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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Surf Videos »

Permalink What can a surf band duo sound like? The Insanitizers show in this video.

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As illustrated by this video the Insanitizers surf guitar duo sounds like a full band. I control electronic percussion during songs. My right leg movements to trigger riffs are visible. In person it sounds even better of course. The song is an original ("Day in Tokyo") from our "Flying Guitars" album. My guitar is made from parts. Both Tom and I use bass guitar amps. I use Zoom G1Xon for all effects. I'm working on a couple of other videos from this performance near Portland, Oregon.

There was a lot of effort in programming the percussion in advance for each song. Likewise for songwriting, making the guitar and recording. I love this stuff. I use this percussion only for live performances, not for studio recordings.

In past incarnations the Insanitizers was a trio and a quartet, both with live drummer. Those were great fun, but stresses from family, finance, and travel led to treasured bandmates leaving. There is much less organizational work for a duo.

The Insanitizers!

Here's another original song "Dance Like a Robot" from the same gig. The sound is different because the pedal settings were different. The pedal settings reside in a pre-programmed "patch" that I select during the performance. I use about a dozen different patches with differing delays and differing types and amounts of reverb. They're all in the surf-Rautalanka range. You can hear quite a difference from the previous song. I hope to add a third video eventually, with a still different patch.

The Insanitizers!

Last edited: Feb 27, 2019 21:29:38

Here's the third of the three video recordings from our performance at the Vancouver Farmers Market, "Dragonfly."

The Insanitizers!

Yeah Duo works ...I want to do solo myself with loopers and a Beat Buddy drum pedal (What drum pedal do you use Squid?) - The beat buddy sounds better with its own PA speakers with different size speakers - It sounds pretty lame through and guitar rig (at least that's what I found anyway.) In fact I'm building a multi-speaker PA with different amps to do all this - so will have a mix of speakers in two 7 foot tall cabinets)

Being it looks like I'm the only surfer in town here - I have to move forward and go solo I guess - My idea is to use guitar to bass pedals and the looper etc for a live backing track to solo over etc ….I'm going to have a fake drummer as well driven by the Beat Buddy for comedy - This is a total time killer and been kind of lazy working on all this but getting there.

I was told that solo guys have more opportunity here because most places only do well on the weekends and is seasonal as well. There is like 340 plus band moving through here in the summer but only work weekends essentially (There is that many live venues here.)

Most of the solo guys or Duos are usually accoutic and singer/song writter type stuff - no surf at all - so that could be my big failure point but going to try anyway

I like your songs and playing - I liked the Telstar cover you did as well, that sounded pretty righteous.

Hi, Sam, thanks for your nice post.

Yes, I'm using a Beat Buddy, triggering it with my right foot as I play guitar. I put the Beat Buddy output through the same amp and speaker I use for guitar--but my rig is not a guitar amp. I use a bass amp head and a wide-ranging speaker. My speaker is either a hemp-cone guitar neodymium guitar speaker or a neodymium Carvin PA speaker. I chose this guitar amp setup for its pristine twangy tone with reverbs and delays, but then I found it works out well for the Beat Buddy.

The Beat Buddy has both large advantages and large needs. It really sounds like a live drummer, and I've had compliments at gigs. Compared to live drummers I've performed with it is better than most. If you don't need a separate amp for it, it adds little space or weight. It keeps the beat perfectly. It keeps the setlist with the BPM for each song, with a light visible day or night. It shows up to gigs on time, doesn't have travel, financial or marriage problems, and doesn't try to pick up my platonic female friends. Those are the advantages.

The disadvantages are challenges that can be overcome with time, effort and inventiveness. First, it takes time and effort to set up each individual song. The more distinctive you want the percussion to be for a particular song, the longer and more complex the setup. Second, it takes dedicated practice to use the Beat Buddy as you play your instrument. Fills and other changes can be triggered at moments that cause confusion of the rhythm. Third, as you use the Beat Buddy it slides away from your foot, and you have to chase it. Fourth, you have to pick up your foot and place it on the Beat Buddy to press the pedal, then remove your foot. No problem for a couple of songs, but after an hour you may find your leg muscles fatigued. Fifth, as you say it doesn't sound good through ordinary guitar amps (and I have several). Sixth, there are continuing software updates to the Beat Buddy. As you can see from the video I have met these challenges (but there is always more that can and maybe should be done).

I use the Beat Buddy only for live performances and rehearsals, not for recordings on CDs. My CD recordings can be streamed (free) from website.

What city are you near, Sam?

Surfing_Sam_61 wrote:

Yeah Duo works ...I want to do solo myself with loopers and a Beat Buddy drum pedal (What drum pedal do you use Squid?)

The Insanitizers!

Last edited: Apr 13, 2019 12:20:53

I live near Ocean City Maryland - There are 5 clubs right around my place that has solo players at times - many other clubs and venues all around here besides that. Lots of potential here, being most bands and solo guy's are all from out of town and have to travel 30 to 40 miles to even get here. So many only play like once a week etc.

I'm going to put my Beat Buddy on a pedal board I have and also mount a midi foot controller to it I have - you need a midi adapter to connect them. Much easier to control it that way.

