All Tracks available for download have now moved to the Music Sales Page:
So - what to start this new page with...?
I won't put all the Disclaimer stuff or FLS links here for a start, just the Hits info.
At some point I will do a summary Post for the Live Environment Recording stuff we have done so far, as it is the most interesting college class so far this year as it's "hands on" in the real world, as we have done 2 sessions in the Lecture Theatre, featuring Ross Harris on flute, and 1 session in the long corridor outside of it which came out really well, with one of our students doing some nice acoustic guitar and vox stuff. Last week was the Drama Theatre with JB on piano which you heard on Page 2.
This class is about finding particular acoustic environments to record instruments or whole bands in, and the sweet spots therein, by clapping and moving around the space to see where you think the best place to put the mics or the instruments would be. An example of very different environments is shown in these vids by the band Deaf Havana - one in a chapel, and one in Vale Studios - a Town House landing - the different ambience of a space can make or break a good song, and radically affect artist performance:
If you are interested in Live Recording, a suggested book is Live Audio: the art of mixing a show, by Dave Swallow:
Marshall JMP sold no problem off course, JB happy with the price, and think the buyer is too.
I’m building the Ampmaker.com PP18 amp at the mo, but won’t bore you with that one, unless something interesting crops up during the build.
I just found this vid which is cool – I used to try to jam to Candy D back in the 90’s as a change from rock stuff, to try to get more toward a jazz fusion learning curve – guess I never made it!
Candy Dulfer live in 2009 – enjoy:
Doing a Jam Man Solo loop to learn the Lydian flat 7 scale against, that we came across in the GGovan Seal The Feel study, so will put it up when done. Also an excuse to learn more of the looper as I haven’t done much with it since buying it.
The first 2 octaves of this scale and the first chords of my loop are here:
Just try jamming over this simple chord riff using this scale until the shape visually gets more familiar to you, then hopefully the sound of the scale will start to embed itself in your subconscious also, with time. Extend the scale over more and more of the neck until you can play it all over the fretboard without thinking too much of the scalar shape, just by following the sound of the notes.
If you have a DAW just import the .wav in to loop it there, or write your own major chord version that has a flat 5 and flat 7 in it…
Ha! I don’t think I need to do a post on this for you to get the idea of how quickly you can build up layers of ascending and descending patterns, and by the time you have done just that, you have a new tune to expand maybe, and you have hypnotized yourself in the process!
I’ve looped this in FLS so you can jam over it with this scale, and see how I built it and what I mean…
It would be nice to have an easier way to copy out each loop as you do it so that they could be separate tracks in FLS and mixed properly.
Just so you can see how ridiculously far you can go with over laying the modes of this scale – it’s a bit different now from what it started as – lost the drums completely!:
Now you may be able to better understand Holdsworth’s view, of all the modes of a scale just being part of the same main scale, with only a name to identify them as seven individual modes (or other amount depending on the scale) – they are all just a part of the same fundamental scale.
Got to firing up the mains rectifiers in the PP18 build today – hope to incorporate some of the fun LED ideas from Merlin’s site, in this amp to add some colour, and fill some panel holes also!
“The schematic above shows a simple preamp (albeit with some Valve Wizard tricks incorporated) and shows some fun ways in which LEDs can be incorporated, usually with no impact on the tone of the amp. The different applications are numbered:
1: In series with the anode. For normal values of anode resistor, this will have no effect on tone / operation. The LED will slowly come on as the valve warms up.
2: LED bias. Obviously this has the same effect as a bias resistor with a perfect bypass capacitor, so carries tonal considerations. The LED will slowly come on as the valve warms up.
3: In series with a cathode load resistance/tail resistance. Although this will raise the cathode voltage by a tiny amount, it is usually insignificant in terms of normal circuit operation. The LED will slowly come on as the valve warms up.
4: In series with a smoothing capacitor. A rectifier diode is also added in parallel to allow normal operation of the cap. The LED will be off normally, but will light up as the capacitor discharges at switch off, providing a warning while the cap is still holding charge
5: A dual-colour LED in series with a smoothing capacitor. The green LED will light for a couple of seconds at switch on as the capacitor charges, and the red LED will light at switch off. Don’t use this one on the reservoir cap though, the higher inrush current will fry the LED!
6: Ok, this one isn’t an LED, it’s a neon lamp used as grid-to-cathode arc protection on a DC-coupled stage. The neon will light at switch-on until the valve has warmed up, when it will switch off. (An LED can’t be used here due to the high reverse-voltage during normal operation)”.
I will be building the PP18 with 6V6 valves, not EL84s – just cause I already have plenty of them. Researching this, I discovered Yellow Jackets, and VHT adaptors, that allow EL84s to be inserted into 6V6 sockets:
Personally, I would just wire a nonal socket in parallel with an existing octal socket, (noting the pinout differences!), in a home built amp as these adaptors are quite pricey, but if you have an existing 6V6 production amp where you can’t or don’t want to re-wire it, then these adaptors give you a chance to see what different tonality is available using EL84s instead. Generally a harsher, rockier, crunchier tone from EL84s, over the 6V6/6L6/EL34 valves are reported. Make sure you check ALL your relevant tech specs. before trying it, or seek advice.
