Equipment, etc

The Midnight Jazz Cats have the equipment and technology to perform at any venue.   We have entertained as many as 1,100 people in large ballrooms to intimate parties.   We have played semi-acoustically and also with complete Public Address (PA) systems and sound mixers.    Indoors or outdoors, electricity or not,  we've got the experience, professionalism and equipment to do it all!   For you equipment nerds, geek out on the following details.   Oh... but check out Ella's favorites and our pomade.  Enjoy !  

Mark's Bass

Thompson Upright Bass, RM-100 in a Violin outline form. The bass has standard upgrades on it: Individually mounted heavy-duty brass tuners, upgraded select ebony, specially selected (high density) maple bridge with the Delrin bridge adjusters.  

Mark's Strings

The Evah Pirazzi Slap Bass string set is a unique blend of modern and traditional core materials, combining a plain gut G and D with a synthetic core chrome steel wound A and E. The tone is dark and rich with great projection which is ideal for slap style but also great for old-school pizzicato and baroque arco styles.

Mark's Pick up

The Revolution SOLO Double Bass Pickup is organically constructed to accurately reproduce the natural sound of the bass. The Revolution Solo Double Bass Pickup is handmade with European Spruce in the Upton Bass workshop. The Revolution Solo is designed to be a transparent pickup – sounding like the bass it’s installed on.

Mark's Amp

Markbass' flagship combo Mini CMD 121P allows bassist to get great tone and volume from a light and portable amp. This version features the bi-band limiter, a MUTE switch and the 3-way switch that includes Flat, Scooped or SFW options.   

Bob's Keyboard

Bob performs on the Roland FP-60X. It is a compact and elegant instrument that has an array of features. At the heart of the FP-60X are Roland’s SuperNATURAL Piano and dynamic 88-key PHA-4 Standard keyboard, along with a selection of expressive acoustic pianos and deep personalization options via Piano Designer. There’s also a wide range of curated sounds for exploring other music styles, plus ambience effects that work with the SuperNATURAL piano models for amazing realism, a powerful stereo sound system.

Bob's Amp

Bob primarily uses a Roland KC-550 amplifier that boasts 180 watts of powerful sound via a 15-inch speaker and horn tweeter. In addition to its four input channels, this flagship amp includes an Output Select switch for selecting the monitor sound destination, a Shape switch for quick sound adjustment and an XLR Line output for direct connection to a mixing console.

Blake's Guitar

Blake performs with a 2003 Gibson ES-137 Custom-Sunburst he purchased new.   Manufactured in Nashville, USA it features a semi-hollow maple body, maple neck with an ebony fretboard, gold-plated hardware, double diamond mother of pearl inlay and a VariTone switch.  

The ES-137 Custom is an unusually versatile instrument, offering a broad palette of tonal colors, in a design that accommodates a wide range of volume levels without feedback. A fusion of classic styles, the ES-137 has the 16" width of the classic ES-175, with the slimmer body depth than most Gibsons. The internal sound block construction offers increased sustain and superior feedback resistance, with the internal sound block.  The twin '57 Classic pickups are built with the same wire, magnets and winders as the original late '50's pickups. Finally, the tiger flame maple body echoes the coveted Les Paul Standard. It's gold hardware and solid ebony fingerboard gives the Custom a retro, art deco style.   A real classic !

Blake's Amp

Blake recently purchased the Fender Blues Junior IV.  It is a limited edition model that brings boutique flair to the popular Blues Junior line of guitar amps.  Loaded with a pair of EL84 power tubes and three 12AX7 preamp tubes, the Blues Junior IV delivers15 watts of rich, harmonically complex tone that only a fender tube amp can deliver.   A vintage jazz sound with modern features.  The open back cabinet features a British Racing Green covering, giving it a unique retro look.  Perfect for small gigs but can be used with a microphone for large venues and outdoor performances.  

Blake's Strings

D'Addario's XL Chromes are some of the warmest, mellowest electric guitar strings on the market.   Beloved by jazz guitarists everywhere, these flat wound strings provide the smoothest feel and warmest tone, while allowing movement across the fretboard with no finger noise. Made with a high carbon steel core, Chromes’ stainless steel flattened ribbon wire is expertly wound onto a series of interlocking under-windings, then precisely polished for unparalleled smoothness and a sound which blends beautifully into any mix. The 11-50 Jazz Lights are D'Addario's best selling gauge of flat wound strings, delivering the optimal tension for traditional jazz playing.  These are the only strings Blake would ever use on his Gibson.   

