubs, and I love it because it can play an octave below. Great for fuller distorted sounds, or just being perverse. Used it to do a Clockwork Orange version of Beethoven 9 in a show this summer. Can’t wait to try this out on Iron Man! My only issue with it is it doesn’t seem to have as much output power as the other pedals, so I’ll have to do some more research on that too.

The gold-ish one on the end is the Verbzilla, also by Line 6. It has a ton of options, but I use Spring and Room the most. The thing about bassoon is that when you stop blowing, the sounds stops, so it’s nice to have something to create atmospheric sound. I find I need more reverb when using a distortion pedal, and less when it’s the clean bassoon sound.

And the big box on the top right is a tube preamp. I’ve been using the L.R. Baggs Gigpro for a long time, but wanted to try something different. I haven’t done a side by side between this new preamp and the Gigpro yet, but plan to. Perhaps that will be a separate post. I added the tube preamp and Fix My Duck to my setup at the same time, so part of me wonders how much of the warmth I attribute to FMD is actually from the tube. Can’t wait to do some more experimenting!

Want to see these pedals in action? Then you definitely have to come to our show on September 26! More details after the jump!

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Susan Durnin

Bassoon

Susan Durnin is an active freelance bassoonist, music administrator, and music educator.

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