Madman's Diaries OM 23 Footnotes - Peace Is Free & The Rambler Final Dry Run

A bit later than usual in getting my customary final dry run recording posted. Its not only been a busy week of spring time grass cutting but I finally got round to test driving the new G&L ASATs, (more of that to come possibly). Then I realised I had not posted my final practice run.

Worse still I could not find the videos, then recalled I’d toyed around with Windows Movie Maker, in advance of being responsible for the Open Mic recording edit ! Anyway, the “movie” has been found and whizzed up to YouTube. Songs were recorded back to back.

Not a lot on the tech side to mention on this one. I initially had the Takamine plugged into the POD Go but seemed to getting a little latency, as the SM58 was picking up some guitar bleed. As I only started prepping on the Thursday, rather than troubleshoot the problem, I just opted to push both guitar and vox through the TC Helicon PlayAcoustic and keep things simple.

I originally played The Rambler at JGC OM 4 back on the old forum and was never happy with it. I had used my Washburn HB32 along with a condenser mic for vocals and the guitar bleed was horrendous. Early days of our OMs and learning each time. This time I kept it simple.

There’s also a lot going on with the original Peace Is Free recording, with at least three guitars and lots of layering. So this version has been dumbed down, to keep the essence of the original for a simple acoustic version. Also changed the Key a whole tone to G to suit my vox, which ended up making it easier to play … all open chords. Yee haaa cowboys !!

As usual this final run was recorded via Zoom and for me there is a perceivable drop off in audio quality, compared to the OBS recordings made in the earlier practice runs. Also sounds a lot better with headphones compared to my PC speakers, which lose some of the guitar quality - sounds good via the studio monitors though - heck always a compromise.

Anyway, job done and time to move on.

Cheers peeps.



Thanks Toby, appreciate these BTS videos, it’s always interesting and insightful to hear what goes on to create a performance :sunglasses: hope you have a good day :slightly_smiling_face:

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Great stuff Toby and interesting to get all the background info too. Well done. Key of G and easier to play………sounds good to me mate.

As for cutting the grass. Sunny here yesterday so grass scarified and weed ‘n’ feed product applied. :grinning:

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Wow, Toby! What a wonderful choice of songs to cover! And I haven’t heard this band before. Thank you for expanding my horizons, I’ll listen to them now…
You interpreted these two difficult songs perfectly for acoustics.
You’ve got great versions of yourself, and the guitar and vocals are good. Thanks for sharing, it was cool.

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Hi Toby, I’m always looking forward to your OM performances. I’m not that familiar with Black Stone Cherry, but I know at least some of their songs. I particularly like Peace is Free and enjoyed your version a lot. Your strumming rhythm is great :clap::clap::smiling_face:.
Nice background singer, by the way :grin:.
Thanks for sharing :hugs:.

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I have never heard the band or the song before. I absolutely enjoyed it, thank you for enlightenment. What size strings are you running on that Washburn, it sure sounds great?


I am digging your graphics as well, :metal:

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Thanks to all who have taken a listen, much appreciated.

@Gonetoearth Cheers Godfrey. Its normally a “this is how it should have been” as you never know what is going to happen at the OMs. And if it provides insight, I’ll take that ! :sunglasses:

@sairfingers Thx Gordon, always aim to keep it simple ! :rofl: Also need to get some WnF on the front garden but we are back to frosty mornings again !!! :scream:

@crocodile1 Leo you definitely need to check them out. These two are more “ballady” compared to their normal hard Southern rock style songs but a great band. Yep it was fun to adapt them and make them playable. Also far less complicated than taking the multi track approach, which I have not done for ages ! Always good to hear from you. :sunglasses:

@NicoleKKB Thanks for the comments Nicole. The rhythm on Peace turned out to be a bit of a challenge. Having listened to the song many times, I hade kind of got the pattern down but just could not sync it with the singing, so ended up going freestyle and trying to do something that kept the feel. I’ll pass on your vote of thanks to my PlayAcoustic box of tricks, who stepped in with the harmonies. Some great FX for vocals in that little blue box ! :sunglasses:

