Author Topic: Majik's Road Case  (Read 11257 times)

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Offline Twin Six

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #125 on: December 10, 2020, 01:32:22 am »
Thanks for sharing the photos of Tokyo. You obviously found your way to most of the more interesting parts of the city. Though I left almost 10 years ago, the only thing I've missed are the restaurants & izakaya. No matter how obscure the corner of Tokyo, there are excellent restaurants & bars where you end up meeting fascinating characters.
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Offline Majik

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #126 on: December 12, 2020, 10:23:39 am »
Though I left almost 10 years ago, the only thing I've missed are the restaurants & izakaya. No matter how obscure the corner of Tokyo, there are excellent restaurants & bars where you end up meeting fascinating characters.

Yes, I agree. And, what I found, is the quality of the restaurants in Tokyo seems to be almost universally high. Although the some of food may not be something us westerners would normally eat (natto and nankotsu being two things I encountered quite a bit, but never got used to).

When I was staying in Akasaka, I was trying to read (using Google Translate) the menu of a small yakitori restaurant near my hotel when an enthusiastic lady popped her head out and said "English?" and then bodily dragged me in and sat me at the bar and handed me the English menu. I present it below (don't look too hard if you are squeamish or vegetarian):



I ended up ordering mainly vegetables and a rice ball (which, by the way, were all amazing) whilst I watched the chefs prepare various wibbly-looking foods for other people.



I ended up chatting to a young woman and her father who were sitting next to me (chatting to random, friendly strangers in restaurants became a bit of a theme) who gave me some good nihonshu recommendations and (after I had a couple) convinced me to try the tongue sashimi which was... interesting.

Good times!

Cheers,

Keith

Offline Majik

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #127 on: January 22, 2021, 10:37:26 am »
This isn't, strictly, guitar related, but a discussion of USB cables reminded me I had recently been tidying up and organising my vast collection of cables including USB, MIDI, XLR, DMX, and instrument cables. They are now nicely boxed and labelled in my garage.



Cheers,

Keith

Offline adi_mrok

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #128 on: January 22, 2021, 10:45:38 am »
Honestly mate you probably have more cables in there than they had on Christmas Lights event at Blenheim Palace which I believe were controlled using DMX.

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Offline DavidP

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #129 on: January 22, 2021, 01:42:51 pm »
LOL I can manage with a single drawer.

Just for interest sake, how many years of collecting does that represent, Keith.

And I imagine a quite some spend over time as well  :o

Offline Majik

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #130 on: January 22, 2021, 01:56:20 pm »
Probably 20+ years, although I have also discarded a lot too. One of the big white boxes contains power supplies, some of which are easily over 20 years old.

A lot of the cables are actually more recent. Most of the LAN patch cables are related to my work. The various USB cables have been collected over many years, as were the power cables. I don't like throwing them out as you never know when you might need one, and power cables don't become obsolete. To an extent this is also true of USB cables: type A USBs are still in common use.

And then there's various stuff like the MIDI 5-pin cables which I have had for over a decade, but which are still occasionally useful (some modern kit still has this connection) and DMX cables which are more recent.

Cheers,

Keith

Offline DavidP

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #131 on: January 22, 2021, 02:03:51 pm »
Just had to google "DMX cable" ... learned something new.

I guess I was a little similar with the old video/hi-fi cables, seemed to accumulate those over the years. But never quite to the same quantities as you've done, Keith.

And of course the worst thing is needing a cable, thinking you have one and can't find it and then after extensive searching discovering that you don't have one after all.

The time to organise and label will surely payoff. Though I suspect your mind is probably better organised than mine is  ;D

Offline Majik

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #132 on: January 22, 2021, 04:30:13 pm »
Just had to google "DMX cable" ... learned something new.

Yes, I dabbled with some DMX programming a while back. A friend of mine wanted to get some new lights for his band, so I helped set him up. I got a few cheap chinese-made DMX lights for myself so I could play with it.  They are set up in my conservatory, but I've not done anything with them for a while now.

Cheers,

Keith


Offline adi_mrok

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #133 on: January 22, 2021, 05:03:19 pm »
Just had to google "DMX cable" ... learned something new.

