Here are some of my thoughts on the Ear Trumpet Labs Edwina after recording with it for a couple of months. For what I do (acoustic guitar instrumentals) – the Edwina is a great mic. On steel string I think it would pair a little better with a Martin than a Taylor, however I really enjoy it on my nylon string Taylor. The mike is crisp and clear with a high end bump that has a little body (not too thin). The bass is there, but it’s not boomy and you can get up close to the mic without too much bass from proximity effect (at least on my Taylors – maybe not with other guitars). I haven’t used it live, but it has a narrow / close pattern that along with its other characteristics would probably make it suitable for live use. Other pluses include: boutique mic made in Portland Oregon, not super pricey, and last (but not least) it looks cool.
Several people have asked me lately about upgrading to a bone nut/saddle, and specifically in relation to Taylor guitars. A drop in saddle can be an easy experiment, but if you’re looking at a nut/saddle replacement and set-up, I would say first (if your action / playability are ok) to try some different makes of strings and different alloys. Next, be advised that bone saddles often make a guitar sound brighter and more clear; Taylors already sound bright and clear so adding a bone nut/saddle may be “too much.” If your guitar is 5-7 years old a Tusq nut/saddle (or Tusq/Micarta) will probably do the job. That’s just my opinion; milage may vary.
While I find unboxing videos a little bit silly, I thought it would be fun to record my unboxing of the Edwina microphone I ordered from Ear Trumpet Labs. Their customer service, packaging, and presentation are part of the selling points of the company, on top of the fact that they offer quality boutique mics made in their Portland Oregon shop at reasonable prices.
In addition to its distinctive looks, the Edwina is a good sounding and useful mic that offers clarity with a slight top end boost (though not too hyped). I look forward to recording some music with it and thank the fine people at Ear Trumpet Labs who answered my questions along the way.
Here is my Clarence White inspired arrangement of the Bluegrass classic, “Banks of the Ohio,” played fingerstyle with a thumbpick (rather than flatpicked or cross-picked). I’ve uploaded two versions of this song: one was recorded with the Neumann TLM 102 microphone that I have been using for a while; the other features my new Ear Trumpet Labs Edwina mic. So if you’re interested in how these two mics sound, this provides a comparison. The Neumann is a little bit smoother to my ear, while the Edwina has a little more clarity with a slight top end boost (though not too hyped). Both are fine microphones and I look forward to continuing to record with them both.
Using the Ear Trumpet Labs Edwina microphone:
Using the Neumann TLM 102 microphone:
Both recorded with a Taylor 412ce LTD (Rosewood/Spruce, Gotoh 510 tuners, strings are Elixir Nanoweb Phosphor Bronze HD gauge set) and a Fred Kelly thumbpick.
While working on some other stuff, I thought it would be fun to shoot a video about the things I currently have in my guitar case – mostly strings / string changing tools, batteries, and picks… but maybe it’ll give you an idea or two.
This video is meant to explore the features of the Fishman Loudbox Artist, a great affordable acoustic combo amp. The amp has an EQ section well tuned for acoustic guitar and some great effects as well. Features like master volume, mute button, and both “mix” and individual channel direct outs make it a practical companion for gigs both large and small. This amp is a great choice for acoustic guitar players (and players of other instruments) doing fingerstyle, jazz, blues, or any type of singer-songwriter stuff.
This video is meant to explore some of the different EQ and effects settings on the Fishman Loudbox Artist. This is meant to serve as a sound demo for what the Loudbox sounds like with a steel string guitar (a Rosewood/Spruce Taylor with the ES1 system). I close miked the amp to get a truer representation of the echo / reverb effects, but you get an even more open sound when you hear it from across the room. (Also note, close-miking results in a slightly more bass heavy sound due to the proximity effect. I rolled off some of the lows slightly to compensate some.) Overall, the EQ and effects on this amp are well tuned to acoustic guitar, and the overall feature set is practical and useful.
Recorded with a Taylor 412ce LTD (Rosewood/Spruce, Gotoh 510 tuners, strings are Elixir Nanoweb Phosphor Bronze HD gauge set) into a Fishman Loudbox Artist amp miked with a Sennheiser e906 dynamic microphone.
Here is a video featuring a couple of relatively recent purchases for me – a Taylor 414ce-NR (nylon string, rosewood/sitka) and a Fishman Loudbox Artist. This is meant to serve as a sound demo for what the Loudbox sounds like with a nylon string guitar and what the Taylor nylon pick-up (ES-N, not the ES2) sounds like. I close miked the amp to get a truer representation, but you get a little bit more open sound when you hear it from across the room.
Recorded with a Taylor 414ce-NR (Rosewood/Spruce nylon string) into a Fishman Loudbox Artist amp miked with a Sennheiser e906 dynamic microphone. Reverb is from the amp, not an added effect.
This video shows how to use a Q-tip to hold the whammy bar / tremolo arm on a Strat (or other guitar) in place so that it doesn’t dangle. Unlike other methods such as using plumber’s tape, you can set the whammy bar to either stay put or dangle when you’re not using it. This method was apparently invented by Stevie Ray Vaughn’s guitar tech, who used it for years.
Not long ago I picked up the Polytune Clip from TC Electronic and have since been very pleased with the way it works on acoustic guitar in particular. (Of course it also works on electric guitar and other instruments as well.) I do a lot of open and altered tunings and this tuner handles them like a champ. In addition to latching on to notes quickly and accurately in chromatic mode, the Polytune picks up the low 6th string bass notes well (I tune down as low as Bb). Tracking is great and you can see the note steadily move into tune as you turn the tuning pegs. Of course the polytune mode doesn’t really work with open / altered tunings, but the Polytune Clip works so well as a chromatic tuner that it’s worthwhile for that alone. Highly recommended.