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Life on the Road – Wonderful but not for the weak of heart!

We wanted to simplify our lives and see the great outdoors around the country after living a very hectic life the last few years. Of course, we have had problems in the past organizing trips like this as there are so many things to take into consideration and it always seems like we miss something as a family. What we wanted to do this time around is make everything simpler and use as little space as possible, yet still have enough room to make everyone feel comfortable as we made the trek across America. At the end of the day, we wanted a rewarding experience that we could be proud of and that we could share with other family members and anyone we came across.

After renting cars and flying in the past, this time we decided to invest in an RV for a totally new experience. We have already learned that an RV gives us more freedom to see more sites and living on the road has bonded us as a family. Of course, every way has its own particular problems and it is not for everyone. This is what we discovered while traveling and here are some things you should consider before taking the RV plunge.

Minimal Storage Space

It doesn’t matter how little you have, we never seem to have enough space when traveling by RV and this will be one of the greatest challenges we have when going across states this way. Even the refrigerator can hold only so much. But living this way has forced you to learn a new way of living and to be more conservative with our space. We also have learned what is more precious and what we can live without.

Tight Quarters

traveling by RV

Say goodbye to personal space when traveling by RV because it doesn’t really exist anymore. We did not realize how precious alone time was until we had little to none anymore. We began to have hikes alone or setting up awnings to relax and get away from everything and everyone. We even learned how to plant certain things while on the road that needed little tending to actually grow.

Changing Community

We have met so many interesting people on our travels and this is one of the greatest rewards of traveling by RV. Traveling gives you the chance to meet different people, but it just as quickly takes them away as you are on to the next town, the next person, the next experience. We have learned to cherish them as we have them and not take them for granted.

Internet Speeds

laptop

This was one of the more difficult adjustments we made since we work primarily online and needed a faster connection sometimes than we could actually maintain. Of course, we found a hotspot and made things slightly easier, but nothing compares to being grounded with a stable connection. We learned to get a lot of work done offline.

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The Right Guitar – The base of your Sound

Finding the perfect guitar for our acoustic endeavors has been quite an arduous process and it took more time than we thought it would. We have been shopping for guitars for years and with so many to choose from, we have been through more than our fair share of them as country and folk singers. With so many available out there on the market, there are so many to consider.

Furthermore, there are many factors that should be researched before buying one. What we love about the following guitars is that they are perfect for our type of music, are versatile enough to allow us to play our particular style, and have the durability to sustain years of play across many tours.

The reason why we prefer acoustic guitars over electric guitars is simple – we want a richer, more earthy sound that limit mobility while we play. With such an expansive sound, an acoustic guitar is the perfect complement to folk or country music and it actually elevates the stylings that we choose.

Of course, before we got to the current level that we are at now as established players, we took it upon ourselves to check out some music school selection tips before narrowing down selections. We believe that anyone that takes their playing seriously should view this and then use their best decision-making process to get the best results. There is always room to gain a bit of insight and improve, and you can always learn from here or utilize other avenues to get the best option possible. There are a lot of guitars that are well known in the industry, but these are the ones that we prefer over all others.

Gibson

Gibson guitars

As one of the most respected brands in the industry, Gibson guitars are known for producing a an incredibly full sound. The reasons why are many, but they definitely have been created to produce a top-notch sound that many other brands are angling to imitate. They require a bit more of a challenge to navigate than Martin guitars but are definitely worth the extra effort involved. With famous country stars like Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, Lucinda Williams, Keb Mo, and others using Gibson guitars, we believe that we are in good company and the company continues to be one of our favorites.

Epiphone

Epiphone guitars

This is not much of a stretch for our family as Epiphone is related to the Gibson brand, but we love them because they are very affordable, sound perfect, are easy to tune, and are extremely durable. As far as being practical, they are probably the best of the bunch. We have taken Epiphone guitars on the road with us for years and they can always be trusted to go the distance and come highly recommended. Famous Epiphone guitar players include Patti Griffin, Steve Earle, John Lennon, and many others. We couldn’t ask for more in a guitar and they continue to be at the top of the game for all guitar players, and us.

Taylor

Taylor guitars

Of all the guitar brands out there, this is one that we truly can get behind for any type of show that we play. Not only are they versatile, but they look amazing as well. For more intimate settings, these are the perfect complement. With superstar singer-songwriters like Mary Chapin Carpenter, Suzanne Vega, and Bonnie Raitt known for preferring them, we think we are in good company. They last for years and they never lose their value. Plus, they are very affordable and are great for beginner as well as the more experienced guitar player.

For those that are looking for the best options and have a certain list of criteria to consider, the most important component to remember above all others is how well the instrument will work for the style of play that you veer towards. What we love about the brands we mentioned is that they have a long history of producing a richer sound than other companies and they can be trusted to complement your style of play dependably.

We know that money is always a consideration, but it is also just as important to understand that not all guitars are made equally. Once you have made a list and have narrowed it down, visit a guitar store and then find out which one works best for you.

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Choosing the Best Microphones

When asked which microphones we use when recording and on tour, we definitely have a few favorites that we suggest to performers that are searching for the best option. If you take your vocals and shows seriously, of course you want to have the best option possible that fits your budget and your genre of music, tone, et cetera. It doesn’t matter if you have a home studio, record in a professional studio, or make spur of the moment audio, a decent microphone is an absolute must if you want to be heard clearly.

With so many years of experience performing on the road and recording in both small and large studios, we know a thing or two about good microphones and the following are some of the best on the market and cover just about any price point.

Rode NTK

Rode NTK

If there is any brand that we stand completely behind as artists and performers, it is the Rode NTK, which is easily one of the most preferred brands for those that work in the industry. It is built to be sturdy, provides a clear sound that most artists note as one of its best features, and it will produce quality sound for many years. Its wide frequency range ensures that all the necessary sounds are picked up and you don’t have to worry about a lot of interference when you are recording.  

They are definitely worth the investment even if they are slightly more than most brands out there. Usually, we must have guitars featured in our tracks, which means having a great microphone is an absolute necessity. So, if you can afford it and have a bit more money to invest on a microphone, this may be the best option out there.

Audio-Technica AT2035

Audio-Technica AT2035

This is probably one of the brands that we like the most because it really captures the vocals better than most microphones out there and also produces a quality that few can compare with. Plus, it seems that everywhere we go, it is usually available in recording studios, which is another true sign that it is trusted throughout the industry, which makes us feel that much better for selecting it as a choice.

When we are in the studio, we can expect to get a crisp and clear sound from the Audio-Technica, as it picks up every little nuance that makes a great recording truly pop. Say goodbye to amateurish effects and frequencies that compromises the final cut. With its high-pass filter, you can switch things up until you have the sound that you truly want. Since we are acoustic players, it makes for the perfect complement for a recording. Even better? It is priced lower than other brands that offer a similar microphone and by investing in this model you can save a bit of money until you want to move up to an even better, higher-priced edition.

Neumann TLM-102

Neumann TLM-102

For premium vocals each and every time, look no further than the Neumann TLM-102, a microphone that is considered one of the premium models on the market today – and for good reason. Boasting exceptional audio quality, crystal clear vocal recording, and much more, there are literally no better options on the market today.

Of course, this model costs a bit more than others out there, but with all of its immense benefits, it is definitely worth the money. When we want a polished sound, there is no other brand to trust. We moved up to the Neumann TLM-102 as soon as we had the money to spend on an exceptional microphone, and you should too.