All Tracks available for download have now moved to the Music Sales Page:
General Notice regarding technical writing
I don’t have an expert to proof read my documents, so don’t take everything here as absolute fact, though I try to be as thorough as I can, particularly with technical details, as that’s the whole point in understanding something.
However – I WILL make mistakes, although I re-read and check my writing as best as possible.
Do your own research also.
Bear in mind, the Internet is a hot bed of errors in it’s own right, written by people like me mostly, so it is best to check multiple sources of the same info and draw your own conclusions as to what makes logical sense.
You alone, are responsible for your own actions, no one else.
Did a diary entry 28/4/13 and got a network glitch which wiped out all the text from this page, just decided to start from scratch in May 2013.
Where would I start with fixing/re-writing all that except by messing with WordPress databases since 13/12/12?…just have to carry on like I never existed til now…and add stuff as I remember it.
Relist Info Dec 2012
I built an Ashton Electronics 5W valve amp and my own speaker cab to go with it – here is the first tests of both at full volume:
Re-list Info 2013/01/29 – Free Tyrell VSTi Synth
This was an experiment to learn importing VSTis into FLS.
It is a powerful free synth with some great sounds, but very CPU intensive.
INSTALLATION PC (Win7 permission safe, follow closely)
– put TyrellN6.dll (32 bit) or TyrellN6(x64).dll into ..\Vstplugins\
– put TyrellN6.data into your Documents folder
– create a shortcut on TyrellN6.data
– move shortcut to TyrellN6.data into ..\Vstplugins\
– rename shortcut to “TyrellN6.data”
Mental Holdsworth Type Tyrell.mp3
Free sound tools for those with no DAW to play with…
Pamelia Kirsten – The Theremin
4 Posts last week:
Rhythms, Polymeter and Polyrhythm
Allan Holdsworth’s 10 Most Usable Scales
FPC Library Kits – The Good, The Bad and The Oddities
Creating Unusual Melodic Ideas from Simple Scale Theory
So pissed off re the lost data – but it’s my own fault, a failing of my own IT knowledge (HATE IT!!) – all for the sake of copying the text for Pages 1 and 2 and saving it in a Word doc!
I have done that now…there’s a lesson for all WordPress webpage owners. Look at backing up the entire database from your site.
It’s a lot of work, but gotta cheer myself up with my probable all round favorite player, for many reasons – originality, technique, tone, versatility, but most importantly, combining it all with FEEL – Scott Henderson:
1986 with Jean Luc Ponty
Also for something completely different then most people would associate me with liking a LOT – Country Guitar!
I bought these 2 DVDs from Ebay after watching Danny Gatton on YouTube and then finding the awesome Johnny Hiland – what a cool dude and a fantastic clean tone! I’d love to be able to play Chicken Pickin’ geeetarrr! Have to practice for another 20 years no doubt…
I see FLS11 is released, but I have not upgraded myself yet, even though I get lifetime updates of FLS as a buyer. I just couldn’t handle having to learn any major new functionality just yet!
Wow! Just found out where Keith More has been hiding all these years – in his own recording studio:
We just had a great chat – still as sound as ever and as nice a guy as he ever was. He has a vid of his studio and its gear (near London) on his site, and has a ton of experience mixing any and all genres of music if you are looking for this. His girlfriend Tracey also does live gig engineering.
5/5/13 – My rather Sick Boss ME10 Overview:
A quick look at the FX on my very sick, and in dire need of repair, Boss ME10 FX Pedals.
This unit has a 9 second click on the output, lost patches even with a factory reset, and some noisy circuits. It needs serious medical assistance.
I put this up mainly because I couldn’t find any other YouTube vids of anyone actually playing this unit to give an idea of what it can do. Maybe they are just rare now, circa 1992?
As this site is about any and all topics relating to music, I had to put this Synthaxe promo vid up as it was such an advanced and important (if unpopular!) development in music technology in it’s day, and so well designed for both guitar/synth players ergonomic requirements and functionality, as well as addressing the technical hurdles such as pitch and speed accuracy (latency) that plagued many later but cheaper guitar add on transducer types like the early Roland GK pickups used with the GR20’s etc. I had one in the 90’s and the low notes would sometimes track incorrectly, a semitone out.
Also today, I checked out the EZDrummer software that Keith More is a consultant for, and did a lot of work on the sample layering for. Looks like a really easy to use and wel designed set of VSTi packages:
Just a little experiment to see how 3 very different amps sound next to each other – The Fender Champ 12, Ashdown Fallen Angel 40W, and the Vox AD30VT:
Tomorrow, I’ll do the other 3 amps, that have no reverb – The Marshall Mercury 2060 hybrid, Ashton Kit 5W Valve and the B+W transistor amp.
Continuation of yesterday’s amps comparisons – a B+W Jubilee transistor amp, Kustom Dart 10W, Marshall Mercury 2060 12W, and an Ashton 5W kit build
Also, I forgot to mention and demonstrate an important point with the Marshall – its has a Hi and Lo inputs – these sound very different depending on what guitar pickups are plugged in. The Lo input in my case, gives a more bassy, warm tone and is less dynamic. I should have compared to two together. I tried to decipher this part of the circuit a bit in the Marshall repair Post in terms of frequency and input impedance.
