Ryan Brown of “The Great Noise” joins Aaron Sefchick and Joe McMurray to talk about amp modeling (the Line 6 Helix), improving live shows with technology, and social media marketing.
Ryan and his band decided to make the jump from tube amps and analogue effects pedals to all digital equipment run direct into the PA system.  He uses the Line 6 Helix Guitar Multi-effects Floor Processor, which gives him nearly infinite tonal options in one unit.  Ryan explains how the Helix uses impulse response to simulate the sound of a guitar amp, speaker, and microphone.  He also mentions some other useful tips for getting genuine sounds and feel/response from the Helix.
Aaron, Joe, and Ryan discuss studio experiences and the need to interact with the recording engineer.  Joe talks about how he uses the Digitech TRIO+ for both practice and live performance.  The guys talk about improving live shows with lighting and Ableton.
Finally, Ryan talks about social media marketing and branding.  They examine color schemes for branding, the failed Fyre Festival, short-term goals, the curation of content to show people your personality and your authenticity, and following your analytics.
Find out more about Ryan’s band, The Great Noise, at https://thegreatnoise.space/ or https://www.instagram.com/thegreatnoise/ or check out their music on iTunes.
Welcome to Fret Buzz The Podcast. My name is Joe McMurray and I am Aaron Sefchick.
Today we have my friend Ryan Brown. He’s the guitarist of ‘The Great Noise’
and he works signal chains at Alpha Music in Virginia Beach. Welcome Ryan! hey
How’s it going? It’s going great, we’re glad to have you. Yeah, thank you. I met
Ryan at the store and he was telling me about the fact that he doesn’t use amps
anymore. Real amps and I’m like, I love my Fender Princeton Reverb and I was like
you gotta… it’s gonna take some convincing and he actually took
the time recently to show me Helix and anyway and I’ve gotten to know you
know? I’ve listened to your music too! The Great Noise has got some really nice…
I mean the quality of the production is really nice and your guitar tone is
fantastic. Thank you. Yeah so jumping right into it,
how did The Great Noise form? Yes, The Great Noise was formed by my best
friend Cory and I. We’ve been for instance our kids I got out of the army
and came home and we would just kind of jam and we start writing some songs like
out of my office here and one day it was like hey man you want to just you want
try to do this full-time he’s like yeah I think I’m gonna stay for that and he’s
never really sang before yeah bunch of guys together and it worked the guy that
I used to play with when I was a kid Danny he’s the drummer and we found Jake
through Craigslist and literally just the strongest guy in my opinion you know
it just shows up you know keeps his mouth shut in plays and all his ideas
are always really fruitful he’s one of my favorite people so just hit all of it
all clicks yeah is incredible it uh you know you can have it can be hit or miss
but I got my bass player for albino rhino I mean he’s I had him he
came in he was the first interview we had off Craigslist and he showed up and
played a couple songs and we’re like okay you didn’t band I think it takes
something solid like that like someone just come in and be like here I can do
it I said no thank you how long is the great noise been
together we started officially started in March of last year as a full band so
it’s yes in March of last year we’re coming we’re coming up on creepin
epilim two years here soon it’s gonna be nice put about a couple signals so I’m
gonna release an apple next month yeah and so for our listeners out there who
haven’t heard the great noise I mean you guys from a couple songs and I’ve
listened to the singles that you put out it it has to me well Aaron said send
Temple Pilots sound I hear some I hear the vocals remind me a little bit of
Dave Grohl yeah I mean it’s it’s like got some great instrumental sections but
it’s definitely rock oh yeah the guitars have you know there’s some nice over
driven guitar sounds and but with more retour delay than it’s definitely not
Punk or anything it gets a little Spacey for sure yeah we want to have our heads
up you know it like enjoy the room we’re in nowadays you know as you guys know it
takes a lot to get into a good sized room and stay and be welcomed back yeah
so with that you know we focus but you could 2% to focus on this band’s live
performance and we use lights on stage they’re programs we do all that
ourselves mainly so we don’t have to hire a like I would also cuz we’re nerds
we want to be able to get in there and play something a little more simplistic
so we can’t have our heads up and see each other and have fun with each other
there’s a synergy okay the audience can relate to that a little bit more
yeah there’s no it’s when you go and see a band and everybody’s
just kind of looking down and doesn’t look like they’re having fun and it
doesn’t make me want to have fun even music it helps to have an interactive
band up there yeah I want to play guitar carry a shovel yeah yeah you’re playing
music you’re not working even if you’re being paid it’s the best job on earth
right are you guys recording you said you’re recording at one of the local
Studios here we did so we finished officially finished tracking at flagship
studios in Virginia Beach the engineer there is Kyle Hinds and I have worked
with him before and he he’s done a couple of our signals
that we have out the guy’s brilliant I connect with him he’s also one of those
people that like you can even give it to you straight forward like this sucks and
this is why and I love that so albums done the master is done we’re waiting
with merch and stuff like that to kind of get finalized and that I’m gonna
throw it all out there into the vicious pond of new music that’s being released
here and then the next thing love yeah before we dive into that idea of the
vicious pond I wanted to he said something about the way that you’re that
engineer you know he tells the tee straight we’ve actually had a couple
we’ve had a times Hampton studio engineer that I worked with he’s out of
Alexandria Virginia he came on the show and I somewhere in the teens he was
early on and Aaron does a lot of audio engineering and we had on Chris Graham
of Chris Graham mastering and talked about more studio stuff but yeah they’re
like having someone who tells you who has an opinion in the studio is
extremely helpful and welcomes yeah but I guess you do have to you know you got
to be careful not to I guess I could turn off some people but you’re gonna
come out with a better product I would oh sure every time
it was so funny to cuz like he sat us down we did a we did so we did
pre-production and that was probably pre-production was two weeks before we
actually started tracking so it was like here it comes
and we within the first ten minutes it was I wanted to ask him like hey you
know I can’t really want your input on this like could you be up front with us
like you hear something that doesn’t sound right you know we want a snare
like don’t just give me the dream dream light and before we could even say
anything look I just want like you know like I’m gonna be involved in this I’m
not just gonna give you a green light and I was like oh my god this guy’s
perfect I love this guy you gotta trust your engineer no one knows the room
better than that guy it doesn’t matter how much schooling you’ve had or what
your approach is to recording you’re walking into this guy’s space his ears
hear this room every day you’re gonna go in there and you’re just gonna do what
you do and trust that this guy does his job but that’s what it takes you have to
