Best Leather Satchel

What is the Best Leather Satchel?

A leather satchel is a bag made from tanned animal hide and classically carried in the hand, but is coming to increasingly be worn over the shoulder, with an adjustable strap. Satchels are typically closed at the top by a large overhanging flap. Satchels have been used for centuries and became a popular fashion accessory in England during the 17th Century. Traditionally, satchels have been used to carry light to moderately heavy items, such as papers, books, and small personal items. Today satchels are frequently used to carry laptop and tablet computers.

What are the Features of Leather Satchels:

Unlike the more common hard-sided briefcase, satchels have soft sides without any internal supports. The traditional English-style satchel is a functionally simple design that features a generous main pouch with a large front flap that closes over the top of the bag. The flap may be fastened buy a buckle, strap, tie or clasp. Some satchels have a zippered-style closure, but this is not a feature found on a traditional-style satchel.

Variations in satchel design include single and double interior pockets with some satchels having smaller pockets on the front, either under or on top of the main flap, or on one or both the ends of the bag. These smaller pockets are designed to carry various personal items such as makeup, snacks, keys, wallets, cell phones and bank cards. Each individual outside pocket will generally have a separate fastener, to keep the pocket closed. Shoulder straps are usually adjustable and may be removable. Some satchels, usually the women’s models, have handles added to the top of the bag, so it can be carried in the hand like a purse.

Leather satchels may be made from various types of animal hide, such as cow, pig, ostrich, and kangaroo. Satchels constructed from the more exotic leathers, like ostrich and kangaroo, are lighter in weight, because the leather is thinner, but are almost always more expensive than satchels made from traditional cowhide. Ostrich skin is a popular choice for the more expensive satchels, as ostrich leather is very lightweight, strong, durable and especially attractive. Satchels are also sometimes fabricated from leather made from wild animals, such as buckskin, or deer hide.

Who Would Use a Satchel?

Satchels are useful for anyone who has to regularly carry items for work, school or travel, but may not like the style or functionality of briefcases or backpacks. Satchels can be used as a book bag, messenger bag, as briefcases and computer bags. Satchels are highly popular with bike messengers, as well as those who commute to work or school by bicycle, because the adjustable shoulder straps makes a satchel easier to carry while riding.

Why Use a Satchel?

Satchels are roomy, but structured, and can hold everything a modern styled briefcase, backpack or large handbag can, but have a timeless elegance that more traditional bags lack. A satchel can hold everything you need for a day at work or school or a short trip, without it looking like you are permanently leaving town.

Best Brands of  Leather Satchels

Phillip Lim, Akris, Alexander McQueen, Jason Wu, Jill Sander and Jimmy Cho are some of the top brands of satchels, sold by high-end retailers, and cost upwards of a $1,000. However, you don’t have to drain your bank account to buy a quality leather satchel as there are many excellent bags made by well-known manufactures, such as Samsonite, Tommy Hilfiger and Visconti, that can be had for a much more reasonable price, often for just a couple hundred dollars.

The Top 3 Leather Satchels

The Samsonite Colombian Leather Flapover Case measures 5.5 inches deep x 16.5 inches long x 12 inches high and weighs in at just a mere 3.9 pounds. The satchel is made from genuine cowhide and is hand washable. The Samsonite Flapover has an organizer under front the flap to holds business necessities, a rear compartment that offers plenty of room for papers, files and small books and the main compartment will hold a 15.6 inch laptop computer. The case has an adjustable, and removable, padded leather shoulder strap.

The Visconti Oiled Leather Messenger Shoulder Bag, model16071, has a beautiful distressed oiled-leather look and is made of genuine cowhide. The Visconti weighs in at only 2.1 pounds, measures 10.2 x 10.6 x 3.5 inches and comes in either brown or tan colors. The bag has an adjustable leather shoulder strap, a magnetic closure on the main front flap, an inside main zippered pocket, 2 inside slip pockets and zippered front and rear pockets. An inside middle pocket can hold a 10-inch netbook or tablet computer. The bag is lightweight and its strong seams and rugged zippers make the Visconti Oiled Leather Bag a versatile choice in a stylish satchel.

Leyden and Sons Leather Company Original Messenger Bag is designed to naturally wear to take on the distressed look of well broken-in shoe leather. The bag is 100 percent boot-grade leather, inside and out, having a plush suede interior and front flap linings. The bag is large, measuring 18 inches long x 6 inches deep x 13 inches high. The bag weighs in at 6 pounds 13 ounces and is able to accommodate a 16.5 inch laptop. A neat feature of this Leyden and Sons Bag is it easily converts to a backpack by a simple adjustment of the 20- to 28-inch contoured leather shoulder strap.

Take me to Church Chords – With Videos

Hozier came on the scene fast and hot.  With his hit single “Take me to Church”, it got everyone’s attention in a hurry.  It wasn’t long after that I began to wonder how to play it on the guitar.  I strummed, and picked, but it wasn’t correct.

It wasn’t until I saw him live in concert in Minneapolis last year that I noticed his playing style, and more importantly, the chords for “take me to church”.

Take me to Church Guitar Chords

As you can see the chords and progression are fairly simple, which makes this and easy and fun transition for piano and ukulele.

Take me to church chords hozier-2

 

Background and when it came out

Andrew Hozier’s ‘Take Me to Church’ was released in 13th September 2013 as his debut

single. Hozier wrote this song in his parent’s home following a bad breakup. At the

time, he was a struggling musician doing open mic sessions in Dublin area. The song is a

mid-tempo with lyrics that describe the musician’s frustration with the Catholic

Church’s stance on homosexuality.
After catching the attention of an independent label,the song slowly gained popularity

and with a release of its music video on YouTube it quickly went viral globally. It has

since topped the charts in over 12 countries and found its way to the top 10 in over 21

more countries becoming a radio hit and breaking the record to become one of the longest

running number one hit in its history at the time. In the U.S., ‘Take Me to Church’ has

been certified 5 times platinum and was nominated in the 57th Annual Grammy Awards for

the ‘Song of the Year Grammy Award.’

The meaning

The lyrical definition ‘Take Me to Church’ can easily be associated with sentiments of

happiness, forgiveness and peace, especially since the subject church is in it. However

Hozier’s lyrics hold a message about the church but not positive sentiments as one would

initially imagine. He focuses on the church’s contradiction on acceptance and how some

church institutions treat homosexuals and the general topic of sex, portraying them as

shameful acts when in reality these are some of the most natural forms of humanity.
The metaphor ‘Take Me to Church’ is used by the musician to compare his love life to his

religion. It’s lyrics are born out of Andrew’s frustration with the Catholic Church

which he suggests is full of hypocrisy. He uses his lyrics to reinforce his opinion

that sex is an act of love that overpowers the notion of being tied to a religion. What

the church finds taboo according to their doctrines, Hozier describes as the way to

ultimate satisfaction saying he is “a pagan of the good times”. Hozier’s lyrics clearly

convey a message that is against this shaming fueled by the church. In one of his

interviews, Hozier says that sexuality is natural regardless of orientation and that sex

is a human thing to undertake. But the church, with its doctrines has managed to portray

sex as a shameful, sinful offense to God.
The singer sings about a woman who invites him to ‘worship in the bedroom’ and when he

is with her he’s sent to Heaven, meaning that through the act of sex, he feels closer to

God, or as he puts it ‘the good life.’ But he describes the church as a bleak place

which spits out ‘poison’ to its congregation, teaching them that they were born in sin

i.e. ‘born sick’.
The chorus deeply emphasizes the punishment focus the church takes on its congregation,

shaming them when their actions are against the doctrines of the church. Hozier writes,

“I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies, I’ll tell you my sins and you can

sharpen your knife” a sarcastic way of telling the church to stop making it’s

congregation feel ashamed of their sexuality.
In another interview, Hozier explains that ‘Take Me to Church’ is meant to condemn

anti-homosexuality in the Catholic Church and says that the song’s lyrics and video are

meant to condemn policies that value prejudice and rules and shame sexuality and

acceptance. He further notes that ‘Take Me to Church’ is all about being assertive

enough to reclaim your humanity through love. This is to say that you should be able to

turn away from the intangible theories and choose to love and worship that which can be

experienced; something real and tangible.

 

The sources are from three websites.

