Thursday, April 15, 2010

Feed Your Head Stock

I'm in rehearsals this week with the Keith Urban band, getting ready for a show in Phoenix and the ACM Awards in Las Vegas. I'm taking care of Brian Nutter's gear this year, and we're putting the Planet Waves Headstock tuner to good use.

Brian plays electric, acoustic, 6 and 12-string, resophonic, ganjo (6-sting banjo) and mandolin in the show. We're running all these acoustic instruments into a pair of Midas XL 42 dual mic pres, then into a line mixer blend these four inputs into a single output to send the monitor and front of house engineer a single fader to control.

This means that any on-the-spot tuning that Brian might need is done on stage without a mute switch or volume pedal. I send every acoustic instrument out with a Headstock Tuner clamped on.

I use them to first tune the instruments in my world, since the stage volume is usually too loud to use an audio-based tuner. By sensing the vibrations through the headstock, the Headstock Tuner doesn't really care how loud the band is, how close you are to a raging half-stack, how loud the crowd is cheering. They work great on electric guitars, too. I also send one out on the 12-string headstock of the white Gibson EDS-1275 doubleneck that's capoed with an NS capo at the 3rd fret...just in case!

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