I just scrapped my building a PA speakers - taking too long - just going to order a few systems like 12" and 15" speaker sets and amps etc - I have a van anyway so space is not a problem for me - each speaker weighs about 61 lbs. so that's no too bad and I have few small rack road cases already for all my rack amps and modeler anyway. I just really need the speaker cabs right now. Will have to burn some money - just tired on messing around.

I like playing different songs every set anyway, most bands you can't do that on the fly like I do anyway. So solo works for me that way, and like I said before there is more work for solo all week anyway,

You nailed it. For all those looking for gigs, this is a path to take. Since seeing Paul and Gil years ago I have always thought that a surf music duo playing two acoustic guitars "unplugged" could find plenty of places. A local venue was looking for a Sunday afternoon instrumental band to play background blues, jazz etc a few weeks ago. As far as I know Alan and Mac are the only ones doing this in SoCal. Should be more.

Happy Sunsets!

tahitijack wrote:
I have always thought that a surf music duo playing two acoustic guitars "unplugged" could find plenty of places.

Truly unplugged--with no amplification--surf guitar is drowned out by ordinary conversation. If you're in a small venue, add amplification and you have a very narrow range for volume and dynamics. Playing in background was no fun for my bandmates or me. The venue has to have enough size to allow louder-than-background volume. We have played at low volume, but when I'm playing low and I get requests to lower the only thought is ugh, this gig is bad.

The Insanitizers!

Last edited: Apr 13, 2019 21:28:54

Surfing_Sam_61 wrote: each speaker weighs about 61 lbs...

Much lighter is possible. My 400 watt RMS bass amp head weighs 4-1/2 pounds and each 12" neodymium speaker in cabinet weighs 15 pounds. It's an easy carry and with 2 guitars it fits in the car trunk.

The Insanitizers!

Last edited: Apr 13, 2019 21:57:38

Squid wrote:

Surfing_Sam_61 wrote: each speaker weighs about 61 lbs...

Much lighter is possible. My 400 watt RMS bass amp head weighs 4-1/2 pounds and each 12" neodymium speaker in cabinet weighs 15 pounds. It's an easy carry and with 2 guitars it fits in the car trunk.

Yeah I always go overboard with buying stuff (Bigger is better) Cool

I just got two sets of PA type speakers with one with two 15" speakers each with tweeters and one set with two 12" speakers in each - might even get a 8" set down the road. I have a van so no problem.

Just started working on the drum part of the equation today. Cool

I bought the proper amp (rated at 1500 wats) Shock so everybody should hear me - I probably won't play that loud though. Some of the DJ type PA system have insane outputs - Holy Cow Laughing

Acoustic guitar doesn't work for me and my style - I play only electric and have acoustic pedal if needed (If ever) - To me it's not surf enough with out a solid body guitar I hand.

The "watts" on some DJ PA systems are not continuous RMS watts, but inflated by representing only peak momentary power handling at a high distortion level such as 10%. I just saw a review of a Pyle amp that claims 1000 Watts but the reviewer said it behaves like 60 Watts.

The Insanitizers!

Last edited: Apr 15, 2019 21:14:53

That's probably a good thing in my case - because I crank the volume all the time >>>>>>>8^)<<<<<<<<

I have a old 1990's power amp rated much lower and just two 15's a it cranks so not too worried if its not loud enough. It did a test with just stereo speakers I had with the old 15's just mentioned all stacked together ( about four sets total and it totally cranked out the sound even with relatively low watts on those. I couldn't believe how loud it got, so it all adds up a bit with a stacked systems like that.

I have seen many use just 8 " speakers on stands and sounded pretty good for small gigs (more than likely my type of place anyway.) But I had a guitar amp that wasn't as loud as my stereo even so its a mixed result for me.

Mike (GuitarMuk here) and I are starting off as a duo with Beatbuddy. I’ve had the pedal for three years and love using it for personal practices at home.

Anticipating live shows, I’ve hunkered down and learned how to store a setlist on the BB, via the Beatbuddy Manager. Eureka! This is gonna be fun now. I'll really miss not working with a real drummer, but the Mrs said no more drums in the living room. I think we'll get by just fine.

Surfing_Sam_61 wrote:

I like playing different songs every set anyway, most bands you can't do that on the fly like I do anyway.

That's the cool thing about Beatbuddy. Once songs are stored to the pedal, you can move ups and down the setlist and pick out whatever just by tapping the secondary footswitch.

Both Mike and I have PAs that we'll be using to run the drum pedal. I hope to post a follow-up once we do a gig or two.

I been too busy working on building my drum drummer/kit idea to fool with my Beat Buddy yet that will drive it with midi. Will start soon though. Smile

I found a page on Beat Buddy's site a while back I will post that has all the midi information for it when I get around to it on this thread here. You can connect midi foot controllers to add accents or vamps on the drums using the foot pedals on the foot controller board that control each drum or cymbal assigned to it etc (Even tempo etc)...Beat Buddy has a pedal already set up to do that should be out this year. It should be easier to use that the foot pedal and knobs on the actual Beat Buddy pedal.

Yeah I just got my to PA systems today so will fire it up soon to see how insanely loud I can be. My beat buddy will have its own PA and my Avid Rack Eleven will have its own as well. Should sound good.

I like the beat Buddy - I printed out the manual a while ago off a site online.

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