1. The Pop Song Professor webpage has an article written by Clifford Stumme on the meaning of the song. Its link is below

2. The website ‘The Reflector’ also has an article on the same, its link is below

http://www.reflector-online.com/opinion/article_7f5adde8-b30c-11e4-af17-cfb3caaf4bc3.html
3. The website ‘Songfacts’ has another aricle. Its link is below

http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=32921

The lyrics carrying this song

This really isn’t a guitar song, its more of a lyrics song.  They paint a picture and tell the story of love and god, and be it whom ever you choose to marry.  Take a Read

“My lover’s got humour
She’s the giggle at a funeral
Knows everybody’s disapproval
I should’ve worshipped her sooner
If the heavens ever did speak
She’s the last true mouthpiece
Every Sunday’s getting more bleak
A fresh poison each week
“We were born sick”
You heard them say it
My church offers no absolutes
She tells me “worship in the bedroom”
The only heaven I’ll be sent to
Is when I’m alone with you
I was born sick, but I love it
Command me to be well
Amen, Amen, Amen
Take me to church
I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife
Offer me that deathless death
Good God, let me give you my life
[x2]
If I’m a pagan of the good times
My lover’s the sunlight
To keep the goddess on my side
She demands a sacrifice
Drain the whole sea
Get something shiny
Something meaty for the main course
That’s a fine looking high horse
What you got in the stable?
We’ve a lot of starving faithful
That looks tasty
That looks plenty
This is hungry work
Take me to church
I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife
Offer me that deathless death
Good God, let me give you my life
[x2]
No masters or kings when the ritual begins
There is no sweeter innocence than our gentle sin
In the madness and soil of that sad earthly scene
Only then I am human
Only then I am clean
Amen, Amen, Amen
Take me to church
I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife
Offer me that deathless death
Good God, let me give you my life
[x2]” Andrew Hozier

Take me to church Chords

As you can see, this is such a beautiful song that was well crafted.  Hozier has some deep lyrics that are really important for this song.  The guitar chords are easy enough for a moderate beginner to learn and excel at.  Have fun!

Best Audio Interface of 2016

About a year ago we wrote and article for the best audio interface.  It’s still a solid write-up that a lot of people really enjoyed.

But a few things have stood out this year particularly.  So to help sum up this year, here is the best audio interface for 2016.

For the sake of you time, here is a quick list that I will go through as you scroll down.

  1. Focusrite Scarlett Solo
  2. Tascam US-366
  3. Behringer UCA202
  4. M-Audio Fast Track USB 2 Computer Audio Interface
  5. Behringer U-Phoria UM2
  6. PreSonus AudioBOX
  7. Lexicon Alpha 2-Channel Desktop Recording Studio
  8. Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 USB Audio Interface

2016 has been a great year, with so many advances to home recording production.  The cost to produce an album is so much more affordable using one of these studio’s in a box.

What makes these ones the best of 2016?  Well, we look at the ones that get the most attention on our site, and ones that are catching the most buzz on the internet.  We took a look at amazon.com for their data, how many people have bought and we looked at reviewer comments.

Will there be any audio interface sales for Black Friday?  Usually there is, but we have no way of knowing right now.

Focusrite Scarlett Solo

This is the #1 best audio interface for 2016 by far.  With a super affordable price, you can’t go wrong with what is offered in the box.

This is a one channel USB, I really liked that because if you are solo musician, this is likely for you.  You can upgrade to more inputs and channels.

This Scarlett solo comes with pro tools, ableton and creative pack software.  Just plug-in and play on a Mac and PC.  Great preamps and converters, make this one of the fastest on the market.

Tascam US-366

One of the leading name brands in the recording industry is Tascam.  They really don’t skip out on any features with this unit.

6 inputs and 4 outputs, which is a lot of bang for your buck.  There is a multi-track mode and a new PODCAST mode feature.  Excellent for podcast and live radio shows.

On board effects like, compressor, reverb and EQ.

Optional foot pedal for multi-track recording, this is particularly helpful for when you’re recording in a separate room.  Like recording vocals in the same room as your computer, you will pick up all sorts of fun noises  you don’t want in your recording.

Behringer UCA202

If you’re looking for a good cheap audio interface, look no further.  Behringer as a brand makes some really fantastic affordable musical equipment.

This being an audio interface for well under $50. Here we have a 2 input and 2 output unit that you connect your instruments to and it connects via USB into your computer.

I think if you’re a DJ, rapper and use other samplers and midi keyboards to create music, this is great affordable USB audio interface.

It doesn’t come with software like the others, so you will need that.  The downside to this is there in only RCA inputs and outputs.  No 1/4 or XLR.

M-Audio Fast Track USB 2 Computer Audio Interface

I’ve always been a big fan of M-Audio.  My very first interface was an M-Audio.  This newer model has the same but upgraded features.  That’s probably why it’s the best-selling recording interface in its category.

1/4 or XLR input.  You can literally plug your guitar straight into this box and record.  The preamps are nice and gives a good warm boost to the signal.

Includes software to start recording music instantly.  Works well with Garageband and Protools to name a few.  RCA outputs to connect to separate powered studio monitors.

Behringer U-Phoria UM2

Another best audio interface for 2016 is this Behringer U-phoria UM2.  A good factor for this is because, it’s a great product and 2 the price is super affordable.

How does Behringer do it, they have some of the best preamps and converters for the price.  This unit offers the same as the big dogs for a 1/3 of the price.

XLR/1/4 inputs, phantom power, control headphones and monitor mixes on the front of the interface.  Red clip indicator and other nice features.  If you’re just starting home recording, I would start here.

PreSonus AudioBOX

Bus-powered USB audio and MIDI interface.  2 combo mic/instrument inputs with high-performance, low-noise, high-headroom mic pre amplifiers.

You have a lot of control on the front of the box, the knobs can control instrument inputs, monitor outs and mixer and mains.  The Zero-latency analog monitoring is really nice for recording.  Playing back to a mix when you hit the guitar strings and it takes a second to playback can really ruin a take!

Compatable with most recording software and it plugs in and works well with PC or MAC.  Great for the musician or podcaster recording from home through your computer.

Lexicon Alpha 2-Channel Desktop Recording Studio

Record up to two tracks at a time using the XLR or 1/4 inputs.  Two TRS and RCA line outputs for monitoring.

Stereo line inputs for keyboards, drum machines or analog output of a CD/MP3 player.  The front panel offers lots of control with separate knobs to monitor inputs and outputs.

Software suite includes Cubase LE4 and Lexicon Pantheon VST reverb plug-in.  A whole studio in a box for under $100.  One of the best sellers this year on amazon.  

4.1kHz to 48kHz sample rates, 16-bit or 24-bit resolution.  No need for a power supply… so you can record anywhere you can take your laptop.

Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 USB Audio Interface

This is probably our favorite of the 2016 best sellers.  It’s a legit full studio that can be put in your equipment bag and taken anywhere.  What we mean is, it can record up to 8-tracks at once.  That’s a lot, considering these are mainly 2 inputs at a time.

4 XLR inputs in the front and 4 1/4 inputs in the back.  You can also input midi lines as well.  With a total of 18 inputs you can connect just about anything.  And that’s what makes this the most versatile on the market.  If you are doing lots of recording sometimes you never know what you might get, so having those options is really nice

2016’s Best Audio Interface Conclusion

Most of these are built to start recording.  They come with inputs and preamps and even software.  You really can’t go wrong with an investment in any of these.

Whether you’re a solo musician or are in a group.  Multi-track recording works well and the quality is just as good as a studio.

You won’t be disappointed with any of this years winners.

 

Hot new Paranormal Investigation TV Show

If you follow the paranormal, you may have heard of a new TV show called Ghost Brothers.  The show features 3 investigators Juwan, Dalen and Marcus.  The very first African-American paranormal group.

Featured on the network  Destination America, the show follows suite of known and liked shows, such as, Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures.  In fact, Ghost Brothers is produced by the same production as Ghost Hunters, Pilgrim Media Group.

Comedic ghost hunting

They have a new and fun spin on the paranormal.  They make it funny!  These guys are always joking around, unlike some shows where it is far too serious.

It’s a legit format, it’s not scripted like the other popular ones are these days.  You got to love that raw approach.

Show Locations/Investigations

Season has taken the crew to these haunted hot spots.  There are only 6 episodes for the season, but the good news is they have just been picked up for a second season.  Which is great!

Here are the places they investigated.

Ghost Brothers Hunting Equipment

So far the guy’s only use a few pieces of equipment.  Their approach to investigating is a kind, gentle and human way.  They have said that they are the most polite group out there, which I probably true.  Que Ghost Adventure’s Zak, screaming for something to come and hurt him.  They are actually the opposite.