you have to trust the guy and like I said I’ve known I had worked with him
before and I respect him as an engineer but the whole process was just seamless
I just yeah it was the best experience I think I’ve had in the studio and I’ve
done I’ve done quite quite a lot of studio work
that’s all that’s awesome yeah I mean like you were saying pre productions as
soon as you go through that process with a with an engineer producer you know
right away if it’s gonna be a perfect fit or not if if that person has their
their crap together I mean right like you said the moment he said you know I’m
gonna be involved in it that’s like perfect and there aren’t plenty of
people out there who don’t want the engineer to touch their stuff right but
yeah but mm-hmm I think it’s important that that you at least let that person
because they are familiar with a room and
our familiar with working with hopefully a lot of other people that they have the
experience where they can kind of chime in here and there and say hey maybe this
or hey maybe that and that’s that trust factor with that or that engineer they
own for you know two weeks or three weeks or however long you’re recording
they become that fifth member of the band
sure oh yes and even afterwards you know like because Kyle Kyle doesn’t really
let this onto a whole lot of people but he actually he’s played in some some
killer bands and he’s one awesome songwriter and one hell of a composer
when it looks you take a step back and look at the overall composition the
guy’s got it and yeah yeah it was the most comfortable process I could have
asked for were there points in your like in the course of recording this album
where he suggested other parts to go into the song that weren’t necessarily
there originally like Oh different harmony lines different percussive
elements yeah like we did so we do a lot of for those of you out there that don’t
know we do a lot of like kind of like Spacey alternative rock you know I’m 32
that’s my era you know I grew up listening to the pumpkins and Stone
Temple Pilots out some chains Pearl Jam but also at you too you know and like
really dimensional types of music as well lots of effects and stuff and I
didn’t really get a lot of opportunities growing up to play that stuff now I’m my
best friend’s in that play everyday in it it’s super fun
but being in a studio element and having somebody with another ear we’d be
playing like you know this part and I’m like oh yeah that’s super cool
come back now that sucked let’s do this and then B he’ll put an ebow in my hand
now I’m doing this really ethereal thing but like you take that out you miss it
you listen to playback oh that’s why I’m
paying I get it now a lot of time a lot of things like that will happen yeah
that’s awesome we’re not a solo heavy band I’ll throw out there some licks in
there sometimes but it’s not really about that and he he definitely pushes
me to add more of me in there and that felt good I felt like I could be
confident you know throwing this Phrygian or mixolydian lick down or
hybrid of such just for color and it was like oh that you’re right that does make
sense so again going back to what we were saying from beginning it’s trusting
and listening to your engineer or producer whoever’s wearing both hats or
hats or i i’ve had a experience with an engineer in northern virginia who is it
was a somebody’s basement studios a kind of a weird deal but he had a bunch of uh
a lot of different amps and guitars available and like it was one of my
favorite experiences because the i came in the drums in the baseball ready
tracked the rhythm guitar was already tracked and there was scratch vocals and
he’s just like I had my Fender amp in my Stratocaster at the time and he’s like
used this in like I think we tried several different amps and I think I I
played like two or three different guitars on that you know that one
session like in on different tracks in it he knew what would produce the sound
that we needed for that track so I think I recorded on yeah yes 339 on one track
through a Marshall amp like I just got to try a bunch of stuff and it it really
opened my eyes to like like I love my fender amps but right there are other
things out there and uh yeah yeah I mean in terms of the studio that’s one of the
most valuable places where it would be most valuable to have that the ability
to have lots of different tonal options oh yeah
kind of brings us right around to the fact that like you’re the helix system
for me like while it’s it’s it’s really complicated you know to sit down and go
through once like it’s not just like turning on my amp and hitting my
favorite overdrive pedal and tweaking the EQ a little bit but there are
definitely times where I could see it being tremendously beneficial to be like
okay Vox press a button like there you go try
different speaker cabinet there you go it would be incredible in the studio it
is the I was already so I was raised in an analog environment
first of all okay like I didn’t come from a whole lot of money you know you
wanted something really nice you could work for it
you know I had a but you still do a bunch of Finnish pedals and stuff and I
love them but we got to a point where it was two twins on stage you know a
200-pound Mesa bass rake and 370 pound paddle boards like yeah I live on the
third floor of an apartment complex it’s 3 o’clock in the morning I know I don’t
drink but it still sucks carrying these stuff upstairs that’s not not saying
that’s the main reason why we ended up doing it but we wanted to consolidate
our rig and start looking at more production we wanted to have the ability
to have really any effect that we possibly could imagine or more really at
our fingertips and it took some time and it really came down to all of us have
practiced one day and it was just like everybody just clicked by just you know
like there we go we’re doing it you know 2000 watt QSC you know reference helix
floor board backpack let’s all do it and roll the dice and we spent a month
programming I think out of everybody I use the most sounds because I play lead
and the ethereal that kind of ambient stuff
but I remember Cory coming over to my house with his reference in his Hilux
because he got his actually came first and we’re doing an A and B with the twin
in a room and so my pedalboard my twin his rig his reference and I was
I was just alright I’ll do this now it was a it was amazing in like I in huge
on so I had line six products before and like there is a digital sound that’s
that’s a real thing so when we unwrapped that what is that digital sound it’s
usually in the higher registers the higher Hertz you know you start taming
that back it’s almost like you want it to have a dull sound and you make up for
that and presence in each EQ or compression in depending on what rig
you’re running but it’s the best thing our band has done I’ll probably never
play with an ample onstage again inaudible and video and this is recorded
yeah but that’s a medical statement I’m serious it makes sense I mean I’ve
heard it time and time again from it doesn’t matter what professional but if
you’re a touring band of any capacity doing something like a Kemper or helix
is just like there’s no question yeah yes makes sense yeah and I went to my
boss and I was like look there’s this I own one
I’ve been gigging with it it works out like we should really bring it in and we
did you know the unit sells itself you don’t have to be an audio engineer to
use it there’s other like products that I’ve used before I won’t name and it’s
you know it’s it’s it’s a difficult learning curve
you know my bachelor’s is ammonia so like I couldn’t imagine somebody who’s
