2018 - 2019 Back into the light...

The story so far... Back after a year or two of meddling...

My man-cave studio is now in the cellar. I have setup all the hardware and software I need and I have made a big isolation box to kill the guitar noise. Songs? Coming soon...

December 2019

I am on holiday, which means I am getting some needed rest. There is no change with my eye except the gas they used to fill it up is slowly draining out so I am slowly geting more light. However it cannot start gelling together until it has all dissipated - soon I hope.

All parts have arrived for the rebuild of Tweety - pending.
My Ceriatone will be sprayed black inside and I finally got a metal grid for the rear panel - pending.
I will drill a hole in the rear and move the wet/dry fx loop-knob away from the front - pending.

Last but certainly not least, I bought a Gibson Les Paul Standard. WTF? they all say! Well, for years now I have starred at my Les Paul Traditional in the corner and not played it that much. It is a beautiful guitar but after my hand-OP the neck has become too fat for me, and of course I have not practiced much as in the past. I love playing it for recording as it stays in tune and the Seymour Duncan PUs sound great, but otheriwse it is a 1500€ coat hanger.
The new Les Paul Standard looks and feels identical but it has a "slim taper" 60's neck. Well, tbh there is not much difference. Nope. This lightly dampened my initial enthusiasm. A Gibson "slim taper" 60's neck is very much a full neck compared to my skinny neck on my ESP guitar(s). Still, it is very playable and the Gibson Pro-bucker PUs sound great as they are.

November 2019

And then my eye had a problem again and I landed back in hospital for the same operation again. It is healing slowly again and I have to carry on with one eye for a while...

I have bought myself a real Marshall 1987x Plexi and I am very happy now. My Ceriatone Plexi was good, but this has all the Marshall voicings and aggression without a master volume mod. I always wanted that and looking back now I should have spent the difference and bought one 8 years ago...

I am (or was) working on a new body and repairing my old Tweety Strat. I have robbed old Tweety of all its parts and I am just waiting for small parts to arrive before I add the neck and setup the bridge. Once that is done I will strip it, sand-paper it down and then paint it. My original Fender will then be due for some wood repairs around the tremolo bridge. I will probably sell my darling Les Paul Traditional. My hand never recovered from the operation years ago and the neck is too thick for me. That will be a sad day when that goes...

August 2019

Oh dear. In late July I was taken to hospital with an infected and malfunctioning eye and subsequently had an operation and a stay for over a week. Since then I have been off sick and unable to do anything. We now have late August and although I cannot see much (no contact lens at all right now anyway), it is healing slowly and I can make out shapes and colours.

I keep telling myself I will go into the music room tomorrow, but that fails. Still, the lethargy is also killing me so I know I will force myself in the next few days. I will be picking up a mixer and microphone I lent to someone on Friday, so my inner devil is slowly waking from its slumber and watching.

June 2019

So the first song is ready for me - drums, bass and weird bits are all done - now I must practice guitar after such a long absence.

April 22 2019

My fingers are sore - recording bass gtr for the Mac Alpine song... Finally, getting there.

March 2019

Sad, very sad. I am heartbroken again. RiP my dear Wilco. On a side note I sold my Marshall DSL. Now I have 3 amps left in the cellar...

Feb 2019

Sold my Cubase - now using Presonus Studio One 4 - not because it is way better but it works better for me. Documenting it like mad.

December 15 2018

At home on my end-of-year holiday. It has given me time to setup and record bass and acoustic guitars and complete the composing of my first trial song, which has been a trail in another meaning... Once I compare amps when recording guitars then I will then sell the amps I do not need. I have 4 in my celler...

November 20 2018

I bought myself a pedal which absolutely blows me away - it is the Freqout pedal and it emulates an amp which eagerly squeals into feedback. I hit a note and there is instant feedback with a harmonic of my choice. Plus my amp can be played quietly. I wish I had this years ago...

The ultimate feedback pedal

October 28 2018

Back again - almost. In the last 3 months I have been side-tracked by other ups and downs in life and musically nothing much was done. My Engl amp proved to have some very elusive and unpleasant issues and in the end was repaired by http://www.sharksound.de which was obviously more expensive than I wanted, but sometimes things are what they are... anyway, it now sounds great.

Juni 26 2018

Sold my Cubase Artist and got the full Pro. It has a few more features, but not much more, but still that episode is now finished. It has far more than I need. I bought an attenuator to try out on my amps too.