Their equipment includes IR-Cameras, Smart phones Laser grid pens and EMF pumps.  Standard and basic to any paranormal hunting kit.

Season 2

We are looking forward to seeing where the new season takes the Ghost Brothers.  Where will they go, Deadwood, The Stanley hotel?  It’s highly likely that the popularity of the show will bring more opportunity to hunt the popular places.

Behringer 8 Channel Mixer — Xenyx 802 Review

Do you gig out solo or with a small piece band? Or maybe you have a small studio that requires some additional tracks. The Behringer 8 Channel Mixer is a super affordable option. I personally have used this for recordings, and they have always turned out sounding really good. And here are a few reasons why, check out some of these sweet features:

  • 8 input Mixer (2 mic, 2 stereo + Aux Returns) 2 phantom powered channels
  • Great Preamps
  • British Sound – Neo-classic 3-band EQs for warm and musical sound
  • 1 Post Fader (send effects to each channel)
  • 1 Stereo aux return
  • 3 Year Warranty

The Xenyx 802 review – The board is a perfect size for gigging or just having on your desk in the studio. But, don’t let the size and the price make you question its awesome sound it can give you. You see, with 8 inputs you have control of how your mic is and other inputs with very little confusion of how to use them on the mixer.

The board is simple to use and built solid. The knobs and buttons are all feel real good and professional. You can connect and XLR mic cable, 1/4″ guitar type of cable and RCA such as your MP3 player’s like iphones. For what you get at around 60 dollars, is a really exceptional Eight input mixer. More on the details below.

How about that British EQ!

The Behringer Xenyx 802 8 input mixer is based on the same circuitry as British consoles of the 60’s and 70’s, and we all know how cool some of those old records sound. Obviously there is a lot more than a mixer to making record sound great, but we really like the mini version on this board. With a nice condenser microphone put through these preamps, your vocals sound really good, especially with podcast. You have the nice control of the EQ in front of, which I personally like.

The 3-band eq consist of highs, mids and lows. We applied some techniques to the EQ and to be honest they were pretty decent. A decent amount of warmth and we could shape the sound to get a more detailed tone out of vocals, drum and guitars. Particularly acoustic guitars had a nice brite and warm tone. Thumbs up for that!

Behringer 8 Channel Mixer inputs and outputs

This is an 8 input mixer, but there are some things to note about it. You have two XLR +48volt phantom powered channels. Those work great for our dynamic or condenser mics. That is also the two channels that have the XENYX mic preamps. Two other channels will use a 1/4″ cable that work together in stereo. So like piano, keyboard would work great. You also have the option of for the other two channels to use a CD player or MP3 like an iphone to play music through. If you’re doing a gig and you want to play music in between sets, this works great. Or record your set, hook up and send to your recording gear.

Connecting to a P.A. is really simple to do, you have two stereo outputs, just run those and you’re all set. You also have a control room output for studio monitors and separate from that you have the option to run headphones out. you can get a headphone amp if you are tracking more than one musician.

Mic preamps and FX

Without a doubt, the preamps really make this mixer sound great. They have lots of headroom to work with. Offering a 130 db range and bandwidth that goes far below 10Hz to above 200kHz. Basically they can make a cheap condenser mic sound like a more expensive one.

Apply effects like reverb or delay for example to any of the channels. Using the red knob you can add some or non to your track. So, lets say you have a guitar and vocal setup, you want a lot of reverb on your vocals and maybe just a tiny bit on the guitar, no problem, dial in what you like.

What does “2 bus” mean. Well for the tracks that are separate 3/4 and 5/6, this means that what ever you put in track 3, will only becoming out of the left side of the speaker, and track 4 will come out of the right side of the speaker in mono. Now if you’re recording like I do, than this is no problem using DAW software to make them come out of both sides of the speaker. If you want to run two mics on one guitar amp, then this will be a nice stereo effect.

I use the Behringer 8 Channel Mixer to make recordings all the time. I don’t have a studio, so I like this because it is small and can be east to set up with the rest of my gear. For under $60 dollars you really can’t go wrong. It does have its limitations, like only being able to run one effect, but for the price and its size it is perfect. Behringer makes great affordable products that I personally own a ton of.

 

Shure SM58 Review — It’s Legendary

Our Shure SM58 Review, it is the workhorse of all vocal mics you see at any music venue or I’m sure your buddy has a few in his box as well. You’ve seen it before, you’ve probably used it before, so let’s dig deeper and find out why EVERYONE uses them. Here are some features:

  • Solid quality, rugged and reliable
  • Cardoid (dynamic) Uni-directional
  • Built-in wind and pop filter
  • Frequency response made for vocals (bright mids with bass roll off)
  • Minimizes background noise (uniform cardoid pattern, isolates main sound source)
  • Affordable and reliable (I’ve never had to replace any from the club I was an engineer at)
>>Click Here To Check Out The Shure SM58 Now at Amazon.com!

One of the most reliable stage mics to have in your gig bags is SM58. Night after night, sweat, humidity, dropping and years of wear and tear, I stand here telling you, this will never let you down.

Mainly because it was built by Shure a solid company for decades, it designed hard metallic body and the same goes for the grill.

How does it sound?

The SM58 is directional, which means it can pic up sound all around to a point. I would say within about 8 inches any direction. However, it does sound exceptionally well when right in front and about 1-2 inches a way.

You will notice a fuller bass sound when, which I think is a good thing. What it does well is balance out everything and make perfect sound coming through the PA. You’ll notice how it can handle a lot of gain without feeding back. Like I said, they knew what they were doing when they designed this!

Can I use it with other instruments?

Yes you can in fact, although the sweet spot is on vocals. But I have used it on just about every instrument on stage.

Ok, some things just don’t sound good. The kick drum obviously for one. With enough eq, I just barely got it to sound like a thumpy bass. For guitars I would recommend the SM57, but it could work. As I said above, this has a natural bass cut that will affect the sound being passed through the PA.

Use it for podcast?

I get asked if this would be a good microphone to use for podcasting. And my answer is no. Its not powered, it doesn’t have a preamp and it will sound really blah. For pod cast I recommend a condenser, which is a bigger diaphragm and requires power, so it will make your vocal sound awesome.

And I don’t recommend using a condenser for live vocals unless your PA and sound engineer are really good and can control it using gates and limiters. That sucker picks up a lot of sounds!

For a live vocal mic, be it speaking or singing and rapping, this is a fantastic one. It will last for a really long time. Made to make live vocals sound great without any feedback is the key here!

You can’t go wrong having a few these on hand for your singers. There is a reason everyone in the industry uses these particular ones on vocals. For a few extra dollars you can get one with an on/off switch. This does come with and XLR cable so you can start using right out of the box! Thanks for stopping by to read our Shure SM58 review, enjoy the video.

>>Click Here To Read More Reviews and See Price

MXL 770 Review – Ultimate Rap or Rock Vocal Mic

Our quick MXL 770 review is it is a great mic that was well designed especially for rap and rock vocals. This is because it has a natural full-bodied tone that comes off well with fast or slow worded songs like in rap, where you want to hear the flow of the rhyme or a harder vocal come through clearly.

And it sounds amazing at the same time. That’s what really makes a great studio microphone. You can read my MXl 770 Review below.

Here are some great MXL 770 Review features:

  • Large Diaphragm (Gold, 6-micron)
  • Shockmount and hard carry case included
  • Preamp(FET) w/ balanced output
  • Bass and high gain cut via switch
  • Cardioid Condenser Microphone
  • Affordable (under 100)

Not just for vocals, this little guy is very versatile. In fact you can use it on lots of instruments (sounds great on an acoustic guitar), make Skype call, podcasts and broadcasting. With the preamp, you get that extra power that makes this comparable to a higher end expensive one.

This is an impressive studio condenser that has many artist still shocked with its price tag. How can something that sounds this good be this cheap? Well to be honest it is an updated version of the 990. Take that, and make newer cheaper version, ok!

Somethings to note

This is a super sensitive microphone. Which means, it will pick up any noise and lots of it. So you will need to experiment with placement when you set it up. Obviously you’ll want to start with a low volume on the gain, and move up from there.

You’ll need phantom power to run this and any other condenser on the market. Most audio interfaces have it built-in, so check to make sure you have that. Otherwise, it’s not really expensive to get a cheap 48V phantom power box. Also, this runs on your standard XLR cable.

What are the switches for?

