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Friday 10 November 2017

Featuring a victory for today, in stereo

Unbeknownst to the world before now, while working on For the Continuum, my had-been-crapping-out-for-years subwoofer / sound system base crapped-out a bit more and stopped feeding audio from one speaker channel, so that while finishing editing and mixing of the track I could only hear one side of the stereo mix. I just ran with it, put everything in mono, and then moved things to wherever I felt they should be.

So, since sometime after June 22 and until today, I'd been utilizing a little trick that worked to give me pseudo stereo sound: By pulling the power connector jack half-way out of the jack, sound would return to both speakers. However, it wouldn't be the full sound. It was missing some layers of playing audio completely, seemingly arbitrarily. So, I don't know what it was doing, but if Mono is a 1-point audio setup, and Stereo is a 2-point audio setup, then I guess what I was getting was like a 1.5-point audio setup.

Today I listened to the For the Continuum mix from a full stereo setup for the first time, and I think it sounds OK. I was able to do that because, also today, I finally felt like taking a go at fixing the audio system, and had an idea of what I might be able to do to do so. Basically, I took things apart, desoldered some parts, swapped some parts, soldered things back in place, and put it all back together. The result was success, and now this thing is performing as it hasn't been for years.

I didn't really take pictures of the fixing process, but the problematic connectors were under that metal shield, which itself was difficult to get out. But, cutting and melting the glue holding that PCB in place, and finding the secret hidden nut and removing it, and then yanking hard with some pliers all contributed to eventual success in opening that mystery box of malfunction up to being repaired.

In celebration of my fixing this old piece of now-working audio-enabler, I set up my SM57 and MD 421 microphones and checked out Cubase, which I hadn't loaded up since finishing For the Continuum. And see how aligned I had those mics positioned from the speaker cones on first try:

Phase status: perfection.

Testing the phase and sound, I recorded while I briefly strummed some chords, notes, melody pieces, and switched various pedals on and off. If you want to hear some of the sounds I had on tap for this process, you can, because I uploaded them.

Let's see if I can recall which pedals are used where. In addition to whatever is written below, each segment is EQ'd with MXR 10-band EQ, using some BOSS CS-3 and PS-5 pedal touches.

(0:00) 1. clean guitar
(0:45) 2. Electro Harmonix Cock Fight
(1:23) 3. Tubescreamer clone, RAT clone, OD-1 setting on JMP-1
(2:00) 4. Tubescreamer clone, BOSS MT-2... not sure what else.
(3:05) 5. NYC Big Muff, op-amp Big Muff

Well, I'm uncertain about 3 and 4. But the others are exact. Fun.

Btw, I'm aware that I haven't yet completed and put out Burst of Stars as I had intended to. Which I'm sorry for, for myself and for anyone waiting for it. I haven't the money for a drums take for it, and so I think I'm going to leave it as is, for now... which I guess I have a good head start on doing.

If you haven't already given it a listen, I recommend doing so. Some of the best guitar tones I've put together are in it, and I think the music is pretty powerful:

C~ Soundscapes

Friday 27 October 2017

Small photo update to previous post

Just a small notice: I added a couple of pictures to the previous post. Taken from the same general time, but I had moved them into a different folder from the others and just spotted them again now.

C~ Soundscapes

Friday 20 October 2017

End of season images

These are some photos and video I took at the end of September, and in October.


Celestial antipodes

Inlet Overview

Red in Green

Scenic power plant

I think I may have posted a pic of this power plant before, but if so, I don't remember in which post to verify. So, regardless, voila.

There's an early X-Files episode that features Mulder running through this power plant at night.

Visiting bear scavenging the bird feeder for birds (probably not)

This black bear showed up at my place a couple of days in a row. He took down a bird-feeder, ate as much as he could get out of it, and rolled around a bit, playing with it.

C~ Soundscapes

Tuesday 10 October 2017

Enter the mighty Crate GX-15R

Another piece of cool gear I acquired recently, is a Crate GX-15R practice amp.

The convenience of a relatively low-volume, small, tubeless practice amp is something I should have capitalized on a long time before now, because it is often making the difference between me playing and not playing.

