Eeeee, I just ordered a guitar amp! And not just any amp, a proper vacuum tube one. Feast your eyes on this orange monstrosity!

I think my favourite feature (and a significant part of why I chose this one specifically) is that it has a switch at the back of that goes between "Headroom" and "Bedroom" modes. In Headroom mode, it puts out a full 15W, or 7W if you flick the "half power" switch. In Bedroom mode, that's dropped to 1W and 0.5W at half power, but it doesn't appreciably change the actual sound of the thing, it's just not nearly as loud so you can play it inside without annoying the shit out of your neighbours or significant other.

I'm also getting a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Gen 3 USB audio interface and a Two Notes Torpedo Captor load box so I can hook it up to the computer and do some proper recording. (This page has a good description of what a load box is: travelingguitarist.com/what-is. I only found out about them last night as I was researching how to hook the amp up to the computer since it doesn't have a headphone jack or line out.)

EXCITE!

I don't really have a decent place to keep the new guitar amp I'm getting because it's about 2cm too deep to fit sideways beside my desk so I did some DIY today and built a little platform for it to sit above the power board in the corner!

Got some more bits and bobs for my new guitar setup. The tuner is going to be immediately useful — saves me having to get the iPad out and plug it in in order to use the tuner in BIAS FX Mobile — but the cables are useless until the load box and audio interface arrive in a few weeks (the guitar amp itself was in stock, but neither of the other items were).

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It's here! 🤘🏻 And it fits PERFECTLY on the little stand I made!

Because I'm a huge dork, I took some fancy photos of the amplifier today. 😁 flickr.com/photos/virtualwolf/

(Image descriptions: an extremely retro-looking orange guitar amplifier with a wheat-coloured grill on the front, and two up-close photos of the various dials on the top of it.)

Huzzah, the audio interface arrived! Now to wait for the load box so I can actually, y'know, make full use of said audio interface.

The load box arrived! It's very cool being able to have my sweet tube amp sounds but also being able to record them straight to the computer without fucking around with a microphone setup.

The load box comes with a license to use Two Notes' "Wall of Sound" DAW plugin that simulates speaker cabinets (with a limited selection of their full suite of available cabs), and it always amazes me how tacky audio software user interfaces tend to be. 😂

Also my next batch of guitar-related bits and bobs arrived. Looking forward to getting the new strings onto my guitar, I realised it's sounding pretty muddy at this point given I haven't changed them since I bought it two years ago. 😬

There we go, one fully restrung and intonated guitar! (I haven't chopped the overhang fully off the top of the strings yet because I'm not convinced I wound them around the tuning pegs enough. Going to give it a couple of days and make sure it's not slipping out of tune.)

I can definitely tell how much brighter the sound is with the new strings, even without having plugged it into the amp yet.

Why yes, it IS more music-related things!

I got a teeny little power supply for my yet-to-exist pedal board because I don't want to have to deal with 9V batteries, and a practice drum pad because I've seen multiple (extremely good) drummers mention that every aspiring drummer should have and use one.

Guitar things, consumerism 

I've been eyeing off one of Ibanez's guitars for a little while now, the Nita Strauss signature "JIVA10", and was going to get it when my bonus comes in at the end of next month.

I emailed the music store I buy all my big stuff through (musoscorner.com.au, they're based in Newcastle and are really good) and they said that guitar is a special order and that if I ordered it now it'd arrive in late September, and they can take it out of the box before they ship it to me and make sure all is well and that it's all set up right and tuned up and such. So I figured fuck it, I'll get a head start and buy it now so it'll arrive at the end of next month. 😛 Also picked up some pedals as well, I'm REALLY looking forward to using the RC-5 loop station, apparently a looper pedal is absolutely brilliant for learning guitar with, and this one actually has a bunch of drum kits and styles in it so you can practice along to something more interesting to keep with than a straight metronome.

Also, just LOOK at that guitar, it's so PRETTY. 😍

Guitar things, consumerism 

Last pedal arrived! Now the interminable wait until the end of next month for the guitar itself. Lots of fun to have with my current one and the new pedals in the meantime though!

Ahhhhh, this is so much fun! Creating a chord loop and turning the drum kit on (which is matched perfectly to the rhythm of the loop you recorded), then playing over the top of it. Definitely excellent practice for getting my timing up to snuff. And that overdrive pedal is so good, I get fantastic distortion now without having to crank the amp volume too high.

Our whole department at work has a free day off today, so I'm going to be productive and build myself a pedalboard!

