Thanks for visiting MyTubeAudio. 2016 is off to a great start already!
The Business –
It’s been a busy couple of years – the daughters are growing like weeds, my career changed paths again, and the amps keep coming. About the only part of my life that feels consistent is the repairs. For a few years now I’ve been doing exclusively while-you-wait repairs for tube gear, one, two or sometimes three per week, and I’m get nothing but wonderful feedback from the customers. As to stats, well, most repairs take around two hours, sometimes more or less, but the average bill seems to hover below $100 when I’m billing $40/hour plus parts. I had some feedback that the site was looking a bit dated, so I figured I’d better take a rare quiet evening free and update things a bit.
The Bands –
The Voice and Rocket 8 are both active these days – The Voice had a strong show at a local theater and just about filled it – we made well more than enough to cover costs plus pay the professionals who took care of lighting, sound and serving the crowd. During that show we showcased some new material that we’ve been working on the in the last year and released some new material on iTunes as well as our back catalog for download. We followed that up with a nice Christmas show and are starting the new year by doubling-down on the remaining unfinished mixes, which so far are sounding pretty tasty.
Rocket 8 has been keeping a steady clip, so to say, at about one show per month per the PLAN, and in the last year we added a second guitarist, which really filled things out and has allowed me to get more familiar with keyboards, adding more texture and breath to many of the danceable 80’s covers we specialize in. There is a demo on YouTube out there now – I’ve been mixing the live audio multi*tracks for the past few months as time has allowed while Glen has been putting together scraps of video to make a medley of material highlighting the band’s offerings. Hopefully it will bring us some new venues to ply our trade in. There are rumors about a possible Mac Island show this year – we’ve committed to it but have to get the venue on board with it- there is a good chance it will happen for 2016. I think the last time we played there was summer of 2013. We’ve also invested in gear again – adding a digital board (Midas/Behringer X32) and picked up 2 x 18 JBL subs and 2600W of Crown power to drive them. Active monitors were also added, and the upshot of all of the investment was deleting the racks of gear we used to carry – a cleaner, simpler PA with tons of headroom and all of the FX we would ever need. We don’t clip anything anymore and are getting very good feedback on the sound overall. iPad access to system tuning is a wonderful thing – you can walk around a room and do anything you might want to, and save your changes too.
The Site –
I do have more repair pictures to upload -I’ll make an effort to get them out there this year, I promise!! I get a lot of comments from customers that they have indeed taken a look at the site before calling, so it’s time worth spending. I’m a bit hesitant to publish my contact details here, but let’s say that I can be reached most easily via CraigsList Grand Rapids where I have kept an active ad for years – Search Tube Amp Repair under For Sale – Musical Instruments for all the contact information.
The Studio –
On of the benefits of the Rocket 8 transition to a digital board is that all the rack gear came back home where it belongs. Not that I use it much but it’s nice to have everything back in place and wired up for service and not out in harm’s way. As part of the new job I started in November of 2015, I took some severance pay and invested in a capable laptop, and that has resulted in a lot of recording and mixing “completely in the box” as they say. It’s addictive in some ways, but I too, like so many others have noted how it lacks warmth. I’m using Adobe Audition on that machine, as I used it with my former job doing voice-recognition prompts for so many years that it was a natural choice. I do miss my extensive plug-in library that we had on the corporate license, but that can be cured a little more investment. I’m finally happy with a PC that can handle multi-track audio gracefully without complaint. Funny to think I had to lose my job to get to that point.
The Day Job –
It took a couple of months, but after Visteon shuttered the doors in West Michigan, I landed on my feet (with more than a few former colleagues) at a good company, Gentex, just a short drive away. I couldn’t be more pleased, as it’s a well-run place. My current role is as a Senior EMC Test Engineer, so once again I’m playing with some really expensive toys, interesting antennas, and radio. My latest work will have me playing around well into the double-digit GHz domains, looking for truth and harmonic content above the noise. I love this kind of work, and the research that goes with it, I’m back into a learning mode and that feels great. Good to be employed, too!
I wish everyone a safe and happy 2016 – if you are considering having some tube amp work done, please get in touch – we can fix your amp together,quickly and have fun doing it, for less cash than you’ll likely pay elsewhere. The best part is you take it home with you the SAME night. That’s what while-you-wait service means – NO WAITING, and exactly the things you want done get done, and done right.
-Dan Brasier, N8ZJV