I've had an interest in picking up a small "practice" amp, and also this particular amp for a while. I did previously buy a Crate GT-65 from somebody selling theirs through Craigslist, but, well... it was busted.

I spent a bit of time looking into what the problem might be, and it could be something simple (blown output transistor(s) are suspected), but the cost of getting the amp on a tech's bench to be looked at would be as much as I paid for it - and that would still leave me not knowing whether it was indeed a simple and cheap fix or not.

I let the seller know it wasn't working, and they offered to return my money and did through Paypal, leaving the amp with me till it would become convenient for them to pick it up. That was 6 months ago, so I figure it's abandoned, and I might as well look into fixing it, myself.

Anyway, I more recently spotted a Crate GX-15R on Craigslist for the inviting price of $50 CND (~$40 USD). This is the Crate amp I would prefer to have because of its use by the Smashing Pumpkins on their album Machina (and I've read a claim on, I think, the Gear Slutz forum that somebody talked to a MCIS engineer who told them it was also slipped into mixes on that album... though, I have not heard that claim anywhere else), and also live. And, what do you know, I'm a fan of classic SP music.

BTW, the timing of my spotting this GX-15R amp on Craigslist coincided with the Billy Corgan Reverb shop opening up, where BC was selling two of his own G-15R amps - one for $200, and the other for $6,000. Regarding the prices, I don't know why. Maybe one was used on the album and the other wasn't.

So, I really wanted The $50 CND Craigslist one, and I contacted the seller right away. But, my first (maybe bad) instinct was to try to haggle on the price, so I sent a text offering $40 CND. Then, I didn't hear anything for a couple of days, and I panicked thinking I lowballed them, and that it was dumb because I really want this amp, and I haven't seen it show up on Craigslist often, and this listing was really cheap, so I sent another text basically saying 'I'll give the $50 for it, just tell me when I can pick it up'.

Seller responded, and turns out they were out of town for a couple of days - probably.

When I was picking up the amp, I made a joke about missing my chance to haggle on the price, and the seller responded, 'well, here you can have this pedal', and threw a Punch Factory Optical Compressor on top of the amp while I was holding it, ready to leave.

I must be great at jokes. I was eager to buy the amp, regardless, but, awesome.

This is the only "practice" amp I've played, but I think its sound rocks. Except maybe for the reverb. So, the GX-15 part of it rocks. And the R part of it is still nice to have.

Here are a couple of videos I made after getting the amp. It's basically just the guitar going into the amp - only slightly boosted with a BOSS compressor out front. I also usually leave a BOSS PS-5 running subtly in front of the compressor, so it could be that it was running for these recordings.

The first one I recorded with my phone next to the amp, with the amp turned down a lot - but clearly not enough, since the amp's sound keeps choking out the phone's microphone. I flip through all of my guitar's pickups while playing. The second video is demo of how the amp sounds when using its speaker-out connector to hook it up to my 4x12 Marshall cabinet, which I believe should have G12T-75 speakers in it. I recorded it with a Zoom Q2HD camera.

C~ Soundscapes

Monday 4 September 2017

Super mega awesome mondo new old stock Digitech DHP-55 day

Buying new old stock (NOS) is a thing with music equipment, and it refers to buying never-used old stock for products that are no longer available to buy, making them old stock that is still new. Usually, the term NOS is used to refer to vacuum tubes which are no longer manufactured (and in some cases haven't been manufactured for half a century or more), but which some people still have old stock of available for sale, and often at extremely exquisite prices.

I bought a Digitech DHP-55 effects processor a while ago, hoping to get one than runs on the v2.00 or higher firmware, though that earlier one that I bought ended up having v1.04 firmware.

The absolute latest firmware for the Digitech DHP-55 is v2.04. But anything above v2.00 apparently has some added delay, reverb, and filter effect parameters and improved MIDI controls, which are features I was interested in. v2.xx also has extra effects presets that aren't in the earlier version units.

I thought I'd leave it at that, but recently I saw this Reverb listing for a "Mint" condition Digitech DHP-55 for $150 USD, shipping from Canada (where I live). The listing had just been posted, and I saw it because I was signed up for email notifications. That deal sounded awesome enough that I decided to buy it, and figured I'll sell whichever of the two DHP-55s I'd have that had the lower firmware.