super green sitting down for the first time trying to navigate around a
platform like that it’s especially when the whole goal is
to have a more creative palette that’s how I look at this stuff it’s it’s like
for the last 21 years I’ve been finger-painting and now I have this
digital iPad that I can literally write and you know we were gonna look at the
differences between analog rigs and digital rings it’s really just that like
I can’t build anything now with any alchemy and yes it’s pretty
it’s a brilliant system yeah I’m I’m proud to be able to use it as often as I
do we used it in studio color cut a recording costs in half what was that
why would it make your recording cheaper okay so you know like we’re gonna line
up this you know dual 4:12 you know offset Jensen offset greenback
we’re gonna run SLO or vh4 and then ping the feedback left and right and then I’m
gonna have like this really ethereal ambience behind there that comes from
this spring reverb tank and then this offset you know Echoplex you know the
ones where you’ve moved them just a little bit and they just break but uh
you know typical Echoplex but regardless you know it’ll take you three hours to
set up that rig my kit do a couple tests get the room ready
pressures good let’s play and build that patch 15 minutes you want it in any room
I’ll just build the room no I use like this plugin it shows me kind of like
decay times and ceiling depths you know for different types of reverb I can just
go in there and build that within my system you know not saying that it’s
super authentic by any means
but I mean it’s authentic enough to where if you’re in a mix with seven or
eight other elements no one’s gonna be able to be like oh well that reverb was
this profile of X Y & Z from this or whatever yeah I mean basically cut it it
cuts time in half no that’s what that’s what pre-production is for it’s like
okay I’m an have this list of sounds here’s my scratches everything’s set up
this by setlist is what I’m gonna have in the studio you know that’s why I was
like this pre-production was so quick you know from the time we had
pre-production to tracking was two weeks I had two weeks we had two weeks to
really build these patches and of course we went in there cause it sounds good
but let’s just completely erase this and start from the beginning and you can do
that on any looks you know that’s awesome I would like for you to expand a
little bit more on like some of the useful things that I was watching me do
was the way that you were using multiple eq’s and sometimes splitting the signal
chain to try to create a more realistic or more analog sound and I know you said
you know taking off some of the top-end digital sound but just like for somebody
who’s got a helix like what are some pointers to really dial in that sound a
bit better yeah yeah you know we look at to give you a better example we cuz we
can unwrap it briefly from like the IR stage we use impulse responses which
basically the speaker moving air almost like a measurement take a solution
greenback it’ll live between like 56 and let’s just say sixteen point five K so
impulse response is automatically gonna take that measurement and that’s where
your sound is gonna come from it’s gonna emulate the response time the frequency
measurement of the speed here so we’ll do like kind of like a checks
and balances inside the system you know I’ll split the signal as you
saw and I’ll do like a lighter compression on the top end and then
bring you know a low-pass filter back or you know we’ll do the bottom will
compress that a little bit more you know like almost mimicking the natural sag
and reaction of an ant you ever do it we want it to breathe but you can do small
things like that that bring the life out of the profile more they’re good
profiles and they get they are I mean like I I’m a and beat them with Kemper
and axe-fx and mother and I did a lot of research into this going into it and if
you have just a basic fundamental of audio just compression and EQ you can
make that thing to anything you want approaching it like that
you know splitting the signal and being able to tailor the top and lo in
specific ways I mean you can even become more of a nerd with it do three bands
really wanted to be a nerd which I love but there’s small approaches like that
take that tinning ice out or it’ll take just the opposite take the fluffiness
sound really anything below like 55 maybe even a little bit more 60 I mean
it’s not audible that’s mud take that out if you’re if you’re to run a live
sound you’re never going to be below 150 playing guitar yeah your fundamental is
you’re not you’re out of your fundamental range at that point your
your whole goal is to sit in a mix yeah so approaching it like that this is how
I want to sound with my dudes and then also like here’s my guitar tone this is
as authentic as I can get it and all the unnecessary artifacts are out so I like
to split chain I do some sidechain compression just let me know cuz you can
yeah expand on that for me yeah you know it so you’ll take your
whole and you’ll take the entirety of your signal split or not and you can
actually run that down two separate processors run this board one that
handles the top one Hansel here was the bottom in the four rows and this allows
you to not have an overload of seat to you but also provide you the heparin to
get the most out of your effects I mean we’re looking at 96 K a lot of
definition in power it’s a lot a lot of power a lot of a lot of meticulous
definition especially with some of these angry at reverb generators out nowadays
you need that effort so you know if we were gonna bring that scan out and we
were gonna decide you bring a dried ant or a wet down and just process that and
blend it back in if you do in a studio setting busing you know um or parallel
compression I mean that’s it just adds to it and you’re like oh I can get away
with this and I miss it if it’s not there it’s not it just brings a little
bit more girth and like I say you take 150 out of your mix live like 150 in
down that a high-pass on just typically like you’ll do in some cases depending
on the room it’s a lot of girth going and I want a little bit of that back
okay okay so you’re basically doubling your signal but with just different so
process slightly differently I’m gonna compress the hell out of it and blend it
back in okay yeah yeah that’s and that is the definition of parallel
compression like on vocals or something right you know all we have to one that’s
compressed in one that’s much more natural yes essentially in some aspects
you always have to really squash it but yeah it does it does or you know like in
a studio setting we would if we were gonna compress eight or nine tracks the
same way it would make more sense to group them and send them and process
them with one compressor it actually would glue it more would sound more of a
a well together transparent mix overall and cut
down on the processing power of your computer yeah it’s more efficient okay
have you ever used one of these helixes Aaron no no I’ve seen them but I’ve
never actually used one it’s definitely glad I got to go into
this store and ride and shoot me showed me how to use it cuz I was trying to
watch youtube videos and you know you can watch youtube videos but anything
with real sound I feel like you just even if you wear your really nice
headphones which does help it’s not the same as playing something and right one
hearing the actual sound in a room but – it also you know feeling it because
playing add a tube amp has a feel to it the SAG has a feel to it there’s you
know you can it’s almost like a lag we’ve talked about this with miles yeah