Had a proper test drive of the new “toy” today – the Boss Autowah AW3 – quite a unit – so will upload something of that going through the Marshall Mercury 2060. I wanted to get the Mercury on vid also, as its the last of the amps to be documented cranked up at DBS. It sounds great! This amp has a bad rep generally it seems, (top 5 most disliked Marshalls I read somewhere) but it has a definite cutting tone, and now I have seen one go for only 75 quid on Ebay this week, they are worth looking for I think. It’s still advertised mostly as a “vintage” Marshall after all, and a collectors piece (whatever defines “vintage..?”).
“denoting something from the past of high quality, especially something representing the best of its kind”
Well, by that definition, a Mercury is not vintage, but then, that means the bulk of most older amps are not either. Very few would be the “best” of their kind, but then subjectivity come into it again – tone and player response etc. as well as build quality, reliability and ruggedness. I guess that’s why 60’s Marshalls are still so sought after, as they tick all those boxes…
The Guvnor2 sounds great with it, like the other amps, but different again. It will be interesting to play all the vids in series to hear the differences – Maggie, Champ, Angel and Mercury. My version of the ampmaker.com PP18 is almost finished now also, to be added to that list.
The AW3 will take some practice to get the most out of it (GGs slap funk technique will take ages to master!) as it is very trebly when it opens the filter, and is on a hair trigger sensitivity. I also put John’s keys through it to see what happened and some interesting sounds ensued from the 5 main settings. I’ll put some vid up of that also, once edited. GG is now responsible for the Guyatone WR3 wah going from his “cheapest pedal” to stupidly priced and rare as duck’s teeth now it’s discontinued, (replaced by the WR5) now he has made it famous.
Finished the PP18_6V6 amp today, and experienced “Rectifier Hash” – a nasty form of AC hum, but fixed it as documented in the build summary Post here:
I hope to test drive it fully at DBS this Thurs, with pedals etc as usual. It’s quite loud at around 15W.
Will try and get the AW3 wah vids up today also.
I haven’t done a complete track in ages, just lots of bits for college etc. so I thought I may as well class this as finished, for a college project due in at Xmas. It came out of the live recording sessions we have done, featuring Ross Harris on live flute, from the very first recording we did in the lecture theatre. I discarded the ambient mics and went with the close mics only, and added reverb in FLS. All else is Sytrus keys and the Magic Music Maker Soundpool DVD samples. It was mastered with Maximus on the “a” preset, and bounced to MP3 at 256kbps. I wanted to use kotos and shamizens in the second solo part for a Japanese feel, but had no keys or samples, but found the Bougarabou and Congas samples instead which turned it more tribal – the Timpanis were an unexpected bonus – shame about the clicky sample…
Also, a vid of the first test drive of the Boss Auto Wah 3 pedal through the Guv2, Echohead and Marshall Mercury. Should give you a rough idea as whether it is for you or not.
I have another to come of JB playing keys through it also. Works well on some patches.
Had a small mixing tutorial with lecturer Dave today, on a track that JB has added some Apple keys to, from the first live session recording we did which was just Dave on bodhran, Ross on flute and JB on Melodica. JB has done some nice Logic orchestral strings and double bass on it and some extra percussion, and we all had a hand in a rough mix of it today. We pitch-shifted a second bodhran track down 1 octave to add more bass oomph feel to it, compressed it in places, and added overall reverb via Space Designer to get it all in the same “space”. NOt bad I reckon, as a rough mix of a “jam” so far:
I’m back to head scratching where my new amp is picking up the 18V of rectifier ripple from at the power tube anodes..nice. Looks like a re-wire may be in order, and maybe move the transformers inside the chassis like the others…nice also! DOH!!!
Took the PP18 to college with the Maggie, but the pad would not charge so could not vid it. I compared noise/hash against the Maggie, which is not actually that bad as SNR when playing – you cant hear it much, but I know its there so it really bugs me. I realised I could have a stereo setup with each amp through one speaker each of my cab, so tried that out. Will expand on this at home with the Echohead and Zoom stereo outs, but it looked like this on the night, and sounded great. Will have to vid it another time.
Added the LEDs to the PP18, but there is not much current to make them bright as most LEDs require 20mA. The LTP section has 57k of resistance in the tail so not much current flowing, so that LED is barely lit. Another experience, but not worth the extra wiring hassle. Added a vid of the hash noise to the PP18 Post, and some info on the changes, but the last option is to buy the snub caps tomorrow and try that, and maybe try a new set of diodes…if that fails, then I’ll have to live with it, as I’m out of ideas now.
Forgot to tell ya…I found a free DL of Govan and the Fellowship at The Basement Club, so here is the .rar file of the live MP3s of that fab jazz/funk stuff he does in that band.
Guthrie Govan and the Fellowship
I have a temporary if imperfect solution to the hash problem with the PP18 amp – putting the info in that Post now…with 3 vids of how it all came out well in the end – Finally! What a drama that was for the last few days..
Got hypnotised by the riff in The Fellowships 7th Heaven, so had to work it out at college in the Piano Roll in Logic as it shows score info too. I ran it by JB who said the bars are out, but notes are correct, so for all you dots readers:
and here’s the sax riff doubled with midi piano:
I will transpose it to the melody line that Guthrie plays at some point..Here:
7th Heaven Harmony Riff.mp3
Its probably not GG’s exact harmony line but…
Spent the weekend stripping the PP18 back to cut and file the rectangles required to put the transformer pins inside the amp, same as the Maggie.
