Archive for February, 2009

Pedal Board/ Part 4

Friday, February 27th, 2009

The pedal board has become a box and has changed from a cumbersome thing to carry to a moderately heavy thing to carry.  A close family member dabbled in the obsession of collecting effects and made some purchases that complemented mine.  He lost interest quickly and thought that he would be better off with the cash.  I relieved him of his well made purchases and since they were purchased with such care for economic factors he got the full retail price.  I was then the proud owner of an octave doubler, a pedal tuner, a phase shifter and a 7 band eq; all positive center.  For a power supply I bought a little plastic project box, drilled holes and installed a bunch of female rca plugs in parallel.  I plugged a wall wart into it and very, very carefully triple checked every polarity with a meter and the literature that came with each device.  This was quite a challenge.  One device’s literature only had the polarity listed in the chinese section.  It looked like this; +  with an arrow pointing to a dot inside a circle.  That information and an English part that suggested a particular make and manufacturer of a power supply established all of my new pedals as a positive center units.  However, these effects were at least 3/4 of an inch longer than the old ones and had the DC in placed at the back of the units.  I had just enough room for an angle plug; something at the time I couldn’t find.  So, I melted the plastic on a straight plug and bent it over.

Pedal Board/Part 3

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Having given up my delusion of being a lead guitarist I never for a moment stopped being a pack rat. My career as a music teacher progressed and in short order put me and my wife in a position to buy a house. With the purchase of a house came all kinds of construction material; one being a piano hinge which we used on the kitchen counter to cover the washer and dryer. Of course, we bought too much and as soon as I saw that piano hinge my mind wandered towards a cover for the pedal board. I built a box shaped lid and hinged it to my pedal board at the back edge to the board and the inside back of the lid.  You may notice that where the hinge is placed it creates a slight angle from the floor up.  You would think that would be a good thing for something that you’re going to work with on the floor in front of you but, when you stomp on it it moves down and if you really stomp on it the lid could close on your foot.  For several years I  developed a very light touch.pedalboarddiagram

Pedal Board/Part 2

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

I left off the saga of the pedal board in part 1 with a tube screamer, a wah, a flanger, a compressor, a power supply and a noise gate; all with a positive center power supply.  After that the bass guitarist for my group Hodge Podge moved back to West Virginia and in my deep depression I wrote The Doldrums and got a teaching job my future mother in law found for me in Westchester.  There I joined a group called The Strangers.  It started out as a 4 piece group; 2 guitars, bass and drums with everyone singing.  There was a nice mix of songs that I was familiar enough with that we were out making money in a couple of weeks.  We started adding songs that were popular on the radio at the time (1981).  This was mostly punk.  I didn’t understand punk but, it was easy enough to play.  We added a keyboard player who fancied himself an electronics wiz.  As every new member of a group does he sought to endear himself to the older band members.  Guido asked me what I wanted for my pedal board.  I couldn’t add any new effects until I got another power supply.  When I came to the next rehearsal my signature sound Ibanez compressor had been upgraded to a new one.  This compressor did what it was supposed to do; it didn’t change the sound.  It just added sustain.  My sound was gone.  It seems that Guido had tested out his power supply on the one effect I couldn’t replace.  Polarity matters.  He killed my signature sound.  I stopped being a lead guitarist for 25 years.

Pedal Board/Part 1

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

Back in the mid 70’s I started my collection of effects. My first purchase was an Ibanez compressor. I chose it based solely on price. Ibanez did not have this particular compressor/sustainer on the market very long for obvious reasons. It was noisy and it distorted the sound. I liked the sound and when the bassist in the group called the sound wicked I designated it as my signature sound. The noise thing led me to my second pedal; an MXR noise gate. This neat little device also had an XLR out. The tube screamer I bought because it was so much cheaper than the Big Muff. That was long before Nirvana and the value of my bargain basement effect hit the ceiling. After I bought the flanger and a wah it was time to mount the stuff on a board with an MXR power supply. I used a piece of lumber left over from the construction of a closet shelf and 3/4 inch rounded molding to hold the pre velcro units in place. That’s how the pedal board stayed until long after the industry standard changed to negative center power supplies.

Bob and his pedal board

Bob and his pedal board

Bob’s Song’s Bass parts from BoScoDen CD

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

Below you will find pdf files of the bass guitar parts to some of my songs.  This is a gift to all you bass guitarists who like to read music.  A few of them might be challenging.  I’ll probably at some future date put tabs up and midi and audio files for these and other songs but, I wanted to get something up here and I found these quickly on my computer.

party-in-the-blue-busbass

pam-bass

pam midi

sweatshirt-bass

escape-bass

kill-alqaeda-bass

doldrums-bass

business-bass

iTunes grief

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

For a couple of weeks I haven’t been able to burn CDs successfully. It seems mac had managed to sneak something into my computer that stopped me. I noticed a while ago there wasn’t anyway of putting album names or Band names or composer into the window that iTunes puts up there. So, I was hesitant about doing any of the updates. The BoScoDen CD front-coverhas everything on it but, that might be because iTunes sells it and they put it in or in some previous version of iTunes I could do it. I’m pretty sure I did it. When my computer stopped making CDs in desperation I updated iTunes on this computer. I still couldn’t burn a CD. It would burn about 1/2 a second of each song.  Not only could I not burn a CD the process ruined the blank CD for any future burning. I had opened up a new package of blank CDs just as I noticed the problem so I was hoping I just got a bad batch. I tried burning one of them on the computer upstairs and it worked fine. The problem was there’s a setting in the preferences for sharing. I certainly didn’t change the setting and no one else touches this computer. It works now.

