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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Sketch Me Up- Melodies

Sketchup Tutorial- Vegas Project ViewDead air.  Not good!   As I was nearing completion of my epically long video for part 2 in my guitar pedal building series, one of the big items left on my to-do list was to find some appropriate thematic music for the section interludes.  Each of the 5 tutorial sections has a table of contents image that sits on the screen for about 16 seconds.   At that point in the project, each of these brief interludes was dead-silent. 

I had this vague idea that I would compose some short piece of music, and then make five increasingly complex variations to play for each of the five increasingly advanced sections of the tutorial.   16 seconds is not very long- not long enough for a big composition, but maybe long enough for a short melody.  This idea lurked in the back of my mind for a few weeks.   A couple of aborted attempts just didn’t seem to fit the tone of the video- too perky, too funky, etc.

Inspiration arrived, as it sometimes does, with a new piece of gear.  So with brand new Les Paul in hand, and Jamman Delay looper and Vox Ice 9 under foot, I recorded the following series of melodies.  Each loop starts with a copy of a previous variation, and adds a little something.

I’m particularly fond of that last clip, even though it ended up on the cutting room floor.  It’s got this crazy riff in it – which may be just a little too complex. Smile

Digitech JamMan Delay EMI problem and solution

JamMan DelayI wrote about my love of looping back in 2010, when the new JamMan Solo and JamMan Stereo were announced. 

Now, I’ve finally replaced my old Oberheim Echoplex Digital Pro with a shiny new JamMan Delay.

This unique pedal combines a looper with a nice delay modeler.   It doesn’t do everything my old Echoplex did, but it’s a nice leap forward in technology- with stereo recording, tons of memory (and SD card expansion), stereo recording, USB connectivity and software librarian, not to mention some really nice delays.  I’ll talk about the features I’m missing in another post.

But before we get to happiness, let’s first talk about a major manufacturing issue, nearly a total deal-breaker.   If I hadn’t figured out a solution, I would have had to return the JamMan Delay and seek looper nirvana elsewhere.

When I first powered up the JamMan Delay and plugged it in to my Vox AC15, I was greeted with a faint but persistent “beep beep beep” sound, in time with the flashing tempo LED.  

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