Harshman on one of our previous episodes but it was cool he was Ryan actually I
was able to adjust the SAG on the helix to give it more of that natural feel and
you know it’s a pretty cool system I don’t think I can afford it but when I
and I’m and I’m very happy with my system but I’m glad to know that’s an
option and I wouldn’t be opposed to it in the future yeah you were showing me
videos of what you do Alice I was taken back I mean man that’s good you know
with the trio plus right yeah dude that is just too cool you did you tell me
that you have the loaded like cards like the memory cards and like dude you’re
you’re a monster thank you you are a monster that’s very kind of you but I
yeah that trio plus I’m I’m working on getting digitech to give me a some sort
of endorsement because I feel like I I tell everybody I meet how awesome that
that pedal is because I believe it with all my heart I like it’s my band and I
paid $300 for it and now I paid nothing for it like their yeah they’re never
late to practice they never complain they’re never out of time yeah
the trio plus is uh it takes these micro SD memory cards and each card holds 12
song slots so I run like 11 songs pre-programmed on each memory card and I
leave one blank for any sort of live anything that’s sent a simple
progression chameleon by Herbie Hancock I’ll do that live like I don’t need to
have a pre-programmed right move for that and I kind of enjoy
building that live and you know yeah I think it’s part of the show but son if
you have a song with multiple song parts it’s much better to do it ahead of time
right right you know just have the basic progression at least looped in and under
different piece different parts and you can switch live between the parts so if
you want to like take a solo and talk to the audience afterwards or whatever like
I was playing on Atlantic Avenue on Friday night and I was playing I think I
was playing like run around by Blues Traveler just like yeah high knees rock
and I took yeah big guitar solo for a minute and then I these kids were
hanging out and I went into the Flintstones theme and then I was like
you know that is you know it’s just kind of like it doesn’t matter how long I
stay on that song part I can change back and forth any time I want so it gives me
that flexibility I can I think I muted the base or yeah I think I muted the
base and I was able to talk to the audience and then say like okay what’s
this one and I played twinkle twinkle little star and you know you just have
it’s an ax just amazing product you can you can mute the drum to me at the bass
change the field a double time you can make the bass go to like root and fifth
or just roots or the normal busy thing right it’s it’s a cool product so it
doesn’t have any of the tone shaping abilities that of a helix but it’s got
its other just a totally different tool yeah I bet core
or Jake wish that they had like an off button for me like oh you know what Ryan
you know I promise but yeah you were explaining the rig and I saw the video I
was just like really taken back because it’s it’s not that it it’s not that it
just sounds like it’s really well done you know and uh not and you’re a good
player you know you are so yeah compliments for its tier yeah it it’s
amazing what it looks weird to be onstage and have the sound of a full
band like four-piece band and it’s just like one guy standing up there on this
big stage with a Princeton Reverb well yeah yeah it works
I don’t think that what it will never be able to do is follow your energy level I
I miss any time playing with a real band in like you have to work far harder when
you’re playing a guitar solo with a trio or to like bring out the dynamics to you
know you go it you’re like trying to come to the climax of a guitar solo or
something and like it’s still doing what it’s do it like it doesn’t it’s not like
the drummers going to like a crash cymbal and like going crazy on it and
the bass players not like changing register doing anything to build that
energy so you have to really do it all like you can’t
there’s definitely been times early on where like I try to you know you’re
building and then you you try to do like some sort of line that’s not like some
like double stop kind of been big bends and it sounds like it kind of falls out
from under you if you let up on that energy at all so you have to play kind
of in a specific way in order to not let those you know it’s false its
shortcomings come through yeah let’s see I feel like we worked so hard as
musicians to create that moment like I feel like EDM is probably and I don’t
listen to any any of that music but like they’ve mastered the build-up and drop
you know I think about what we’ve been trying to do like next up for us you
trying to incorporate backing tracts which is not necessarily as the
same as what you’re doing but kind of similar and you know like for our
production you know Danny’s on a clinic all the lights are written to a clinic
that information is sent out MIDI to DMX start to hire light guys actually that’s
why we did it you know and we can put any type of lights we want on stage and
be able to handle facilitate it in pretty much any show we can’t you we can
get on with a reason house lights are our own by incorporating backing tracks
it’s like man you know here’s this massive buildup and like it’s getting
really vocal it’s getting really happier here we go and then it dropped since
like well well what if he’s off like bye beep you know that means it’s scary you
know it is we haven’t had anything like that happened yet but I it’s gonna be
like some festival or you know some some bigger room sure that we have where the
system is like we’re now running more complex performances or production and
then all of a sudden one day mike my trusty computers can look you know I
think you got the most out of me you know I’m gonna check out you know
it’s gonna be right at that drop or something you know and of course like an
audience member is gonna be a couple you know what Bob that was pretty good but
it’s not gonna make me forget 9/11 you start over again it yeah you can’t the
electronics they can let you down sometimes but I also feel like they
don’t let you down as much as a person in you know they just don’t that’s if
that’s your fault if you mess it up is how I feel the times that my electronics
have let me down has been more my fault if you actually like break it down what
happened yeah yeah I mean yeah and I I love relying partially on a computer
I totally make mistakes like I’m happy to admit that the computers pretty
accurate it’s gonna be as honest as it can be I
mean it’s it’s a machine and that’s where it’s your fault if you got off
time that’s right and they didn’t follow you in your
incorrectness that’s right ultimately now the computers but well now they’re
making a product that’s a ditto looper where it’s got a contact Mike it comes
with a contact Mike it’s a regular looper take the hardest thing to do in a
lot of setting is loop this will track your snare heads and a just flex time to
your recording with that pitch that they won’t change the pitch that’s nuts
that’s pretty cool where is that technology in Pro Tools i if you know
email me cuz that’s why I’m trying to learn Ableton I’ve been spending like
I’m certified by avid and I’m a certified logic you sir and I’ve got
those certifications through school but basically I’m spending like my extra
time learning Ableton because I just thought it’s really inspiring to look
out like it’s dull you know it’s gray it’s just so you look at it’s very
unappealing it’s like well I just want to work you know I don’t want 50
different color options for this or this you know I want the looping and the
