Monday, November 14, 2011

Jack Thammarat Live Clinic, Presented by Mama Treble Clef Studio in co-operation with Yamaha Malaysia

By Eizaz Azhar

What a day it was! On the 11th of November, 2011 - 11/11/11 (an interesting date as well), the guitar virtuoso and YouTube superstar Jack Thammarat, winner of Guitar Idol 2009, came all the way from Thailand to do a guitar clinic for our students and regular customers.

We basically set up the stage, sound system, mixers and amps and drums and lights and everything you can imagine in the span of two days. Here are some of the interesting equipment I had to set up on the day;

You see, Jack is a newly-crowned Laney artist so all the amplifiers on the day were Laney amps. Jack's personal amp is the new Ironheart; it's a 300W monster tube amp with incredible tone and warmth. Each amplifier was miced up using a condenser mic directed at the speaker.

For the gig I used a hybrid drum kit ala Akira Jimbo style; it's basically a DTX520 combined with real cymbals and my favourite Pearl steel snare drum from the late 90s. I used the DTX for the kick and toms, mixed together and lined out into the mixer (my trusty Iron Cobra Power Glide pedals are also visible) whereas the snare and cymbals were miced up. All in all I got apretty good sound - but alas the overheads weren't plugged in for the gig and I lost my cymbal sounds! Oh well.

This was the stage setup for the day; I'm running everything through a Yamaha MG24FX mixer and a smaller cheap power mixer on the left for the stage monitors. Each channel is I/O-ed into a Roland UA-101 audio interface for mixing with Cubase. I usually mix digitally so I can save the settings and edit them easily. The house system is powered by two 1200W power amplifiers and a Behringer EQ (set to flat - didn't have time to balance everything), a crossover and a compressor. (P.S. everything here you can purchase from Mama Treble Clef Studio - call 03-95432201 and we can help you set up a stage and sound system and balance it as well.)

The bass amp was DI-ed (direct inject) to the mixer and we had 4 stage monitors. The house system was run through a set of EV 15' speakers and 18' subwoofers - I was quite pleased with the sound overall!

Guitar virtuoso Jack Thammarat gives a live clinic on the stage of Mama Treble Clef Studio. Held on the 11th of November 2011, Jack runs through some of his pieces in this video series and even jams with our in-house teacher's band at the end! It was an awesome show, with a full house of over 120 people and everyone had their photo and guitars autographed by Jack. We hope to have him here again!

Guitar: Jack Thammarat
Guitar 2: Lee Onn
Guitar 3: Mustaffa "Tapok" Ramly
Bass: Tengku Dinkhalish
Drums: Eizaz Azhar
Sound Engineer: Eizaz Azhar

Thammarat (born December 25, 1979) is a guitarist from Thailand. Best known as the winner of Guitar Idol 2009 competition. He has acknowledged the influence of many guitarists including Pop the Sun, Prart, Joe Satriani, John Petrucci, David Gilmour, Alex Lifeson, Steve Vai, Eric Johnson, Steve Lukather, Gary Moore, Scott Henderson, Robben Ford, Frank Gambale, Greg Howe and more.

Finally everything comes together, and this is the result. Jack's videos are below - do enjoy the show!

Monday, September 26, 2011

By Eizaz Azhar

Hi guys! Most of you may know me as a teacher in the music store Mama Treble Clef Studio and in-house musician (technician/admin guy/IT department/repairman/brute strength lifting dude/the guy you turn to when everything goes wrong and want things fixed in the shortest time possible without prior notice) among other things. I've been given the task of chronicling events that will be going on for the next good month or two. So here I am, writing this on my (infamous red-flamed decorated Toshiba Qosmio that weighs 7kg) notebook in a new, empty lot that we will be moving in shortly. Thing is, we've been talking about moving and all for quite some time now as some of my students might be able to attest to, and it's finally coming around. This, however exciting and fun it may seem - and actually is, I assure you - poses a bit of an issue to some members of the team (okay only two), particularly Ray Lee (right) and myself.

A bit about the company background; we started out as a small, miniature lot with practically 3 guitars, 2 pianos and around 50 students back in 2005-2006. Back then it was much simpler; a 300 square foot room that we basically furnished and renovated ourselves. A few years later we came up with the recording studio which we also furnished on our own, and the current 3 conjoined lots which, yes, we did ourselves. One reason was due to our budget (read; lack thereof) and simply because we didn't have much to do around the tiny store anyway, and also picked up a bunch of skills - mainly dangerous, tiring and monotonous - like installing partitions, wiring the ceiling and lighting, as well as sitting in an enclosed room with cancerous toxic fumes.

And now we're moving for a third and possibly final time to this monster of a venue, enough to house all divisions of the shop, inclusive of a recording studio, performance stage, showroom, cafe and music classes (natural disaster relief spot, emergency gathering area - who knows what else, really).

So anyway, we've had some experience in renovating and doing things on our own as you can see, but this is a whole different experience. It's a different thing furnishing a 400 square foot venue versus a 13,000 square foot venue. First of all, the cost involved is much larger, and there are some things you just can't do without spending half a year trying to pry open (i.e. the air-cond ventilation ducts which are drawn from the shopping complex's mains). Then there's the issue of decorating the space, purchasing enough stock to fill it up so that it doesn't look like the North/South Korea demilitarized zone, and finding reliable staff that show up on time and disappear when required (as opposed to random times and the worst possible moments where you feel like strangling the nearest form of intelligent life not unlike a Phua Chu Kang script).

To Be Continued....

Friday, August 19, 2011

Solo Piano Performance by Siang Xi

Our in-house teacher Siang Xi, member of the fusion group JUNK plays his own composition in our studio, as a demonstration of pop piano playing. Enjoy!