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Friday 25 December 2015

A Merry Mixmas compilation

Just in time for Christmas, I've remastered and put together into a compilation some of the tracks I've previously put out.

I only now listened to these tracks using a different audio setup than what I had mixed them on, and I immediately heard a lot of things that could be improved. And so I improved them.

The biggest difference is going to be the bass sound and levels, which I reworked on most of these tracks. But I also adjusted the sound levels of some drum elements, and the occasional guitar part. I also made some previously mono guitar parts stereo, and boosted the spread of a stereo part in My World Come True (yeah, I'm using that title again, instead of Our World Come True. I think it gives a bit of a menacing edge). I hope these mixes sound a lot better than they did before.

An exception is Being Like the Wind, which is unchanged from its earlier sound design, but included in this compilation nonetheless.

1. Mezo
2. Superblast!
3. My World Come True
4. Being Like the Wind (not remastered)
5. Liquid Crystal
6. Minotaurous

And if you'd like to download the wav files for these tracks, you can even do that, right here:

Also, feel free to share this video and these tracks. Hope you have good holidays.

C~ Soundscapes

Thursday 17 December 2015

What's a monk to do? I guess a monk's to do this.

What probably happened to my JMP-1 preamp is that, as I soldered in the new capacitors and the battery holder, my soldering iron produced static, which damaged one or more of the sensitive computer chips on the board:

A technician would have used an anti-static station with their soldering iron. I used what I had, which didn't include one of those.
I don't know if those chips can be bought individually, but I do know that the whole JMP-1 PCB (printed circuit board - the green thing everything else is attached to) can be.

It turns out that the Marshall distributor for Canada, where I live, sells replacement PCBs for the JMP-1, which come with all the electrical components preinstalled, apart from the transformer, which needs to be transferred from an existing JMP-1. Basically, even though the JMP-1 is a discontinued model from Marshall, a JMP-1 can still be purchased, without the chassis and transformer. I think that's pretty cool.

This is a picture I was sent of the replacement unit:

It's multiple pieces (main PCB, tube-holder PCB, front display PCB) that are presented as one flat PCB board, like one of those kids books with pages of thick paper that get punched out and assemble into things, like an airplane or whatever. Cept this one turns into an amazing sound machine.

Buying one of these will be cheaper than to buy a used JMP-1 (which would also reduce the overall number of JMP-1's in circulation), and putting this into the JMP-1 chassis that I already have will make it pretty much a new JMP-1. That won't actually make it better in any way than if I hadn't fried the one I have while installing new capacitors, and I'll still install a battery holder to replace the stock solder-in battery. I think that I just killed my own excitement. Naw, it'll be great to have running again.

C~ Soundscapes

Thursday 10 December 2015

Breaking sad news...

I picked up my amp gear from the repair shop today, with one notable item that was unable to be resuscitated. My JMP-1 preamp supposedly cannot be fixed, and has gone to preamp heaven.

I guess I'll just have to live even more like a monk until I can buy another one.

Passing mourners pay their last respects.

This mourner sheds a tear in remembrance, before eating some cat food and taking a nap.

C~ Soundscapes

Thursday 3 December 2015

New track: Being Like the Wind

Here's something I just wrote, and recorded using amp simulators in Cubase - so no (getting fixed) preamp needed. It's an instrumental, but then so has everything been that I've uploaded so far.

C~ Soundscapes

Tuesday 1 December 2015

The assembling of a guitar amp rack

Once upon a time about exactly two week ago, I replaced the capacitors and battery holder in my Marshall JMP-1 preamp for the sake of preventative maintenance, and convenience on the part of the battery holder.

But afterwards the preamp didn't behave properly. It became overly bright in tone, and its digital display would no longer operate correctly. Also, some presets on the preamp would cause the amp to emit a high pitched tone, and no guitar sound.
So the preamp has been sent to a shop for repairs, along with some other gear, to get everything back into tip top condition.
Meanwhile, I've started preparing a new rack-based amp setup, pulling out some gear that's been sitting in storage for a long time. This case and its included gear is to be the foundation for the setup.

After hours of meticulous pouring over blueprints in search of the most powerful design, the following layout was arrived at, and all involved were congratulated for the progress made.

The list of gear it will hold:
1. Furman power conditioner
2. Behringer tuner
3. Marshall JMP-1 (for most distortion sounds)
4. A/DA MP-1 (for most clean sounds)
5. Voodoo GCX channel switcher
6. slide-out shelf for effect pedals

Next will be to decide which pedals will go on the shelf, with 1 pedal per each of the 8 channels on the Voodoo GCX channel switcher.

C~ Soundscapes