Here is a pretty good explanation, so this will apply to any amp with Hi/Lo inputs and different guitars:
“Contrary to what the previous answers stated, the different sensitivity is not the primary difference between the “hi” and “lo” inputs. It is indeed different, usually by 6 dB, but you could achieve this with the gain knob alone.
More important is the different impedance of both inputs: a “hi” input has a very high inner electric resistance (in the range of 1 M?), that is, it accepts the voltage the guitar outputs while there needs to be hardly any current at all. The guitar pickups can then do their job (which is translating the string vibrations to electrical voltages) completely freely without having to also supply a lot of current; so they can do a lot of resonance, which gives a bright and open, but sometimes also annoying and “un-compact” sound.
A “lo” input, on the other hand, typically has an impedance of about 150 k?, roughly 1/7th of the hi input’s. That means, when the pickups try to send their voltage to the amp there will always be a significant current the pickups also have to supply. Actually, it’s still a very small current – something like fractions of microamperes – but guitar pickups are very weak sources of current. Voltage and current together means they need to push energy to the amp: this energy will be taken from their own high-frequency resonances, therefore a normal electric guitar will sound more mellow when plugged into the “lo” input than when it’s plugged into the “hi” input. It will also be simply quiter because of the attenuation, but this, as I said, is less important.
Every pickup responds differently to the amp impedance: some will sound muffled and dull when plugged into a “lo” input, others shrill and disturbing with a “hi” input. So when you’re using two different guitars live, it can sometimes be useful to use each input for one of them (you should still always unplug the one you’re not playing from the amp)”.
Also – for a larf – I have a crap vid of my old mate John Bickersteth, the Improv Master, making me laugh at college yesterday, as we were having the usual Pro Tools LE nightmares trying to get something (anything!) done as usual. I really don’t like PT…it’s just not intuitive as Logic, and the on board sounds are very limited and pretty crappy…
Keith sent me a pic of another drum miking technique – using the overheads in a co-incident pair – that may be useful for some folks:
Been trying to upload a Post about my Ibanez 5 way switch change I did…Seems I’ve run out of pic space…
I’ll have to just try uploading the Word doc for now….
Ibanez Five Position Switch Adventure.docx
Here’s the sounds of each switch position for my Ibanez RG560/RG360 – whatever it is…? After replacement switch and a pickup height tweak – through the Ashton and Cab, recorded with the Shure SV200 into a Fostex MR8. The .wav bounced from FLS as an MP3 – no FX. I will experiment with some now though!
Right! here’s an experiment to try – you will learn about the FX in FLS, and may discover something unique for you.
I used this last guitar piece to go through all the FX in order to see what they do – you only need to step through the presets for most for the best sounds anyway.
The most interesting one so far is the Love Filter – This is my guitar part with the Step Pyramid preset:
Note that if you had a track recorded to a click tempo, the delays may fall in time with the bars etc. as there is a tempo radio button at the bottom.
It made me realise that some of the FX on early 70s synths – like Steve Hillage’s 1979 amazing spacey sounds on Talking to the Sun – could have been achieved with just filters and delays of the day – not an intrinsic part of the analogue synth hardware alone maybe?:
Done a Post on Stomp Switches, Amp Jacks and more, but still can’t Publish the normal way, so here is the docx:
Amplifier Jack Socket Stomp Switch Variations.docx
Also, for those who have never seen Pro Tools:
NOT my favourite software…and that’s all I’m going to say…
Post on the Marshall Tremolo section repair, with a video…
As I didn’t get a lot of detail or MP3s from the mic techniques sessions we did last year, here is a PDF on the Decca Tree and Blumlein details:
Also, as we’re doing a unit on World Music, I found this:
New Track done in FLS10, from an old project I dug up from last year. Spent about a week on it, and used the new found Love Philter technique on Sytrus, along with the samples. So, not a total DragDropMonkey special anymore…
Bjork V The Shamen
Got shown this player by one of the college techs today – Govan Guthrie – massive technique and worth checking out all his vids – but it has to be said, Keith More was doing this stuff 20 years back, along with a lot of other technically proficient guys no doubt. Govan does play other stuff with a lot of feel also, but again, Scott Henderson got there way before, but nice to see a Brit guitarist at the forefront of this style of playing for a change.
A bit old hat for an old fart like me these days – I just want to hear a Nice Toon…that just happens to have wicked playing from everyone in it also…
Guitar Players – Big Influences, personally.
This was weird memory lane idea! In chronological order as best as I can remember them…It may be of some interest to some guitar players?
Guitar Players – Big Influences
Wishbone Ash – Laurie Wisefield , Andy Powell, Ted Turner
Stretch – Kirby
Rush – Alex Lifeson/Geddy Lee
Mark Knopfler – Dire Straits
Alan Parsons Project / Pilot/ Kate Bush / Beverley Craven – Ian Bairnson
Eddie Van Halen
The Fixx – Jamie West Oram
Mark King – Level 42
Steve Morse – Dixie Dreggs
Allan Holdsworth – RIP Allan 2017…
Post on creating a Holdsworth tone (nearly!), and realisation I can’t play anything of his – and never will be able to!
Also, back to Guthrie Govan – not so Old Hat for me actually – an incredible player – no doubt! His style of Jazz with the Aristocrats is certainly original if weird in places (Brit eccentricity still alive and well in it seems!), but very entertaining and the band as technically tight as a duck’s arse – and that’s water tight! …As we say ’round ‘ere…
He has an extra bone in his Alien pinky finger for sure!
