Warming Up?

While messing around with my pedalboard this weekend I finally took my BBE Green Screamer apart to diagnose its problems. The volume comes and goes like a really slow tremolo effect. Really slow, like up to 10 seconds of silence. Then the sound comes back slowly, then fades again to silence. The green power indicator light is on the whole time. I haven’t tried using battery or wall wart power, but I will. The switch is working. It almost sounds like a tube amp warming up, but then it goes silent again, then it warms up again. I can’t figure it out.

With my BBE Green Screamer off my board I was finally able to put my Electro Harmonix LPB-1 boost on it.

Pedalboard Change2

(I tried to just get the LPB-1 in focus, but now that I look at it…it just seems like a bad picture of my pedalboard)

I am not going to do a full review of the LPB-1 (mainly because I don’t know enough about it yet), but it is a very different pedal from the BBE Green Screamer. It is a boost while the Green Screamer is an overdrive. I had my Boss SD-2 Dual Overdrive going into the Green Screamer. I liked how that sounded when I had them both on more than if the Green Screamer was going into the Dual Overdrive. The Green Screamer didn’t have as full a sound as the Dual Overdrive and I liked what it took away from the Dual Overdrive more than I liked what the Dual Overdrive added to it.

In contrast, the LPB-1 drives my amp into distortion much more quickly than either the Green Screamer or the Dual Overdrive do (at least with the way I have them set up). I was able to keep a pretty consistent volume level with my clean amp, my Green Screamer, and my Dual Overdrive in all the different configurations. The LPB-1 puts my amp just on the other side of breaking up so it always sounds overdriven and not just louder like a boost should. Now admittedly I haven’t explored it very much. I get a similar consistent overdriven sound from the Dual Overdrive, but at a lower volume. That is the only reason I think the LPB-1 is pushing my tube amp harder. But, like I said, I haven’t explored it very much. More to come.

Pedalboard redux

This weekend I got down and nerdy with my guitar pedals. I measured my current board, my future board from an old baby crib, and each pedal I own. Then I drew everything out on graph paper and cut out the pedals. Then I began reorganizing my paper pedalboard.

pedal board cut outs

My first goal was to try to fit my Ibanez Screaming Demon Wah while keeping all my other pedals on the board. And it worked.

PedalboardChange1

My next goal was to try to fit my Electro Harmonics LPB-1 boost. I couldn’t do it.

Now that I am playing with bigger pedalboard ideas (I can’t put the cover on my current pedalboard made from an old violin case). Can I fit the LPB, OhNoHo feedback loop, Boss A/B switch, and control footswitches for my existing pedals (that currently sit next to my pedalboard)? It is going to take some time. First step is to actually design and build a new pedalboard!

Gravity Falls

My family loves this show. So I learned the theme song.

I haven’t got the arpeggio opening down yet, but the tune is wonderful. My kids will just start humming it at random times. It was fun to have them come running into my practice space/office when I started playing it the first time. They were so excited and happy. We laughed and sang! It is a great show.

Update: Here is a link to the tablature for the arpeggios.

Latest Listening

This post is not really about any specific gear, projects, or practice. But it is about some great guitar playing I have heard in the last few days that I have to share! This is a media heavy post.

“Paper Trails” by Darkside on their album Psychic. I put a youtube clip of the song being performed live at the end of the post. It is very long (16 minutes). And the guitar doesn’t really get going until about the 4 minute mark. So if you really want to hear what I loved as soon as I heard it on the radio, listen to it on Sound Cloud here.

I just love the different sounds created using different pick ups and reverb (and some cool delay or looping, I can’t tell). The singing and the whole feel of the track kind of reminds me of what I love about “Red Right Hand” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. And I’ll admit that I’m more of a Grinderman fan than a Bad Seeds fan. But the guitar tone is what really grabbed me in “Paper Trails.”

The next song is Mavis Staple’s “Every Step” that I heard just this morning on the radio.

Don’t you love that pounding beat? And that opening guitar? The cool baseline? Just fantastic! And Mavis’ voice just has that strength from experience to it. I love listening to her.

And since I said I would, here is a live version of Darkside’s “Paper Trails.”

Bored or relaxed?

This afternoon I plugged my 1974 Epiphone Crestwood ET-275 into my pedalboard, dialed in a great clean tone at a reasonable house volume from my Frenzel Super Sportster Champ amp and homemade 1×12 speaker cabinet with a Celestion Vintage 30 in it. I started with a swelling organ sound through my Electro Harmonix POG2. Then looped it with my Digitech Jamman Solo. I added some basic chords with a perfectly matched tremolo from my Electro Harmonix Pulsar and a little bit of grit with my BBE Green Screamer. Then I added a droning note with my POG2, Boss SD-2, and my Boss DD-7. Then a quick bassline with the POG2. Finally I layered some percussion by tapping my muted strings. Then I turned off all my effects and played simple little scale runs and melodies on top of it.
I left it running on the loop, set down my guitar, checked on the kids, and then found my wife fast asleep on the couch not 15 feet away from my guitar rig.