Sometimes you will notice you’re picking up extreme bass sounds called proximity effect. Which is distortion that occurs when the sound source is too close. If that’s the case, you can use the bass roll-off switch and that should take care of the problem and give you a more full sound.

the -10db switch is used for is the sound source maybe a vocal or a guitar amp is just way too loud. That will cause your microphone to distort. Flick the switch to roll of -10db or try moving further away from the sound source.

Conclusion

After reading my MXL 770 Review, you can understand why this is a great mic, but ask yourself a few questions if you’re still unsure.  Do you want to get that huge sound but for under $100? Well then this is probably the one for you. If you mainly do rap music or harder male vocals, then this is REALLY for you. But lets not forget we can use this for many instruments too.

Behringer UM2 review — Most Affordable

The Behringer UM2 Audio Interface is the most affordable on the market. If you want to start recording onto your computer and you just don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars, here is the best option for you! Just because this is so cheap doesn’t mean you get less, here are some great features:

  • 2- instrument in puts (USB audio Interface) Comes with cable
  • 48 kHz professional sound
  • Works with alot of DAW software (pro tools, abelton, cubase, etc.) Comes with tracktion 4
  • Very Affordable
  • Just Plug in and go
  • 48v phantom power

So what we really like about this is, it’s so cheap you can’t go wrong if you’re just getting started out recording. Whether it be, music or podcast type of stuff. The Behringer UM2 is a great Audio Interface.

It’s a two-channel input. One is a combo socket for XLR or 1/4″, the other is just a 1/4″ guitar input. So, you have some options there. Works great for both mac and pc.

Comes with Software, DAW

It comes with a card you can register and download for tracktion 4. Free audio recording, editing and podcasting software plus 150 instrument/effect plug-ins downloadable at behringer.com. But this will work with lots of other digital audio workstations.

The UM2 is extremly compatible with almost all of the popular recording software including Avid Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Steinberg Cubase, etc. Pick your favorite one and start recording and mixing!

On board preamps

Built into this little guy are some great Studio quality preamps. They have low-noise and plenty of headroom for you. XENYX preamps offer 130dB of dynamic range, with a bandwidth that extends from below 10 Hz to well above 200 kHz.

For someone who doesn’t under stand that mumbo-jumbo talk, it pretty much means, your microphones will sound like really expensive ones!

Monitor your performance (UM2 Mix control)

You also get direct monitor control with the push of a button. Which means, you can either send the sound to your studio monitors or listen in your headphones.

The separate knob can turn the monitor up or down without disturbing the recording.

This is a great cheap studio in a box. However, we must point some of the things we noticed that you should take note of. This is a plastic body and the knobs and inputs are loose and seem kind of cheap. And, if you have the gain 3/4 up, we noticed extra noise. No big, deal.

I personally love Behringer, I own several pieces of their equipment and love that they offer such affordable stuff. With the UM2, you cannot go wrong. Just starting out recording or podcasting, this is a good place to start for super cheap!

 

Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Review

This is quickly becoming the ultimate microphone for pod-casters. But not just that, this microphone can also be used in a P.A. or recording, designed for stage and the studio. You see,this microphone comes with a USB cable and a XLR cable. his might be the only mic right now that can do that. I’ll explain the technical stuff below, but first Check out some features:

  • Handheld – XLR dynamic microphone
  • USB Compatible – connect to your computer
  • Built-in Headphone jack – to connect and monitor
  • Cardoid mic – reduces unwanted sounds from the rear and side
  • Controls: On/off switch; headphone volume control
  • Cables included

>>Click Here To Check Out Some of Audio-Technica ATR2100 reviews
The microphone is ideal for live stage, pod casting, home studio recording, field recording, voice over, film making and tons more! It’s super easy to connect to a computer or PA system. Just switch out the cables which are included. This microphone is great, even for just using to make your Skype calls sound better.

Don”t let the price fool you, as low as it is, doesn’t mean that you are getting a cheap mic. Believe me, this mic is as good if not better than ones like the blue snow ball and for a third of the price.

Handheld Dynamic Microphone

Let’s talk about this. How is it possible to have the capability to work for both situations. Well thats the beauty of this design.

XlR or USB, with just the switch of a cable you connect digitally or straight to the board. Compatible with windows and mac computers.

Recording on a laptop or computer

Look, this isn’t a nice condenser for recording big vocals. But it is about to give it a run for its money. The technology is well advanced for the price of the unit. My results from testing and reviewing are, this is a great solution for talking, overdubbing, podcast type of performance. Can you sing and make a great track with this, yeah probably.

The pros are the sounds is clear, great price, super easy to set you, all the cables are included and an awesome separate headphone jack for monitors.

Why is a headphone jack included?

If you’re familiar with recording on a computer, then you know that lag time is super annoying. If you can imagine a guitar track you laid down first and then go back and try and sing to, but the sound vs. the sound that is coming out of the headphones is off by 2 seconds, you will want to rip your hair out.

This mic, came up with a solution to that. It build a headphone jack right into the mic itself. Plug in and monitor without hearing and lag time! How awesome is that, usually you need a separate headphone amp to accomplish that.

So here it is, this mic sounds awesome, it works for pod casters connecting right into the computer without having a audio interface. It connects right to a pa too, so you can use it for that. It has a headphone amp built right in. This is probably the best workhorse microphone out there for a super cheap price.

I would highly recommended this mic to anyone who wanted to get a great sound for a great price. Most people I know who have bought this, also went and got two of them! Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!

>>Click Here To Check Out thef Audio-Technica ATR2100

 

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Review

One of the better looking, in fact award-winning body’s on the market, the Focusrite Scarlett is a real sharp-looking audio interface. But besides its attractive red metallic body holds something really special. It’s a home studio in a box that you can connect to any computer via its USB 2.0 port. With the popular mic preamps built on board check out some of these great features:

  • Awesome Microphone Preamps (hi-quality)
  • Portable Studio (Rugged solid metal Body) Plug in to your computer via USB 2.0
  • 2- input Combo Sockets (XLR, 1/4″)
  • Monitor through your headphones or Speakers With the flick of switch
  • Phantom Power- 48v
  • Inlcudes DAW and effect Software

>>Click Here to see the focusrite scarlett 2i2 reviews
Setting up your home studio is super easy and it doesn’t require any extra software. Mac or Windows, you can just plug in and once the software which is included is installed you can start to plug-in your instruments or microphones and press record.

If you’re looking to start out recording music, but you don’t have hundreds of dollars to do it, here is the absolutely best answer to that solution. Everything needed and then some. So below are just a few more great reasons why we think this is a killer audio interface for an affordable price.

HIgh-Quality Preamps

With two Focusrite preamps built into the audio interface just about any mic condenser and ribbon will sound very nice.

The Scarlett 2i2 has the some of the same preamp designs that Focustire is known for. Low-noise and low-distortion. With enough headroom to add gain to those instruments that need it. Phantom Power is also included with just a push of a button.

Whats connectors are included?

You can connect up to two instruments at a time straight into the box. With a mixer you can add more inputs if needed. Plug in right in the front with a mic cable (XLR) or and instrument cable (guitar,bass,etc.). You can control the gain that also acts as visual indicator if the mic is too hot or just right, green or red lights illuminate.

Headphones or Monitors are also controlled via this box. Flick the switch and you have direct monitor control, via the large dial in the front. Hear the recording through your speakers or headphones without having the audio go through the computer. This is helpful when it comes to lag in time, if you are playing along the sound might be off if it has to run through the computer first. SO, this is the answer to that HUGE problem.

What DAW and Effects is included?

What a DAW means is digital audio workstation or software you will use to record to. This comes with a really decent DAW, ableton Live lite.

Also included is effects which are also known as plugins. You get an EQ, compressor, Gates and Reverb for making a really good sounding mix.

Some reviews suggest that the drivers may be a pain in the but to install. And I’ve noticed this for many audio interfaces, it’s just a matter of keeping them up to date. So I suggestion run a check once a month just to make sure there wasn’t an update you missed.

This is one of the best sellers on amazon right now and for many reasons. It’s a great little portable studio that comes with a lot of bells and whistles. And for the price you really get something special. The preamps alone might cost pretty close to what the whole thing cost, so you’re getting a fantastic deal.

>>Click Here To Check Out the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB Recording Audio Interface

 

CAD U37 REVIEW — Great for podcast

The CAD U37 is one of those plug it in and go usb microphones that are great for podcasts and generally use with your computer. You can record right to your computer, and it will make your computer now seem like studio quality. But that’s just the beginning of the adventures, you can record all kinds of instruments too!