A show worth a watch:
Finally started the Guitar Amp Handbook amp project that I got all the bits for months back.
I will be doing a set of Posts on this as I plan to do it in defined stages electrically so I can documents voltages etc. at each stage to get a deeper understanding of the circuitry myself and hopefully help beginners along the way, as this amp will have a valve rectifier stage also. See if the “sag” is all it’s claimed to be…
Step one was deciding the layout for the available holes in this off cut waste chassis from www.ampmaker.com and get the transformer holes cut out – thanks to some help from my engineer brother, his aluminium off cuts and his mini air powered drill!:
Also found the circuit for the Weber Maggie – close to the Amp Handbook circuit:
Been busy writing the next 2 Posts for the Amp Project – Mains Transformers and Rectification. I’m waiting for 10 X probes for the scillyscope to show the mains voltages/phase photos etc. It’s been interesting research.
My 10 X probes have been posted, so should have the 2nd amp project Post up soon about AC mains transformers. The 3rd on Rectification is done also – just want some scope pics added to them.
These two sections have been really informative – I learned a lot already.
It’s a good way to build an amp – with plenty of time – and test lots of things as you go to understand them.
Site link thanks to ValveWizard:
Also – just what I was looking for in this Project – Ground Loop info:
2nd Post on the Amp Project uploaded – Mains Transformer section:
Been really absorbed in the tech side of the amp build writing the Pre Amp section coming soon. This has been the most interesting but difficult section – understanding an testing the valves, but well worth all the time and effort if you want to know your kit and why it sounds like it does.
I almost forgot about the really useful Briggs PDF link that got “lost” in the lost data entries from New Year on so it’s here again – useful for the pre amp section readers :
Read the General Notice at the top. I do find errors in my writing from time to time – beware!
Finally finished the amp to a “working” basic stage after lots of blind alleys with a damaged 6V6 tube – all will be told in the Output Stage Post when I finish it. It’s a lot of info to document and understand. I got to grips with the Negative Feedback Link process in the Maggie Amp, so here is a Phase Document to get the general idea of the cancellation at the 2nd triode cathode. The trick is calculating what size link resistor is required for your spec. Output Transformer. Maths in the Post once done:
Haven’t done any music stuff lately I know, so here is a bit from the World Music part of the College course we have to cover. It’s to expose students to different genres, scales, rhythms, instruments and their social/cultural roles they may take, that most Westerners would not usually hear or be exposed to. Like this first piece I threw together, using the “Gypsy Scale” or Ciprian scale, and mixes of unusual instruments like Irish tin whistle with Indonesian Gamelan types that you wouldn’t normally get (yeah,yeah for good reason I hear ya!). It has harmonic minor and diminished elements in it which I like, with mixed poly rhythms going on also .
Gypsy Scale Mashup.mp3
The second was an experiment to see if Boogie Woogie blues would mix with Reggae and Ska. It does!
Blues, Ska and Rock Steady were the ancestors of Reggae.
I have a lot of World genre MP3s, so will upload as and when, for now, keeping it Reggae…
Anthea and Donna – Uptown Top Rankin.mp3
And for some diff musical ideas, here’s 34 MIDI files of scales:
New Post on Foster DF62 microphone and important noise pollution info to learn how to protect your ears – in general, and at the workplace maybe?
Look what I picked up from John B today to research and repair…
He said is hasn’t been switched on for 30 years!!!
It looks good in side though – I think its the 1968 build…Hope it’s not beyond me to fix, as I saw a George Lynch vid talking about his 1968 Plexi, being the core of his tone – can’t wait to hear it!
“Guitar Player magazine called the 1959 “monumentally huge, frightfully loud, and painfully expensive”, and its review of the 1959HW said it was “quick, percussive, articulate”, and required a “total commitment to volume”
Did a Post on the JMP 100W Marshall parts, so you can try to clone it if you want. This will be my next amp Project, maybe in conjunction with fixing this one.
Don’t rush out and buy the parts list YET, I’m still cross checking components and values – e.g. 2 X 1M input channel resistors got left of the Post list, and this amp is a mix of mainly the Unicord schematic values, with an output section more like the hand drawn version. I’ll do a schematic with my values when I’m ready, so I can order the bits also.
Also today, I got the Maggie336 (as she is now affectionately known) running on the 275V winding, so now it’s too loud for the bedroom! Great sound though – the OD is 70’s crunchy – think TRex – Get It On, with balls on!
The clean sound is as good/better than the Ashton, with more tonal possibilities. I’ll upload a suitable sound track or vid of that soon, with the details on this completed stage of the build. I’m having a break from it for a bit, before looking at other mods – but the 190V/275V switch is a must so I can have OD at neighbour friendly levels…
I’ll do the final Output Stage Post with the working circuit as it is now asap. A great little amp project that was – learned LOADS doing it like that!! (A lot of help in the last stages from Mervin Blencowe’s “Designing Tube Pre Amps for Guitar and Bass” book – absolute necessity for understanding valves):
I will do a Post on Load Lines soon before I forget it all. It was the last piece of the Maggie puzzle for me.
Uploaded final Maggie366 build Post:
I fixed the knob on the loaned 240V Variac I will be using to bring up the mains voltage really slowly and carefully for the first electrical tests on the Marshall, to see what is going on with it.