Why a Website

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

There are so many things I have no formal training in.  The one I’m struggling with now is web code.  The BoScoDen website was given to me by an exceptionally talented web designer, Christina Hope.  It was her idea to make the website which seemed like a good idea at the time.  This is considering that we were in the middle of our first gigdscn1538 and everything looked so promising.  The price of paying for a host server was very reasonable, especially if each of us paid for a third of it.  It seemed like a good investment.  Rock bands have the capacity to generate income and the meager cost of a website that told the world that we exist and come see and hear us was a no brainer.  Well, Scott and denis moved to Arizona and BoScoDen’s existence became a cyberspace thing.  Christina is a really good friend of Scott

Scott

Scott

and denis

denis

denis

and though she still helps me with everything I ask, I feel funny asking her.

I’m spending this morning trying to make a link from boscoden.com to Bob’s

Bob

Bob

Blog.  I don’t even know whether to call Bob’s Blog a page on the boscoden.com website or a separate site.  The blog has an address with ‘bizland’ in it (that’s the host) and boscoden.com doesn’t.  When I loaded wordpress onto the server I was given the option of having bizland in the address or not.  Since it took a week, 10 tries and help from bizland to load it I figured if it’s loaded I’m not going to change it.  I guess I’ll know when I get the credit card statement.

It seems pretty straight forward.  There’s a table on the left with links to the other pages on the boscoden website.  I just copy the code for linking to the other pages and replace everything that refers to the other pages with stuff that is pertinent to this page.  The problem arises when I saw the word-href.  I have to figure out how to play with the folders.  WordPress uses sql and boscoden.com doesn’t.  The pages link to something with an htm suffix in boscoden.com.  I can’t find an htm suffix on anything in wordpress.  Do I just put the whole web address for Bob’s Blog where it says htm or do I try to find something else.  I tried to use the mirror folder on my home computer of the website to see how it would work but, the wordpress component is missing.  I got the page to sort of look right but, I don’t know where to direct the link to Bob Blog.

Soccer Mom

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

soccermommix I’m hoping this works the way it’s supposed to.  It does.  Even though when I played this back I only got one speaker I’m happy that I can post songs on this blog without making it possible for people to download the song.  I can also make it possible for people to download mp3 files to their computer and when I’m completely happy with the recording I will.

Robby’s Rondo

Saturday, February 7th, 2009

1-robbys-rondo

This is a piece of music I wrote for the group ‘Strings Plus One’.  I copied the Tarrytown Music Hall Flyer and pasted it below and for some reason it appeared way, way below.  So, I copied that paste word by word and put it up here.  It’s not supposed to be doubled spaced but, that happens when you hit the return.

STRINGS PLUS ONE

Strings Plus One

April 2, 3pm

Met performers Stefan Hoskuldsson, flute, Joyce

Balint, mandolin, Susan Jolles, harp, and Fred

Hand, guitar, perform a concert of music from

the Renaissance to the present.

The concert took place in 2006.  I met Joyce Balint when she performed a Vivaldi mandolin concerto with the Northern Westchester Symphony Orchestra on December 18, 2005.  I sat last chair second violin and she was a soloist.  After trying for a few years I finally got the conductor Gabriel Tevans to have the orchestra perform a symphony I wrote which I called ‘The Dark Days of Hope’.  Between pieces, during the performance, Joyce told me about the Tarrytown Music Hall performance and asked me to compose something for it.  I asked her what style, key and various other technical stuff she wanted and the next day I got up early and composed it in about 2 hours.

Balint, mandolin, Susan Jolles, harp, and Fred

STRINGS PLUS ONE
April 2, 3pm
Met performers Stefan Hoskuldsson, flute, Joyce
Balint, mandolin, Susan Jolles, harp, and Fred
Hand, guitar, perform a concert of music from
the Renaissance to the present.

STRINGS PLUS ONE
Met performers Stefan Hoskuldsson, flute, Joyce
Balint, mandolin, Susan Jolles, harp, and Fred
Hand, guitar, perform a concert of music from
the Renaissance to the present.

Pagan Girl

Saturday, February 7th, 2009

pagan-girl-bass1

I’m fooling around with how I can use wordpress to let musician’s download parts. It’s a strange combination I had up here; a classical quartet recording which I deleted from this post but, you can find it in another post, Robby’s Rondo. and a bass part with tabs for a song parody of an old Belafonte song. Hopefully I’ll remember to delete this entry. Ok, the link to the midi file seems to be working. The link to the classical quartet is not. That’s because I created the link in a window which was going directly to this post.pagangirlbass1