Friday, 31 May 2013

Wow...thats just amazing

My GR-55 arrived today, and I have spent a few hours playing with it. In fact time has flown by and its now 4-30am I was just entranced by it.

wow...just ..just wow.. it took a little while to fix the pickup to Margaret, my Patrick Eggle which is my main giging guitar, but it wasn't a massively difficult task, I was worried I'd positioned the pickup a bit too high but I tried it...and boom it worked fine. I was playing guitar, 12 string guitar, marimaba, grand concert piano and a shed load of effects in no time

Its simple to use, though you do have to be careful to leave the strings cleanly and fret them as you pick, since even a small hammer can be detected but it quicky becomes natural.

I LOVE this gadget...still a lot of things to how to get normal pickups to go through the effects bank making it an all in one unit. But that is just a case of reading the manual.

Yes, this will be an excellent single pedal does everything box. Gimme a bit of time to practice and I'll put something up on Soundcloud this weekend.

Can't wait to use it at the next Gadgets practice, we have a new guitar player on board who is learning our bits and bobs but being able to do keyboard and other fx will make a massive difference.


Thursday, 30 May 2013

See this is what I want to do...

Ignore the slightly dodgy singing, I think it was a rather impromtu session, but I am just incredibly inspired by this. Ever since I discovered loopers (Trace Bundy's Sweet Child of mine 6 or so years ago) I've been wanting to produce things like this. Its just genius.

His straight guitar playing is also pretty amazing. What makes it so full and well produced is his use of the Roland GR-55 synth to provide drums and other fill effects as well as his brilliant guitar


As its been holiday bonus month this month, I bought myself my usual indulgence; one of these GR-55s (ebay bargain, saved 200quid) mainly to add some keyboard sounds to my band the Gadgets.

But though I knew it could do keyboard sounds better than I could with an actual keyboard, I was amazed going through youtube for some videos of the thing in action, to find this guys vids including a useful setup tutorial. It really is an entire band in his hands in real time. I really really wish I could do stuff like this. I can't ..yet!

But its made me realise I need to focus a bit more. I experiment with too many things at once. Drums, keys, software, vocal toys, pedals etc.

My guitar playing has improved a lot in the last year or so, playing with 2 bands, I may not be able to knock out a tune on demand, as I still lack the musical memory and can't sing and play at the same time (working on that though), but there are other things I want to addess in my playing.

I am locked into blues patterns too much but thats no bad thing really.

If  I have the structure of a song in front of me I'm finding I can hold my own with others and do a fair bit of improvisation in solos but I can't play along by ear.

I have also settled into a specific guitar and pedal arrangment for these which I feel is sonically "me" when I am playing in the bands. But band members are not always there when I want to play my own stuff in my own style and if I am honest I don't have my own style yet and I doubt they'd be willing to play it :D

So its time now to specialise and develop my own style. I am going to focus a lot more on looping and song structure with the GR-55 and RC300 and no other pedals or toys, I don't plan to do any solo gigs...ever!!!

 But I am going to pretend I will and see if I can come up with a set of 10 songs that work within this structure and maybe, just maybe I will risk doing a performance. Its time to Master something and be really good with it.

I'm not abandoning my recording efforts, or my bands, but I am going to spend more practice time with me, the looper and the might be fun :D I might even sell off a few gadgets....hmmm maybe not.


Saturday, 25 May 2013

I am still here

The strange colour is a small side effect to the post I put for my friend Peter's daughter who needed somewhere to host her tribute to her mum. It should go at the next monthly update, if not I will make a minor change to fix it but left it for now.

My mum hit 72 this week....she's still ticking, albeit with a few creaks and a lot more groans than I remember her when I was a kid. She and her 3 adult granddaughters (my daughte Danni and my 2 nieces Steph and Kelly) are coming over to stay with me in the Summer which will probably kill her, or me...4 totally different women in the house at one time will be interesting.

Been quite busy recently with work admin, exam prep and coding some work for students to use, which has been a total least next year I won't have so much hassle, but trying to fit in serious coding time with all the other admin stuff at work can be quite challenging.

But work has been good, finally getting on top of the admin has given me a chance to work with students more and the delivery of new Vita dev kits at the office opens up new learning goals for me.

I need to update my old website now that I am officially a business here in NL, it should have my company details on there but it does not..I don't like doing websites myself and the host company's builder tool is useless, so am going to get a student to produce it. I can claim the cost back in tax (oh its good to have an accountant).

Not had a chance to work on my recordings either, things have been ticking over in a work/home/work/sleep kinda way. With Brenda working like mad to prepare for end of year exams we've not had much chance to do anything fun for a while. But I have had time to play with the bands and student jams and am really enjoying the release of work stess that provides.