@ontime1969 Jason many thanks for taking a listen. As I said above these two are not as heavy as BSC bread and butter songs, Peace is a bit more anthemic and The Rambler was based on a studio version with just the singer and guitarist. The guitar is actually my Takamine GD30CE and is wearing Elixir Nanoweb 12s (as do all my acoustics). The tone is largely thanks to my TC Helicon PlayAcoustic, which has certain profiles to emulate an amped up acoustic, changing the body resonation. A touch of delay and a plate reverb produced the tone I was after. Still not as warm as pushing the guitar through a condenser mic while singing, which I may save for the next outing. Thanks for the comments. :sunglasses:


I totally hear you. I’m facing the same challenge with the song I’m currently working on. I thought, it would be an easy one, but getting the strumming pattern and vox together needs a lot of practice.


Blockquote The guitar is actually my Takamine GD30CE and is wearing Elixir Nanoweb 12s

Oh I did not read correctly about the guitar.

These Elixirs are great strings. I have the same phophor bronze on mine right now but the 11s.

I really like them. I had the same brand strings on before but 10s, I broke the B string and I was suprised by that. Admittedly that string was looking ugly, perhaps I am abusive to them. I hope it holds out longer than the last ones did.

They sound so nice but I wish they were not so expensive. I need to start buying the 3 packs. I dont think I will go any larger than 11’s any time soon. I bet the 12s sound cool.

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Look at the big picture. They stay fresh for much longer compared to other brands. One reason I switched. Most of my electrics have Nanos as well and those that haven’t are gradually being switched. But I have been experimenting with D’Addario EXL120 9.5 on my Washburn Hollow Bodys. There is a nice balance and they seem pretty durable as well.

As for acoustic gauges, in the early days I switched to 11 and 10s but despite some “extra playability” the guitars lost some character. I’ve dabbled with 13s one my ancient Encore but pretty much settled with 12s these days on the three of them.


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“This is one short life that we live” Indeed. Peace is Free resonated with me, Toby. Really nice rendition and very well done.

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That was lovely, Toby. I never heard these songs before, but loved it. I need to start learning about recording and gear, I couldn’t follow your gear/recoding talk. :see_no_evil:

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Hi Toby,
I took this in on the main OM 23 video. Good job on both songs. I was waiting for your oration in there, but it never came. I rather hear you play anyways, so no love lost… LOL

I like your man cave studio. Very nice and inviting music wise!

Take good care,

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Haha I save the rambling monologues for the “diaries” if I do a video, so just a short intro at the OMs. Good to see you checking out the show recording btw. Yep the studio has had a make over by my good lady and despite my initial reservations about what was planned, it looks quite nice, Thanks for the listen :sunglasses:

Thanks for that Boris. Plenty of threads here about recording set ups and “how to” guides. And yes it is a whole new ball game with it’s own language, :rofl: Just a simple phone recording will get you going though. :sunglasses:

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Thanks for the listen Dave, both these songs are a little off the Black Stone Cherry’s usual edgier approach. Peace was on one of my running playlists and the lyrics just hit me each time I heard it. So it had to be done after a fashion, plus The Rambler was due a makeover after the first recording some years back. Quite happy with these and the OM performance, so all is good. :sunglasses:

I’ve just listened to your Freedom cover again and have finally fallen in love with this song. Finding me checking out the chords and giving it a go. I’m right now experimenting with different strumming and picking patterns. I love this very first trial and error phase when working on a new song :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:.
Thanks a lot for inspiring me to play this song :hugs:.


Go for it !

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And well you should be! I meant to tell you I listened to that OM performance too and thought you did an excellent job of it.

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I like when you said “Everybody!” and the “ audience” all chimed in with perfect harmony. So that was an FX box? Pretty neat!

These two songs were very pretty. Even though I rarely listen to these genre’s. Which proves, to me, there are good songs within every genre.

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