Pain Pain and More Pain

I put leads on four songs before work this morning. It was a bad experience in three ways. First, I am so rusty it’s embarrassing. Second, the interface problems left me on the verge of screaming in fury and frustration the whole time. Third, I have no callusses on my finger tips anymore and I am in searing, burning agony right now. I played for about 45 minutes and oh my god the finger tip pain.

Fun.

I have four songs to mix by the end of the day. I don’t have an album-in-a-month for September, but maybe I have an EP in a month? At the very least I’ll have my first RPM Challenge Record Every Month song since RPM ended in February. That’s nice. The four songs I have to pick from are AWFUL and the guitar playing is AWFUL and the singing is AWFULAWFULAWFUL, but at least they exist. I guess.

My iPad has a USB C input. I am thinking of trying to use one of my USB interfaces with the iPad to see if the same problems with lagging will happen on that machine. If not, then I can keep writing and recording without wanting to punch holes in the wall in furious angry anger as the input signal drops out for a fraction of a second and fucks up a solid take… again and again and again and again. That would be nice. If the iPad work around doesn’t work… I don’t know what I’ll do. I’ll need to upgrade to a faster USB interface but I most definitely do not have any money for that. Two kids in college, you know? Urgh.

Pics…

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USB C Hates Me

I did some music this morning. The infuriating problems I had with my interface yesterday were worse today. I used different cables and adapters and eventually used a different interface all together and it just kept getting worse. I don’t know what I am going to do. I did manage to get through guitars for one song and vocals for two, but it left me so effing mad, and the performances were complete shit.

There’s two pics though, so I guess that’s okay?

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Intermittent Latency

I got up early this morning to ensure I would be able to watch episode four of Andor while doing my walkies, and also sneak in some guitar playing before I had to punch into work. Success. Sort of.

I added two rhythm guitar tracks to one song and one to another. I didn’t use my amp, I plugged directly into the USB interface and used an amp sim. Somehow doing so exacerbated a problem I have been having every now and then and made it almost impossible to get anything done.

I have a newish, M1 Mac. It’s generally lightning fast. When using GarageBand though, every now and then there will be a random, split second of latency that throws off my timing. It doesn’t happen often, but it’s concerning.

Today, while using the amp sims, it was happening 2-3 times every 20 seconds or so. It was fucking infuriating. That plus my terrible rusty playing had me swearing at the screen and feeling generally pissed off. I Googled it to see if it was a thing, and there are a lot of mentions of latency but no clear reason or solution. I expect it has more to do with my USB interface going through a USB hub and an adapter, rather than something with the M1 chip, but who knows. Maybe I’ll mess with the cabling next time.

Anyway, here’s a couple of gitter pics.

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A rare look at the clip on headstock tuner that I am usually embarrassed to let people see.

Music… Finally

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It’s been almost two months since the last time I played guitar. I’ve been so wrapped up in rediscovering my camera obsession that I’ve nearly forgotten about my guitar obsession.

Now that the weather is starting to get cold and I’m running out of places I want to try to take pictures, it’s time to dive back into the music. With five days left in September, I am clearly not going to pull off an album this month. I might pull off a single though. I wrote two really simple song ideas today. Music will happen, if it kills me.

Given the situation though, it might be safe to expect the bombardment of post-playing guitar pictures will be from the DSLR so the image quality (though not the megapixel count) could be improved. Here’s hoping, at least.

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Greeny

I learned today that Gibson is finally going to sell a replica of Peter Green’s 1959 Les Paul. I read they are only going to make 50 of them and I have to assume the price will be somewhere in the six figures. Maybe if I sell all of my blood or something I might be able to afford one.

1959 Les Pauls are generally considered the best Les Pauls, and many believe that Green’s ’59 is the best ’59.

When Green left Fleetwood Mac in 1970 he sold Greeny to Gary Moore for whatever money Moore happed to have in his pocket. Moore used it throughout his whole career (pretty sure the god-like, epic solo on “Still Got the Blues” was played on Greenie). If I follow the story correctly, and I could be wrong, when Moore’s health started to fail he sold Greenie to a collector. I’m not 100% sure of that, but that’s what I heard. Eventually someone offered it to Metalica’s Kirk Hammett for a sum of money that I once heard him refer to as not as much as you’d expect, but I gotta imagine it was pretty vast.

There is a flaw in Greenie that gives it its unique sound. The polarity of the magnet in the neck pickup is reversed so when you use both pickups together they are out of phase. I once heard Gary Moore tell a story of a guitar tech who “fixed it” for him without realizing that it was the source of the magic. Obviously Mr Moore flipped out and made the tech put it back the way it was. Fortunately the Magic was still there.

I think I am going to go listen to “Still Got the Blues” while daydreaming about owning one of the copies.

Wait List

Back in March 2018 I added my name to the waiting list for a guitar pedal. The company is called Analogman and they make phenomenal stuff. Probably the most famous item in their catalog is a duel overdrive pedal called King of Tone. At the time the backlog of orders was taking about two years to process. I put my name on the list thinking I would probably have a King of Tone of my own by March 2020.

Remember what went down in March 2020?

By the time Covid hit the wait had already grown. I think I was expecting my number to come up in 2021 (I think). Then Covid slowed everything down more. I haven’t inquired when I should expect it to be my turn to buy a pedal, but I did just read a story that mentioned Analogman recently started working on orders placed in 2018. Hey, that’s me! The article also said they had to redo about 100 circuit boards because some prick managed to slip fake capacitors past them and they all had to be replaced. Damn it.

It will be my turn someday. Someday.

On a slightly related note, if you remember back in June of 2020 when George Floyd was murdered by police officers and riots broke out all of the country, I did a lot of bitching about a pedal builder who first decided that store windows were more important than police officers assassinating citizens before doubling down on his complete assholeness by verbally attacking his own customers for having the nerve to call him a racist when his behavior was about as racist as you can get. I declared I would never use his pedals again (he actually told at least one customer that they were not worthy of using his pedals so I guess he wanted me to stop using his stuff) and put the pedals I owned (there were two, with a third stuck at the band’s rehearsal room) into a box at the bottom of my closet where they can rot for eternity. Then Reverb and Guitar Center cut ties with his company as well. Now, two years later, he’s shutting down. I’m not sure if he’s going out of business or just scaling back to a tiny work-from-home type of thing, or if maybe he’s going to move manufacturing overseas, or what.

While I would never wish harm upon another human, I can’t help but think that going out of business couldn’t happen to a nicer guy, you know? As one who works in customer service… it’s not hard to not verbally assault your customers. Really, it’s not hard. It’s also not hard to not be a racist asshole, but that might be asking too much from some people. I guess.

Hopefully this is the last time I will ever talk about this prick.

Also, hopefully my turn to buy that Analogman pedal will be coming up soon. Four years is a long time, you know?

Pedals

I know I posted pics of my favorite amplifier a couple of days ago, but at lunch today I swapped a pedal off of my pedal board and given the current photography obsessed climate in my brain I just had to snap a couple more.

Forgive me.

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