This is a dynamic mic that is designed for such frequencies for singing, vocal over-dubs and guitars. What you get is a whole lot of mic for a very little, meaning this is priced perfectly for the beginner podcaster and so on.

CAD U37 Review Features

  • Record straight into your computer
  • USB Plug and Play technology
  • Podcasters Love it
  • Comes with a Desk Tri-pod
  • Large Condenser Mic (warm, big, rich tones)
  • Works with Mac and Windows (no software to install)
>>CLICK NOW TO SEE WHY ITS A BEST SELLER

The Usb Jack makes it easy to just plug into your computer. No need for an audio interface, when you can control and eq right on the body. Using two switches, one allows you to decrease sensitivity, and what that means is, if the signal is really LOUD just hit this switch and it takes it down -10db. The other is a bass reducer, sometimes you just can’t help pick up those really low bass tones, hit this switch and you’re back to a clean signal.

The review of the CAD U37 is you get a big mic for a small price. You can just plug it in without an interface or extra software. Start making your podcast sound amazing with a tiny upgrade of this microphone. Your listeners will really appreciate it!

>>Click Here To Check it Out at Amazon.com!

C# Food ordering system

This is a program I wrote for a my C# class.  You can see the code below and then Download and run it if you like.  If you can like and share or link to your school or blog, I would appreciate that.

 

HERE IS THE CODE

You can download the program, Free.  But please just like the page to access the code.  It’s super simple and I promise you wont have to sign up for anything.  It helps this blog, if you like.  Fair trade!

WHAT ARE THE BEST STUDIO MONITORS?

THE BEST STUDIO MONITORS

best studio monitorsOne of the most important pieces of home studio equipment are the monitors.  For many reasons like play back and mix down,  but besides that it’s important to know exactly how each piece of musical equipment sounds.  Because if it sounds like whats coming thru the speaker, than chances are the recording will sound the same.  Before we get to the best studio monitors, lets talk about why they are so important.

Speakers are designed to be flat in frequency.  Because of that, you get an accurate reproduction of the sounds of the equipment.

The components of the speakers specialize in reproducing specific frequency ranges.  They use a device called a crossover network.  What that does is sort of direct the audio traffic, meaning if low-end is coming through it will send it to the sufferer and same goes for high-end and mid-range.

  • Tweeters – (1 kHz to 20 kHz) reproduces high frequencies.
  • Mid-Range – (800 Hz to 3 kHz) reproduces frequencies in between the tweeter and woofer.
  • Woofers – (30 Hz to 100 Hz) reproduces the low frequencies and has the largest speaker

ACTIVE VS. PASSIVE

It’s important to know the difference between the two.  Basically, Active means powered and Passive means you need to supply power. Honestly, one is not better than the other.  But, it’s a matter of buying more stuff or just getting an all in one speaker.

If you’re just starting your studio and are on a budget we will stick with Active.  It’s pretty awesome that I can just switch it on from the back and connect 2 cables and we’re ready to go!

10 BEST CHEAP STUDIO MONITORS

We’ve researched and used the following.  They range from under 1000, 500, 300, and 100.  But what we found were some of the most popular speakers were under 200.  That’s great news, as price has come down in the industry, you aren’t losing any quality.  So let’s begin…

1. Mackie CR Series CR3

These are a great professional full range speaker for many multimedia purposes.  Audio and video editing with the Mackie CR3 is awesome.  The tweeter and sub’s are so nice, you can hear things you wouldn’t normally hear before.

And editing late at night with the volume down is probably my favorite part, because you won’t lose that low sub or high tweeter sounds.  Its great, I can edit videos at my computer while my wife sleeps.

Besides being super affordable, check out some features:

  • 50 watts packs a punch and delivers clarity
  • (80 Hz – 20 kHz) Ultra-wide frequency range perfect for all multimedia
  • All wood cabinet
  • Control button right in front, volume and on/off switch
  • Includes cables and sound isolation to put speakers on.

Hands down these are an amazing pair for super cheap.

READ REVIEWS AND SEE PRICE<<

 

2. JBL LSR305 PAIR

The JBL 3-series LSR 305 speakers for an extremely affordable reference monitor. The will also work very well as a shelf speaker for your home audio. But what really makes the speakers interesting is the design.  They have taken from a really expensive technology and made it into affordable cheaper speakers.

You’ll notice the tweeter is set in this shell that even has bumps in front of it.  What this does creates an extremely wide center image that seems to follow you around the room!  Its called image control wave guide.

Here are some great features:

  • 2-way powered studio monitor
  • Selectable Input Sensitivity -EQ for the high and low-frequency, and volume control
  • 5″ long-throw woofer
  • Professional Balanced Inputs -XLR and 1/4″

This pair really packs big power with big sound. These are highly recommended by musical gurus all over.  They sound great and don’t take up a lot of space.  The technology that went into them is by far superior to others.

READ REVIEWS HERE<<

 

3. KRK RP5G3-NA

This is the KRK rocket 5 by generation 3.  It’s a powered five-inch studio monitor. The KRK rocket series has become very popular for delivering studio-quality sound at an incredibly affordable price.

Here a some awesome features:

  • Extended bass response
  • Clean and accurate
  • Reduced port turbulence
  • Total Power: 50 watts

This monitor features a 50-watt by amp design that offers maximum headroom and minimal distortion.  This allows you to get a clean sound at lower volumes.  The five-inch woofer is made from a combination of glass and aramid fibers to produce clear mid-range and tight low-end sounds.  The one inch soft dome tweeter is capable of producing sound up to 35 khz.

The speaker cabinet has several features that optimize the accuracy of what you’re hearing.  The radius edges reduce wave refraction and the front firing port helps to deliver extended low-frequency response, while minimizing boundary coupling from nearby services.  There is also a factory-installed foam pad on the bottom to help isolate the speaker from your studio service.

On the back we have a set of high and low-frequency adjustments for tuning your room, a volume control, unbalanced RCA input, a balanced quarter-inch input and XLR input.

The KRK rocket 5 delivers a clear and balanced sound without the gimmicky Eq boosts found in other similarly priced monitors.  If you’re looking for an affordable powered studio monitor with professional features then check out the KRK Rokit 5

4. Alesis Elevate 5

The Alesis elevate 5 are compact yet powerful speakers.  That enable you to listen to mixes, masters and multimedia content with impressive clarity and a warm full sound.

Using technology adopted from Alesis award-winning monitor 1 and M1 monitors, these active speakers have an output 80 watts in total making them loud enough for almost all room environments without compromising the sound.

Here are some features:

  • Affordable
  • 5″ low-frequency driver
  • 1″ silk dome tweeter
  • Headphone Jack
  • High-density wood cabinets with bass porting for smooth and deep low-end

The Elevate 5 is made from a high density wood to provide natural bass.  Each speaker is composed of a 40 watt power amp, 5 inch bass driver and a 1 inch silk dome tweeter.  Each cabinet also houses bass ports for a clear low-end and radial-edge baffles to reduce distortion.

On the back to the main right unit is a RCA or phono a 1/4 inch TRS jack input, which is perfect for many times of audio gear meaning you can get started right away.  There is also a power lead input a power switch.  An output to the other speaker that comes with a cable to do so.  Another feature we like is the a switch that boost the bass.

On next speaker there is simply a jack input to connect to the right side. Both speakers are magnetically shielded to minimize interference and maximize listening pleasure.

A nice feature is that has a 3.5 millimeter powered headphones socket right in the front.  This means that you can plug headphones right in and it will cut the sound to the set while you listen without disturbing others.

CLICK TO READ MORE<<

 

5. M-Audio Studiophile AV 40

M-Audio is known for having the best-selling gear, and there is plenty of good reasons.  Great design, great quality and yet are affordable.

I would recommend the M-audio for someone looking for entry-level or doesn’t need all that power.  Perfect for the DJ or solo musician who wants to hear back in high quality.

The m-audio AV 40 multimedia monitor speakers are newer versions.  These speakers are really good especially for their price, I would call them semi-pro that gives a powerful sound.

See some features:

  •  4″ polypropylene-coated woofers
  • 1″ ferrofluid-cooled silk dome tweeters
  • OptImage III tweeter wave guides – precision imaging
  • 20-watt-per-channel amplifier with Class A/B architecture
  • Magnetic shielding
  • Comes with all cables to connect with, phones, ipods, stereos and mixers.
  • Affordable

Comes in all wood cabinets with a sleek black finish that give a great professional look.  20 watts of power per channel for a total of 40.  The nice features are in the front, with a blue-lit light that glows when powered on via the power button.  There are two inputs, one is an aux, which you can connect your multimedia into and right next to it is a headphone jack.