Will log all that process probably – see what voltages are present, where etc.
Just found a full 1.11 hr Robben Ford show from 2007 – not bad – great loose drummer – Toss Pannos!
Right – I have finished physically tracing through 95%+ of the board wires and am happy enough that the Unicord schematic is an accurate layout of this amp, with a few component value differences, is all.
Happy enough to order the parts list myself – put it that way.
I have corrected all value errors I found in the initial Parts Post also, so that should be correct now – with all the components on the list accounted for in the circuit in one form or another. (Read the forum info addition on the heater circuit differences between 6L6s and EL34s also, for the heater ratings required for the mains transformer.)
It was time consuming to do this, but it really helps to get familiar with the circuit. All I need to do now is email Barry at www.ampmaker.com for advice on sourcing suitable 100W transformers, and prices to decide to proceed or not. I don’t expect these to be cheap!
I will draw the different component values on the Unicord schematic soon for those who may wish to copy this amp part for part, or compare it with the other circuits from the web.
I think it just has to be attempted doesn’t it – for historical and geek value! It’s a rare opportunity to get access to one of these, that now are probably mostly owned by the rich and famous players who still use one – Lynch, Johnson, Halen etc. – or collectors, I imagine?
Loving these Rig Rundown’s at Premier Guitar e.g. – the very cool Robert Randolph:
OK! I have finished the component check differences between the Unicord schematic and the actual values found in John’s JMP 100 Marshall:
The only main difference is the .22uF caps across the mains secondary, before the Standby switch are missing from this amp, but more than catered for by the 2 Yellow Cans, 100uF. These optional 0.22s may be noise filters..?
Awaiting a response from www.ampmaker.com re the transformers now, to decide on the price and feasibility of building a clone…
Got a really helpful response from Barry at ampmaker.com, below, with some interesting points to consider:
> The main issue for this project would be sourcing equivalent mains and
> OT 100W transformers (or maybe I will a 50W version?) to these (3
> winding mains!) that are possibly Drake originals, from the research
> I’ve done.
> Got any ideas where these equivalents could be sourced?
Well, many TX makers can clone them, but for all the effort you’re going to on such an amp, I’d be tempted to stick to the main supplier for plexi clone makers: http://metroamp.com/store/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=28&zenid=iroeg31b92hkgpkjcbpa85eg81
> Also, I would need the EL34 tubes – any recommendations – JJs like the
> others, and from whom, pricewise?
I’d definitely recommend joining the Metroamps forum for advice. I’ve not built a 100W Marshall with JJs or others, and my own old Marshalls tend to have Mullards in them.
> turret board of the same sturdy Bakelite
> type original (is it Bakelite?)
It’s phenolic, bakelite being a brand name with (I think) the same type of properties. Paxolin is another brand type. Again – metro has some great supplies.
> Could you supply the bulk of the components in the parts list I made here:
Yes – many are in the components listed in the Web shop. But the big ones (chassis, TXs, etc) I do not do To be honest, I think it’s worth some more reading so you can decide whether to do a 100% accurate build, or an ‘economy’ build. I would only do an accurate build myself, and I would use Metro parts. I’m not trying to turn away business, but metro have been chasing down accurate 100W parts for years and I haven’t!
> This also has some pics of the amp interior you may be interested in?
Yes, it shows the more treble-biased mods Marshall added from the early plexi amps.
Great project. It will be loud (but you know that already!)
I have had a major re think of the Marshall clone – I just dont have to time now to build it, and the transformers are expensive, but mainly, I would not be able to use it! It’s too loud. I’m struggling as it is with the 5W Ashton and 15W Maggie366 to dumb them down. I also need to get on with finding my own setup with the amps I have, for a live gig setup, as I need to get out and start playing, and know my gear before the course starts again in Sept.
I did try the “lesser known” Neg Feedback option from Blencowe’s book, (I mentioned it in the Amp Output Post) and it was perfect for what I needed – to tame the Ashton through a new cab I had half built months ago, to house a Rola Celestion 20W dual concentric speaker. This is a trebly beast, and the Ashton was unplayable through it, as the dynamic highs cut your ears off. The feedback damped the speaker and FR so that is quite pleasant now, and very usable. It is a really simple mod to do if you are used to quiet bedroom playing, and your valve amp is too dynamic with no NFB – no maths required – just de-solder the cathode resistor and cap, and join to the OT secondary in the correct phase – done!
Haha – got some bargain boot CDs for 20p including this classic from The Darkness – geez – 10yrs back! I used to be able to hit his vocals too back then – my voice box nearly ejected when I tried it last Sunday! Ouch..!
So why did I put this particular track up? Because the Maggie366 sounds GREAT playing the rhythm guitar – really Marshallesque! The OD has that crunchiness to it with power chords. I love this amp! It’s not a full distortion for solos, but that can probably be fixed with a boost pedal. Hope to build one soon.
Not looking good for the Marshall – looks like all mains transformer primary winding’s are short…that’s pricey!
Oh yeah, almost forgot to mention – all of the EL34s in the Marshall WORK! Unbelievable! I was so sure they wouldn’t the way they rattle inside the tube, that I didn’t want to risk the Ashton for checking them at first, after blowing the Fallen Angel mains transformer, testing the 12AX7s. (Really pissed off with Ashdown’s design now, as the correctly rated T5 amp fuse should have blown first, before the mains transformer – but didn’t! Now they are hunting for an old stock version – at what price???)