composition capabilities and live use it makes more sense it’s more efficient so
big you’re in talks of relying on a computer I’m gonna probably start doing
that more as we as we move into this next quarter back to the album salad I’d
like the whole production to be off of Ableton
since that’s its format Pro Tools is just and logic it’s just so it’s thirsty
it’s a thirsty program needs a lot of power needs a lot of juice so so
recently we interviewed Billy brows of papa doe CEO and Papa dosie is like a
big touring band that plays a lot of festivals they just played Red Rocks and
Billy plays keys and synth for Papa doe CEO and I saw them actually play
elevation 27 and they they run a lot of backing tracks and but they also or
maybe actually maybe not backing tracks they run Ableton though I believe it’s
what he said yeah and they like like their work in the computer big-time and
they they actually also have a phenomenal light show right like it’s
really good they each have a screen behind each player and they stand in a
big arc on stage so nobody’s in the middle and the lights are are really
good yeah yeah he was telling us in the episode how they set it up so each
screen like if you play a certain frequency it does a certain color and
does a certain thing and oh that’s clever yeah depending on what you know
signals being sent so it’s like wow it’s almost like they put a ducking
compressor on there to it like identify certain things to trigger off me and
that’s nerdy I’m into that yeah yeah
lights are lights are really important to us I mean if we if we play a partial
and people like oh man what those lights are amazing I’ll take that it makes a
huge difference as an audience member to you know it’s just like the whole
full-body experience is more complete with visuals oh sure and the lights can
you know just having a strobe effect or flashing lights during that build-up of
your guitar solo or the climax of your song makes it that much more exciting
which could be the edge to make somebody remember you and want to download your
album or oh sure yeah well he’s not you hit the nail on the head the timing
of that that’s that I think it’s one thing to throw a bunch of lights on
stage which is what we used to do you know we live in a very DIY focused area
when it comes to playing out we get a lot of like you know I raised eyebrows
the seeds come in there with these processors if there’s 6,000 watts on
stage and we’ve got these lights and you know like they’re all programmed then
there’s this computer and there’s just brain and you know what’s this blue
box doing here and you know people kind of forget like we did all this by hand
you know it’s not strapped on you’re like a two-by-four or anything we comes
to programming lights and building a moment it’s all in timing you have to
you have to meticulously get into your set and be like cool this part here’s
blue okay well what shade of blue what what’s the build up look like how are we
gonna how we gonna visually enhance this part
and it’s just trial and error you know and we don’t sleep like I’m doing this
podcast with you I’m gonna go do this photo shoot with the guys for the album
and then we’re programming Lex does we have a benefit show this Friday for the
nor the it’s a kind of a bunch of banners from the area just giving back
and wanting to you build more of a community which I feel is even more
important than being a DIY bands you know there’s definitely a community here
and it makes you proud yeah we enter we get to be nerds and work for a cause
there’s so much stuff going on in the world today I want to make sure you know
all the effort I’m putting into this you know goes into somebody else’s hands to
the benefit like that’s important it’s always nice to play for more than the
drunk people at the bar oh sure even something a little bit more
important yeah totally fun shaking my ass on stage in front of drunk people
but do it do it to benefit someone else – that’s pretty cool yeah I wanna I want
to go back to something you said about the colors just because last night
randomly my my old basis is in town visiting me and he was like I need to
watch this video that my bandmate send me and it was how Jack White uses color
is this video that is on YouTube and was pretty fascinating
he like branded him his band the white stripes with the colors red black and
white and all of their every show every album cover every music video is built
using those colors and he he’s very specific about using colors and shades
of those colors to create emotion in the music and like they did some cool stuff
changing the reds to blues and showing the same music video sections and we’re
like I kind of see it like yeah it’s not a huge difference because the music is
the same but the the color can actually bring out the emotion more from people
Oh 100% 100% and even from a nerd platform you
know we its marketing yeah yeah not trying to take anything away from his
artistic value whatsoever but you know what do you pay more for insurance on a
red car why cuz it’s the one you see you know it makes a lot of sense yeah
yeah they were talking in the video about like you know Starbucks is green
it’s always green like the logo is always green sorry Cola is always red
it’s they’re saying bands don’t do as good of a job typically of branding a
color right as a lot of product brands do yeah like there’s trying to think of
something recent oh do you remember was it fire festival that like thing yeah
totally went downhill I don’t even know if that even it wasn’t it like ja Rule
and Billy somebody’s thrown in jail now something like that I guess they like
just crooks but anyway started through the festival in the Bahamas right yeah
it was something like that but their approach was kind of like let’s see
what’s up you know I think they hired I guess like a team I watch this
documentary and from let my take away a bit well it’s like they hired a team for
marketing the it man really drove into color schemes and like eye catching
media content you know they had the woman or jury Aslam
you know the fruity colorful troops but the one thing that like really stood out
was their logo color it was the complete opposite of how we perceived like a
marketing color scheme we’re looking at like I’m really dull like orange yellow
and then black but it just no matter what scrolling because we scroll a
Minnie Mouse a second you should be in the Olympics yeah but we see that come
Oh fire festival you know what I think like I’m happy to see a lot of
businesses and brands and stuff like that taking over the branding aspect
that’s a big word branding I didn’t think like three years ago we were like
well at least me I was just like branding I’m you know I’m just gonna be
me I’m gonna get on stage I’m gonna throw my guitar around and I’m gonna get
off from the shake a couple hands maybe have a coca-cola look how much more
branding do you want yeah but nowadays for it’s definitely a
different story there’s a lot of my focus at the shop do not handle a lot of
the social media and stuff like that there it’s so goat that it’s a perfect
segue into you know the fact I mean I I struggle with it it’s just difficult to
maintain a social media presence that is you know interesting to people and not
annoying to people and that actually builds up an audience over time right
you know we were talking about this and you’re saying you’ve you spent a lot of
time learning about it and like what are some of the things that you’ve learned
about social media marketing and branding and branding uh uh aside from
like fundamentals that you pick up through school really it’s just you