The back has several ways to connect to, RCA, TRS and RCA.  Note, there are no XLR inputs.  These aren’t going to Thump as much as the others listed, but overall they are a great intro or perfect for a small set-up.

Read what others have said<<

 

6. Yamaha Powered Studio Monitor

Definitely one of the most popular brands out there is the Yamaha.  They are well-known for making the iconic NS10, which can be seen in just about every famous recording workspace.

The HS series are a powered as opposed to the NS10 which were passive.  But yamaha has brought out a new range of models, HS5, HS7 and HS8.

Features included with the series:

  • 2-Way bass-reflex bi-amplified nearfield studio monitor with 5″ cone woofer and 1″ dome tweeter
  • 54Hz-30kHz frequency response
  • 45W LF plus 25W HF bi-amp system for high-performance 70W power amplification
  • Room Control and High TRIM response controls
  • XLR and TRS phone jack inputs accept balanced or unbalanced signals

 

Check out the Series:

  1. Yamaha HS5 – For Smaller Rooms  (5″ cone)

  2. Yamaha HS7 – Like the HS5 but with more BASS (7″cone)

  3. Yamaha HS8 – For Larger Rooms (150 watts)

 

7. BEHRINGER TRUTH B2031A

The Behringer Truth B2o31A  are the 5″ model 150 watt model.  Right off the bat the size of these and the cheap price attracted me.  Very affordable for a powered set that has real nice flat sound.

For mixing, they are great.  Depending on the size of your room or area the EQ can be adjusted using  compensation switches located on the back of the unit.  Highs, mids and low frequencies can be left at flat or switched a few decibals lower or higher.  This is great, sometimes you have a room that is to boomy or too much high-end, or the opposite in a different room.  Behringer really came up with something good here.

Also in the design you will notice there is no more “sweet spot”, you know your head right in between the pair.  Nope, they focused on creating a wave-guided system, so you can be free to sit in different spots and get the same mix as the person in the middle.

Check out some great features:

  •     Very Affordable
  •     150 watts Precision Class A/B amplifiers
  •     1″  silk dome tweeter for Ultra-high resolution sound reproduction
  •     8″ woofer made of Kevlar cone for ultimate bass response
  •     Wave Design “sweet spot”
You can read what others are saying here<<

 

Sources:

http://mackie.com/products/hrmk2-series

http://www.jblpro.com/www/products/recording-broadcast/3-series#.VtMJh9A5uec

http://www.krksys.com/krk-studio-monitor-speakers.html

http://www.alesis.com/products/browse/category/monitors

http://www.m-audio.com/products/browse/category/reference-monitors

http://www.music-group.com/Categories/Behringer/Loudspeaker-Systems/Studio-Monitors/B1030A/p/P0A0X

http://usa.yamaha.com/products/music-production/speakers/

 

 

IM YOURS CHORDS : EASY TO PLAY WITH VIDEOS

I’M YOURS CHORDS

This a just an overall happy song to play on the guitar.  “Im yours” by Jason Mraz was his first single off his third album we sing, we dance, we steal things.  Nominated for a Grammy, this tune is always a crowd favorite.  It’s fun to play, and as you can see the tab is very simple.

IM YOURS CHORDS

 

Im yours chords

BEST CHURCH MICROPHONE

Live audio can very intimidating, especially when there is an audience present.  Things can go wrong or your voice might not sound very good during the session. You also need to figure out the size of the church, is it big, is it vaulted or is it a smaller community room?  The room does make a difference for sound and we will keep that in mind as we go along.
We put together this guide to narrow down the best church microphone for you to use.  Let me explain the two types microphones before we go into the different styles that would be best to use.

CONDENSER AND DYNAMIC


Basically the are categorized by how they pick up the audio pattern.  Every mic responds differently to frequencies, so choosing the right one will make the biggest difference in the world.

  • DYNAMIC – Most likely this will be the type you go with.  These work best for Vocals like public speaking.  The also work well on instruments.  What I like about this style of mic is that the mic isn’t so “hot”, meaning the sound will only come in the front part, instead of all around.  It also won’t pick up small sounds around you, just your voice.  This gives the speaker better control.  This is ideal for any place or style of worship.  See below for examples.
  • CONDENSER – These aren’t very common in churches.  They tend to be higher end with price, although the price has come down in the past few years.  If your pastor prefers a lapel mic or perhaps a wireless microphone, this is the type it would be.  If it is a large place, this might be ideal for your speaker so they can freely walk and have the control to switch on and off when needed.  These mics also sound great with choirs, pianos, strings and even drums.  Examples below

WIRED

Cost-wise, you can get a great microphone for under $100.  Keep in mind, this one will have to be plugged in straight to the sound board or PA.  Some options you can look at are the on/off switch.  This is important to have for shutting off for prayer and singing.

WIRELESS

There are a few options for a wireless microphone.  You can get a handheld, with on/off switch and a remote pack that would go in your back pocket.  You can control the mic from there.  You can also get a lapel to attach to your clothes.  Same situation with the remote pack.

BONUS SOUND TIPS

CONCLUSION

The most important part of this is that your church service sounds the best with little knowledge needed to get it to work.  The option is up to you, but it is a good idea to keep the size of the room into consideration when choosing which one you get.  If you don’t have to walk around too much and it’s just going to be stationary, go with a wired.  But, if you need to be all over the room, the front, the back, then a wireless is the way to.

 

WAGON WHEEL CHORDS : EASY TO PLAY WITH VIDEOS

WAGON WHEEL CHORDS

Here is the guitar tab for Wagon Wheel.  As you will see it is a pretty simple straight forward song.  With only a few chords it is defiantly and easy one to learn and play along too.  Another good thing about this tune is that the chord changes aren’t real difficult and therefor it is a pretty easy song to sing along to while playing.

The History behind this famous song

Originally penned by Boy Dylan in 1973 for the Billy the kid sessions.  However the tune which was called Rock me Mama was never finished until 40 years later by the group Old Crow Medicine Show.  The band used the chorus and used some of the chord progression and later named it Wagon Wheel.

Wagon Wheel Chords Tab

 

wagon wheel chords

Sources:

https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/d/darius_rucker/wagon_wheel_crd.htm

HOW I BELT OUT VOCALS

I get asked about singing basic vocal technique and how I belt–or my technique (partly for sound quality, and partly for safety). Here are some quick tips that are good to try if you want to practice belting (singing with your chest voice up into your head voice range, although mixing is a good technique to intersperse in there for some otherwise awkward transitions).

1. You must be able to practice in an environment where you’re not afraid to be loud or make mistakes. If you’re worried about being “too noisy” or making squawks, you’ll usually tense up…and therefore fail.

2. You must feel entirely free of tension in the face, neck, shoulders, etc. Contrary to what some believe, a good belter does not sing with undue tension. Quite the opposite, in fact.

3. You must develop stamina. Like singing large opera roles, belting is an athletic experience.

4. Belting requires less breath pressure (just as high notes require less breath pressure).

5. You’ve gotta drop that jaw (think 3 to 4 fingers) and raise your soft palate.

6. Like a soprano hitting her highest notes, the belter has to trust her high chest notes to be there. She can’t “push” them at all. Imagining the notes flying or floating out of the top of the head may help.

7. The voice must be placed forward, in the mask.

PRINTABLE LIST OF 50 STATES: ALPHABETICAL ORDER

PRINTABLE LIST OF STATES

LIST OF 50 STATESI often have to do a project or write an article where I need a list of the United States, and most of the time I can’t find it.  So today, I decided to make a list to share with you.  So here is the printable list of all 50 states and abbreviations in alphabetical order, with no links in them!  You can select and copy right to your project of scroll down to the bottom for the print button.

There is a print button at the end of the list.  Just click it and it will take you to a preview screen and if your printer doesn’t pop-up, click-out of the window and your is should be there

List of All 50 States

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

 

List of State Abbreviations

AL
AK
AZ
AR
CA
CO
CT
DE
FL
GA
HI
ID
IL
IN
IA
KS
KY
LA
ME
MD
MA
MI
MN
MS
MO
MT
NE
NV
NH
NJ
NM
NY
NC
ND
OH
OK
OR
PA
RI
SC
SD
TN
TX
UT
VT
VA
WA
WV
WI
WY

Thanks for stopping by, I hope the list is what you were looking for and really hope it helps you out!

