Taylor Jolin

Hacker | Musician | Innovator | Dreamer

Category: Music


New Born A Ghost Song Released

We have been hard at work on the follow up to Stairway To An Empty Room. Unfortunately, I had COVID19 for awhile and was unable to complete the vocal tracks in time. So I am taking my time with this one and relearning how to sing and scream. In the mean time we have released the new albums name, Loose Ends. Additionally we have released the upcoming album artwork and a new track called Dirge.


How To Tune Lower

I get asked all the time, how do I tune my guitar lower. Well, there are numerous ways to achieve lower tunings, but the most effective way is to increase your scale length. This is easier said than done as in most cases, the guitars scale length is static and can’t be changed. So what do I do?

Well, the first thing you can do is increase your string gauge. Most standard sets of guitar strings range from .046 to .010, give or take. So you could go up in size. On a guitar like a Gibson, which is 24.75,” I’d say you’re probably safe going to an A, but you’ll need to compensate by upping your string gauge.

Most guitars are 25.5,” at least the popular ones. So I’d say you are safe to go to at least G or even F, with the appropriate strings. On my 25.5” Ibanez RG7620 I am tuned to G standard and I am using .070 gauge. Granted this is a 7 string but it is a standard size guitar.

The next thing you can do, if capable, is buy a replacement baritone neck. You can find these at Warmoth, and from my experience; the Fender styled products are almost interchangeable.

You can also invest in a pitch pedal like the Digitech Drop Tune, though I have never personally used this method.

But alas, you know why you’re here… you need to read it for validation. It’s true… the easiest way to tune lower is to buy a guitar built for that purpose. There are several guitar companies that offer baritones and other types of extended range guitars. With a simple Google search you’ll find that companies like Ibanez, ESP, Schecter, and even Gretsch, offer baritones and extended range guitars.

I can speak from experience when I recommend tuning to G on a 25.5” scale length guitar. I also have an Ibanez M80M, which is a 29.4” scale length, that I tune to D-A-D-G-C-F-A-D and I am using a .074 gauge 8 string set. My other 8 string is an Ibanez RG2228, which is a 27” scale length that uses the same .074 string set. This guitar is tuned to E-B-E-A-D-G-B-E. I also have an Ibanez RG7620, 25.5 inch scale, which is tuned to Ab. This tuning uses a standard .070-.010 set. Finally, I have two 30” Agile Interceptors. One is using a light 6 string bass set, .096-.026w, and is tuned to C-G-C-F-A-D, an octave lower. To support this tuning, the nut had to be filed to accommodate the strings and the tuning pegs were swapped to Tone Ninja locking baritone tuners. The other Agile is tuned to F, I uses a .070-.013 set.

Extended range and baritone guitars have become increasingly popular in recent years thanks to their unique tonal characteristics and versatility. These instruments offer a wider range of notes and a heavier, more powerful sound, making them an excellent choice for musicians looking to explore new genres or push the boundaries of traditional guitar playing. Whether you’re a metalhead looking for crushing low-end or a jazz guitarist searching for new harmonic possibilities, an extended range or baritone guitar could be just what you need to take your playing to the next level. With the growing popularity of these instruments, there are now more options than ever before, so don’t be afraid to try out a few different models and find the one that suits your playing style and musical goals best.


Carcass of a Dead Star – Behold a Pale Horse

While I have been working on Born A Ghost, I took some time to work on another project, Carcass of a Dead Star. The story behind this project is pretty deep. It involves myself, Craig, Sergio, and our longtime friend and collaborator Edgar Wiest.

Edgar and I spent five days, in December, locked in an apartment with our instruments and inspiration. The outcome was Behold a Pale Horse. We definitely took things in a different direction with this release. We wrote it as is it were a 40 minute long song.

We ended up using 8 strings for this one; my RG2228 and Edgar’s RGA8. Both guitars went into three separate amp and cab combos…

  • An Ibanez Tubescreamer TS9, into my Randall RM100s Treadplate module, into my Orange 2×12 with DV77s.
  • A Boss HM2 into the clean channel of my Egnater Tweaker, into my Mesa Boogie Rectifier 2×12 with V30s.
  • An Earthquaker Plumes, into Edgar’s Revv G3, into the clean channel of the Egnater Tweaker, into the Mesa Boogie Rectifier 2×12 with V30s.

All guitars were recorded six times separately, using each of these amps mic’d up by a Shure SM57 into my Focusrite Scarlett 18i20. The lead guitars were all done with the AxeFX.