Also, the listing had just been posted. I saw it because I was signed up for "Digitech DHP-55" email notifications. It probably wasn't going to stay around long regardless of who bought it.

I received it today, and found that it had the original, untouched shrink wrap still on it.

When I moved the unit around, I heard some rattling coming from inside the chassis, so I opened it up, and discovered these loose washer nuts in it, and also a small plastic piece. No idea what they were doing in there, as it doesn't look like they're needed anywhere. Anyway, I removed those bonus items and proceeded with my review of the unit.

While the chassis was open, I saw that the firmware chips have v2.03 stickers printed on them.

So, I set the unit up for use, and turned it on. Powering it up, the LCD screen confirms it is running on the v2.03 firmware. Also, there are, as of yet, no custom user presets: All of the "User A" presets are identical to the factory "Mono" presets, and all the "User B" presets are identical to the factory "Stereo" presets - keeping with the NOS (new old stock) theme by showing that this unit has never been configured before.

I don't know what the range of years is that the DHP-55 was produced within (the LCD copyright date is different on both of my units, so that isn't a clue), but a sticker on this one shows that it's a 1997 production unit, making it 20 years old at the time of its first power-up.

Also notable about this unit's having been kept in its shrink wrap is that its faceplate has not started to push away from the chassis, as is common with the long-used specimens of this unit.

The new, v2.03 DHP-55's faceplate (palm prints because it is hot and humid here today):

My older, v1.04 DHP-55's faceplate:

On top of being an ideal unit, it was also priced just slightly on the lower side of what these units have been going for used. So, getting an unused one for the price is awesome. I even think that I'll be easily able to sell my older unit for a bit higher of a price than I bought this one for, and recoup the entire cost of this new one after paying listing fees.

The seller is a music shop in Ontario. Maybe they had the device sitting in warehouse storage and just came across it, and wanted to offload it to free up inventory space.

Whatever the story, I'm glad I found and bought it, and I'm going to enjoy using it.

C~ Soundscapes

Saturday 12 August 2017

More pedal power for my rig

One of the most recent pedals to be added to my arsenal is this clone of a 1970's op-amp Big Muff.

I completed this pedal some months ago, and I had started working on it a long time before that. But I stalled its assemblage at the point when I decided that I wanted to make a couple modifications to the build, and couldn't immediately do so.

I had soldered in the two IC chips / op amps, yet then decided I wanted to make one of them removable so that I could try different op amps in its spot. Different models of op amps produce different slightly tonal characteristics.

pictured - an op amp

For example, I think that the only difference between the original op-amp Big Muff and this recent modified clone of it:

... is that the original uses the RC4558 op amp chip, whereas the Eye See Pi modified clone of the original uses an BA4558 op amp chip, which I think gives it a bit darker of a sound, and slightly different distortion characteristic.

So, I decided to remove the relevant op-amp and to install an IC chip holder that I could install in its place and then swap different op-amps in and out of. And I destroyed the original op-amp in the process - which didn't surprise me, and also wasn't a big deal since I already had to order the IC chip holder and other op-amps I wanted to use, anyways. I just ordered another of the original op-amp along with those other things.

The other modification I wanted to add to the pedal is a mid frequency-scoop switch, like there was on the original op-amp Big Muff pedals, and also like there is for that Eye See Pi pedal. The Big Muff has a pretty large mid frequency-scoop by default, and the switch gives an added option to take most of that mid-scoop away. I think the switch should be included in the pedal kit by default, since it was part of the original production run (though not the later production run), and I've personally found the modified no-scoop setting to be the one that I'm using a lot more.

Installing the switch was pretty simple, and just required a precision drilling of a 1/4" hole to fit a toggle switch through, and a couple of wires and resistors to connect each side of the switch to the pedal's PCB. I also placed some electrical tape between the switch components and the PCB.