gotta try to stay a couple steps ahead which is I know it’s almost virtually
impossible because you’re on you’re standing in at 360 there’s really no set
path and the reason be like there was this awesome statistic I read from Cal
Tech and it was like from the point man we have seen man record information on
rock list to 2003 since every culture every
scientific book every law book every language medical everything every single
piece of information that from that moment to 2003 why 2003 item essentially
we triple that bulk of information that that size of information we triple that
every day on social media that’s nuts yeah
so we’re looking at this fog it’s a really dense fog I’m into fog the fog is
very thin it appears you can’t see through it but I’m I love a challenge
you know God you kind of have to approach it like that like there it’s
goal-setting when it comes to social media small goals which builds
confidence which leads to more goals being accomplished and so on it only
takes a little bit of gas though to really geek out above all and what that
looks like is the curation of content following your analytics which Instagram
gives you being authentic not too many filters be honest you know
people want that connection a lot of people I see they’ll post these perfect
pictures it’s like just you look at it it’s like wow this person sucks because
it doesn’t look like they’ll ever fail at anything you know for me at least
yeah so basically you know like I approach social media with the shock
like kind of the same way that I photograph guitars and look at the
imperfections of different petals and use gear in like we post at certain
times of the day we make sure their colors are right you know we want to
make sure that we’re honest about what goes up there’s a lot of personality in
the shop you know I’m gonna tell you if you want to work in the entertainment
industry you don’t have a personality you’re in the wrong business and if
you’re afraid of if you don’t like being embarrassed or
showing your ass I fall every day and get mud on my face I wanted to love it
but you have to curate content to show people that you have to it’s I almost
say I don’t want to say build a personality because that doesn’t sound
authentic but I want to build a window that people just outside strolling by as
you’re walking you’re just like walking through a strip mall your window
shopping it’s like well hey just remember it’s bright in here we’re
pretty funny and we carry an incredible selection of guitars and I feel like
that’s branding you know I’ve gone to so many branding seminars and watch so many
branding seminars when it comes to social media and marketing and I hear a
lot of the same thing you’ll pay $35 50 bucks to sit down and listen this guy
talk it’s all the same thing it really is you want to create a brand and be
successful be authentic and honest with yourself and go out there and show your
ass and don’t be afraid to do it and people will immediately connect with you
because they don’t want to see perfect that’s all you see is perfect I’m not
perfect you know you’re not perfect but we’re in the painters I don’t mess
up on stage there I never yeah now do you do you just out of curiosity do you
post multiple times a day depending on the day okay and if you want a debt do
you have a preferred platform Instagram okay I’ll do the share you know the
sharing of Facebook at the same time because they’re out there there’s a
bracket like I’m seeing there’s a younger crowd that won’t use Facebook
anymore they’re like you know what we’re not doing it yeah and then there’s D
they will that’s like my my generation you know it’s like well I’m kind of on
Facebook but Instagram is cool you what her Instagram is far better right
okay yeah it’s lost all of its charm it has talked about its changing though
Facebook is completely gonna go away from this idea of cuz now when you post
something it hardly goes to anybody unless you pay for it yeah but they are
moving they have specifically said that they’re moving to a groups
platform where it’s all about putting yourself in a community in a group that
they are gonna push that hard in the future I don’t know how I feel about
more yeah I don’t I I feel like that’s on this like building a competitive
market for life insurance right I mean it just being honest with you
we look at algorithm based social media it’s the bigger tastier bones the one
that goes on the menu first and I get that because the whole goal is just you
know to objectify that content to its advertising you know I pay for ads this
pays for your platform you may speak now yeah you have 20 seconds to entertain
and then after that you fall back into the algorithm I get I get Facebook’s
importance but I don’t think it’ll ever make a recovery and let’s say reshape
the algorithm like it did in 2008 yeah do you see any excuse me 2018 do you use
HootSuite or anything like that no I just I I keep physical notes and I look
at my analytics I mean it doesn’t doesn’t take much work you know I look
at what okay by hour and by day yeah you know looking at there’s a whole goal on
Instagram is to get organic audiences you know organic followers and you can
use your stories to engage your current audience and inform them you know of
course they’re gonna see posts but those two things exist on that platform for a
reason like use them you know like I see a lot of places a lot of Bansi they’re
like oh yeah oh my god we’re gonna we’re gonna put this hot shit you know
picture up you know snap snap snap got some likes and stuff like that it’s
cool and then not engaged with the stories and stuff like that when you
post to a story everybody gets a notification for it it’s like why not
you should be doing that just once you’re posting three days out of the
week you should be posting twice take a rest day and don’t over saturate
be honest make some imperfect stuff not on purpose but don’t let it this shit up
yeah are you familiar with Michael Stelzner no no not okay
social media marketing he’s like the big one of the bigger Gruber’s of social
media marketing and he’s weekly and putting out you know pointers on
Facebook ads or whatever it is it doesn’t matter right he’s like one of
the great big guys who has tons and tons and tons of information that’s cool yeah
that’s cool I mean I read a lot you know got stacks of books playing around like
always trying I’m definitely not I’m definitely always looking for what I
can be better cuz again it’s just not like this is
aside from the band you can put us in my shop this isn’t my shop I work at this
show I just so happen to love the people I work for into it they’re a family to
me so of course I’m I go in there every day
with this kind of stuff in the uppermost part of my mind but I mean like I was
saying earlier I’ve paid money to watch very creative people almost do like a
TED talk yeah so I almost feel like it’s approached it just I never really got a
lot of fruitful information out of it I took I’ve taken a couple branding
classes at their school and outside of school I’ve paid for and it’s still like
it just didn’t seem too authentic to me like I know me as a person like I want
to connect with somebody I need you to meet me where I am you know what I mean
and it just my approach with social media is really
just to use the tools that they provide at least with Instagram you know I know
different their platforms have different of their algorithms and I know with
Facebook like you could turn facebook off and say green jelly bean like 50
times throughout the day and all of a sudden you open facebook and it’s like
enjoy these green jelly get out of there oh I want to go back some Issa you