The bass was done the same way we did it on the latest Born A Ghost recordings from the last post. Same with the drums. And to top everything off we used IK Multimedia’s T-Racks to mix and master everything.

Our next goal with this project is to have someone do the vocals. Neither Edgar, nor I, want to do that in this project, as we’d both rather focus on writing riffs.


New Born A Ghost in progress…

So we are back in the studio working on the follow up to “The Beginning To An Ending.” This offering will be a concept album and will have seven songs. We are extremely excited about this one and we hope people dig it.

We really went all over the place with the songs on this album. There is some death metal, black metal, modern elements with samples and more. I think this one will really appeal to a lot of fans. So far my favorite track is the albums closer. Once we get closer to being finished we will release some teasers and more.

As for production, we are doing everything in Reaper this time. So far the mixes sound huge. We have recently invested in some studio upgrades to accommodate the mixes. Our most notable is the purchase of the full T-Racks suite by IK Multimedia, which is a great product.

The guitars on the recordings are my Ibanez M80M with the Lundgren M8 in the bridge. The signal chain is pretty straightforward; I used a modded Boss SD1, into a modded Randall RD45H, into a Mesa Boogie Rectifier 2×12 cabinet loaded with Eminence DV-77 speakers. The cab was mic’d up with a Shure SM57 and then into my Focusrite interface.

The bass guitar is a combo of three signals. The first is just the regular DI signal taken off the pickups. Then the second track is sent into DAW and I use the Darkglass Ultra by Neural DSP. I dial in a fat SVT type of tone on it and then I add an EQ over top. Then I cut everything after about 2khz. The third and final track is again sent into the DAW but this time I apply any guitar amp sim and dial in a nasty sounding tone. Then I stack another EQ and cut everything out below 4000khz. Then I blend them to taste with the volume controls.

As for the drums, Craig recorded everything through Toontracks Superior Drummer 3 using an upgraded Alesis Strike Pro. For the preset we used the Death & Darkness SDX, whichever one is in the pool.


Trying out Logic Pro X…

I have become a total Mac enthusiast over the past few years and this is even further down the rabbit hole. I used to use Reaper as my primary DAW but decided to try Logic out finally. I love the editing features of Logic and am now a full convert. This mix in this post is using Logic Pro with the built in EQs and Compressors.

On the master track I have used the Slate Virtual Mix Rack. The guitar tracks are pretty straight forward; my Ibanez 8 string into my old, trusty AxeFX Ultra.


Pulling out old gear…

So I decided this weekend to play around with some of my old guitar gear and see what sort of sounds I can get out of it.

I have an old Rocktron Chameleon that I found used in a pawn shop here in the Seattle area. Ever since I was a kid, I wanted one of these units. I used to see them in the adverts in Guitar World all the time and it killed me.

Of course, I plan on using my Axe-FX for recording but this little monster is amazing and sounds great and will stay in my collection forever.


Production Mix/Tone Test – Black Crown Initiate Cover

So I have been spending my free time working on pre-production for my Behold A Pale Horse project. Since I have a large amount of the actual material completed, I figured I should work on crafting what the project is supposed to like.

Finally, after three weeks of messing around; I have found the perfect blend of tones and room and came up with this: a cover of Black Crown Initiate’s, A Great Mistake. I also wanted to try a guitar mic’ing technique that I saw on YouTube. It is supposed to be how In Flames achieved the “Clayman” sound.

Check out the recording here!

This test was recording using:
Ibanez RG2228 8-String (Stock)
Boss SD-1 Overdrive (With Monte Allums GT Mod)
Rocktron Chameleon 2000 Preamp
TC Electronics G-Major (EQ & slight delay on guitars)
Rocktron Velocity 300 Power Amp
Orange Clone Cab (with WGS Veteran 30 speakers)
Sennheiser e845 (Fredman/on cone)
Grenelli/Shure SM57 (Fredman/off-axis)
Crappy Behring 4ch Mixer
Focusrite Saffire Pro 40


New Creative Venture

Ever since I was young child, I had a dream to become a successful musician, and cartoon creator. Though when I was younger, a career in either of these fields was nearly impossible for the average person. You had to know the right people, or have a near infinite supply of money.

Thankfully, technology has allowed us to all pursue our dreams on our own. And even more, social media has allowed us to share, market, and network with others in the same interest groups.

So, enough of my rambling about how great technology and the internet is; and please allow me to introduce you to Milktoast Productions!

Milktoast Productions is the irrational, irresponsible adult answer to the dream I have had since childhood.