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: https://travelingguitarist.com/what-is-a-guitar-load-box/. 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.)
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).
Because I'm a huge dork, I took some fancy photos of the amplifier today. 😁 https://www.flickr.com/photos/virtualwolf/albums/72177720301086416
(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.)
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 (https://www.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. 😍
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.
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.
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.
Yesssss, very excited to play around with this tonight!
The setup is complete! ...at least until my new guitar arrives, and also until I inevitably decide I want more guitar pedals and thus need to build a longer pedalboard. 😅
Man, that delay pedal is such fun. If you set one single repeat and set the delay before the repeat occurs to the right timing, you can get it to essentially play notes in between what you're playing, so it sounds like you're playing more. Or you can set a really long delay with lots of repeats and lower the intensity, and it sounds like you're in a vast hall. Or you can go in between those and just get a much fatter-sounding tone.
@virtualwolf fat beatz
@virtualwolf Delay is ace. Don't know if you've seen them already, but there are also delay pedals in the market with built in modulation, so the repeated signal can 'warble' in pitch in relation to the dry signal. Adds an extra dimension to the fun if wobbly delays that sound like tape echo are your thing. I like the seymour duncan vapor trail for its modulation, but there's also the way huge echo puss. I also own the same boss dm2 you're using (even though it doesn't have modulation) because it's so classic and cool and I have a pedal buying problem. 😎
@marcEndingInC Oo interesting!
And hahaha oh man I hear you on the pedal buying problem. I'm already looking at more. 😂 On the bright side, I'm suddenly going to be very easy to buy presents for for Christmas and birthdays for the foreseeable future. 😅
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