mentioned something about stories versus your feed like post normal postings yeah
so you’re saying that a story gives people notification whereas just posting
normally doesn’t notify your followers well as far as like a business account
if I don’t post a story regularly when I do your little computer in your butt
pocket will be like a alpha music or the great movies just posted or just you
know just submitted a video for their story or you’re just pushed into their
stories or whatever for the first time in a long time or whatever okay you’re
something a couple days that active engagement just like I said you don’t
want to saturate the goal is to really just reach out and just do a love tap
and be like a unit by the way I’m still here and we’re still working okay yeah
and that that to me not only lessens the workload but it also gives me to kind of
screens to focus on that focus on my my left stream which is all of my organic
followers that I’m trying to reach doesn’t mean we’re we’re likable guys at
the shop and like in the band like you know platforms I approach in a similar
way we’re likable dudes like we’re we we’ve got content for days I want to get
an organic following and I want to engage the people that decide to follow
me okay I know I’ll take two seconds and hit follow you know what do you got
entertain me Yannick okay cool yeah want to see you
want to nerd out over some gear unless you use new pedals you know blog just
kind of like go down the line and I try to like in the shop
sure I had a different section you know so it’s not all saturated on one thing
I’m a guitar player or at least I try to be
I love effects pedals and signal chains I don’t want to post nothing but guitars
and pedals constantly I’m gonna make sure we well-rounded the same go ahead I
was gonna say we feel the same way about fret bus we we want to make sure we’ve
you know have other types of instrumentalists or singers we’ve we’ve
tried to have a variety of topics Tony yeah right yeah I mean I think both
Aaron and I really enjoy the diversity of topics anyway right I love the guitar
but I I love music and everything about music except for maybe social media
marketing is that it’s probably my least favorite of all of it far rather I would
far rather play my instrument then then have to record a video of me playing my
instrument come to my show to see it’s a necessary
evil man I almost wish we could like starve our
audience and it’d just be a cool like only for the mouth I’ve always wanted to
do this you start at the end and it’s like only word of mouth you know so the
only time you can hear our music is when you come see us live okay we live in a
content-based you know era which we obviously do if you can’t find something
within five minutes it immediately irritates you yeah so it’s like what
happens if I put on a killer show you can’t find my yeah but mr. the mystery
of it would be it would be kind of your branding element yeah are you this
elusive yeah man that’s awesome maybe you could only sell physical CDs
no I wouldn’t I wouldn’t sell the music at all yeah I mean like that it wouldn’t
be that that would not be the prime business model but it would be an
artistic endeavor endeavor me know if I read this I read data from this one band
it’s like they don’t allow cell phones in their show it’s like a bigger band or
something like you cannot bring us cellphone in this show that’s cool
it would not everyone far more engaged rather than worrying about taking
pictures and yeah snapchat or de niñas antics I want to say it’s white stripes
does that I think perhaps I wouldn’t put me wouldn’t I wouldn’t put a Koscheck
way to do something like that well I’m pretty sure he doesn’t allow any cell
phones at a show good on him don’t there’s a band I really adore and
they’re called big Jesus and they put out a music video and basically the
music video was talking about like they’re like dressed up as aliens and
came to Planet Earth to put on a show and everybody in the audience this will
include that they’re so polite no one even took the time to realize that there
was somebody like performing in front of them I don’t know I’m not in art and
where I live you know in Virginia Beach and stuff like it’s pretty tight
community as far as bands and such we don’t get a lot of people uninterested
in anything else except the show we have a lot of support down here all the bands
really get a lot of support in my opinion but I have played other places
where it’s like oh man like we should have just live sturdiness you know and I
would love to set up like a business scheme like that where you know
essentially like we would go out and play and it’s you know it would be a
separate band and it’s only word of mouth you can’t hear our music the only
time you can see us or hear our music as a show and the only thing we’re selling
at that show is tickets to the next show that would be that’d be one of them just
to just it it’s not a social experiment it’s a business experiment you know to
see if like if you starve your audience more and there’s a lack of social media
and branding what now is your friend would that cancel out would you just be
you would essentially be word at math you’d be a ghost
yeah that’s good I think it’d be cool I think it would work on a local level but
not a national level I think I think it would be the point
you know we’re opening the door locally here’s the slide and then Oh
okay here we’re gonna release a single and then here’s some you know like merch
you know the typical crop tops short sleeves
you know everything occurs you have to do is a band you’re pretty much a
glorified t-shirt salesman it would be fun it’d be fun to do I think I might
start something like that future in like you know just to do is just to do for
fun I’d probably end up doing what the guys that played music with because I
really don’t connect I haven’t connected with a group of guys
like that in very long time it’ll be awesome so they’re all our audience we
won’t tell you when that’s happening yeah yeah do your friends next door so I
was driving in this really interesting segment came on the radio about cell
phone addiction in I think they were talking about in South Korea and they
actually send kids or youth to like a cell phone addiction detox detox where
they like their cell phones and like make them do activities to interact with
other human beings and life experience nature and I was just like oh my god
this is like my worst nightmare like people like not being able to like it’s
terrible when people are like walking around looking their cell phone and it
so it goes right along with what you were saying where it’s like literally a
becoming a medical diagnosis also video game like maybe it’s not just cell phone
but screen addiction sure oh yeah I see that yeah I’m like you know some screen
time is fine but – yeah who’s bad for our society when people can’t interact
on a human level in real life I started doing this thing recently were I don’t
take my phone out of my car like unless I’m at work well obviously well like if
I go meet like some friends for like Taco Tuesday or something like that you
know like I won’t I won’t take my phone cuz I’ve been
trying to like disconnect from that need to physically
see what’s going on like even at night like you know again screen time I’m
slaving in front of my computer trying to learn this new program or design this
element and I’ll totally take so far like I’ve turn off all notifications
everything on both platforms Firefox everything just work but even then that
screen size doesn’t count I definitely I definitely go in airplane mode one
practicing seriously okay yeah I can’t handle the beeping like you me in the
