Category Archives: Music

Music Review Reviews Tech

Anker SoundBuds Slim Review

Here is my review of the Anker SoundBuds Slim. Really nice set of simple Bluetooth headphones that sound pretty good and work well. These by far are the most comfortable bluetooth headphones I have, and one of the better sounding sets I have.

If you are interested in purchasing you can do so here http://amzn.to/2lDayWn

 

Lincoln Music Travel

Fall Concerts 2014 (The Glitch Mob & Skrillex)

The Glitch Mob

The roommate and I drove to Des Moines, IA to see The Glitch Mob on a Thursday afternoon. The venue was different, much like a big community center. They had about half of it marked off with a big curtain for the concert. Parking was great though about 15 feet from the front door and free. The Glitch Mob (Soundcloud) sounded great during the entire show. I was worried that with just the 2 large stacks of PA speakers on either side it would not be loud enough but it was. Sound quality was not up to Bassnectar level but still better than most concerts. Lighting was pretty good for a small venue too. The controllers they were using to que the sounds were pretty cool. All touch screen based, with segmented areas it would be interesting to know more about them. Behind the large turbine looking props were digital drums/triggers too.  Summary I would drive 3 hours to see The Glitch Mob again, especially for a $20 ticket. I may come back and post a little video if there is interest please leave a comment below.

 

Skrillex in the Streets

Love him or hate him, Skrillex is a a pretty big name in modern music. I am admittedly not the biggest fan but decided to go to support a bigger show like this in Lincoln. It was unique because they closed down a intersection in downtown Lincoln and had the concert outside in the streets. Weather ended up being clear but pretty cool for early October. Opening acts were a few local DJ’s that did a good job and then Waka Flacka Flame who played a lot of his older rap songs and had a lot of stage energy to get people going. Skrillex came on and played a lot of his bigger songs but also a lot of mashups from others. I had pretty mixed feelings about it expecting some more of his original content. We did get to hear a exclusive to a new song he did say.

The concert was not physically setup very well which this combined with the crowed kind of ruined it for me to a degree. The front of the stage was about even with where the crosswalk would be, and the sound booth was set across the interesection just past the other crosswalk. This left very just the middle of the middle of the intersection for people who wanted to be directly in front of the stage where the best viewpoint, best sound, and best lights were. There were just too many people for this, and that left people spilling over the sides where sound and lights deteriorated a lot. There were also beer carts in the major walkways forcing people further into these pinch points to get from one side to the other. The crowed was more rude and rough than I have experienced in a while, even with a large police presence. You expect some of this but not to this extent. The next day the comments in the local newspaper’s online article was a great laugh with people complaining about noise for blocks etc. The promoters did a good job of announcing the show in advance and it ended at the reasonable time of 11pm sharp. I hope they can continue to offer this type of outdoor show in the future and make some improvements in setup and layout.

All photos taken with a Samsung Note 2.

Life Lincoln Music

Summer Concerts 2014

Arctic Monkeys With Royal Blood

It was nice to go to a Rock Show again. The Harrah’s casino is a pretty good venu. It was the first smoke free concert I have been too indoor or out. Sound quality was good, not great. Royal Blood was my surprise of the show, having never heard of them I became a fan and had to grab their album when I got home. Arctic Monkeys put on a good show, focused most on their music playing song after song.

 

Katy Perry

I wasn’t originally planning to go to this one but got a ticket at the last minute. While not the biggest Katy Perry fan I left the show very impressed.  Seats were great at midcourt since the stage was a big triangle and went to just over midcourt. This show was a huge production, over 15 trucks brought in tons of lights, screens, moving floor sections, props, and fireworks. Sound quality in the PBA is really great, although bring your earplugs, it’s loud. You really forget about how many hit’s Katy Perry has had and she sang them all.

 

Cool Videos Life Music

Live Music: Silversun Pickups

On Monday night I went to a great concert in Papillion, NE at the Sumtur Amphitheater .  It was a cold night but a great concert.  I was able to get up very close to stage. Close enough to reach out and touch the band at times if you wanted.  I was able to capture these pictures with my old Motorola Droid X smartphone.  I was shocked at the results I got, but they got even better after I did some noise reduction in Lightroom.  This was one of the first performances the band had with the new (Temporary) bass player.  She did a great job, but you could tell was a little rattled by the support of the crowd.  Other than that it was a great performance.  The bands sound live is very similar to the recorded sound, but you could tell it was live, no lipsync here.  Overall it was one of the better shows I have seen this year.

A couple of Videos too

 

Music Review Reviews

MEElectronics M9 Review

Intro
Last week I made a bit of an impulse buy. I was not really in the market for new in hear earbuds/monitors but I bought some. Previously I had been using the older of my 2 pair of Sennheiser CX300s. I have had these for probably 4-5 years and really liked them. Recently I thought one ear as not outputting as much sound as the others and they had become more muddy in tone. I have been listening to a lot of podcasts and audiobooks recently so it was still ok. Well I was browsing around on Slickdeals and saw a thread all about new in ear monitors in this under $30 price range. Recently it seems that there are a lot of new upstart companies that are making fantastic sounding products for fractions of the price.

Build Quality
The build quality of the M9s are quite good. The heads are a hard metal shell and the metal looks to be anodized. I ended up with the silver buds because they were a little cheaper than black. The cord seems pretty sturdy. It is kind of slick feeling so hopefully this helps avoid knots. The cord is in a Y configuration. This is a personal preference but I much prefer the J cord style of the CX300’s. This will take a little getting use to. The plug end is bent at a 45 degree angle and I think this will work well for people who wrap the phones around a device or put the device in a pocket while using it. For my devices its a nice tight fit that really clicks in. The one area I can ding build quality is the speaker grill area. On my CX300’s its made of a wire mesh, on the M9 it looks to be a cardboard cover. I am a little concerned with how this will hold up over time, especially with sweat. I like to wear my IEM while biking.

