Monday, 30 December 2013

Finally something I thought I needed and now I know I need it, has become needed.

I like using drum machines to maintain time and dynamics when you play solo, but when playing there's no way with the drum systems I have of being able to transition from a verse to a chorus or to add fills or accents..I kinda do it a bit with my AdrenalinnIII using the SP section of my FCB1010 board but its haphazard and requires tap-dancing I'm not really very good at it.

What I wanted to find was something I remembered from my childhood...Old Bontempi organs or whatever they were used to have drum beats on them to play along to, and they had a fill button where you could play along hit the fill button and the drums would play a fill.. transitions were possible by just changing the beat or whatever.

But I've never seen anything like that on a guitar based drum are basically stuck with the one rhythm track over and over and over again...a few accents might be possible but still the same beat...over and over and over... Which means jamming on your own can eventually just run out of steam no matter how good the other musical parts are, the drums get boring....until now

What a fantastic thing.. I have immediately signed up for an early version of it, if it has half the abilities it says it has I should be able to have control over my drum systems and make much more effective rhythm backing tracks for my songs....well in theory :)

Thing is though this is such a great and frankly obvious idea that I will be amazed if the big makers don't suddenly start offering similar cheaper versions or ROM updates to their current units....but I suspect this one will be worth having.


And another year creaks to its ancient end

Soon be time to watch another Jools Holland Hootenanny, I like those shows.

ah were a good year, as always a few downs, but overall lots of positives. Job has been going well, health seems fine aside from hitting 50 in the same way as hitting a brick wall while riding a bike in the freezing cold at 40kph...I do ache a lot more than I recall in 2012. But, back to plusses,  a record low number of man flus, a new car giving much more mobility, distinct improvements in my guitar playing, some fantastic gigs,  even some improvement in my singing, and of course lovely new relationship going along swimmingly.

Christmas was fun, we had friends over on Christmas eve,  for a full Turkey dinner I made, which was lovely...though I need to practice my carving skills. got to see Brenda gloriously drunk and talking even more funny shit than I do which was funny as hell, though the poor girls Christmas day hangover from hell has sworn her off drinking for ever and we'll see.

yup, been a good year 2013.

I'm tying to top it off with a video but this weekends efforts are not really good enough...getting there and maybe a few more days practice will see something develop, but at the moment I'm not happy with it, so won't be posting anything.

I plan to fit a bit of coding in during this holiday as well, PSM have finally allowed the Netherlands into the program which means I can get my dungeon crawler program on the store and selling...It won't make a lot and I've probably paid out more for the graphics than it will make, but it will be a good test bed to see what the process is like.. A few more weeks of work should see it up and running...

Ah well, coding and playing...a great way to spend an end of year holiday before returning to work on the 6. I am looking forward to 2014...I hope that's not going to be a case of misplaced enthusiasm. ;)


Saturday, 21 December 2013

Great end to the year

The NHTV Christmas party is usually a bit of a chore, a few drinks with people fom all depts. and some buffet..

But this year, it was held over at the Hotel and leisure dept at Sibieliuslaan and someone had the good sense to hire a great band...
STARRCASE were the headline act..

 We had a nice stage
And somewhere for the audience to dance.

So off we went

Of course I forgot to smile.

I did my best Bill Wyman impression even when singing.

But I did play really well.

If the link works you can hear for yourself


Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Old old bones

Got a mini cold, that's being kept under control by my lovely UK cold meds, but I am still feeling a bit on the rough side....oh and its my Birthday....50.

Never thought I 'd get this far.

Going to celebrate by buying sweets for everyone at work (strange Dutch thing, the birthday boy has to supply the treats) and then off to Final rehearsals for Thursdays NHTV Christmas party gig with Starrcase, not sure my voice will manage it though, I had to cancel my last singing lesson yesterday after my voice went during lectures..we will have to see.

I finally got my teeshirt...after a year and a half. :D though technically it was Geoffs :D

The pic was taken at the now legendary Brians Pre Birthday Partaaay last Saturday, which was a great success, mainly due to my awesome curries I supplied but also with performances from Starrcase and The Gadgeteers

It was a great night not too many musical mistakes and cool to see people up and dancing including Brenda, who was such a sweetheart last night she bought me a cake and managed to get loads of candles (as many as would fit) on the case without me even noticing before she switched off the lights and walked from the kitchen to surprised an oblivious me....sweet.
Oh well 50....Officially old....Father Abrahams is me....better get on with it.


Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Looking for Somebody

This weekends messing about was quite nice though I am not yet fully adjusted to using the Voicelive2 in my board settings.  But I'll get the hang of it.