This means shorter cable runs and cables not running together through the top holes which I think was a cause – or a contribution – along with possible alignment issues causing flux leakage etc. and allowing the spikes to get onto the valve cathodes from the heater circuit..? See the PP18 Post for more added info on that.
I will know tomorrow when I check it all again before power up, then add the valves and see what happens. If there is Hash again, it will probably be launched out the window…
A great mythbuster vid here by Monty Montgomery re sampling and the A2D2A conversion process:
The Digi Media vid here:
If you want to export MIDI data:
MIDI is a standard note & automation data format and will save the contents of the Step Sequencer and Piano roll. As note data is saved along with FL Studio project, only export to MIDI if you intend to import the note data into a 3rd party application. To export:
Make sure to save your project in its current state, the next step will replace Channel instruments.
Use the macro Prepare for MIDI export on the main Tools menu that replaces all Channels with auto-configured MIDI Out plugins. This is necessary to export project-wide MIDI in the correct multi-channel format. To export individual Piano roll data as MIDI files use the Piano roll menu option ‘Export as MIDI file’.
Select MIDI on the Export Project Dialog and press Start.
Don’t save your project in this state you will lose the original Channel settings. Save to a new project if required.
NOTE: MIDI is not an audio format. If your media player can play MIDI files it is using the synthesizer/sampler built into your soundcard to create audio from the MIDI data.
PP18 Amp working OK now – still a bit of hash and hum, but has correct tonality. I put some new info in the Post.
Will record it tonight hopefully at DBS.
John Chambers at Chambonino, has a store of Carlsbro schematics and some great pics of the work he has undertaken on many amp models here:
A really informative site by an Old School Pro.
Check out the bespoke 1000W!! valve amp he built there too.
Decided to sell some gear on Ebay as I have too many amps not being used around here now, so I did a quick vid of the Vox AD30VT presets, as its up on Ebay UK from tomorrow.
A Peavey Deltafex also on Ebay – did a quick vid Post for that here:
As I just recently dragged myself fone wise into this decade with an Experia Arc smartphone, I found this cool and easy to use Android guitar tuner app – DaTuner – from the Google Store here:
Very nice graphics I think you will agree?
Also today, after that great Monty vid above, I’m looking into creating square-ish waves using the odd harmonics of a fundamental sine wave – integers 1,3,5,7,9… – in Synthmaker, so will do a post if successful (it crashed on me adding the 3rd oscillator already…)
The actual equation is this:
…And here is the approximation with 5 sine waves – 1k, 3k, 5k, 7k, and 9k – the best example arrowed. I think the shapes are inconsistent because FLS is not triggering the sines at exactly the same time with each loop of the Sequencer note..?
Done a mini Post on the new Carlsbro 60W PA amp that arrived yesterday, which is already cleaned, tested and working!
Will be videoing it at DBS tomorrow. (Yeah I said that last week re the PP18 but didn’t bother – was not in the mood..)
Fixed the reverb on the Carlsbro CS60 and added more to that Post – a bit of spring reverb anatomy included. Made in the US by Gibbs – subsid of Hammond – it seems a very good quality unit.
Added a vid of the clean tone and with FX also. Really like these 1970s Carlsbro amps – a quality build and virtually hum free! As good as the early Marshall’s it seems…
Browsing Youtube on amp repair vids, I just had to comment on some of the really BAD and potentially dangerous (or just unnecessary) bullshit you may come across in some videos if you are new to working on valve amps – BEWARE!
Study some basic electronics formally beforehand and use some common sense, don’t take the word of any old goon on an internet video – including ME!!
Research yourself, and understand what you are doing and why – don’t just blindly follow rules of thumb without understanding the reasons behind them! It’s your life not theirs at stake.
An example here:
Here’s just some of the (many!) problems I had with this guy, watching this video – although he did use a meter with insulated probes at the end (why not right from the start and not have the confusing errors):
First – I don’t agree with using drain leads anyway if you have a DDM available – you have no feedback at all from a piece of wire on the end of a chopstick, and if (like him) you check with a meter after, why bother in the first place?
If – especially probable on an old amp – there is corrosion on the wires or cap end, you may not get a contact that would drain the cap, so you now assume a cap IS drained when it may not be, and although that holds true for any connector, you can scratch a bit or move with more precision (don’t slip though!) with a long insulted probe attached to a DDM, and at least maybe see a flicker on the DDM indicating something visual.
Second – this guy states 470 ohm, 1 Watt resistor with NO explanation of why that value was chosen – it is totally wrong if you do the maths like the example for a drain lead I gave in my handbook amp build for a 220K, 1 Watt resistor.
I think he actually means a 470k resistor. Why?
If you do the maths with ohms law, V = IR, and the power equation P = IV you understand why.
If you had a DC cap charged to say a (low!) possible valve amp voltage of 300V, and connected a 470R resistor you would get 300V/470R = 0.64 Amps flowing through it. The power consumed would be P = IV = 0.64A x 300V = 191 Watts! This is through a 1 Watt rated resistor! It would probably smoke, burn or pop.
As you already have a resistor chain specifically designed for voltages up to maybe 1000V DC in your multimeter that gives you an actual reading – just USE IT! Just make sure you have a sprung hook/grip type clip on the positive, and where you hold is well insulated.
