Mojo’s Pick of the Week – Casting the Circle by High Priestess

High Priestess Casting the CircleBe warned, this album will get under your skin! Casting the Circle is the second full length release by LA doom trio High Priestess. If you’re unfamiliar with the psychedelic swirls and melodic mist of High Priestess’ brand of doom rock then now’s your chance to dive in.

With a sound that ranges from lilting to thunder, the sonic magic woven by bassist Mariana Fiel, guitarist Katie Gilchrest, and drummer Megan Mullins will have you under their spell before you can say “psychedelic doom.”

Standout tracks: Casting the Circle, Erebus

Accompanying this release is my favorite music video of the year so far, the haunting and macabre companion to the title track. It’s simply perfection.

High Priestess on the web:

https://highpriestessmusic.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/highpriestessmusic/
https://www.instagram.com/highpriestessmusic/

 

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Mojo’s Pick of the Week – VOX amPlug 2 Bass

VOX amPlug 2 Bass StockI received this little guy in error and almost sent it back. I’m very glad I didn’t! The VOX amPlug 2 is a slightly pricey but very fun headphone amp for practicing with some real analog circuit tone.

My musician neighbor recently found his long lost Metal amPlug and told me how much fun it was for practice and general jamming, so I ordered one from Amazon. What arrived a couple weeks later was the Bass version, and since these guys will in fact set you back around $40US I was about to send it back when I thought, hey let’s at least give it a shot.

Since it didn’t come with a manual, I didn’t know until I went to the VOX website that it not only has three gain settings (cycle select using the power button), but also a built in drum machine with three patterns and tap tempo! What!

VOX amPlug2 Bass

The amPlug 2 runs on two included AAA batteries and is just a hella fun way to quietly get your practice on. The tone is good, I like the ballsy primary setting, and the syncopated drum patterns are interesting enough to spur the imagination. I do recommend putting your headphone cord through your strap like you would a standard lead, in case it falls out while you jam.

I wasn’t sure if I’d like it but I definitely recommend it, and now I have the amPlug 2 Lead on order. Check the website, each of the VOX amPlug 2 have different specs and settings. Rock on!

VOX amPlug 2 Bass specs

  • 1 x Aux Input Jack
  • 1 x Headphone Jack
  • requires 2 x AAA Batteries (included)
  • On|Off|Standby, Volume, Gain, Tone, Beat Controls
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What is a Track?

Visible ConfusionThe more conversations I have about audio, the more I see ways that seemingly simple things can be confusing, like how the overused word “track” means wildly different things in different contexts.

A track often means a song, as in “Hey have you heard that new track by The Weeknd?” However, we don’t really call songs on vinyl or cassette ‘tracks’, yet each song on a CD is a track and each of the four stereo sections of an 8-track is a ‘track’. Go figure.

Track is a verb too, as in “I’m going to be tracking guitars later this afternoon,” which means recording guitars to tape or digital files. On a recording tape, there are as many tracks as there are channel strips on the recording desk or console, for instance, 24, 48, or 128. In a Digital Audio Workstation or DAW, the number of channel strips is limited only by your computer’s hardware specs.

A track in the audio engineering world usually means a single file of recorded information, like a guitar track. This file goes into or is recorded into a channel strip, which is also sometimes called a track. “Let me import these tracks and get mixing.” This corresponds to the way Digital Audio Workstations mostly mimic the workflow of analog recording consoles.

I’ve even heard the word track used in the context of the main song mix before the vocal goes in, as in “let’s see how well this vocal sits in the track”. This implies that the song is a fully functional piece without the vocal, as in an instrumental track.

It’s no wonder things can get confusing quickly, it often sounds like we’re speaking the same language but we may be talking about different things!

Are there any other ways you have heard the word track used in the audio world?

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