...I should clarify that this is a board for my guitar pedals specifically, haha.

That was a HELLA productive day off, look at my pedalboard! Everything is so neat and tidy, I'm fucking STOKED at how well it came together.

So it turns out you can control the Boss RC-5 looper pedal via MIDI instead of needing to lean down awkwardly to adjust the built-in drum machine, so I bought an (Australian-designed) MIDI controller, the Pirate MIDI Bridge4! It's pretty slick, but unfortunately Boss' documentation on how specifically to configure external MIDI devices to control it is a little lacking, so there's a LOT of trial and error going on right now.

Yessss, got the Bridge4 configured to control Logic Pro now! So I can start and stop recording, play and pause the existing audio, and switch between and trigger live loops scenes all right from the pedalboard without needing to take my hands off the guitar. 😎

Okay, so after a TON of reading and watching videos on YouTube (shout-out to That Pedal Show in particular), I've decided the last (for the moment 😏) piece of my guitar pedal board is going to be a Boss DM-2W analogue delay pedal. Delay pedals basically take the note you play and repeat it back after a given interval and for a certain number of repeats, and there's all SORTS of interesting effects you can get depending on how big the interval is, how much of the original note you get back, and how many repeats you've set. Analogue pedals in particular have a specific sound that's really warm and dark, as opposed to digital pedals which tend to be basically exact replicas of your sound. The original DM-2 pedal stopped being produced in the mid-80s and this DM-2W is the "Waza Craft" reissue of that original one, so it's got the same sound but also a little switch at the top that goes between "Standard" DM-2 and the new "Custom" mode that boosts the maximum repeat rate from 300ms to 800ms and brightens up the sound a little bit.

I did some playing around in Logic Pro with the built-in delays in there, none of which sound nearly as good as the DM-2W, but damn, playing without any sort of delay at all sounds so flat and boring now, haha. I was considering the Boss DD-200 which is VERY swish, but it's a digital one instead of analogue and while it's got a ton of features, it seems kind of overwhelming for just dipping my toes into the world of delay.

Huzzah, the relay interface finally arrived!

Next step, figuring out how best to configure the MIDI controller to activate the interface in terms of ease of usage...

@AcidBurn :D

I still have another two and a half hours of work to go before I can play around with it! 😫

@virtualwolf Do you WFH? And if so - have you accounted for Water Cooler Time?

@virtualwolf I've thought of Water Cooler Time, Waiting For IT To Replace A Cable Time, Co-worker Birthday Cake In The Tearoom Time... umm.. what have I missed?

@virtualwolf You have soooo much fun ahead. Be sure to share your recordings when they’re ready! What kind of music do you play?

@drh I'm a huge metalhead but I'm VERY much at the "still learning" phase right now, so I wouldn't say I technically play _any_ sort of music. 😅

@virtualwolf so much tack (and wasted c/gpu to render the damn things)

Guitar things, consumerism 

@virtualwolf Uf. All the standard Boss product, oh well, that really is consumerism. Here's sthg. off-track: youtube.com/watch?v=23tbSTtuFs

Guitar things, consumerism 

@virtualwolf The SD-1 is lots of fun. When I got mine, I was previously used to full frequency range overdrives and "amp in a box" style pedals, so the SD-1 sounded muffled by comparison because of its strong mid focus (like a tube screamer), and because I was running into a clean amp and trying to just use the clipping in the pedal on its own - but when I set my tube amp so the sound breaks up a bit when I play firmly, and then turn on an SD-1 in front of it, it's an awesome combo.

Guitar things, consumerism 

@marcEndingInC Oh nice! I have no experience with pedals whatsoever as yet, haha.

Guitar things, consumerism 

@virtualwolf if you don't hook it up to your microphone for Zoom calls you're a coward

Guitar things, consumerism 

@virtualwolf your pic was marked as 'sensitive content', who know??
😜

Guitar things, consumerism 

@duncdad I think that's an automatic Mastodon thing where stuff under content warnings defaults to sensitive content. I actually post my image posts to my website and then it posts to here via the API, I wonder if the API has a way to let you do a content warning but without marking images underneath as sensitive... 🤔 This will require investigation, thanks for pointing it out!

@virtualwolf Nice! I have the RC-10R, and would love to know you get on, as like you I find the RC-10R a bit annoying to use in practice, so don't use it as much as I should.

@mdales Will do! So far I've just done a bit of recording and overdubbing with the rhythm going and it's been pretty good, I've definitely bared scratched the surface.

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