So, if you clip the ground to the chassis with a croc clip, test it IS connected and not got a chassis dirty/corroded connection also, by doing a resistance measurement to it with the positive lead on the Ohms setting first from another point on the chassis, before you test the cap on the voltage setting…this is just common sense stuff that ensures good practice and thinking about what you are doing and why, and staying focused before taking a reading.
Thirdly – I lost total faith in this guy’s general knowledge when touching the red leads and he said
“that seems to be ok” and “this caps positive end is connected this caps negative end…I find interesting…blah”
Why?? How can it “seem” to be ok when you have nothing to see or read? Also, capacitors can be stacked in series so they can handle higher voltages as in the 523V HT JMP Marshall, so yes – the positive of one cap would be connected to the negative of another! Here is the JMP example:
Fourthly – “keeping the clips attached to the caps so they don’t build up a charge while we’re working on the amp..”
WHAT the fuck..? How is that going to happen if you just “drained” them supposedly – is he working on it with the mains plugged in?
Fifthly – “the drain resistor stops the sparks…blah”
No it doesn’t, as the physics of a spark in air is complex and due to Potential Difference and distance between points, not current flow or resistance in a circuit.
You do an experiment in school science with a Van der Graaf generator, that still causes a spark even though your body resistance is very high – it makes you jump, but is not fatal because current flow is minimal – but there is a spark!
Sixthly – “draining caps at valve pins” – you should never take readings or touch valve pins whenever there is another safer connection option (like the wire attached to it on the board!), as it is easy to slip with a probe here (as I know all too well from experience causing a pin to pin arc fire!).
Depending on the valve type, the HT anode can be right next to the low voltage heater pin, so a slip here can cause an air arc short that will continue to burn the pin metal, won’t blow a fuse, and won’ go out until power is turned off!
Only the second vid, couple of secs in and again – dreadful – the famous GW – the expensive book dude!:
Firstly – attach to pin 1, switch standby and the caps will be drained…amp safe to work on..”
Wow, really!?…What if the amp is faulty, which you would assume it is why it is most likely in a workshop in the first place, and doesn’t drain?
The pin issue I already mentioned, he has non insulated croc clips, and doesn’t check the chassis connection. If that pin was live, and chassis connection bad, he could have been shocked.
Secondly – “amp safe in 20 secs”
As seen in my Posts, some amps are and some are not, also depends a LOT if the valves are in or out…
And lastly, this vid –
Some is right (e.g always plug in a speaker before switch on), some is wrong (e.g. always plug in a guitar before switch on – it makes no odds, better to turn the volume down before you do though for the crackle) and most is repeated shite without knowing the technical reasons why (e.g. melted metal inside – er, no – very hot filaments – but not melted!)
Hahaha. Don’t sell your vintage tube amp! Even if you are starving to death, lost your job, in debt, your house is about to be repossessed by the bank, you have given up playing, and gone deaf – don’t sell your amp!!
Jeez, people play 350V+ DC based appliances with only 2 prong mains wires = without a safety Earth connection??? Say no more – you deserve to get shocked…get it converted!
Anything digital through a tube amp? – hmmm…. even though a tube amp adds second order harmonics in most cases at least, so will enhance and improve the sound of your digital pedals…if you say so Buddy, you tech genius…
Well, a crappy nights playing at DBS again this week, as I’m not playing from week to week at home, but I did find that the Fender 59 Bassman pedal sounds good through the Carlsbro, as it’s a very smooth overdrive, yet I can’t get a good tone from the Guv2 through it for some reason lately…well, not one that I like while playing, yet listening back to he vids late it sounds great?! Must be the mood thing at the time..? Just couldn’t get into it again this week.
I need a 2 x 12 100W cab for this thing so I can drive it harder to get the harmonics, I think.
The 66W Marshall Marquee is on the limit with it, even at vol 4 it seems. Maybe its peak power not RMS..?
If I find anything of interest in the 3 hours of shit vids, I’ll put it up..probably not.
Finally got round to looking at the “egg frying” noise fault with the Fender Champ, after a year! Duh. All it took was a new pre amp valve! I thought it would be electrolytic caps…
Do the simple checks first eh…? Duh.
Also, pre amps have sprung metal sleeves available for a reason – they keep out radio noise! Check out the cut of my home WiFi hub beaconing once they are added.
I have put the vids on the Champ Repair Post so you know what it sounds like:
Finished the Remix Project for college, which I’m really pleased with – great playing by Ross Harris on flute, and solo vibes and strings keys by JB.
I’ll upload the document of the whole Project as a Post soon.
I’m helping with some flute stems recording with Ross tomorrow, but don’t know what Pro project it is for yet, so looking forward to that – will keep ya posted..
Have a series of vids of Ross doing the stems recordings for his latest band Rap Project – great insight to how different musos approach a recording session, so will upload them as a Post maybe as there is a lot of them.
2 mics, then 5 layers of 2 track flute harmonies – 3 layers of alto
and 2 layers C flute.
This gives the producer at the other end of the emailed files lots of options for mixing.
Here’s the first vid:
and the last #17:
Here’s the 7th Heaven Loops revisited, bounced out at normal 136 BPM, and about 2/3 speed to practise – I’ll explain what I did in FLS in a Post maybe – how I found the correct BPM etc. and I have a vid of trying to learn the notes on guitar below…I struggled for an hour or so with the picking patterns while time stretching the mp3 in FLS/Edison.