MAKE THE BEST SUPERBOWL SNACKS: IDEAS AND RECIPES

SUPERBOWL 50 SNACKS

BEST SUPERBOWL SNACKSIt’s that time a year again, where we can gather with friends and stuff our faces one last time as the season comes to an end.  It’s a sad time, but a fun time and that’s why you need to celebrate it with the best superbowl snacks!

We wish our team made it to the superbowl this year, but they didn’t.  And that’s okay, that is just way too much stress anyway.  Now we can relax and watch the game while eating delicious fun foods.  Now come one, that sounds good to everybody!

This year, we decided that we need to come up with a theme and a tradition.  I thought to myself, how fun would it be to take the two teams, figure out what amazing foods come from their respected cities and make a meal plan!

We broke it down to two tasty sandwiches that I think you will enjoy as well.  So this year (2016) it is The Carolina Panthers vs. The Denver Broncos.  Keep reading below to see our main course!

APPETIZERS FOR THE GAME

You need some apps, and these don’t really need to be for each city.  Let’s be honest, there are some few crown favoirtes that we can’t leave out.  And truthfully, I don’t really want to be trying an rocky mountain oysters for my party!

Chili cheese Queso Dip – such a classic staple to keep warm in the crocpot.  Serve with chips
Guacomole – Who doesn’t love fresh guac?Salsa – I love pico de galo, yes this is also happening!
Artichoke dip – Why not, everyone loves it!
Chicken wings – can’t forget those either.

You can get creative and add whatever you like!

So for the main course, we wanted to use a theme, that being the team and the city.  Let’s get started!

CAROLINA PANTHERS FOOD

So this one was an easy one for Pulled Pork Sandwiches!

I love a good pulled pork, slow cooked so its nice and tender.  You add some slaw and hit with some sauce and you got a winner!

For this I personally really like a sweet and sassy sandwich.  So im going to use the Hawaiian buns, they are nice and soft with a hint of sweetness.  We thought sliders would be appropriate since there will be tons of snacks.

I’ll add the pork early in the morning to the slow cooker.  And later during the day get the slaw ready.  The sauce will probably be bought, but I will try to make a bbq mustard.  So tasty.

DENVER BRONCOS FOOD

Sing it with me!  “Chicken parm you taste so good!”

This was a tough one, I really wasn’t sure what food comes from Colorado other than some traditional foods you find everywhere.  I also was into eating a Denver Omelet for the game, maybe the day after depending on the result.

So in honor of Peyton Manning, we our going to have Chicken Parm Sliders for the Bronco theme.

I truly have never had one, so this will be fun.  And sticking with the sliders, I saw pretzel bun at the store that I thought would be tasty!

The chicken I will cut from into smaller size and flour and fry them.  Add tons of cheese and Marinara sauce and I think we got a winner here too!

So it will be a toss-up.  I know im excited for the game and the fun foods mixed with some micro beers!

GAME DAY FEST

So there it is, a simple yet fun way to add a new snack to your party.  What sort of fun foods will you be having?  We’d love to hear about it!

 

THE BEST BLUEBERRY BEER ON EARTH

THE BEST BLUEBERRY BEER ON EARTH

blueberry beer

I had heard about blueberry beer before I actually tried it.  But to be honest, I wasn’t really into trying something that sounded like pie.  That’s what I had thought it would taste like anyway.

I spend a lot of time in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Northern Wisconsin during the summer.  There are many great places to see and visit including hidden bars and tap rooms.  And that’s where I discovered some great new brews.

Tribute Brewing Company

But first let me tell you are my two favorite tap rooms for the blue berry brew.  Tribute brewing company in Eagle River Wisconsin.  Their famous Blueberry Train is amazing.  It is an ale that is refreshing and has a hint of berries.  One would think that it would be blue, but it still looks normal!

The story goes that back in the old days there would be a train of workers that would come up from Milwaukee to pick the berries.  I actually do not know if they use extract of fresh for the brew.

The tap-room itself is nice, they have complimentary peanuts and popcorn, which is nice.  You can get re-fills for your growler here too.  They have another interesting option.  4-packs of 16 oz. plastic bottles.  I thought that was cool, and as we pass through town we usually pick one of these up.

Dublin Sports Bar and Grill

Here is where the hidden gem of a bar comes into play.  The place is outside of Eagle River near Phelps and Conover, but right on Big Twin Lake.  So, to get there you have to follow small signs.

But once you find it, you won’t want to leave.  The place is called Dublin Sports bar and Grill.  The place is beautiful dark oak on the inside.  Probably the best bathroom I have ever used.  They have great food options too. Also tons of TVs and great brew including Tribute on tap.  And it’s actually cheaper at Dublin than at the taproom!

If you’re in this area you need to make a stop at either of these places!

The Vierling

If you make it into the U.P. then you know that everything is within 60 or so miles. Take a trip to Marquette, it is a gorgeous town packed full of history.  With cool building with lots of fun shops.

We found this place by accident.  To be honest it looked like a small bar from the outside and if it weren’t for a sign about the award-winning fresh white fish, we wouldn’t have gone it.  So glad we did.  Turns out the Vierling is old and famous!

When you walk in you notice the charm right away.  They have an old and I assume its original bar to the left.

blueberry beer

The rest of the place is a busy restaurant with lots of seating and a brewery downstairs.  We got seated and the saw their beverage list, and noticed they had blue berry on tap as well as peach.

I ordered the blue berry and it was amazing. This is served with actual fresh berries!  Doesn’t that picture make you want one!

Honestly, they have around 6 on tap, you’ll find one you love.  You need to try this place for many reasons.  And yes, the fish was amazing!

What to do if you’re not in the area?

So, I realize not everyone can try these, especially if you’re nowhere near the northern Wisconsin and Michigan.  But there are some companies that do make the blue berry.

My favorite is probably Seadog ale.  I’m pretty sure they have distribution all over, so if you can’t find it, ask and im sure the store can order it.

Its is like the ones I described above.  It has a golden pour with a decent white head on it.  It smells like wheat and blueberries, not too overpowering.

They have won many awards for this, worth a shot.

Trader Joes has one available in six-packs.  They sell it for 3-4 cheaper than the big name stuff.  It’s not bad but has a bit more artificial taste to it.

My least favorite is Wild Blue.  Now that one was almost purple when I poured it and all I can say is it is sweet and sort of like a wine-cooler.  8% alcohol, this might be one for someone who likes white wine to try.  Not a fan personally as, you can see the ones I liked above are more wheat and ale.

Have you tried any ones out there?  I would love to hear about them, leave a comment and recommend one!

 

Best Audio Interface of 2016

About a year ago we wrote and article for the best audio interface.  It’s still a solid write-up that a lot of people really enjoyed.

But a few things have stood out this year particularly.  So to help sum up this year, here is the best audio interface for 2016.

For the sake of you time, here is a quick list that I will go through as you scroll down.

  1. Focusrite Scarlett Solo
  2. Tascam US-366
  3. Behringer UCA202
  4. M-Audio Fast Track USB 2 Computer Audio Interface
  5. Behringer U-Phoria UM2
  6. PreSonus AudioBOX
  7. Lexicon Alpha 2-Channel Desktop Recording Studio
  8. Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 USB Audio Interface

2016 has been a great year, with so many advances to home recording production.  The cost to produce an album is so much more affordable using one of these studio’s in a box.

What makes these ones the best of 2016?  Well, we look at the ones that get the most attention on our site, and ones that are catching the most buzz on the internet.  We took a look at amazon.com for their data, how many people have bought and we looked at reviewer comments.

Will there be any audio interface sales for Black Friday?  Usually there is, but we have no way of knowing right now.

Focusrite Scarlett Solo

This is the #1 best audio interface for 2016 by far.  With a super affordable price, you can’t go wrong with what is offered in the box.

This is a one channel USB, I really liked that because if you are solo musician, this is likely for you.  You can upgrade to more inputs and channels.

This Scarlett solo comes with pro tools, ableton and creative pack software.  Just plug-in and play on a Mac and PC.  Great preamps and converters, make this one of the fastest on the market.

Tascam US-366

One of the leading name brands in the recording industry is Tascam.  They really don’t skip out on any features with this unit.

6 inputs and 4 outputs, which is a lot of bang for your buck.  There is a multi-track mode and a new PODCAST mode feature.  Excellent for podcast and live radio shows.

On board effects like, compressor, reverb and EQ.

Optional foot pedal for multi-track recording, this is particularly helpful for when you’re recording in a separate room.  Like recording vocals in the same room as your computer, you will pick up all sorts of fun noises  you don’t want in your recording.