I do need to make some changes to the studio upstairs though, not least get rid of the old broken tymble dryer in the middle of the room But also the mega pedal board needs to be retired, I've settled down to using certain pedals for most of my playing so the others are just gathering dust.. Time to unplug them and put them in a cupboard until I need to use them, which will clear a bit more space.

Logic Pro is still proving hard to master, though since I've not had a lot of time to practice I guess thats the main reason...holidays are coming though, and I may very well escape upstairs to avoid the cackling she devils who will be taking over. :D

But summer has finally arrived, for today at least..and that gives me a chance to go do some important shopping chores, new dryer, some duvets, cups cutlery at the dreaded Saturday Ikea...and shop around for a blow up bed etc for the visitors. Holiday bonus cash makes that all a little less painful too and has allowed me to treat myself to a couple of nice ebay bargains...guitar related :D


Sunday, 12 May 2013

Posting this for Sabrina

'Missing Mom'

'Missing Mom'

Who Is Mum?

  • Fullname : Nor Amanah
  • Age : 44 years old
  • Birthday : 10 December
  • She was born in Malaysia
  • She has lived in Malaysia for her whole life
  • Job : MD in an advertising agency

Note From Aaryan

A note from aaryan to you mama, mothers may a lot and us as children just hate that, because we hate it when they are right, but we learn to live through it and love our mothers till the end of time for they are the ones who brought us to this life and did not abandon us and that is why I will always love my mother. Your son Aaryan!

Note From ME!

I have lived with you all my life with you. You took care of me, watched after me and loved me. You would always be there when I needed you. For 15 years, not only were you my mother but also my father my best friend and my teacher. You were a single parent and had to do everything on your own but you still manage to find time for me and Aaryan. You made sure that we were always taken care of. I remember how worried you would be in the office. You had your own work to do but you still had time to help me with mine. You would come home and make me and aaryan help cook in the kitchen even if you were exhausted from work and we would be complaining. You did all this because you knew one day we would have to leave you and you wanted us to be prepared.
Now, I am here half way around the world from you. Somewhere totally unknown to me and I don't have you here to hold my hand and wipe my tears. I have to use everything you taught me I have to grow up and not depend on you anymore and mama I realise it is a hard thing to do. Sometimes I feel like I still need you, to tell me it will be okay and even if we are halfway across the world you still manage to do that. You are my hero mama and if I could be half a person as you then I know that I have succeeded in life!

The Video

Just before I left you had organise a birthday/going away party. You had invited everyone important in my life. I was glad that they could all make it because they had played a big role in my life. Along with that party you had made an 11 minute short video for me. That video was beautiful and very touching. During the party was the first time I watched that video it had brought tears to my eyes. Everyone at the party was crying during the party and tissues were flying everywhere. I would like to share the video with everyone! VIDEO

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Oh thats nice, but still working on it.

Its been a lovely peaceful week off work, I have chilled, and chilled a bit more. Went to see Iron Man 3 (was brill) and been doing some nice recordings while Brenda has been busy studying like cazy. I don't get why Tilburg University has different holidays from NHTV but it is a pain that we can't seem to get the same days off.

At least this week we have a couple of synced bank holiday days at the end of the week so we'll ty to do something in this wonderful summer weather that has finally arrived.

I have been working on some more recordings, and have been putting together a version of Fleetwood Mac's, Man of the World...but all acoustic. Its shaping up into one of my best efforts so far, but I have a bit more work to do on it...and sadly getting ready to go back to work takes priority.

I am going to do a full multi track version with 3 guitars, bass and drums and some fx. It will be my biggest project yet but it is also surprisingly simple with the parts being quite clear and distinct. It should be a good test of my slowly improving Logic Pro skills..(I still find it madly complex though, but it does have a lot of fantastic features)

I love that Peter Green song, so sad and melancholy but so powerful and yet so damn simple, He really was a genius in his prime, he could do more with the 4 note intro to Need your Love so Bad than most modern guitar heroes do with 100. I might start a muscal project to do all the old Peter Green era FM songs....should only take a decade or 2.

I wish there were a PG tribute band I could join...maybe start, hmm the lack of singing might be a problem...however....I am going to try and take some singing lessons..I got in contact with a local singing teacher who is clearly mad and we're going to have a test lesson...he thinks eveyone can sing to some degree...I might shake that viewpoint somewhat...but if cant hurt to at least find out what my limits are comments about opening my mouth please.


Thursday, 2 May 2013


I am just starting to get the hang of Logic Pro, starting...its really complex have done a couple of tracks now, this is the best so far, though can't really find a foolproof way to do vocals yet. I do really really hate the vocal on this, I did about 20 takes but just didn't get there. I do like the basic arrangment of this though and the solo at the end, is actually the same acoustic guitar doing the ruthm but run through a crunch blues setting to great effect. Ahthankyewe