View Full Version : A new ukulele for me...UkeSB Tenor

04-13-2016, 01:49 PM
I am a relatively new player, having started playing in January and working with my (choir) students with ukulele since February. This wasn't a forced decision--it is something I started on my own accord.

My choirs will each be singing a song with ukulele in the spring concert...the 6th grade will sing "Lava," 7th Grade will sing the 21 Pilots version of "I Can't Help Falling in Love with You," and the 8th grade will sing a multi-part version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." I am teaching all of the students the chords, but only a select few (chosen/volunteer) will play in the concert itself.

I have been trying to figure out a way to record myself playing as a "main track" that our choirs can practice with, and likely perform with (this is middle school).

My instruments are all pretty basic at this point and are likely to stay this way: a Makala Concert Electric-Acoustic, an American Flag Kala Ukadelic, a Kala Travel Tenor, and a Kala Concert Banjo Ukulele. I have a couple of other instruments but I don't consider them "players:"

The Makala can plug into my computer or iPad for recording, but I don't have the right HD iRIg that I need, and field recordings just aren't working out with these instruments.

I ran into the Lanikai UkeSB series a couple of weeks ago at my local music store--and while the Soprano and Concert models did not appeal to me, I liked the Tenor. So I have been watching eBay and Amazon.

It ended up that Butler music placed a "blemished" model on eBay, and I managed to get the Spruce version (normally$399) for $225 shipped.

While I am aware that there are far nicer instruments out there, I am still early in this ballgame and basically wanted an instrument that would let me record to my iPad.

That instrument arrived today...and the blemishes don't even look like blemishes. Again, an instrument is worth what you would pay for it, but I am incredibly pleased with my purchase at $174 less than its normal selling price.

While I don't own any of the Hawaiian "K" instruments (my self-made rule is that I will buy one when my wife and I go there on a vacation), this Lanikai is the nicest instrument in my small collection, and is likely to be the best for a while.

I am also contemplating (i.e. planning to buy in May) an Outdoor Ukulele (Tenor) from a local dealer.

In function, the UkeSB is doing everything it is supposed to do...it plugs into my iPad (USB adapter needed) and records clearly without any additional background noise. You can also run the UkeSB through the amps on GarageBand--and I imagine you can run it through just about any recording app.

This ukulele won't be for everyone--but it scratches the exact need that I have, and admittedly, as a person that loves the intersection of technology and music, even the dorky pearl USB logo appeals to me. Most people won't have the same need as I do for this instrument--and the model is 3 years old at this point. I'm just gald I was able to get it for a good price.

Still Water Weapons
04-13-2016, 03:28 PM
Sounds cool. Enjoy the heck out it, that's what this is all about.

I like how you keep saying "this will be it for a while...." Let us know how that works out for you, hahahah;)

04-13-2016, 03:36 PM
Congratulations on your new purchase and the ability to record it through the iPad. I haven't gotten around to plugging in to iPad/Garage Band/etc. Maybe someday. But I applaud you as a teacher - we need more teachers - thank you for teaching!

04-13-2016, 06:14 PM

And Still Water...if the collection expands any more, I'll be living in our small camper as my wife will not me out of the house. With this one, I was greeted with, "Look what accidentally showed up on our doorstep by accident."

04-13-2016, 06:35 PM

And Still Water...if the collection expands any more, I'll be living in our small camper as my wife will not me out of the house. With this one, I was greeted with, "Look what accidentally showed up on our doorstep by accident."

Congrats on the new UkeSB. There are far worse things to collect other than ukuleles.

I have heard rumors that UAS has been the root cause of many marital upsets if the spouse is not also similarly inclined.

The funny thing is that once you amass a large enough collection and have them stashed appropriately, you can mask new purchases with:

'No honey, this one is not new, it's one of the ones that I had in it's case in the closet because there was [choose one](no more room out in the open) (a need for this other uke that I have tuned differently) (a need to play this one which has a different scale length/wood/strings combo) (I like the smell of this one better) etc...'

This way you can 'rotate' your collection between the active players on display, and those that are 'temporarily' in their cases, you know, for safekeeping against tragedy caused by pets, angry or unruly children, careless strangers/contractors, etc...then it becomes rather simple to insert a new uke into the rotation, just discard the shipping materials quickly and meet the courier at the curb (easy to track packages online) so there is no evidence of delivery.

After all, how many pairs of shoes, handbags, and other lady-things has she stockpiled that do not get all used at once?

Hope this helps. :)

04-13-2016, 10:45 PM
Not a bad uke, but perhaps you could have invested in a good quality USB microphone for recording the ukulele on your computer

04-14-2016, 01:42 AM
I'll be purchasing a USB mic this summer to do some vocal recording; my first attempts at recording were with a Zoom H2 and H4 and I wasn't happy with those recordings at all. I have used those portable recorders with my choirs for years...but I wasn't happy with the final recording.

The UkeSB records as desired...right into the iPad, which again is one of my focuses. For $225 it was a steal. I'm also noticing that harmonics are just popping out of this ukulele--which doesn't happen with my other lower-level ukuleles.

As I mentioned, a future trip to Hawaii is planned to buy a K instrument on site (and to let my wife enjoy the beaches). I'll want to become better informed on how to care for such an instrument before then (Northern climate).