EL34’s sound great in the Maggie and Ashton too – I think I prefer them to the 6V6s – they have a real clarity and sharpness to them – unless it’s my imagination…a recording will tell – soon…
Just CHECK first. To use EL34’s in a 6V6 output section amp – you have to have pin 8 (cathode) linked to pin 1 (EL34 supressor grid) on the valve holder. These stay hot for a while, too.
I added the Maggie366 secondary winding’s switch too – for the 190V and 275V options – it’s a more like an extra boost switch really. The volume difference between is not that much but it gives more tonal options for recording now though.
Wow! Doing my research on looper pedals as the current way to go for learning over and creating your own REAL music – the Boss range specifically – I came across this fab example of the ultimate culmination of affordable home studio tech, live performance, song writing ability (and good looks never hurts either!) with LIAH from Brasil: Oi! Liah! Porque voce nao tem um contrato da musica com Ivette Sangalo ou Gilberto?! Gosto usando um teclado por guiro! Imaginativo!
I was looking for the humble RC2 personally – not these newer hi tech monsters. Here’s Steve Vai’s guitarist Dave Weiner demo-ing the RC3:
You can see how far you can go with this stuff!
Cool guitar doc here:
Also, here’s the amazing 16yr old Jess Lewis who I saw on the Monkeyfest guitar page, playing a Alex Hutchins tune – she’s been snapped up by Jamtracks here:
Hmm – thought I could hear Larry Carlton in there. See Notepad page for her Room 335 version.
I absolutely love Jess’ playing feel – I’ve watched all her stuff I could find on UTube, and though she learned a lot of stuff note for note from tablature, it takes nothing away from the study she has also put in to hear every nuance in a player’s style. She really is a fine guitarist. If you needed proof of ability coming from hard work and practice though – there are no shortcuts – she is it.
Ended up getting a Digitech Jam Man Solo, and a Marshall Echohead to join the Boss DS2 distortion, and finish off my pedals setup, but haven’t had time to get familiar with the looping side of it all yet. I’ll review all this setup soon so you can make some choices if you are looking at getting a similar setup. So far I have just jammed to the preset loops – which are great, they really get you back to enjoying playing again where it doesn’t feel like practice, just fun improv.
In the mean time, here’s a great performance to show what can be done with this technology – I love the vocal harmoniser too:
Yes! the Marshall is working at last – it just has minor mains hum issues now, and a few little things to fix, but I actually played it quietly through the 66W Marquee speaker. You can tell this will be LOUD! Technically, there was nothing wrong with this amp 30 years back except blown pre amps valves! The few problems I had were due to deterioration from none use for 30 years, like wire insulation breaking down (it arced on me yesterday!) and a solder joint on the filter caps. Treating it gently with the Variac over a few slow power ups to 240V was all it required – with a LOT of respect for its 525V – after a thorough check. An experienced tech would have done all this in a day or two, but I had to take it steady. 500V DC and NO quick draining when the valves aren’t present is not to be under-estimated from a safety angle.
I will do a vid of course, at some point, as it will probably be sold now, so if anyone is interested, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will pass it on to John (sensible offers ONLY please from collectors or gigging musicians who know what this is, and that it will need some TLC to become a workhorse again – new pots etc?). For now I will keep it as original as it is, maybe looking at fixing the Channel 1 mains noise, and see what else happens once I can get it somewhere to crank it up a bit.
Now I have got somewhere with the Marshall, I will be moving on to some info on my current FX pedals for you – Boss DS-2 Turbo Distortion, Marshall Echohead, Marshall ED1 Compressor and the Digitech Jam Man Solo.
As a start, here’s the Jam Tracks you get with the Jam Man Solo – I’ll come back to the Latin one as a scales and licks study because there’s some cool things I found to play over this one – a min1, min4, dom5 chord progression:
Finally did a quick vid of my wonderful Maggie 366V amp – 9W of crunchy, mini Marshallesque delight!
I have nearly finished the Post on the Latin Loop scales/chord theory to go with the examples I’m talking about in this video:
just to finish this off, here’s all those chords and runs in 1 loop:
I found a 2nd hand non latching tap pedal in the Pawn shop that I’ve been looking for to use with the Marshall delay.
Here is a simple way to modify a non latching Tap Tempo pedal to suit your make of Delay Pedal:
These jack socket based delays work by sensing a positive or negative going pair of pulses sent to their jack socket from your two taps of the sprung contact pedal, to determine the time between pulses, then set the delays to match.
Depending on the design, they need to have the jack cable open or closed at rest. This Yamaha pedal did not work correctly initially with my Marshall EchoHead (you had to keep your foot ON the pedal and LIFT it twice to cause delay time!) until I re-soldered the wires to the contacts so that the pedal works opposite to the way it did for whatever Yamaha kit it came from. I just de-soldered the two bottom contacts from each other, so the pedal now makes, not breaks the normally open circuit when pressed, which is what the Marshall needs to see.
Wow! The Marshall Guvnor 2 pedal! What a sound. This is absolutely perfect for me for lower volume practice levels, and is lovely with the Marshall Echohead via Tap Tempo. They look great too, this range of pedals – more modern than the classic Boss 80’s “box” look, with nice curves, but still heavy duty solid.