As usual with learning new picking patterns, start slow, get it right first before you increase speed. Experiment with different fret/note positions as one part may be easier to play elsewhere etc.
One of the DBS guys found an old 70s Hammond Phoenix in the charity store for £50 recently, which we will be exploring in the New Year hopefully – some amazing sounds on board! Want to look in the back to see what’s going on in there…hoping for a rotating Leslie speaker baffle…
The history of the Hammond organ and its inventor – Laurens, and the Drawbar concept is really interesting – clever guy with 90 odd patents to his name:
Had a look at Cuban Heel in Logic9 today to work through the track key changes and use the markers to name them. This gives an insight into the overall jam track structure. I just play the bass notes on the midi keys at each change to check the key, then mark it. I’m doing this as an experiment to match the tempo like I did for the 7th Heaven track Post in FLS, and get ideas for creating my own jam tracks for the end of year college Project. This one was quite easy to set to tempo by lining up the waveform to the beats which was bang on at 121 BPM.
Oddly, Logic seems to fail with auto detecting tempo for full length MP3s, as it failed for Doobie Vibe last week also:
I’m still absolutely stunned and fuming each time I decide to sit at the midi keys, that FLS has no way of moving through synth or plugin presets other than mouse clicks or using the Browse Presets menu from the top left drop box then using the Up/Down arrows to move through them and select one with a Return key press. You can’t seem to assign your midi keyboard controls to these PC menu functions. Is it that difficult for a programmer to code MIDI to software graphics keystrokes? I’d like to know why at least, if GOL or someone would explain.
Otherwise, this has got to be the most unforgivable oversight by any DAW programmer ever surely?
How would you use FLS live without pre-assigning midi channels in the track automation – a lot of work just to play a sound eh? You just want to be able to use your laptop and MIDI keys as you would a synth eh?
There is so little info on google about this and confirming it, it’s a joke – and Image Line seem to keep pretty quiet about the topic in their MIDI keyboard setup sections. I found this on google’s 3rd page only here for example – and even that is wrong for FLS10 – the F5 and F6 keys dont do this:
“sadly there’s no way.
“You can switch between channels using MIDI but not presets/plugins.
You can however select “browse presets” from the plugin menu and then while in the browser use F6 and F5 to switch between presets.”
Here’s some other tips for FLS users:
Brief look at Ableton Lite – Post here:
No use to me it seems…
Man, this takes me back to 90s Friday beer night’s with the lads – rock on TV at 1am…
Jane’s Addiction – Been Caught Stealing
The Aitken Amps Q+A page – loads of good valve info:
“Q: How can I measure the output power of my amplifier if I don’t have an oscilloscope, just with a signal generator and a meter?
A. In order to get an accurate measurement of output power, you should use a purely resistive load. A reactive load, like a speaker, will have an impedance that varies with frequency. Tube amps are not constant-voltage devices, so the output voltage will vary with changes in load impedance, which will cause you to get an inaccurate measurement of amplifier output power if you assume a constant resistance load equal to the speaker impedance.
Also, current and voltage are not in phase in a reactive load. The current waveform either leads or lags the voltage waveform. To get a truly accurate measurement of power into a reactive load, you have to multiply the voltage by the current, and then multiply this result by the cosine of the phase angle between the voltage and the current. This is why you should use a purely resistive load for power measurements – the voltage and current are in phase in a purely resistive load, so the cosine of the phase angle between the two (zero degrees) is equal to one, so you can ignore it and just multiply the voltage by the current to get the real power.
Also note that the RMS power in a square wave is exactly twice the RMS power of a sine wave of equal amplitude. This is because the RMS value of the sine wave is equal to 1/sqrt(2), or 0.707 times the peak, while the RMS value of the square wave is equal to the peak value. Since power is voltage squared divided by resistance, the sine wave power equation has a factor of (1/sqrt(2))^2, or 1/2, while the square wave power has a factor of 1, so the square wave power is twice that of the sine wave power. If you have an RMS reading meter, and can’t tell where the clip point is, you may be reading square wave power and trick yourself into thinking your amp puts out more power than it really does. It can sometimes be difficult to tell the onset of clipping in a tube amp, it is usually much smoother than the onset of clipping in a solid-state amp.
Having said all this, if you are just looking for a ballpark figure, a meter and a load resistor will do fine, if you have the amp set just prior to where you start to hear distortion when a speaker is connected. Sub a load resistor equal to the speaker impedance, measure the RMS AC voltage, square it, and divide by the measured value of the load resistor. Be *sure* your meter reads in true RMS, or you will get an incorrect result. Use a 400Hz signal as the input source, because this is where most speakers have their “flattest”, or nominal, impedance.”
Happy New Year to you all!
Last few days spent experimenting with Negative Feedback to solve the PP18 issue finally – well happily compromise at least – while the rest of the world was partying hard no doubt! Oh, to have a life again…
At least all that Xmas bollox is over with for another year! Thankfully. Back to college on Monday I think..?
The NFB Post is at:
Had a lecture with bass player Malcolm Joseph giving the students the benefits of his experience of 25 years in the Music Biz. He ran through some vids from his pop days in teen band Seventh Heaven in 1986 who got to about no. 37 in the charts back then – his first big lesson in financial management rip offs, as standard for so many acts still today – to more recent work culminating in the gigs for Grace Jones, such as this show:
Doesn’t she look great for 60 odd?!