So, I had this pedal sitting in a semi-completed state on my desk for probably many months until I decided to initiate those modifications - and then I finished it up quickly.

dramatic re-enactment of the alleged desk (actually, just not cleaned up yet at the time of its photographic capture)

There was a problem with the pedal when I was first testing it out, being that the emitted sound would not stay entirely on while the pedal was engaged, but would flicker on and off. So, I opened up the pedal again, and looked for shorts, particularly where I'd installed the mid-scoop switch. But found nothing wrong there.

However, I noticed large amounts of flux residue around the potentiometer leads, which can cause a short, so cleaned it away using isopropyl alcohol-soaked Q-tip / cotton swap / cotton buds, and, thankfully, that solved the issue. Since then, the pedal has operated perfectly.

After testing out the 3 op-amps I ordered, RC4558, BA4558, and BC4558P, I've ended up keeping in the original RC4558. Of course, I can swap it out for one of the others at any time.

C~ Soundscapes

Wednesday 2 August 2017

Skies of Tatooine / renewal of the ATA case

Tatooine, or Earth's sky?

It's the sun shining through forest fire smoke. Just one of the effects of wildfires in BC, Canada. As can be seen, there're no fires close to where I live, which is in the Vancouver area, but it sometimes happens in summer that there's so much smoke made by fires in the province that the wind blows a lot of it into the valley areas around Vancouver.

I wish I would be posting here more, but I've said that before. I guess it'll happen when it'll happen - and I'm still working towards my music goals as I'm able to. It's cool that so many people check this blog daily to see what's up, though.

Well, so here's some of what I'm up to, music-related wise.

I've FINALLY got my Mesa Strategy 500 power amp in to an amp tech who will install them for me, along with its bags of replacement capacitors. My record with music gear servicing seems to be that there will be an issue every step of the way, and that held true when I ordered the capacitors for my power amp from Mesa, and some of the ones they sent me were wrong and not what was ordered and so I had to wait another 2 weeks for the replacements, which were then the right ones... and it held true again, today, when I dropped my amp off at a very reputable amp service shop, and the technician called me an hour later to tell me one channel of the amp that I have used regularly up until yesterday wasn't working, and asked me to come in and take a look to confirm for myself (a liability thing) - but it turned out that the tech simply didn't realize that there are independent on-switches for each channel.

At least both of those things resolved towards the positive.

However, I still don't have my guitar back from the luthier. "Should be ready this week" - last week. Should be soon, though. The guy takes on way more than than he can do, and keeps putting mine last, because it was a non-monetary deal, but also because a lot of his other serving business is with local music stores, and he wants to stay always on time with them. BS, all the same, that it's taken this long, but I'm not going to push to get it back with a sub-perfect job done on it.

I'm still playing other guitars, and my amp gear has increased considerably in the last couple of years. I've now got a lot of rack gear that I'm stacking rack gear on other rack gear because I don't have rack space for it all... or, at least that was the case until I bought this used 20U rack to put all my rack gear into!

And the only things stopping me from doing to immediately are that the old foam in it is disintegrating, and also smells absolutely rancid.

So far, I've coated the disassembled and mostly-foam-removed rack 3 times in white vinegar, and also sprinkled it with baking soda - two things which are supposed to remove odours. I guess it's worked some. Most of the rancid odour is in the old foam, which I haven't finished scraping the glued parts off, yet. I'm using a hair drier to soften the glue, and a scraper thing to scrape it off.

Once that's done, I'll order replacement foam from somewhere, and glue it into place, probably with 3M 77 spray.

I'm also going to polish its rack rails to remove the corrosion that's there and make em shine again / for the first time I'll have seen it.

I got the rack for very cheap, so it'll be worth putting in the work to make it look and smell pretty OK again - hopefully even better than pretty OK.

As for what the contents of the rack will be once it's ready to have gear put into it, I think the ordering might look something like this:

Korg DTR-1
Furman conditioner
TC Electronic 1140 Parametric EQ
Digitech DHP-55
Digitech Valve FX
Marshall JMP-1
Alesis 3630
Alesis 3632
pedal shelf
Voodoo Lab GCX
Voodoo Lab GCX
Furman conditioner
TC Electronic 1128
BBE 462

Strategy 500 power amp - in its own rack for closeness to the amp, and because it weighs probably more than half of what I do.

That device ordering is not entirely the same as what the connectivity routing will be. Though, for the most part, it's ordered according to what runs into what.