Blake's Voice Effects Pedal

TC Helicon Mic Mechanic Vocal Effects Pedal Pedal is a powerful, easy to use vocal "stomp box" providing vocal compression, delay and reverb effects. The Mic Mechanic "sweetens" vocals with just that little extra magic that enhances live performances.  

Band's Vocal Microphones

"The Cats" use the legendary Shure SM58 vocal microphone: designed for professional vocal use in live performance and studio recording.  Its tailored vocal response for sound is a world standard for singing or speech.  A highly effective, built-in spherical filter minimizes wind and breath "pop" noise.  A unidirectional pickup pattern isolates the main sound source while minimizing unwanted background noise.

Rugged construction, a proven shock mount system and a steel mesh grille ensure that even with rough handling, the SM58 will perform consistently, outdoors or indoors.  

Blake's Guitar Effect Pedal

Most jazz guitarist are purists when it come to guitar tone.  Blake is no exception. However, during solos, the Friedman Buxom Boost provides a quick volume boost with a separate EQ to balance the tone to the right setting. The extra boost does not saturate the signal to distort his clean, mellow, reverberation  sound so coveted by swing era guitarist. Another example of using modern technology to more efficiently achieve a vintage sound!   

Blake's Amp Microphone

You couldn’t ask for a handier guitar amp microphone than the Sennheiser e609 Silver. Just like the classic MD 409, the e609 likes to be right up on the grille of your guitar cabinet, to the degree that you can just drape it over your amp and let it hang there in the right spot on your amp — no stand needed! A natural 40Hz low-frequency cutoff prevents excessive boom and it’s virtually impossible to overload the e609, so go ahead and crank it up. Other things to note are its clear sound, courtesy of a powerful neodymium magnet and hum-compensating coil.

Blake's Train Whistle

The Trophy Train Whistle is an 8-inch by 1.375-inch authentic wooden train whistle.  Blake uses the whistle for our rendition of "Take the A Train", the Duke Ellington classic. Now, Blake can brag that Shep is not the only woodwind player in the band!  

Lloyd's Drum Kit

Lloyd chose to “go light” regarding his choice of drum kit. The easily transportable TAMA cocktail drum kit is perfect. The diameter of the four drums is two or so inches less than traditional drums. 12X5 in snare, 6x6 in bass, 14x5.5 in “floor” tom and 10x5 in tom tom. His crash and ride cymbals are also smaller.

He chose to purchase the TAMA heavy duty high hat. The bass drum is rotated 90 degrees and the kick pedal is reoriented but plays the same as a traditional.  He has played this kit outside at large venues and so long as it is set up with drum mics, the sound is superb.

Lloyd's Sticks

Lloyd performs with Vic Firth brand sticks size 7A’s. Lloyd is a “classically” trained (rudiments) drummer and likes speed so the thinner diameter suits him.

Shep's Clarinet

With over 250 years of evolution and 250 years of craftsmanship, Leblanc clarinets are a timeless value of science and sound,

art and acoustics; outstanding quality and engineering sophistication innovative materials, and a historic wood program. Nothing else looks, feels, or sounds like it.  That's why Shep performs on his Leblanc Opus Bb Clarinet with a custom barrel, a Behn EPIC mouthpiece and ARIA 3.5 reeds. A classic beauty, a superb instrument and of course, a great sound!    

Shep's Alto Saxophone

Shep proudly performs on a Selmer Series III alto saxophone with a Jody Jazz DV7 mouthpiece and Legere 2.25 reeds.  In smaller acoustic venues, he uses a Windy City Woodwinds "56 Select alto" Mouthpiece. The Selmer Series III sax is a very accurate model in terms of tuning and emission. It offers a great richness of tone.

Unveiled in 1999, its innovative design, based in particular on a number of small pads designed to reduce the surface welded to the sound tube, has made it possible to free its resonance.

The intonation has been improved, thanks to the system patented by Henri SELMER Paris guaranteeing a perfect ratio between the middle and high C#. Its high register is particularly open and brilliant, giving it a luminous sound which is its own. The geometry of its cone offers a real alternative in terms of accuracy and sound.

The Henri SELMER Series III alto saxophone has become the instrument of choice for technically demanding musicians.

