Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fill-In Gig: Leading Worship @ CCC & Musician Geek Gear Talk

I'm excited that Sunday I get to lead worship at Chesterfield Community Church. Yeah, I'm usually part of the worship band. It's something I look forward to every week. This week though, I get to put an extra dose of creativity into it, because I'm filling in for our worship leader, Ron Campbell.

Ron is an extremely talented worship leader and musician. He's put out a couple of albums. I believe information on them can be found online, but they're only available for purchase from him these days. Most Sundays you can find Ron playing acoustic guitar, and producing that smooth vocal croon he's known for. There's kind of a retro vibe to his vocals. However you want to describe it, he does his job well. He's no slouch on guitar either. On rare occasions, you might get to hear him on piano or bass. I've heard him tickle the ivories very well. Bass...I dunno. I've heard he can play, but I've never actually heard him. That's what he keeps me around for...

Anyway, every now and again, I get the opportunity to lead worship music at my home church, Chesterfield Community Church. Stylistically, Ron and I differ in our tastes a bit, so I like to mix it up when I have a chance. ...Give the people something out of the ordinary. As a multi-instrumentalist, that means I like to swap up what instrument I'm playing from one time to the next. Of course this comes with some limitations. Since several of the instruments I play are wind instruments, I'm limited to those I can play and still sing with when leading vocal worship music.

Last time I led worship @ CCC, I played bass with a full band. Next time will be a full band again. It's already on the calendar. I think I'll play electric guitar and tap one of the other guys to fill in on bass. This time though, I'm going for something completely different. I believe we're going to be a duo. Even then, I didn't stick with one of our church musicians to fill things out. Instead, on short notice I called in my long-time musician friend, Tim Siebe. He and I have been involved in a few music projects together over the years, and I know his heart for worship. Sunday, it looks like he's going to do some combination of percussion and acoustic guitar. Since we're in that direction...we're going to be a semi-acoustic duo this time.

For those interested in such music geek things, here's what I'm running this coming weekend.
  1. Seagull acoustic-electric w/feedback suppressor, & internal LR Baggs preamp w/3 band EQ
  2. Fender acoustic w/added Dean Markley humbucking magnetic pickup

Pedalboard: BOSS TU-2 (tuner) --> BOSS LS-2 (Line Selector) --> [splits into 2 signal paths]
  1. [LS-2 Clean signal] --> [LS-2 B Blend] --> Tech 21 NYC SansAmp Bass Drive DI (BDDI) --> FOH
  2. [LS-2 Send B] --> MXR Classic Overdrive --> DigiTech RP90 modeling processor --> [LS-2 B Return] --> [BDDI] --> FOH

Amp: Markbass F1

Cabinet: Homebrew 2-way 1x10" cabinet on amp stand, tilted up from the floor

This setup allows me to use the same stage monitor rig for solo acoustic/rhythm guitar, looping, electric guitar, bass, or for full range PA monitoring. The pedalboard handles all the instruments. The amp & angled cab handle instrument monitoring, or full range if I use the effects loop return. Makes for a great, one-trip load-in/out. I can use the LS-2 to route my signal accordingly for each instrument. Bass & acoustic guitar get a clean-blended signal path. Electric guitar gets 3 levels of gain staging, amp modeling, and a DI split to front-of-house/amp & cab. Throw in a looper and/or backing tracks and it's one heck of a versatile setup for solo performances. In bass mode, the clean blend with BDDI at the end allows me to always have a hefty bass tone with over the top distortion, effects, etc, to fill out the sound in my rock trio. Doug "dUg" Pinnick would be proud.

Eh, enough rambling for now...

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