C~ Soundscapes

Thursday 22 June 2017

New track: For the Continuum

Here's something I put together yesterday and today. Not overly complex in production, which made it a more attractive prospect to do.

For the guitar sound, I'm using my MXR DII clone going into a Tubescreamer clone, into the OD2 channel of a JMP-1 preamp.

C~ Soundscapes

Tuesday 30 May 2017

Sweet incoming rack equipment

I've made a few rack gear purchases recently that I'll pick up from a holding company on the other side of the Canada / USA border, because it's close by, and is cheaper to ship large packages that way than it is to ship them from the USA directly to Canada.

The stuff that's incoming is:

Korg DTR-1 tuner
Digitech DHP-55 effects processor
TC Electronic 1140 EQ / preamp

The Korg DTR-1 is in just about like-new condition, and I got it for $60 USD, before shipping. I want a really nice condition one for my home studio rack, because the one in my rack is a bit scuffed, and, well, presentation / psychological value.

There was a listing of a like-new DTR-1 on eBay a month or two ago, and I bit on it, but not high enough to get it. It ended up going for around $40 to someone who got a great buy. The one I just bought was listed as good condition, but the photos look about as good as the like-new one that I missed, and $60 is still a good price on one of these. Somebody had curiously been trying to sell a broken one on Reverb for $90 about a month ago (which definitely isn't worth it).

Here's the one I've just bought:


The Digitech DHP 55 I've bought looks like it's in pretty good condition, from the one photo of it in the eBay listing. It has v1.04 firmware, and the seller said that they haven't used it in a long time because, as their eBay listing picture shows, they have other, more comprehensive and expensive effects processors and harmonizers. I bought it for a $150 buy-it-now price as soon as it showed up, because I'd let multiple decent condition DHP-55s pass by several months ago, and then there were no DHP-55s showing up for 2 - 3 months, and I didn't want to play the wait-around game anymore.

A few months ago, there was a good condition one on Reverb that the seller said had only been used in their non-smoking studio, and that one went for $160 CND (great price). I wanted to buy it, but there was also a Digitech Valve FX listed for sale at that time, which I also wanted, and I didn't know which of the two devices to go for first, hoping that the other might still be available whenever I'd next have the money for it. I ended up going for the Valve FX, and I'm very glad that I did, not only because I haven't seen another one of those for sale since, but also because the LCD on the one I got has been upgraded to the newer, green version (the original blue one fades over time), and it also has the latest firmware. I got the rarest, and best Valve FX possible, and haven't seen another for sale since then. So, I think I made the right call.

The seller of the DHP-55 I've just bought only wrote in their eBay listing that the device has normal rack wear for its age, but is fully functional. The only image they uploaded of the unit before I bought it doesn't show a very close up view of the device, but it looks like it's in pretty good condition.

I also bought a TC Electronic 1140 off a Nashville, TN Craigslist posting, for $175 + $25 shipping. I think that's a good deal. I've thought about getting a parametric EQ for years, but not really understood whether I'd be better served with a graphic EQ or a parametric EQ. But I always read high praise for the vintage TC Electronic EQs of any kind.

I originally bought a TC 1128 EQ for cheap from some production company's old gear selloff eBay listing a long time ago. I think it cost around $115. But the unit I received has the older blue display, and it's 98% or so faded, so using the device is very difficult. Very fortunately, I found somebody selling their last official TC 1128 LCD upgrade kit on a sound equipment forum, and I was able to buy it from them for maybe $80 - $100. I bought it a long time ago, but I haven't installed it yet because the instruction are pretty in-depth, and I don't feel confident doing it, just yet. I almost had a service centre install it for me, but they gave it back to me because the alan screws holding the faceplate to the chassis are stripped, and they said it's their policy to not risk being responsible for damaging a device while trying to get stripped screws out. I have since got the screws out myself, by cutting a slit in the screw-heads with a grinder, allowing me to use a flathead screw-driver to get them out. But now, the service centre, Backline in Vancouver, has closed their amp repair department, and I have to find another option to get this LCD upgrade kit installed.