I’m trying to decide the best way to record and demo it all for you – my Android tablet vids came out crap as the mic isn’t much good (my playing either..!). It just doesn’t sound anything like I’m hearing. The Boss Fender Bassman ’59 pedal has taken a back seat at the mo, though I have a place for that too as it’s great too, just more specific – a starting point for more subtle, and Eric Johnson type tones. It got some really bad reviews, but I think some players missed the point – it’s not designed as a full gain pedal, it’s for pre gain to add a Fender colouration to a main amp. It’s full gain is very smooth and pleasant though. A start for a legato/fusion tone perhaps, or rock/blues crunch with a Strat twang etc.
I got the Guthrie Govan Late Night Sessions backing tracks also so have been playing with all this stuff to get used to it before I demo any of it.
I have to mention a BIG THANKS to Dave from Hayden Amps, who seems to be the main tech for Ashdown – he has been a massive help – he sent me a replacement new/old stock transformer off the shelf, for my Fallen Angel 40W, which got the valves back up, but the surge also blew a TL072 Op Amp, which again, Dave has kindly offered to replace. I hope to have it all working properly soon. It took hours to go through the circuit to find it!
Really curious how it will sound with the new FX pedals in the FX send loop.
Still messing with all the pedals, but discovered something really handy tonight.
A few weeks back I got a Zoom 1202 Studio rack unit, with a Peavey Deltafex thrown in cheap. They BOTH worked and are almost the same in functionality, but the Zoom has a pitch shifter that adds any of the 12 semitones to the signal. There is a mix knob also, so that the original can be fully wet or dry which means I now effectively have a Bass guitar too! It tracks surprisingly well and the changing pickups on the guitar really changes to tone of the bass from a funk to fretless!
There is a review here:
Considering this was a 200 quid device some years back, I did quite well for both at 15 pounds.
It may be worth looking on Ebay for either of these, if you’re into home recording, but just as a different song writing tool, it made me come up with a bass riff I really like which is now the start of a new track.
You may only find the Deltafex Mk2 now – not the older one I have. Review here:
The advantage with the Zoom is it uses a standard stomp pedal -9V PSU connection, and has a on/off jack socket at the rear so can be more easily combined with your pedal FX. Beware! The Peavey uses a 16V AC adaptor which is harder to find – it worked with my 12V AC Pod PSU. Don’t mix these up – you may get a smoking surprise…read the old M Audio Audiophile Post!
Just uploaded a Post on the Zoom Bass sound:
Boy! If there is one favorite Lady missing from these pages, it’s Joni Mitchell, and as I never found the DVDs of the BBC sessions online, which I have seen on TV a couple of times, but the BBC haven’t made available on DVD. Why not!? Record Co. copyright maybe..?
I’m glad it’s been uploaded (removed for copyright now). This performance is INCREDIBLE. There is no other female vocalist, songwriter and great guitarist that compares to Joni for me. Her catalogue is huge and mostly pure class, and her uniqueness, raw talent and ability unquestionable.
Had a bit of a break from music for a week or two, as we go back to college in 2 weeks time – a busy year ahead I think!
I said how amazed with the Marshall Guvnor 2 pedal I was, so here is a bit of an idea if you haven’t heard one. This is via the Marshall Echohead delay pedal (with tap tempo) straight in the the Maggie set clean – that’s it!
Very low bedroom volumes, playing to Chillaxe from Guthrie Govan’s Late Night Session jam tracks (a highly recommended mixed bag of styles to play to – if you haven’t given up after hearing his examples first!!), but you can hear all the response of the guitar as if it was through a full amp! I chose this bit of vid as it’s the least riddled with playing errors of all the stuff I’ve done (how crap is that!?) – but also cause the first note is almost identical to Govan’s tone from his version you hear first – amazing considering this is a pedal!
Had a visit from John B yesterday who dropped off the 1960’s Fender Tremolux for a repair. Like the Marshall, this hasn’t been heard for 30 years either! I have a schematic, but will start today by seeing what valves still work, then take it from there. This one is a bit different as its the first amp I will have seen with a valve rectifier in it. It doesnt look in too bad shape…
Got off to a good start with this amp repair and research, started writing a Post, but then the mains transformer overheated at 150V and leaked liquid resin or something, and smoked a bit, so that stopped the whole repair in it’s tracks until a replacement export 240V transformer can be sourced and bought…Now it’s back to playing and studying Guthrie’s Late Night Sessions to write about instead. I want to document the chords for East City Northern Lights, and discuss jamming to it a bit…
In the mean time, hear is my take on the origins for Guthrie’s idea for this backing track – I.G.Y (international geophysical year) from Donald Fagen’s Nightfly album – hear the resemblance?
Also, on this CD, there is a text note “…suburbs of a Northeastern city…” Get it?
If you want to understand why its important for a lot of guitar players to be technically savvy – these days more than ever because of the abundance of tech available, both old like valves, and new like synth pickups and modules, check out Steve Steven’s rig below. He is one of the most under-rated guitar player’s ever in my view, and was always a sonic tech wizard and a killer player. I love the Raygun FX idea too! See he knew about electronics enough to change the resistor to alter the modulation rate on it also. Great guy.