middle of something really good focus and like you know if you get a beep or a
buzz every like you know ten minutes it like and then it but if you don’t look
at it it buzzes again oh yeah god like it as soon as it buzzes you’re like well
I have to like mess with this so it doesn’t interrupt me again and then so
just ruins everything yeah I used to set like my phone down on
my twin mm-hmm and I play an apartment but a pretty loud I’m a loud guy you
know what I mean like huh I don’t care then I give the guy underneath me like
$100 giftcard like Red Robin so I he deals with that he’s cool I mean
we’ve lived I’ve lived above him for like 3 years and he just gets it like ok
do your thing I’m respectful about it but like yeah
it’s time but you know I set my phone down I’m like Anthony so you just hear
like this satellite you know I’m always worried to put my cell phone near the
amp because of the magnets in the amp I’m just like working like you erase my
cell phone things are expensive oh yeah yeah it was it was it it was Graham
Dobby right Aaron who’s he’s got a studio up and he’s one of our prior
guests who’s a drummer in New York City he’s got a studio in New York City we’re
like how do you deal with the sounds there I mean you’re living in an
apartment building trying to have a boarding studio yeah he was saying that
like sometimes they’re loud and sometimes the neighbors have a all-night
rager and it’s just kind of like we’re even yeah yeah I definitely have I
definitely have made a lot of noise here the greatest noises yeah we were moist
here in Virginia Beach it having a studio here would be difficult because
so many takes would have f-18s flying over oh yeah
like oh that was a great take but there was this like oh yeah that’s part yeah
cuz I’m right at Town Center so like you know well don’t you flush Chinooks will
be flying over us and it’s just like a whole house shakes yeah man that was
such a good take it probably took you an hour and a half to get that take man you
bring up isotope can I get our X in this right we’ve actually been really
fortunate because we record this podcast just happens to be a time when you know
they’re not flying right now obviously you’re not we’re not hearing it over my
computer or yours so they’re just not flying this morning
so we’re pretty fortunate with like if it was like 1:00 o’clock on a weekday it
would be like every couple minutes and sometimes it’ll happen and then as soon
as it starts to trail off the next one comes and you know you might have I’ll
be on the phone like a call or it could be my mom whatever and like I’m like
just hold on and then it might be like 30 30 seconds and you’re like oh my gosh
like give me a break right but you know it’s the price we pay
for freedom well I know I’m I’m like I have my phone over here or my you know
desk on mice on a table and I’m just I’ve been watching it just man what
buzzing yeah yeah just like hearing noise is that’s all like you know I
almost feel like it’s impossible to escape there like this we have playing
sort of traffic I live right next to the interstate as well you know and then
people walking upstairs Downstairs you know it’s Sunday so like they’re working
on something over there I don’t know what it is that’s actually what woke me
up this morning I was like I had my alarm set for 6:30 I was like why are
they up at 6 o’clock almost Sunday and what could they possibly be fixing up
there this morning I woke up at 5:45 I was good I was determined to get surfing
this morning and I it looks so good last night like it was just like not huge but
clean and then I got up with full intentions of doing it and it just
looked Oh subpar and I whatever happened with the
weather between last night tonight wasn’t so good for surfing and I went
back to sleep there you go man don’t make a conscious decision yeah I was
like this isn’t worth it not worth getting out of bed this early and I also
get I get phantom buzzing and with my if I don’t have my phone in my pocket I’ll
be like walking the dog and I think I got a cell phone text and my like I’ll
feel my leg vibrate all right think I did and it’s like wait I don’t have my
cell phone look at your tingling it’s like awesome he’s thinking about you I
don’t know but it’s just like this is bad this is what happens when you’ve had
a cell phone for the past 15 years and Oh Jo you might have been in your pocket
ox oh yeah I mean but I I feel like I’m pretty I’m I’m definitely not the worst
I’m conscious of these things at least yeah well this this has been awesome I
feel like we’ve gone through a lot of great information and definitely you
know the heat stuff about the helix and lights and social media marketing is all
all very useful for everybody yeah thank you for having me I really appreciate it
yeah working everybody go to find out more about you yeah so handle at the
great noise that’s us on social media we’re at the great noise dot space which
is our I guess online landing page but essentially over on everything Amazon
iTunes SoundCloud Spotify we’re gonna release now the next month that dates
tentative but if you follow us on Instagram you’ll be given updates and
this one’s gonna be pretty cool we have four singles out right now which you can
view on all platforms whatever you wish but I’m excited for the new stuff this
is that we all kind of written I hope everyone enjoys it yeah and by the time
they actually hear this episode it’ll be out okay cool yeah so if you’re if
you’re hearing a speak right now you can go find this album yet go get it
yeah it’s on Spotify check it out I hope you enjoy it not only are we
musicians on this podcast we’re also Time Traveller’s it’s right oh yeah
it’s already October Oh or something I don’t know I don’t know what date it is
today you might be in Hawaii already Joe I don’t think I don’t think we’ve
actually publicly said that to our audience yet but because I should be
pretty much there at this point by the time this episode comes out I think it’s
ok to say that I will be moving to Hawaii my wife is being stationed there
and so I’m going and I’ve been working on my ukulele skills some and I’ve
learned about slack key guitar and yeah yeah just like I’m ready I’m I mean I’m
gonna miss people and places and everything about this but it’s temporary
I’m gonna go do it and oh yeah you poor thing
yeah yeah not the words place to be home to move to you yeah definitely not yeah
so Ryan thank you I’ll uh I’ll probably see you at alpha music that is well I
don’t think you actually mentioned the name but Ryan does work at alpha music
it’s great shop I highly recommend it a great selection of stuff and a lot of
friendly friendly folks there they host some cool events like peddle
con that I got to go to and they had a Martin guitar event and my kid does it
my I could he figures all that out he he’s the crazed yeah yeah like a sprawl
is the brain and just he’ll look at you like when he’s got an idea and you just
narrow it here we go but yeah you know we have we have some
more events coming up to Ike Taylor and Martin or senior Taylor and wretch this
year we have Taylor and Gretch coming up this year which is even more thing we’re
gonna do a drum event to that’s all free for everybody like you needed giveaways
come in be a nerd with us get to know us let us get to know you I want to know
what you’re working on I want to know your problem solving and I’m gonna help
you figure it out and we all that’s how we all kind of approach it yeah yeah
it’s uh we’re get out the music come in and check us out it’s a good time yeah
alright see Ryan have already afternoon yeah nice to meet you yeah you as well
man take it easy all right

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