He spoke about having 10 days to learn 42 tracks for that tour, and how dedicated, focused, polite, respectful and positive you need to be to get on in this biz. Most of that seemed to be lost on our current generation of short span of attention teenagers in the audience as usual…
Been busy with amp theory and college, but first day back saw JB meeting the Hammond for the first time. We hope to do some experimental mic technique with this classic, with the back off to access the revolving Leslie baffle – if there is actually one in there!
Had an odd discovery with the Carlsbro 60PA at DBS tonight – it seems it starts to break up at around volume 7 to a classic rock/blues tone? Odd for PA amp…?
I ran it through an Orange 112 that was in the room, so I could crank it and this is what I got – hardly unpleasant:
Er..found out the 112 cab is only 60W also, so probably maxed out…
Also, I tried the Orange Tiny Terror – what a 15W Beast! I want one!
I was amazed – I played through the whole Mr Big album which I haven’t enjoyed like that for 20 years. The tone was spot on for that! Absolutely recommended for the quite low cost, if you want a raw rock tone in a portable package – considering an amp kit will cost that anyway – so these reviews are positive for a good reason:
My phone went flat by then so no vids of that, but it gave me the idea of doing reviews of all the DBS amps – save me dragging all my own gear in for a while also, so I’ll do the Orange TT first so I can compare it clean and for noise to one of mine…
Been doing a Post on passive filters, and noise in general in amps which I will upload in the next day or 2.
Tested all my amps to try to get radio station noise from a TV aerial and succeeded with the Marshall 2060 – probably partly because it has a transistor pre amp, among other reasons:
Uploaded some course work docs on the Haas Effect/Psychoacoustics and have a Logic9 vid showing how to set arpeggiation on a synth patch, which I’ll try to upload soon:
I invented a little diatonic 7ths exercise for myself a couple of years back, so thought I’d do it in FLS and share it.
I’m not big on exercises personally – rather just play along to tracks – but you do have to do a certain amount of scalar and chordal study so you have something to play right?!
This exercise helps fix chord shapes on the fretboard in your head (see old Post on C diatonic scale for Word scale doc), and aurally fix C major scale note relations in your brain. Play it slowly at 74B BPM without mistakes first before moving on to 120 BPM.
This also gave me an idea for how to develop shapes an patterns for “tapping” using the 12 fret as your reference point which I’ll Post/vid another time.
On the fretboard, just follow the shapes down the neck, and play across the neck 2 octaves and back, twice for each chord shape:
Had a good night at DBS yesterday – played the Line 6 Spider IV 75W modelling combo – (great for the processed Joe Satch type stuff – a Pod2 on steroids):
The Fender Mustang 3 modelling combo:
and the Tiny Terror head again (review link last week so here’s the combo):
All videoed this time – so still debating what bits of vids to put of some of each.
I liked both the digi amps, but got bored with trying all the FX tones eventually so no review on them from me here – some great sounds though -modeled from some of their classic amps, Princeton etc…
Nice to get back to the simplicity of the great sounding TT valve amp to just blast away and enjoy playing the Mr Big songs that it sounds just right for.
It just rocks…and sometimes that’s all you want.
Am gonna put the vids in a Post – DBS Amps – so I can add to it in future.
Just got what I need – another Carlsbro – but the combo CS60TC:
Paid more than I wanted to, but it has 2 x 12, 90W Celestions in it, so I can use it for the CS60 head also, and know I can crank them both fully.
No work to do to on it(?) as its just been serviced, so hopefully will have it by next Thursday to vid it…
Reminder to self – get this worked on..The Master himself, Mr Morse..removed…
Also, got some more Jamtracks as a welcome change from GG – just the styles I’m looking to work toward now – bebop/jazz fusion type stuff from the also rather amazing Alex Hutchings:
Perfect for those Larry Carlton key changes…
Mmm..this ones going in Logic 9 for analysis of chords…
Alex doesn’t have the same recog as Guthrie it seems, but he should. He does great tech gear lessons for Boss also.
Another Post on string harmonics
This is the most entertaining vid I have seen in ages – the latest tech for guitar and drums – a Roland clinic with Alex Hutchings and Michael Shack (funny guy!)
Had a go with one of the DBS guy’s Marshall Mode Four heads through an Ashdown 4 x 12 tonight. Got to check the vids of it now. Can’t say it did much for me personally tone wise – a brute of a rock amp really and stupidly loud at 350W so couldn’t even crank it for better tones that may exist.
Too many knobs for me.. the foot pedal has 6 buttons etc…
There is a review here:
I wasn’t planning on playing rock tonight but as the offer of the amp use was there, you gotta try ’em for experience, as powerful amps need a whole new approach to playing style and technique (hassle actually!).
Although a tube pre amp and MOSFET power section (I think?) it certainly isn’t a classic Marshall with “character” for me. It’s more a “metal” style amp with tone scoop buttons, and it took too much knob fiddling for 2 amps sections, plus a solo level etc… yawn. Great reverb though. This head is Huge!
I did the Mr Big thing again and its great for that, but nothing impressed me overly tone wise – I was glad to get back to my little 12W Fender Champ and stomp boxes that has bags of personality in comparison, so – overall – glad of the experience but not turned on. I’m not that kind of heavy rock/metal player anymore though, to be fair.
The vids will be added to the DBS Amps Post:
Looking forward to the arrival of the Carlsbro CS60TS and the Laney 100W soon.