Once I have the 1128 fixed up, I'm guessing I might stick the TC Electronic 1140 ahead of my Valve FX, JMP-1, ADA MP-1 guitar preamps, and the TC Electronic 1128 after my other preamps.

There was just recently a TC 1140 going on eBay that was actually selling from the city I live in, and was originally listed pretty cheap, at $225 CND ($166 USD). I messaged the seller to see if we could do a local sale for $240 CND, but the seller wanted to see how the eBay auction would play out, and it ended up going to somebody for $305 CND ($226 USD). Once it did, I jumped on the Nashville Craigslist listing for $175 USD, which I had already contacted the seller to possibly buy, before the local eBay TC 1140 listing showed up.


This post hasn't addressed if I finally have my Stratocaster back from the luthier I made the deal with, or whether my Strategy 500 power amp has now been recapped. Well, the state of those things is that, no, the luthier has not completed work on my guitar (but has told me it should be this week, with me telling him I won't be able to pick it up for a month, when I'll have money to pay for an Earvana nut installation I've asked him to do while he has the guitar), and instead of installing new capacitors into my power amp, the repair shop closed down and asked me to pick my amp up from them.

That repair shop is the same repair shop I mentioned while talking about the TC Electronic 1128 EQ in an above paragraph. I had equipment sitting at their place for over half a year, and instead of getting any work done on my gear, they closed their amp department (after being open  for, I think, 28 or so years) and asked me to pick up my equipment that is now still in the same condition as when I brought it to them. I guess that's one way of getting out of work.

Because of my new purchases, I no longer have money to use to have those things fixed right away, but they're on the now much-reduced list of upcoming expenses needed to bring my rack amp setup into its full glory.

C~ Soundscapes

Saturday 8 April 2017

Showcase: My first guitar and amp

I still haven't got my guitars back from my luthier - which resulted in my deciding to bring this one out of my basement to play with in the interim. This is the first guitar that I've owned.

I bought it for $50 from someone in highschool, and used it with an old Traynor solid-state amp that I was given by a friend of my dad's.

This isn't my specific old Traynor amp, but is a picture from the internet that looks the same as the one I had, and I think it's the same model. I gave mine to away when I bought myself a better amp (that I didn't really like and ended up selling to buy another amp).

One slight issue that I'm encountering with the guitar since taking it out of its hibernation, is that it doesn't pass any sound to an amp. I'm guessing it still worked when I last played it, but that was many years ago. I guess something of the electronics might have corroded away, or maybe it's just a simple dust issue preventing the pickup selector switch from making proper contact.

Let's check out some of its sweet features.

Just a bit more than half of a pickup selector switch-cover.

Rusted pickups that I couldn't adjust the height of because I just couldn't get the screws to turn. Don't know what's holding them in so strongly. This is authentic vintage rust, and none of that artificial "relic'd" stuff.

Well-aged tape to protect the player's shirt from being torn by the screws' jagged metal.

Guitar strap-holder that slides out for easy replacement, and usually constantly while trying to play the guitar. For a bit, if I just kept tightening it up every 5 or so minutes, it would stay in there for all the other minutes. But now it's just sliding right out any time the guitar headstock is tilted a bit upwards.

Also, I'm pretty sure the guitar's fretboard was covered with green-grey mold when I brought it up, but it seems to have died off in the drier, brighter, warmer upstairs. Oh well, better for playing this way, anyway.

Here are some tracks I made many years ago, while still learning to play the guitar, played using both the silver guitar and Traynor amp - and they're among my first attempts at coming up with music and recording it. I recorded them into my computer with some cheap plastic microphone that I had found lying around.

track 2, track 3, track 4, track 8, track 9

C~ Soundscapes

Saturday 18 March 2017

So, where is that track? Here, sort-of.

Well I guess it's not fully here, although its sort-of version is, and I apologize for that - and also for not saying something about its absence before now. Why? Well, reasons, and I don't think it's coming in the next few weeks, either.

Instead of talking about the full reasons for why it hasn't shown up, I'm going to do something that I really do not want to do, and provide a link to the track as it is, which is basically how it was the last time I posted about it, which is to say I haven't done any further recording for it. I could have posted it a while ago, but if I did that, and people listened to it, then what would be the point of working on it further, once I'm again able to? And it's a great track that will only become more awesome by working on it further. Since it's been so long, and since I still don't know when I can get back to it, I'm posting it, anyway.