Shep's Tenor Saxophone

Shep wails away each performance on the Cannonball Big Bell® Stone Series Tenor Saxophone. This professional grade sax enhances the player's ability to create a broad range of dynamics for a depth of the sound color and lower partials. The increased size also lends to a big, warm sound. 

Shep uses a Jody Jazz DVNY 8* mouthpiece and Legere 2.25 reeds.  In smaller acoustic venues, he uses a Windy City Woodwinds '56 Select Tenor" mouthpiece. Only the finest for "The Cats".  

Shep's Wireless Applification

At large venues that require amplification, Shep uses a Barcus Berry 3000A preamp with contact mic and Shure wireless system for the clarinet and a NUX B-6 wireless system for the saxophones.   The wireless system works superbly with a clean, clear signal, excellent tone and now radio interference.   

PA System Speakers

When performing at our  largest venues, "The Cats" employ a state-of-the-art public address (PA) system. The QSC K.2 Series™ represents the best-in-class loudspeaker for today’s demanding audio professionals and is our choice of PA equipment. The perfect combination of elegant design, superior audio performance, high functionality, simple and intuitive operation, and genuine QSC reliability, K.2 delivers extraordinary results for users in both portable and installed applications. 

PA System Subwoofers

The KS212C subwoofer represents the world’s first-in-class single-box active cardioid subwoofer solution for highly portable entertainment and installation applications and is what we use at large venues because, "it's all about the bass" man!  

A breakthrough in innovation and design, the 3,600 Watt KS212C subwoofer uniquely provides all the benefits of cardioid deployment in a single, compact enclosure. “Keeping bass in its place” for mobile entertainers, AV production and rental professionals, as well as modestly-sized performance venues, the KS212C subwoofer is unparalleled in its ability to manage low frequencies on the stage, or any application where undesirable low frequency energy needs to be minimized.

Touchmix Mixing Board

TouchMix® is quite simply the most powerful, compact mixer ever created. It offers the features, capabilities and sound quality of the world's most esteemed large format consoles in a highly compact and portable package that’s small enough to be carry-on luggage. Perfect for musicians, bands, AV production professionals and small performance venues, the TouchMix-16 goes "Beyond Mixing" by offering Wizards, Presets and other beneficial tools that help both seasoned audio professionals and novices alike get great results quickly and easily.

Its 22 mixing channels (16 Mic/Line, 4 Line, Stereo USB) and 12 outputs offer ample signal management flexibility while advanced features such as class-A microphone preamps, Anti-Feedback and Room Tuning Wizards, real-time analyzer (RTA) and 20-channel direct-to-external-drive recording make it equally competent as both a professional live sound or recording tool.

The touch-and-turn interface of TouchMix allows for tactile control over fader and mixer parameters while also providing a hardware connection to the mixer. Mixer functions and displays are duplicated via iOS® or Android® devices over Wi-Fi, providing both portable, wireless connectivity as well as additional control of mixer functionality.

Ella's Cat Food

Friskies Prime Filets is made with only the finest shredded chunks with real whitefish and tuna cooked in savory juices keeps Ella's tummy happy and coming back for more. Made with real ocean whitefish and tuna. Shredded chunks offer a tender, tempting texture. 100% complete & balanced nutrition for our star.  Includes all essential nutrients that support the maintenance of our precious darling. Strong, lean muscles supported by high-quality protein is what Ella needs for her demanding performance schedule.   

Ella's Cat Litter

We keep Ella's commode smelling fresh with Arm & Hammer Super Scoop Fragrance Free Clumping Clay Cat Litter! Made of odor absorbing clay, this litter is 99% dust free, making it easy on our lungs so we can sing really loud.  Infused with baking soda crystals, this highly absorbent litter is designed to eliminate odors on contact, so our home doesn’t smell each time Ella  relieves herself. Additionally, it is completely free of fragrances and dyes, making it ideal for our sensitive kitty and us.  Its anti-tracking design and clumping action makes it easy to clean and helps keeps our home tidy as well.

Blake's Pomade

When you're the singer in a jazz band and  have as much hair as Blake, ya gotta keep up appearances.  Dapper Dan Pomade has just the right amount of hold by being not to stiff nor too soft. A true classic that has never gone out of style, the real bonus is the shine it gives to my hair. Dapper Dan truly is a classic pomade.  I can't live without it.