Juni 02 2018

Wasted hours trying to find an error on a Behringer Mixer MX882 which was returned by a buyer on eBay who claimed one output side had no signal... It turns out he did not read the instructions... great...

May 25 2018

I replaced a plastic bridge with a Buffalo bone bridge on my acoustic guitar and now it is perfect!

May 21 2018

Sadly Stone came back with my Engl amp not repaired - he simply had no time to fix it. So last night I took it to Bernd who I had not seen for years and together we nailed it, well, almost! Great to see Bernd again! His studio is absolutely crazy - filled with all sorts of racks. I definitely will send him my audio tracks once I get further.

How does the Engl sound? Well, I tried it out today and it sounds very good indeed. The channels works like my DSL - Clean plus Gain (Crunch) and Gain with more Gain - so all 4 all are very good. I am spoilt for choice now.

May 5 2018

Oh no! My Engl amp is faulty after all - I took it to 'Stone' www.stones-amp-inn.de - I hope it is nothing serious. p.s nice to chat with him again - not seen him for a while!

Dug out the bridge from my acoustic guitar to fit a new Piezo pickup and was amazed how loud and clear the pickup is now! For some reason the pickup had become noisy and lower in volume. The pleasing thing for me is that it now sends very clean with perfect gain levels into my mixer and Cubase without DI or booster. I have ordered a 'bone' bridge as the temporary plastic one might wear down too quickly...

Software update: I still have Cubase as my main DAW, Presonus Studio One as a 'just-in-case' alternative and in third place a new full profi version of Cakewalk / Sonar which has been bought by new owners from poor old Gibson - you can download this full version (without external libriaries obviously) currently for FREE! Google 'Cakewalk and BandLab', register and download it. I prefer the workflow from the other two but it does come with some nice vst's and Melodyne.

April 15 2018

Engl - Ritchie Blackmore Signature Model. Not tried it out yet - still cleaning up the room... The front logo and signature label are missing. I am guessing it was too embarrassing for a young metal-head to play such an amp with a grandad name on it...

This is a real Papa amp, not from grandad...

Finished - the insulation box is finally finished. The door fits like a plug in the bath (lying on top of the pic below). I even had left-over foam for the floor...

The lid above fits like a plug

April 08 2018

The insulation foam arrived but not in yet, but today I did finish the box itself. All wall caveties are full of Mrs.W's clothes and bathroom towels. It is stupid heavy and already sonically dense without the foam. The box front door is (still) the last piece of the puzzle but I ran out of time.

ebay madness - all good (and evil) things happen in three's. This week it was good (I hope). The 3 have not arrived yet. More will be revealed next week.

March 30 2018

Easter - gives me a day or two to finish things. The insulation foam is on order - the box front door is the last piece of the puzzle, All pending next week. I have pulled out all of my left-over parts to assemble a new guitar for the body I bought last week. I am missing only a couple of M8 bolts and I just need to re-cut a couple of corners to make things fit. Sounds too easy right? Well, let's see...

March 25 2018

The insulation box is nearly finished and today I rewired my ESP Geo Lynch guitar to have hum-cancelling in-phase split-coils. Up to now they were out-of-phase which was nice, but very 'honky' or nasal'. I have not played it properly but the honk has gone and they are now a lot louder and sparkly than they were. I should have tried that years ago. I received a body from Flea-bay to see if I can put together all the rest-pieces from the aborted Satch guitar project. I might get a decent guitar out of it...

March 18 2018

After a week or two of cutting trees in sub-zero temperatues I am back in my man-cave, building the insulation box. The rear frames and inner wall are in. All inner walls are done and my Marshall 4x12 box fits with room all around. Nice! We are slowly getting closer...

A box in a box

Feb 25 2018

Sunday (again) and the side panels and rear panels are cut. I am missing one panel for the roof and then I can put Humpty together.

Feb 18 2018

Sunday (again) and the floor struts are in, wall struts are central and the floor and the inner ceiling are in - these are the most difficult panels. It should get eassier from now on...

A better box...

In January I built the frame for my insulation box and I had lots of ideas so I made it a lot bigger. Today I abandoned those ideas and reduced it so a Marshall box fits neatly inside (including wheels). Here you see my 4 x 12 cab on the floor - next week it will sit on a floor of its own.

A box in a frame...