Helix Is On Order

Line 6 HelixThe Helix finally came in stock today, and it’s on order!  While I’ve been waiting over the last couple weeks, I’ve been obsessing about my big rig transition to the Helix. I’ve come across a couple of new video demos which just blow me away how good the Helix sounds.

These demos have me seriously considering going ampless. While I love my Blackstar Stage 60, this would be amazing simplification in my rig, and a serious boost in flexibility.  We’ll have to wait and see when the Helix arrives.

Meanwhile,  take a look at these videos – two very different styles, two compelling arguments:

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Hard Disk Failure with DL32R

DL32R Not RecordingAt our Outpost gig last weekend, I noticed at the end of the first set that the red recording light was off in the Master Fader control app for our DL32R mixer.

I know that I started the recording before the first set!  Did I bump it accidentally during the set?

So, I restarted the recording at the beginning of the second set, and the red light was still on after midnight when we finished…

However, when I loaded up the files into Logic to have a listen, they were garbled and glitchy. Here’s an example of what it sounded like: Read the rest of this entry

Shutting Down the Outpost

Drop Daddies At Outpost

Great time last light with the Drop Daddies playing at our local bar, the Outpost.

This was the Outpost’s final Saturday night party before closing their doors forever. It was off the hook!



Shutting Down The Outpost


Selling For Helix

For SaleIt’s been a year since I saw that first demo of the Helix at NAMM, and I haven’t stopped dreaming about it! But I decided that I should really sell some old gear before investing in the Helix. And I just never got around to it.

But after the dreaded HD500X sunlight-wah-freakout happened again, this time in front of a huge crowd at a gig in October, I decided it’s time to make this happen, before the sunny season rolls around again.

Furthermore, in the last year, Line 6 has released a 2.0 update with a new snapshots feature which makes Helix perfect for live performance.

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Ian’s 50th Birthday and Retirement Party

Drop Daddies at Ian's 50th

Had a blast on Saturday with the Drop Daddies, celebrating our drummer Ian’s 50th birthday!


Ian’s 50th Birthday and Retirement Party

Twin Creeks Fall Carnival 2016

Fun time with the Drop Daddies on Friday, playing a set with the Twin Creeks Elementary chorus at their Fall Carnival.

Twin Creeks Fall Carnival 2016

Sunglasses for the HD500X

John at a Sunny GigMy band plays a number of outdoor gigs every year, and I usually need to wear sunglasses to survive the gig.

Aside from the sunlight-triggered-wah-freakout issue I wrote about last year, the HD500X works fairly well in the sun. The light rings around the footswitches tend to disappear in bright light, but the main display seems to maintain reasonable visibility.

HD500X screen distortion through polarized sunglassesHowever, I usually wear sunglasses (and a hat!) at sunny gigs.  My sunglasses are polarized, and this causes the HD500X display to show weird discolored bands, obscuring the display.

The picture at right was taken holding my sunglasses in front of the camera lens.  As you can see, weird stuff happens in the corners of the display.

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Walk to End Alzheimer’s 2016

Proud to have been a part of the Walnut Creek to Walk to End Alzheimer’s again with the Drop Daddies – our third year!

Walk To End Alzheimer’s 2016


DIY Guitar Pedal Building Series

125-Enclosure-Model_thumb.jpgMy 2012 series on DIY Guitar Pedal building continues to draw visitors to planetz. I just went through and updated a few stale links, and I noticed that I never really posted entire table of contents for the series. So here it is. I also added these links to the top of each page. Better late than never!

  1. Intro to DIY Pedal Building
  2. Beginner’s Course in Sketchup, Modeling a 125B Guitar Pedal Enclosure
  3. Drilling a 125B Guitar Effects Pedal Enclosure
  4. Pedal Enclosure Finishing: Surface Prep, Priming and Painting
  5. Using GIMP to Create Pedal Artwork
  6. Printing and Applying Waterslide Decal to Pedal Enclosure

I also made a youtube playlist: DIY Guitar Pedal Building

Danville 4th of July Parade

Cool experience, playing with the Drop Daddies in the Danville 4th of July Parade.

Danville 4th of July Parade

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