The Laney needs a cap repair only supposedly.
Taking Alex Hutching’s advice on creating simple loops of chord changes to improvise over until you are comfortable with playing over that particular chord change with scales and licks that fit, I will be uploading a series of example loops and videos to a Chord Loops Post.
I have some good examples to video already and will add to it as I work on particular chord changes I come across that I need to learn or find something of interest in to share.
I cant stress how important this has become for me – going back to basics that I should have nailed well 30 years ago.
If you want to learn to improvise this is an enjoyable way to practice and create your own licks while learning the fretboard, improving timing, and most importantly training your ear to hear the changes and have your fingers follow a pattern that will work. You often work out the harmony lines or create something new in the process too.
Bear in mind this takes years to master to top level standards so don’t get discouraged if you cant play like these guys after a week!
Here’s Alex’ explaining his harmony examples (Gmaj7/Cmaj7 @2.13) with a looper, but you can easily do this with any DAW also.
I have been looking at the Boss BR80 online after seeing the quick A Hutch demo in Israel above – looks like a fantastic piece of gear for the money as a guitar amp and FX unit, an 8 track recorder, a stereo field recorder with 133 backing loops to jam to onboard! Wow. Here’s more:
Here’s some demos of styles for free DL:
Yo! bebop 8 note scale = maj + #5
Carlsbro Amp/Cab arrived – great condition and sounds great with just a quick and quiet test. I will give it a full workout on Thursday at DBS, and be able to compare to the head.
Found out about a free online improvisation course (any instrument) today, run by Gary Burton (vibes) at Berklee College of Music that seems great for those who want to look at an introduction to Jazz improv. A bit beyond me at this stage, but worth a look.
Signed JB up for the Cousera for some help and moral support for me, and he’s into a jazz refresher for himself si that’s cool. I must admit that this type of jazz does nothing for me emotionally on the whole, but as there are deadlines it may force me to work on playing over changes that I will benefit from for other music styles, and its a healthy online learning environment with students from all over the world so that’s cool too.
Started a Post on the Laney 100W head which arrived today – just cleaned all the chassis, case and checked all the valves so far – look into fixing/investigating that on Friday.
Great condition inside like the the Carlsbro’s, similar layout etc. It should be as close to a classic 60/70’s 100W Marshall head as you can get for a relatively small amount of money, so will be interesting to hear it.
“Formed in 1967 by Lyndon Laney, Laney Amplification is a West Midlands based guitar and musical instrument amplifier manufacturer who were closely involved with Tony Iommi of BLACK SABBATH in the birth of the ‘Heavy Metal’ music genre.”
been busy with the Laney Klipp the last 3 days, with the first theory Post on it:
and getting switched on today. A great sounding and original amp, with a nice clean tone, and no doubt some interesting 70s Klipp channel tones to explore. Here’s what the knobs do for those who have no front panel print left to read!
I have some more tests to do on it before taking it to DBS for a blast this Thursday.
At least this amp repair went well after me blowing the speakers on my Carlsbro last week! More on that another time…
One of the DBS Lecturer’s – Nigel Parsons – has a son who’s reggae band – Backbeat Soundsystem – did this rather good next reggae track.
They don’t have a record deal for this – why not…?!
Checked out the Laney at DBS yesterday but couldn’t go loud without a 100W cab – got to see the vids for sound examples yet. Odd amp, but likeable.
The clean channel is the nicest I have heard on any amp yet – makes my Ibanez sound like a strat – amazing overtones like chorus. The Klipp channel OD is odd, not great without delay but can be varied a lot with the tone knobs for all sorts of 70s tones, but rocks when the Guvnor is dumped on it aswell!
I now have fitted new 8ohm, 60W Celestion and 8ohm, 50W Fender/Eminence speakers to the Carlsbor cab (as I wrecked the Greenbacks in it, explained how in a new Post coming) so I can safely use the 100W Laney with it also. I’ll test it at full volume next week at DBS.
Post on speaker impedance:
New CS60 cab speakers tested – sound amazing!! I can compare all systems through these in future as a yardstick of tone for amps up to 100W now.
Also, looking at the Coursera site there are other music and tech courses available:
Fundamentals of Audio and Music Engineering:
Introduction to Music Production:
Got a Boss BR80 on the way – uses Boss’ COSM technology:
“Composite Object Sound Modeling (COSM)”
This will be very convenient for recording at DBS, when setting up amps and mics is not an option with the live room booked out…
Found a really handy Android fone app if you are worried about your band practice volume levels or that Motorhead concert…:
Boss BR80 Arrives! What a cool (very!) little device! There is a lot for the money and size in this thing:
I’ll be taking this everywhere with me I reckon. I should be able to demo a lot of this thing over the coming weeks at DBS through the amps.
Tons of BR80 vids to sort – THE most effective practice tool I’ve come across so far. Played for 13+ hours in the last 3 days! The tones through the Carlsbro 60 are toppy, but vids sound great via the Sony Arc phone. This unit through the cab is a much more convenient setup for home practice and DBS nights, as its a lot less to carry and setup – no PC, PA or pedals required now as your own tracks can be loaded to the BR80 first to go with the eBand loops, and played with guitar via stereo out to the 2 channel cab mono inputs. The cab caters for the bass and drums on the tracks no problem and the BR80 is naturally toppy anyway and needs cutting down mostly. Lots of guitar tones and music styles to prevent boredom – highly recommended, for any muso or vocalist, as there are so many functions in one tiny box and amazingly cheap with all that it can do. Just the tones alone from separate foot pedals alone would cost way more that 165 quid – chromatic tuner, harmoniser, pitch correction, amp sims, noise gate, phaser, flanger, delays, reverb, EQ etc…Truly Awesome!
