Archive for March, 2009

It’s not the cord

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

I turned my amp on and all of a sudden I was accosted with the most horrible buzz. Just like every other guitarist my first reaction was the cord is grounding out. I took the plug apart and reattached the leads; tested for continuity and checked to see if the leads were touching. It was fine. I plugged it in again and the same thing. I tried a different cord; same thing. I tried a different amp; same thing. I did start to notice that as I held the metal plug the noise diminished and the signal got stronger. Now, just before I started taking my guitar apart I tightened the nut that holds the input jack on the guitar; problem fixed.

Camera Issues

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

When I got LUNCHBOX2 I wanted to make a video of me playing with it for the first time. Of course, the memory ran out and the camera stopped recording just as I was figuring out where in my spiderweb of power strips what surge protector was not turned on. The false impression on the video is that the unit didn’t turn on. My spontaneous, absolute joy at how this physically tiny little amp could easily surpass the pain thresh hold of volume was totally lost. I am now debating whether to recreate what I thought I was recording, which would mean taking yesterday’s clothes out of the hamper, or start from scratch.

A New Amp

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

Yesterday the FedEx guy dropped a package off at my front door. It was a LUNCHBOX-2.  This could be an answer to one of my most serious problems; getting my stuff to a gig.  Back in the 70’s I had a Chevy Van.  Now, I have a Suburu Forrester.  This little (physical size) amp should deliver more than enough power to replace my Marshall Cabinet and Ampeg head.  It’s about 1/3 the size of the head alone.  I haven’t played the amp yet.  I want to do it with video but, I want to let you know it’s coming.

Lynard Skynard-Call Me The Breeze

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

The oil burner guy came to do the annual maintenance and I started explaining to him how I made parts and to show him I asked him to name a song. I downloaded a midi file and did all the stuff in my notation program and since I promised bassists I’d add covers I figured, since I had done most of the work already, I’d add this one. This song is not part of my performing repertoire. How a band can go from Escaping a red neck bar to what they’ve become seems a little disingenuous.

Where did the money Go?

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

The truth is; it never existed. The ‘poison assets’ were agreements between banks and borrowers that was based on the premise that the house was going to be worth more in the future and that somebody was going to have enough money to pay the loan back. Ultimately, some wage earner was going to have to indenture his or her services for 30 years. The free market system decided that the average indentured servant wasn’t worth the cost of the house or the loan. The bankers, the lawyers, the title searchers, the builders and the sellers all took their cut and spent it on whatever they spend it on and the money was never there. It lay off in the murky future of someone who got killed by supply side economics.

Spend vs Save

Friday, March 13th, 2009

It’s better if everyone else spends and you save. Then you have all the money and if they need the money they have to come to you to borrow it. Then you get to charge interest on the money they borrowed to pay you for all the stuff you sell them.

What is Money?

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

Money is a tangible object that some government fashions in order to extract goods and services out of people.  It’s only value is in what people are willing to do for it.  The idea of nationalizing the banks is a purely ludicrous idea.  The whole banking system is pretty much an arm of the government.  Where the money goes is a prerogative the government has been exercising since before the bible was written.  Whether it goes to Haliburton or a police department in Ohio, it’s still arbitrary.

Some argue that printing too much money will cause inflation.  I never saw that happen.  I’m not saying it can’t but, the only time I saw inflation happen in my lifetime was when the oil companies started raising their prices and everyone else tried to catch up.  The last time they did it everyone started economising and the whole thing fell apart.  I’m starting to think the only reason for the way our banking system is structured the way it is is to delude idealogues into thinking we have a free market system.

Pedal Board /Part 6

Friday, March 6th, 2009
TPedal Board as of 3/6/09

Pedal Board as of 3/6/09

This is how the pedal board looked today. I moved the hinge so when the back of the lid sits flat on the floor the board also sits flat on the floor. The mic still moves when I stomp on the wah but, that could be because it’s sitting on carpet. The newest addition to the board is a looper and a couple of external foot switches. This thing is a lot of fun and between the drum loops and the octave pedal, which allows me to overlay a bass part, I may not need any other players. I bought the external foot switches from the keyboard counter at The Guitar Center. The looper’s owner’s manual suggested a particular foot switch to use which cost about $30 each. I would have bought it at the guitar counter but, there was some fool grilling the salesman about tuners and I would have waited a long time for my turn. Instead I went to the keyboard counter since the primary purpose for this switch was as a sustain pedal. They didn’t have the recomended switch but, they had a sustain pedal with the same bells and whistles for $15. I should thank that fool for saving me $30 on two switches.

From the guitar end the path of the signal runs Cry Baby Wah, Ibanez Flanger FL301, Ibanez Tube Screamer TS808, Ibanez Delay Echo DE7, Fender Tuner AG6, Roctek 6 Band EQ GER 01, Arion Octave MOC 1, Roctec Phaser PHR 01, Boss Loop Station RC2, MXR Noise Gate.

Pedal Board/ Part 5

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

About the time that I created a boxed enclosure for my pedal board I was trying out heavier microphones on a tripod mic stand.  Since I was using a pedal board I needed a boom and I couldn’t line up one of the legs of the tripod under the boom because it would sit on top of the pedal board.  I tried an anvil for a while and then I thought,” Why don’t I just dispense with the tripod and attach the shaft of the mic stand to the lid of the pedal board?”  It certainly was heavy enough.  Unfortunately, that little space that caused the lid to move was like a lever on the mic stand.  I got smacked in the face by the mic every time I stomped on the pedal board.

Leah’s Party

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

Last night I got to go to Leah’s party. There was delicious food and 3 coolers of beer and people who were so much fun to play with, listen to and play for. I’m hoping Leah will forward that message to everyone who attended and they share something in the comments section.