I had Atomic Playboys back in the late 80’s and it has some KILLER riff’s on it. Check out his versatility, tone, FX and solos on that album:
Run Across Desert Sands is on the Notepad page.
Reminder to self, and for those who have never heard of the Ebow – in more detail:
…and the obvious extension to that principle – build it INTO a guitar – the Moog range:
Chuffed to bits today back at college to find that Biscuit (Ross Harris) has moved locally and become a lecturer at DBS. I first met him last year when he did a seminar at the college.
He is an amazing flutist and had most of his success with Nathan “Flutebox” Lee, taking well known classic pieces and adding a contemporary musical twist, such as adding hip hop beats, like this example of Favourite Things:
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
…and the amazing track, Dog – Notepad page
Thought I’d seen all Guthrie’s stuff but this is an old early set of some of his, in a more raw form than the Aristocrats, but I’m logging it for the jazz/funk sax set in the later part – love that stuff, and the sax player is great too…
We were shown this vid of the “Money Chords” – comically presented by the Aussie band Axis of Awesome, really ramming home how many hit songs have been written using the 1, 5, min6, 4 chord progression. On a keyboard in C (white keys only), this would be C, G, Amin and F triad chords. Now you can go and write your own hits song…
Uploaded a jam vid of the Vox US Hi Gain setting to supplement the East City Nights Post – still tripping up over the first G# key change and elsewhere but still…
Comparing the two jam vids against each other (Chillaxe above) I think I prefer the Guvnor2 through the Maggie and my cab – it has a woodiness to it that gives the Guvnor2 a clarity and individuality that the Vox doesnt have – it sounds too much like so many other modeled amp presets, like the Pod2 has. These are still great for what they are of course, but I was pleasantly surprised how good the Maggie/Guvnor2 combo is, as I haven’t played it for 2 weeks.
Also today, we did an experimental Project recording in the lecture theatre with Ross on flute – he is incredible! An hour of jamming to generate stems for the students to build into there own tracks etc – and not ONE mistake in his playing! I’ll upload some of that when I get the files. The flute is THE most awesome, beautiful wind instrument of them all – and that’s OFFICIAL…cuz I said so…
ALSO TODAY – John put me on to Morcheeba – what a fab voice Skye Edwards has! Really nice trippy-hoppy relaxo music…Down By The Sea on the Notepad Page
How good live with no mics is this? Heartfelt and pure.
The old Sound Engineer’s rule of thumb was mentioned yesterday – Boost Wide, Cut Narrow – relating to EQ and mixing. Here’s a good article explaining that principle:
removed from YT for copyright reasons – what Holdsworth was capable of in 1974 – barely in his 20’s by the looks – when everyone thought Hendrix was the ultimate in technical guitar playing ability…classic 70s fusion. (nothing against Jimi of course – Electric Ladyland, say no more!)
In our Sound for PC Games college unit, we watched this doc on the famous Sound Designer, Ben Burt (Star Wars FX) and his contribution to the Wall-E movie. I really want to see the film now just to hear the soundtrack!
Wow! 50,000 hits today! Thanks everyone! I will try to keep it varied so there’s something for everyone, but most topics are mainly about whatever comes my way next…I like that unpredictability factor in life though, don’t you? I never got anywhere trying to plan anything, that’s for sure…
I book a live room at DBS, 3 hours each Thurs night (didn’t record the first one with the Vox and Maggie amps and missed some good stuff of John B’s keys) to get a chance to go through my amps at volume, and this week I was pleasantly surprised how good the Guvnor2 and Echohead sounded through the Fender Champ 12, which really retains a Fender out of phase tone from my Ibanez. It also has a woodiness about it like the Maggie through my cab, but seems a bit of a smoother overdrive via the clean channel. The OD channel of the Champ alone is not so good, and very loud compared to the clean at max, but this amp still needs some minor repairs, tweaking and servicing, if not a full re-calibration.
As usual with my inconsistent playing, about 2 hours of jamming was riddled with errors, but this clip was not too bad, and chosen to show the sound of the Fender more so, as winding back the guitar volume a bit really kept the pickup tone, but with all the sustain and harmonics still there:
I was checking it out to sell it, but now I’m not so sure…
Researching Auto Wah/Envelope Filter FX, I found out here:
that some cheaper/older pedals use a Low Frequency Oscillator to continuously sweep the sound spectrum periodically, so are not player dynamics controlled in the same way as other models like the now more famous and rare Guyatone WR-3, (due no doubt to Guthrie Govan’s use):
where the strength of picking alters the way the filter and resonant frequency works, which is what you want, so you can control the expression of the effect. Beware of this when looking at different models on Ebay etc – research the model. A good example of these differences from the Wiki link, are the Boss AW 2 and AW 3 models.
Watched the first of this excellent series today on melody –
For our Keyboard Use college unit, we had to write a short piece using the Money Chords, as a basis for automating Apple Logic functions via external midi controls, so just for your mild amusement, here is my track – that I just had to wreck, as it was quite tedious using these chords, and difficult to be original with them due to their overuse in pop songs in the past.
Just to add some interest, altering the timing on the accents warped it a bit, before adding the insane break just to really go overboard.
Journey meets I am the Walrus. Neil Schon did NOT play the keys solo…
really enjoying Heavy Machinery – it brings out a different side of Allen’s playing, I love the guitar amp and Synthaxe mixing on some solos – the synth attack with amp tone and sustain – great stuff!