Behringer UCA202

If you’re looking for a good cheap audio interface, look no further.  Behringer as a brand makes some really fantastic affordable musical equipment.

This being an audio interface for well under $50. Here we have a 2 input and 2 output unit that you connect your instruments to and it connects via USB into your computer.

I think if you’re a DJ, rapper and use other samplers and midi keyboards to create music, this is great affordable USB audio interface.

It doesn’t come with software like the others, so you will need that.  The downside to this is there in only RCA inputs and outputs.  No 1/4 or XLR.

M-Audio Fast Track USB 2 Computer Audio Interface

I’ve always been a big fan of M-Audio.  My very first interface was an M-Audio.  This newer model has the same but upgraded features.  That’s probably why it’s the best-selling recording interface in its category.

1/4 or XLR input.  You can literally plug your guitar straight into this box and record.  The preamps are nice and gives a good warm boost to the signal.

Includes software to start recording music instantly.  Works well with Garageband and Protools to name a few.  RCA outputs to connect to separate powered studio monitors.

Behringer U-Phoria UM2

Another best audio interface for 2016 is this Behringer U-phoria UM2.  A good factor for this is because, it’s a great product and 2 the price is super affordable.

How does Behringer do it, they have some of the best preamps and converters for the price.  This unit offers the same as the big dogs for a 1/3 of the price.

XLR/1/4 inputs, phantom power, control headphones and monitor mixes on the front of the interface.  Red clip indicator and other nice features.  If you’re just starting home recording, I would start here.

PreSonus AudioBOX

Bus-powered USB audio and MIDI interface.  2 combo mic/instrument inputs with high-performance, low-noise, high-headroom mic pre amplifiers.

You have a lot of control on the front of the box, the knobs can control instrument inputs, monitor outs and mixer and mains.  The Zero-latency analog monitoring is really nice for recording.  Playing back to a mix when you hit the guitar strings and it takes a second to playback can really ruin a take!

Compatable with most recording software and it plugs in and works well with PC or MAC.  Great for the musician or podcaster recording from home through your computer.

Lexicon Alpha 2-Channel Desktop Recording Studio

Record up to two tracks at a time using the XLR or 1/4 inputs.  Two TRS and RCA line outputs for monitoring.

Stereo line inputs for keyboards, drum machines or analog output of a CD/MP3 player.  The front panel offers lots of control with separate knobs to monitor inputs and outputs.

Software suite includes Cubase LE4 and Lexicon Pantheon VST reverb plug-in.  A whole studio in a box for under $100.  One of the best sellers this year on amazon.  

4.1kHz to 48kHz sample rates, 16-bit or 24-bit resolution.  No need for a power supply… so you can record anywhere you can take your laptop.

Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 USB Audio Interface

This is probably our favorite of the 2016 best sellers.  It’s a legit full studio that can be put in your equipment bag and taken anywhere.  What we mean is, it can record up to 8-tracks at once.  That’s a lot, considering these are mainly 2 inputs at a time.

4 XLR inputs in the front and 4 1/4 inputs in the back.  You can also input midi lines as well.  With a total of 18 inputs you can connect just about anything.  And that’s what makes this the most versatile on the market.  If you are doing lots of recording sometimes you never know what you might get, so having those options is really nice

2016’s Best Audio Interface Conclusion

Most of these are built to start recording.  They come with inputs and preamps and even software.  You really can’t go wrong with an investment in any of these.

Whether you’re a solo musician or are in a group.  Multi-track recording works well and the quality is just as good as a studio.

You won’t be disappointed with any of this years winners.

 

Behringer UM2 review — Most Affordable

The Behringer UM2 Audio Interface is the most affordable on the market. If you want to start recording onto your computer and you just don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars, here is the best option for you! Just because this is so cheap doesn’t mean you get less, here are some great features:

  • 2- instrument in puts (USB audio Interface) Comes with cable
  • 48 kHz professional sound
  • Works with alot of DAW software (pro tools, abelton, cubase, etc.) Comes with tracktion 4
  • Very Affordable
  • Just Plug in and go
  • 48v phantom power

So what we really like about this is, it’s so cheap you can’t go wrong if you’re just getting started out recording. Whether it be, music or podcast type of stuff. The Behringer UM2 is a great Audio Interface.

It’s a two-channel input. One is a combo socket for XLR or 1/4″, the other is just a 1/4″ guitar input. So, you have some options there. Works great for both mac and pc.

Comes with Software, DAW

It comes with a card you can register and download for tracktion 4. Free audio recording, editing and podcasting software plus 150 instrument/effect plug-ins downloadable at behringer.com. But this will work with lots of other digital audio workstations.

The UM2 is extremly compatible with almost all of the popular recording software including Avid Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Steinberg Cubase, etc. Pick your favorite one and start recording and mixing!

On board preamps

Built into this little guy are some great Studio quality preamps. They have low-noise and plenty of headroom for you. XENYX preamps offer 130dB of dynamic range, with a bandwidth that extends from below 10 Hz to well above 200 kHz.

For someone who doesn’t under stand that mumbo-jumbo talk, it pretty much means, your microphones will sound like really expensive ones!

Monitor your performance (UM2 Mix control)

You also get direct monitor control with the push of a button. Which means, you can either send the sound to your studio monitors or listen in your headphones.

The separate knob can turn the monitor up or down without disturbing the recording.

This is a great cheap studio in a box. However, we must point some of the things we noticed that you should take note of. This is a plastic body and the knobs and inputs are loose and seem kind of cheap. And, if you have the gain 3/4 up, we noticed extra noise. No big, deal.

I personally love Behringer, I own several pieces of their equipment and love that they offer such affordable stuff. With the UM2, you cannot go wrong. Just starting out recording or podcasting, this is a good place to start for super cheap!

 

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Review

One of the better looking, in fact award-winning body’s on the market, the Focusrite Scarlett is a real sharp-looking audio interface. But besides its attractive red metallic body holds something really special. It’s a home studio in a box that you can connect to any computer via its USB 2.0 port. With the popular mic preamps built on board check out some of these great features:

  • Awesome Microphone Preamps (hi-quality)
  • Portable Studio (Rugged solid metal Body) Plug in to your computer via USB 2.0
  • 2- input Combo Sockets (XLR, 1/4″)
  • Monitor through your headphones or Speakers With the flick of switch
  • Phantom Power- 48v
  • Inlcudes DAW and effect Software

>>Click Here to see the focusrite scarlett 2i2 reviews
Setting up your home studio is super easy and it doesn’t require any extra software. Mac or Windows, you can just plug in and once the software which is included is installed you can start to plug-in your instruments or microphones and press record.

If you’re looking to start out recording music, but you don’t have hundreds of dollars to do it, here is the absolutely best answer to that solution. Everything needed and then some. So below are just a few more great reasons why we think this is a killer audio interface for an affordable price.

HIgh-Quality Preamps

With two Focusrite preamps built into the audio interface just about any mic condenser and ribbon will sound very nice.

The Scarlett 2i2 has the some of the same preamp designs that Focustire is known for. Low-noise and low-distortion. With enough headroom to add gain to those instruments that need it. Phantom Power is also included with just a push of a button.

Whats connectors are included?

You can connect up to two instruments at a time straight into the box. With a mixer you can add more inputs if needed. Plug in right in the front with a mic cable (XLR) or and instrument cable (guitar,bass,etc.). You can control the gain that also acts as visual indicator if the mic is too hot or just right, green or red lights illuminate.

Headphones or Monitors are also controlled via this box. Flick the switch and you have direct monitor control, via the large dial in the front. Hear the recording through your speakers or headphones without having the audio go through the computer. This is helpful when it comes to lag in time, if you are playing along the sound might be off if it has to run through the computer first. SO, this is the answer to that HUGE problem.

What DAW and Effects is included?

What a DAW means is digital audio workstation or software you will use to record to. This comes with a really decent DAW, ableton Live lite.

Also included is effects which are also known as plugins. You get an EQ, compressor, Gates and Reverb for making a really good sounding mix.

Some reviews suggest that the drivers may be a pain in the but to install. And I’ve noticed this for many audio interfaces, it’s just a matter of keeping them up to date. So I suggestion run a check once a month just to make sure there wasn’t an update you missed.

This is one of the best sellers on amazon right now and for many reasons. It’s a great little portable studio that comes with a lot of bells and whistles. And for the price you really get something special. The preamps alone might cost pretty close to what the whole thing cost, so you’re getting a fantastic deal.

>>Click Here To Check Out the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB Recording Audio Interface