Month: June 2013

Back in traction.

grandpa always got surly when he ate corny shit pops for breakfast.

At last, all blog-related things are up and running again.

While the blog was sleeping other things were happening. The recording of music that is not my own has continued, and it’s now moving into the late stages. Sounds kind of like a video game, doesn’t it? I assure you it isn’t video game music we’re working on, though. Sorry to disappoint.

The piano has been given a fresh voicing, with the hammers whipped back into shape. After almost five years of steady playing they’d been worn down a bit and the tone was starting to get a little brittle in places. When Ric put the hammers back into the belly of the beast after working on them, we both almost fell over. I’d never heard my piano sound so rich. It was as if a veil I didn’t know was there had been lifted from the sound.

The speaker in my grunty old Paul tube amp finally crapped out on me, while the fourteen-year-old tubes continue to hum along just fine. Finding an identical replacement speaker for such an obscure amp was always going to be a maddening task, but with the help of Steve Chapman I was able to find a Celestion that matched the specs I needed, and that thing is now back in business.

I learned some things I didn’t know about this amplifier while Steve was studying its guts. It’s five watts. There are three tubes inside, all with different voltages. Someone rewired the amp at some point before I got it, and they did it in such a way that there’s just about no headroom. This is why it breaks up so nicely and doesn’t really do “clean” at all. Initially Steve took one of the tubes out so there would be a bit more clean tone before the distortion kicked in, but he slipped the tube back in once he found out I liked the lack of headroom.

The amp sounds the same as it ever did, with no detectable change in tone or response — a bit of a relief given the speaker situation. The only appreciable difference is a marked increase in weight. This new speaker is a good deal larger and heavier than the old one.

Elsewhere, someone picked up seven of my albums at a thrift shop. The good news is they were only a buck each and the money went to charity. The less-good news is my music was being sold, when anyone who knows anything about what I do would have a pretty good understanding of how I feel about that sort of thing, and I’d hazard a guess some of the CDs in question even said “THIS MUSIC IS NOT FOR SALE” on the inserts (something I felt I needed to start doing around the time of MY HELLHOUND CROOKED HEART because of shit like this).

I kind of wish I knew who donated those CDs, but I don’t think there’s any way to find out a thing like that. At least the music ended up in the hands of someone who likes the stuff.

I also found my old ART tube mic preamps and the Aphex opto compressor buried in the garage. I think I’m going to hold onto the compressor. You never know when that sort of thing may come in handy. Might as well try to sell those preamps on Kijiji, though, because I have no real use for them now. Even if I only make fifty bucks or so, it’s fifty more dollars in my pocket, and someone else will get a good deal on some perfectly decent equipment that served me well in years past. And you know what I can get for fifty dollars?