Allan Holdsworth – guitar, SynthAxe
Jens Johansson – keyboard, bass synthesizer, production
Anders Johansson – drums, production
here’s track 1 to give you an idea of this more up tempo fusion that I think Allen really excels at, and it brings out a different side of him – there’s even a Blues track on this CD!
Also tomorrow is jam night, and JB is bringing in the 100W JMP Marshall to be tested (gently) up to (hopefully!) full whack with no damage – if its not deafening, through one of the DBS tech’s (Josh) 120W cab. Josh is also bringing in his Diezel valve head in to show us, and I will be taking the Ashdown Fallen Angel in for a 40W full volume blasting, so a 3 x Amp comparison video should be coming soon! I just hope the mic on the Android pad can cope with the sonic onslaught!
Had a great jam night earlier – all the amps sounded great and very different. John’s Marshall performed wonderfully right up to deafening full volume and nothing blew, so now it’s had a good 2 hour workout after 30 years of silence it will be going on Ebay this Saturday. A fine piece of history and a great amp! I am still amazed that 40 year old components still work – the large caps particularly.
I was also really pleased with the Ashdown FA 40 – it is definitely a more “rock” amp than the Maggie or Fender Champ, with nice but biting overdrive at volume, and the Guvnor2 sounds great through it also, but different to the others again.
More off the Fallen Angel on the Notepad page.
I didn’t get so much time with the incredible Diezel Einstein 50W, but you could tell it is a top notch design with a unique but very “specialist” boutique tone and character – like I’d expect a Suhr or Cornford to be in the flesh. 2 channel (clean and dirty) with a 3 mode switch. A lot to discover with it. Initial dirt tone is just not “me”. 6 pre amp tubes and 2 6V6s, I think from what I saw through the grill.
Don’t think I’d pay 1700 quid any new amp, I’d rather build my own cheaper, simpler amp for the surprise tone factor, personally. A great amp even so with lots of features and options. A heavy lump.
The Orange 2 x 12, 120W cab is great too – a lot of volume in a small quite light and portable package.
I will be trawling through the Android vids to find bits of video for each amp and upload something asap.
Obviously, at these volumes the touchpad mic can’t take it well, so you don’t hear what we did with any of the amps:
There’s a good tonal review of it on the Notepad page.
I’ve decided to put all the Marshall related video – except this one:
– including some clowning around? – on one separate Post page along with known issues and other info so prospective Ebayer’s can read what they need to know, and the sale conditions, before bidding on this amp when it goes up for sale soon. It’s save’s me editing loads of stuff also. This then documents the first full volume test with this amp – bad quality audio unfortunately due to the extreme volume levels obviously.
Onto other stuff – we did a piano miking exercise last Thursday, for our live recording lessons, in the drama studio, and John played some fantastic stuff – Thelonius Monk – we’ve never heard him play “properly” at this level before – a real shame it wasn’t videoed. Soon as I have bounced that session via FLS, I’ll put it here.
Bloody camera had defaulted to minimum res – but this shows the technique used – 3 x stereo pairs mics – 1 in front, and 2 behind. Mics were Rode NT1, s, NT2As, and C214s.
African Flower by Abdullah Ibrahim, Blues in C with workmen’s digger in the BG (at end)!!
All I did in FLS was max the Sequencer volume and pan the mics in pairs:
FLS has been pissing me off lately. Some major design oversites here, like not being able to drag multiple samples into the Playlist, and now I have run into a size limitation for this also. John’s Piano session had a continuous 4 track part in one recording via Logic, so the files a very large – 6 files at 240MB each.This meant FLS could only drag in 4 of them, but would not allow the other two. No warning, no dialogue box, no reason – nothing!
I had to use Reaper to chop them up into the 4 tracks, which CAN drag all files in at once, had no size limit, and I could bounce out again as a WAV. It could not render direct to MP3 without first downloading the Open Source Lame MP3 codec, but this is hardly a big deal considering a 6 week trial. It is as expensive as FLS unfortunately at $235. I will probably look at this in more detail as and when – the DBS lecturers use it a bit also – wave forms etc.
Once all 6 files were panned in stereo and bounced out as 1 stereo WAV, it could be dragged back into to FLS to render to MP3 at 256kbs – what a hassle for a major oversight in FLS!! I hate it when programmers (or designers in ANY industry) overlook the obvious simple user basics and concentrate on less necessary frills and gimmicks first.
Right – this page is taking too long to load now so I’ve trimmed links and videos where some artists, info or vid links were doubled up, and put those on the Notepad Page.
Time to start Page 3 methinks…?
If you wish to purchase Fruity Loops DAW software, you can get a 10% discount buying via my FL Affiliate link here:
If this site is beneficial to you, you may contribute to its upkeep with a small donation:
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ PAGE STATS +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Statistics recorded with Counterize - Version 3.1.4
|Today||Last 24 hours||Last 7 days||Last 30 days||Total|
|Unique visitors (1h interval)||72||184||930||3625||125054|
|Unique visitors (30 min interval)||74||188||1040||3873||136025|
|Hits per unique visitor||1.8||2.15||5.43||6.23||5.72|
|Pages per unique visitor||1.61||1.57||4.18||5.09||4.32|
Most visiting countries (10)