So, with a recommendation to not listen to it (unless you really want to, which I guess is what I should hope for... actually, I think you should listen to it), here's that that track as it is, and as it will be until I get back to working on it...

... Which might not be for another month, or more, but I really don't know right now. What I do know is that I don't have either of my electric guitars with me right now, and when I have them back, then I likely will not have the power amp for my main guitar rig with me for 3 weeks to a month.

The guitar that I've written about modifying and having bought a custom replacement neck for has been with a local luthier I know for over 1/3rd of a year now, because they agreed with me to shave the back of that guitar's original neck down, apply a finish, and refret the guitar in exchange for the custom replacement neck I'd ordered for that guitar, and which was just too bright sounding for my tastes (its brightness didn't work with any of my guitar rig's presets, which all work with both the original neck's sound, and with my other electric guitar).

Having spent my money on that guitar neck, I needed a way to recoup on the neck, while also still doing something about that guitar to either fix up the existing neck (worn frets, neck too thick for my hand to play comfortably) . So, I bartered this deal, which has seen me go without having that guitar to play for many months now. The luthier is busy with lots of business and says they aren't going to put a non-paid job ahead of their paid work, but has assured me they'll have it done by the end of this month.

I've been playing my other electric, so that hasn't been a total problem, though I have missed playing that guitar. But now, I've also brought my other guitar to the same luthier to install an Earvana compensated nut, and so now I'm without either guitar. I should also have that guitar back by end of this month.

That's the guitar stuff.

I also need to take my Strategy 500 power amp to a tech for a capacitor replacement job, because it's doing some humming out of one channel right now, which I think is a capacitor going bad. The amp's 25 or so years old, and hasn't had any caps replaced, so it's about time for that.

I expect the amp to be gone for at least a few weeks, as I said above, because there's always a backlog for this stuff - and there aren't a lot of options for getting it done here in Vancouver, either. Some popular local techs simply didn't want to do the job, saying it's too big, or they've got too much other stuff.

So I'll get the job done at the service centre that I usually go to, which already has some equipment of mine right now, and has had it for over 2 months. But I won't take the amp there until I get my previous equipment back from them. They say they're really busy, too. I guess Vancouver needs some more techs.

And I'm not saying this current lack of access to my gear is why I haven't already finished the music track I previously was working on (it isn't), but not having my stuff is definitely going to ensure I won't be recording with it until I have it back. Clearly, there is an issue with audio tech service efficiency in Vancouver, BC (sort of like with me).

Even though I haven't worked on recording anything (other than many new tracks with my phone just for archiving), my tone configuration has grown, and come into greater clarity and refined. So, here's what my pedal board looks like, right now.

Other than the BOSS CS-3 (blue) compressor and the MXR DII clone that I built (lower-left, teal), those pedals aren't used in the new track I've posted while sort-of recommending you don't listen to it (but also sort-of recommending you do), so that when it is finished, whenever that is, it will be amaze and new.

C~ Soundscapes

Friday 6 January 2017

Snow pics, track update

I apologize for my slowness with this track. I'm trying to come back to where I last left it before Christmas, which is with the rhythm guitar finished as well as some of the bassline, but I'm feeling awful right now, to the point that I don't feel I can work on it right away. I'll get back to it as soon as I'm able, finishing up the bassline, and any lead work that it needs, and then having someone put drums to it.

Something completely different, though, is this collection of photos that I took of the snow around my place.


But snow is not the only thing I've taken photographs of. There are a couple pedals I've recently added to my collection: a '76 DOD 250 clone, made by a hobbyist in Russia, bought by me (cheaper than making one, myself), and a 90's reissue Micro Synthesizer. Both of these may feature in the upcoming track, or they may not - I don't know right now, but both of those pedals work excellently for producing a great lead guitar sound.

Also, my guitar amp rack is almost completed. There are a couple of items not in this photo, because they're getting some work done on them, but this is pretty much my dream amp setup,

C~ Soundscapes