I suck at it, and that’s great!

It’s really odd to switch like this from being heavily into electronica and synthesisers to going 100% into the guitar again.

But there’s something very immediate about it that really appeals to me right now. No cables to connect, no software to update, no keyboard shortcuts to remember or midi timing issues to worry about. Just pick up the guitar and play.

If I’m feeling adventurous I might just turn the amp on… Maybe even a pedal or two.

IMG_4985And, almost out of sight, in the corner of my eye sits the one piece I couldn’t let go of. My Native Instruments Maschine. Actually the piece that started me down the electronica path back in 2012.

I’m holding off for the moment. Savouring in my mind the moment I’ll start playing with it again…

Another great thing about the guitar is that I suck at it.

It’s great because it means there is no pressure to be creative yet. No stress to create actual music or publish polished tracks. For now it’s all about learning the basic handling.

Chords, scales, picking and strumming…

Kind of meditative in a way.

The road to a simple DIY Pedal, pt 8

Ok, so mechanically all should be connected and soldered properly, but for some reason I’m not getting anything but farting noises out of the effect signal. The clean, bypassed signal sounds great (at least the footswitch and status LED seems to be working :) ).

Given the simplicity of the circuit that leaves only two suspects.

Either the diode is fried, or the transistor has given up its ghost.

Thus, today I removed the diode and tested it with the multimeter, only to confirm that there was no problems with it. I tested a new one and soldered it into the circuit, confirming that there are no shorts.

So, back to square 2. Tomorrow I will test the transistor as well. If you have any tips on how to remove a soldered in transistor please share :)

The road to a simple DIY Pedal, pt 7

After essentially hitting the wall and running out of ideas yesterday, my good friend Nicklas pointed out that I had a suspicious solder joint in the lower left side of this photo:

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And of course he was right. If ever there was a cold joint :). A quick resolder took care of that, now the signal is at least stable.

Lesson learned: Always check, check and check your solder joints again. A bad solder won’t always come loose right away, but can let go while you are fiddling around with your contraption.

Rechecking all the other joints revealed nothing out of the ordinary…

The road to a simple DIY Pedal, pt 6

The short is gone.

But!

I’m still not getting the signal I expect. The clean is coming through nicely, but the effected signal sounds extremely muddy and gritty. To the point where its really unusable.

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A bit unsure where to go from here to be honest.

On the bright side, I’ve added the status LED to the circuit, and it lights up just fine :)

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Hanging Acoustic Foam without messing up the walls

After moving into our new apartment I realised the acoustics in the room designated as the home office space were just horrible. Actually it was so bad that late night meetings were almost impossible due to the echoing and booming.

The solution? Auralex Acoustic Foam of course!

I picked up a bass trap and 3 wedge panels, all 2″ versions to begin with but soon ran into the problem of how to attach them to the walls.

Three of the eight (don’t ask) walls in the room are concrete, and drilling massive holes felt like a really bad idea, so instead I started looking for a non-destructive solution.

Here’s what I came up with:

1. Silicon, transparent, (almost) 100%

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I bought this stuff at Bauhaus here in Sweden, but you should be able to get it at any DIY or home center. Make sure it’s as pure as possible otherwise it might eat through the foam.

The best thing about this stuff is you can just peal it off the wall once you want to take the panels down, and similarly from the back of the foam.

2. Testing

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I started out by testing a small chunk of silicon in a corner of the room, just to make sure it wouldn’t leave any marks. After 48 hours I was able to simply drag it of the wall with no artefacts. Similarly I put s small piece on the back of a panel, with the same result.

3. Application and hanging

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Finally I put a good, solid amount on the back of the panels (like an X in a square) and simply pushed them up against the wall. They stuck really firmly and I was able to let go almost immediately.

So there you have it. Cheap, simple and non-destructive. Silicon FTW!