Sound Quality
I would categorize myself somewhere between enthusiast and audiophile. I don’t have the budget to spend thousands on speakers and headphones every year but do enjoy quality. I would say I favor bass but like crisp clear full range either. Muddy strong bass for me is a pass. I tested with a variety of music. I am recently into electronic,dubstep, house stuff, but balanced this with Tech N9ne new album “All 6’s & 7’s” because of the hard hitting base but sharp clear fast lyrics. I also used Silversun Pickups, Incubus, and John Mayer. The later because this is an excellently mastered album with fine detail in the guitars.

The M9’s are advertised as for bass heads and I would not argue with that. The bass is strong but not overpowering for my taste. The bass improved as the headphones burned in (See below) the bass becamse more accurate and cleaner. The mids and highs are very crisp, with the highs maybe being too crisp and strong for my liking. This can be improved with EQ but isnt a huge thing. I think I will get use to it the more I listen. I prefer the crispness to the not as crisp mids and highs of my CX300s.

The soundstage is pretty good for in ear ear buds. Its no where nearly as large as my Sennheiser 595 cans but there is several factors of price difference too. The soundstage is large and improvement over the cx300’s.

These headphones do need a burn in period in my opinion. I was not impressed with them on first listen but I played music through them over night for 2 nights and the phones improved quite a bit. Tones mellowed out and some of the harshness of the mids and highs wore off. I would think the more I use them the more this will improve.

Fit/Noise Reducing ability
Many people do not like in ear headphones because of the fit. They say they the sound quality is poor. This is 100% down to fit. Companies need to really stress this in instructions. Without the proper fit all in ear earbuds will sound terrible. The proper fit transforms them. This said I am still experimenting with the fit of my M9’s. I really want the double flanged versions to work for me but I don’t think it will for me because they are a bit large. I do wish they had a couple of sizes of the double flanged versions but for the money your still getting a great value.
These are a ported design. The port is directly opposite of the speaker driver. It is a small hole in the metal housing. My CX300s were sealed and this worked great for noisy things and riding my bike into the wind. The ported design of the M9 still seemed to work pretty well when mowing but I did have some trouble when riding my bike. The wind noise was more noticeable than I expected. I may stick with my second pair of CX300s when riding at windy times.

Other
The amount of extras these come with is impressive for the price. The case is nice, I don’t see using it much as its not big enough to put a phone or ipod touch into, but you could fit a shuffle easily into it. The airplane adapter is super nice. I have always wanted one of these but don’t travel enough to buy one. Looking forward to trying it out. They came with 3 sizes of one flange ear tips in the bass boost (black) silicone, 1 size of double tip bass boos material. Also 1 pair of double flange tips in a balanced silicone (gray). I found the little covers a little hard to fit on but they all seem to stay.

Comparison to the CX300’s
My CX300’s have been my old reliable workhorse. I do everything in them without worry. I accepted their falts of having some muddy sound (Part of this was due the excessive wear I think I might have on my original pair). I must say that the new M9’s are better just about everywhere and I wont hesitate recommending these to anyone in the market for in ear buds for $20.

Conclusion
I bought my M9’s at Amazon for $16.99 and for the money I would say these are a fantastic value. These are so much better than any of the included headphones that come with any music player it really should be an automatic upgrade for anyone. While I have not experienced the really high end in earbuds and IEM’s I can say that the M9’s as a whole are the best I have heard. They are not without falts but I think I will get use to some of these. Time will tell how much I end up using them in the next few months. For less than $20 its very hard to go wrong.

Will update with a photo tonight.

College Cool Videos Life Music Photography

StrawberryJam, DJClay & SFS at The Bourbon in Lincoln NE Photos

Thursday February 25, 2010 some friends had asked me to come take some photos of them playing at The Bourbon Theater in Lincoln. Since I just got my new Canon 7D I went and tried out the camera. Wow am I impressed. The ability to shoot at high ISO is amazing when coming from the 20D. The auto focus is good but I need to learn abit more about it before I have it down perfect. I am really impressed with the video ability of the camera and the audio recording properties were pretty good as well.


StrawberryJam

Make sure to watch the video in 720P!

DJClay
http://www.myspace.com/djclaymusic

SFS
http://www.myspace.com/sfslincoln


Make sure to watch the video in 720P!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FrO6A-TxPk

To view all of these photos and more in high resolution follow this link to the big gallery http://liquidretro.net/photo/gallery3/TheBourbon/

Life Music News

Mini3 Headphone Amp Build

This past week I built an AMB labs Mini3 headphone amplifier for my Sennheiser HD595 headphones. The amp is still burning in but so far I am very impressed. It really helps when playing audio through my computer and especially through my iPod. The build was very fun. I soldered my first surface mount components. I also built it first time around correctly with no problems. The case is also great. So far I am very impressed. Here are some pictures of the finished project.



College Life Music

MuxTape, Personal Mix Tapes!

I ran across a cool website the other day. www.muxtape.com It allows you to upload 12 of your own MP3 files of songs you like and put them in any order you choose. You end up creating your own mix tape but in a digital sense. Its has RSS built in so once you find some one you like watch their feed to see what new music they add. The site is a great way to share music with your friends and online communities. Check out the site and upload your own songs to create your own MuxTape.

Check out my MuxTape at http://LiquidRetro.muxtape.com/

MixTape