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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

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