(Warning, this sort of turned into a long blog entry, which means its full of geeky details.) Not too much happened today. Susie stopped by and wanted me to help her pick out a computer. We cruised the local places and Costco had an 3.0 Ghz hyper-threaded Pentagram IV system with a bunch of RAM and an LCD screen for like $1399. I guess the slaves in China are working hard. I'm trying to get her talked into either a laptop (which I think she'd like) or building a PC, but she wants a manufacturer and/or store to complain and/or take it back to if she has problems. Piecing together a system with the same stuff and specs actually was going to be neck and neck anyway. Sure I was pricing quality components at Infotech, and HP is probably cutting corners, but who am I to complain? One less PC to assemble.
I came home, cut my hair (shaved around the sides again), took a shower, and promptly took a catnap. Later, I went out and checked out stuff at the music store. I still have some scrap plywood left over from the computer shelf project Wally and I did something like five years ago. I'm thinking that it might be a good idea to set up a pedalboard for my guitar effects. A pedalboard does exactly what you think it might; it gives you one surface that you either permanently or semi-permanently throw your stompboxes on. The idea being that when you go from place to place, you don't have to set your stompboxes down on the floor one at a time and hook them all up; they're already pretty well set up. You plug your guitar into one end of the effects chain, and plug your amp into the other, and you're ready to play. Additionally, many people throw power supplies on their pedalboards so that they don't have to put batteries in all of their effects. This saves not only money in batteries, but also time as well because if you use batteries in your effects, you end up having to unplug the inputs of all of the stompboxes. (They always use a little current even when they're turned off, and unplugging the input cord turns them off entirely.)
Buying wall-wart adaptors for all of your effects not only would be sort of bulky, it's also expensive (the manufacturers charge too damn much for them, and just to be a pain, almost all effects pedals are set up with reverse polarity on the plug, meaning there are few adapters you can cannibalize from somewhere else to make them go.) So what you end up doing is getting a reasonably large wall-wart (in terms of current delivery capacity), and then somehow sticking a whole bunch of plugs on the end, and daisy chaining them all together. That's what I was after.
Yeah, they didn't have that, so I ended up pulling a Wally and buying some effects I liked. And a stompbox tuner too. I'm not sure if Lisa noticed and didn't care, or what. I ended up basically celebrating my birthday early, I think. I bought a Korg tuner, a Rocktron "short timer" delay pedal, and an Ibanez FL9 flanger. Guitar is hella fun, even though I'm hella bad at it. My effects chain (and unfinished pedalboard) now looks like this:
So from right to left (basically in the order from the guitar to the amp) we have
All I've got to say is that this summer, when Neil and I put together "Miami Satan Machine," I'm playing guitar. Neil, you're playing bass, and the drum machine will pick up the rest (unless someone at work or elsewhere plays drums).
So I spent most of the evening playing, and since I didn't want to lose the material I made up (which I often do), I pulled out the four track and recorded myself playing along with the drum machine. Now that that's finished, and I've written this huge blog entry, I guess I'll go do my art project.