Dotted Eighth Delay Studies

Setting up the U2/Hillsong delay in a variety of situations.

The Sessionists

Esther Subra (vocals), Serena Chew (keys), Justin (guitars), Alphonsus (drums and percussion)

Thoughts on G.A.S.

Why you should save up for an expensive guitar.

Setting Up Disaster Area DPC-8EZ and DMC-8D MIDI Controllers

An easy-to-follow video tutorial to get those patches programmed!

An Overview of My YouTube Channel

Feel free to browse some of the playlists on my channel. Hopefully this leads to you liking and subscribing!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Why Like That!? Episode 2

Multi-storey carparks are difficult to park in; they're tight, they're congested, and they need quick hands to navigate the bends around corners to reach the next level in a bid to find an available lot.

I can understand the level of agitation one may feel at the end of the process, but that's not an excuse to be inconsiderate to other drivers:

I may not know the circumstances behind the driver deciding to make such a hasty parking, which may be legitly urgent, but I think spending 30 seconds more to park properly wouldn't make a difference to the situation, would it?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Why Like That!? Episode 1

A brand new segment of this blog to commemorate the moments that make us drivers go, "Why like that!?"

For this inaugural post, I present to you a parking specimen:

I hope my tone of exasperation is warranted when I say that this guy is too far from the kerb! Private estates have narrow roads to begin with, so it is imperative to park as close to the kerb as possible, not just for other road users to pass, but also for the behemothal rubbish truck to safely pass through the estate when it makes its rounds in the morning. If the truck comes across a bottle neck (caused by, for example, the above), it will not risk scratching the car and give the houses after a miss.

In my book, that's incredibly inconsiderate.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Pedals: An Introduction to Analog

I'll make an honest admission. Even though I've been playing guitar for over 12 years, I only started on analog pedals and amps this year. I've been relying on solid state for all of my tones, from my first 10W practice amp to my present Line 6 PODX3. Of course, it's not like I'm a complete newbie at it; I've gigged with all sorts of analog gear, courtesy of band mates who were kind (and rich) enough to lend me for the night.

Well, why the switch now?

In short, I got bitten by the analog bug. I must have been immune to it all those years when I wasn't earning an income and still a student on a budget. When payday comes, let me assure you, there's a great temptation to rush out and grab as many little metal boxes as your paycheck affords. In a short manner of 3 months, I acquired enough gear to completely fill up a Pedaltrain Pro (see below):

Justin's Pedalboard v2.0, 01Jul11
I've had an idea for what kind of tone I was going to commit to for a very long time, so that explains the apparent "shot-gun" style of acquiring my gear. I always liked warm, articulate and fat tones, particularly those in the style of Andy Timmons, Eric Johnson, Dave Weiner, and Ryo Owatari.

Was the switch easy? Not for me. Switching from multi-fx to analog pedals had the same feeling as switching from driving an automatic to a manual. There are so many other things to take note of which multi-fx settles for you, or completely removes for your convenience: the organization of the pedalboard, getting velcro to stick right, patching effects together, setting the volume of individual effects, choosing the right cables for the right pedal...

However, as highly convenient as digital processing offers, having total control over your signal chain is part of the allure of an analog pedalboard. If you're thinking of venturing into the realm of analog pedals, here are some tips I hope you'll find helpful:
  1. Be specific with your tone. What's the big picture of your tone? Can you describe it in words? By spelling your tone out (it doesn't have to be on paper), you're defining what you really want in your tone and can then make relevant choices. You'll know which pedals you won't need. Trust me, every pedal manufacturer out there will try to convince you that you need their pedal.
  2. Be realistic with your tone. This pertains to both your concept of tone and your budget for tone. You're not Eric Johnson/Joe Satriani/Steve Vai/(insert guitar hero here). No matter how close your rig is to your favorite guitar hero's, you won't sound like him because you're not him. The faster you assimilate this concept, the less you'll find yourself ogling over his ever-changing overhaul of guitars/pedals/amps. This leaves you more time and money to focus on your tone.
  3. Be content with your tone. You must eventually learn to draw the line to stop the purchases and concentrate on making your tone sound good. You made a plan, you stuck to it, you got what you wanted. Great! Now it's time to tweak less and practice more. Gear is only a means to an end, which is to make music.

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