All the BR80 stuff will be in one Post here:
BY THE WAY! Buy the (regulated!!) PSU with this unit at the same time for the extra £10 – this things eats Duracells – about 5 hours use! The USB powering is switched by changing from STORAGE to AUDIO mode, then restart – the main hassle I have found with the unit so far.
For companies such as Anderton’s where I bought this, who give away a free set of £20 headphones (that I don’t need personally – I have 2 already) and an 8GB flash card – it may be worth a call and see if you can trade the phones and/or card for the PSU as it comes with a 2GB card anyway…?
Glad to see the Backbeat Soundsystem reggae boys got 3 times their goal for recording the new album via Kickstarter:
Such a great sound and upbeat toons..
In all the years of owning a guitar I’ve never had to adjust a neck, but since last week my neck has a little “relief” so will need to have the truss rod tightened as in the pic:
Also, check out TuxGuitar – an open source prog that shows chords etc. on the guitar neck from score, tab or midi files etc:
Got a demo idea as far as the Mastering stage in the BR80 today – this is great this thing!
Oh, and if you were wondering – yes, it’s my current favourite Lydian flat 7 over the E flat 5 section for the guitar harmonies – it resolves really nicely eh!?
Having to start thinking like a bass player now I can play the bass lines with the unit also – that’s hard…
Now I know I can make a good quality track for the college project (just using this unit alone as the experiment) – just got to take care with the headphone mix. Programming the drums per beat/bar will be the hard part once an overall structure is designed. See BR80 Post for more info on eBand mode recording too.
Here’s a version a few hrs later after adding different fills for the rhythm section and lifting the bass volume a bit. I cut the messy ends off all the tracks using the erase track function at a beat/bar value (1 beat too early – good to learn at this stage though):
Just as a total contrast and a self reminder, I found this old track from the Magix Music software days (wow almost 2 years ago since I got back on this windy musical road again!) which I may do something with someday – I still like some of the loop sounds that came with that software. Great as a starter pack for any beginner for sure:
It will amuse JB if nothing else…
BR80 PSU arrives – it IS -9V DC at the core – see the Boss Post.
great clinic with Greg Koch with chicken pickin’:
I bounced out the BR80 demo once I found out how to unlock it (song info), but I just copied the original in MTR mode (which is not locked then) then mastered it. Note there is a MASSIVE quality (compression) difference between mp3’s bounced out from FLS at 256 kbps than 350 kbps which is what you would buy as a CD quality download. It is about 10 times larger in file size so quality. This is at 256 kbps obviously…
BOSS BR80 DEMO.mp3
Reminds me of Natalie Imbruglia for some reason…
This site has been down the last few days for me – along with justhost.com, so haven’t been able to upload my new Post on the repaired 1962 Fender Blonde Tremolux – Yay!!
Got the first clean twangs out of it yesterday after 3 solid days of bench work with the new parts – one vid of 3 here:
I still can’t get to my site from home – only from college – weird, so I cant upload the whole Blonde Post, just the text with no pics for now here:
Found a way round this with GoogleDocs
Fender Brownface Blonde 1962 Tremolux For Sale. 240V UK mains transformer only.
Read all the info on it in the google doc link above.
I still can’t get to my site from home – only from college – waiting on my ISP to find out what the F** they’ve messed up…
Added more pics of what may now be a Brownface/Blonde Tremolux…looking good and sounding great.
This will be sold at some point, so sensible offers before an Ebay date, to firstname.lastname@example.org
Plusnet are finally testing for faults after me writing to their CEO, which I am grateful for.
I am accessing this via a Proxy server at the mo!
I have added a new Post link to a College google doc as a “laymans” summary of all I have learnt in the last year on valve amps:
Plusnet router arrives and all is finally working. This means that 3 of my routers stopped traffic to justhost.com and the only thing I can think of that may cause that is a hack of my old BTHomeHub routers, that just happens to have a similar enough OS on it as my spare Huawei EchoLife335 router which also could not connect to justhost.com network only. This hack/virus/trojan possibility only occurred to me when all other explanations seemed tested for. Incredible…
So, on the music front…well not much gone on really, trying to get wind players to do stuff on the BR80 to use the cap mics has been a problem, everyone too busy.
Still working on that project, JB did good keys solo on it for me today which I need to check out and master a version of it to upload as part of the college project.
I did do a test at home with a FLS horn patch through the stereo to record on the BR80 via the field mics and it works with none of the headphone feedback issues I had in the studio with the trumpet.
Also, it seems you can record the line input – its for MP3 player play along only? We used a compressor with the keys into the guitar jack to overcome the velocity clipping issue I had first time around.
The valve amp market has taken a real dive here in the UK – sold the Carlsbro PA60 3 days back and got only 90 quid for it, so lost on that one – disaster!
The Fender Tremolux sale is on hold for now…
Got all the hassle of re-installing my Win7 PCs before the possible virus infects the new working router.
Using a Linux laptop only until then.
Time to start a new page I think…
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