I guess I was a little similar with the old video/hi-fi cables, seemed to accumulate those over the years. But never quite to the same quantities as you've done, Keith.

And of course the worst thing is needing a cable, thinking you have one and can't find it and then after extensive searching discovering that you don't have one after all.

The time to organise and label will surely payoff. Though I suspect your mind is probably better organised than mine is  ;D
DMX is widely used in theaters and lots of different performances, I was involved in doing M&E services for English National Ballet HQ and Wellington College Performing Arts Centre and they had loads of DMX around, quite interesting stuff. I was at Christmas lights exhibition before UK went to a full lockdown and capabilities of the system are unbelievable, see below:

https://youtu.be/2farSx2UcU8

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Offline Majik

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #134 on: January 22, 2021, 05:23:46 pm »
DMX is widely used in theaters and lots of different performances, I was involved in doing M&E services for English National Ballet HQ and Wellington College Performing Arts Centre and they had loads of DMX around, quite interesting stuff. I was at Christmas lights exhibition before UK went to a full lockdown and capabilities of the system are unbelievable,

Oh yes, I've been a member of a local theatre group for the last 20 years or so and, although I didn't get involved in it myself,  I was aware of the DMX lighting setups. I've always been fascinated by stuff like moving heads and robotic gobos since I saw the original Vari-lights at bands I watched in the 80s.

When I started learning it myself, I was using a dedicated DMX desk where you had to painstakingly configure each fixture and scene, although it had some built-in sequences you could employ for moving heads.

Since then I've been using QLC+ quite a bit, and the level of control you have on that is quite amazing, and there's some clever stuff with people running it on multiple Raspberry Pi's and networking them with Artnet, integrating and syncing with MIDI, and more. When you see one of those homes with Xmas lighting synchronised with music, that's probably QLC+_being used.

When I was in Tokyo in Dec 2019, I got to visit some of the amazing Xmas lighting displays they have there which, I believe, are  DMX controlled. This is the one in Tokyo Midtown:





Cheers,

Keith

Offline adi_mrok

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #135 on: January 22, 2021, 05:27:10 pm »
Wow truly amazing show, guess once things go back to normal I need to go show it to.my wife since she has a huge bug for Christmas related events :)

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Offline stuartw

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #136 on: January 22, 2021, 05:46:44 pm »
Oh yes, I've been a member of a local theatre group for the last 20 years or so and, although I didn't get involved in it myself,  I was aware of the DMX lighting setups. I've always been fascinated by stuff like moving heads and robotic gobos since I saw the original Vari-lights at bands I watched in the 80s.

I believe that Genesis where the first to use vari-lights in their shows.

Offline Majik

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #137 on: January 22, 2021, 05:52:29 pm »
Indeed they were. They were actually one of the early investors in Vari-lite. The story was the company developing them set up a demo in a barn at the recording studio Genesis were working in.

They came out and saw the demo and decided to invest immediately.

Cheers,

Keith

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Offline JustMe123456

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #138 on: January 22, 2021, 08:44:20 pm »
Dmx was the greatest. I especially liked “Slipping” and “stop being greedy”
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Offline DavidP

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #139 on: January 23, 2021, 05:04:24 am »
Fascinating. You never know what you might stumble across over here in the JG Forum. A little bit more googling this morning to understand more of the terms being used.

Thanks guys.

Offline Majik

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #140 on: January 23, 2021, 01:57:52 pm »
Regarding lighting and Genesis, this teaser popped up for their forthcoming tour that has been delayed until October. Looks like they continue to knock it out of the park with regards to stage lighting and visualisations.

https://youtu.be/5CPqRQI7Vjo

Cheers,

Keith

« Last Edit: January 23, 2021, 06:18:03 pm by Majik »

Offline stuartw

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #141 on: January 24, 2021, 11:27:44 am »
Regarding lighting and Genesis, this teaser popped up for their forthcoming tour that has been delayed until October. Looks like they continue to knock it out of the park with regards to stage lighting and visualisations.

https://youtu.be/5CPqRQI7Vjo

Genesis have always been a leader in lighting and visuals for shows right from their early days. Mind you saying that Floyd and Waters also put on great shows as well, and in Waters case continue to do so.

Offline Majik

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #142 on: January 24, 2021, 11:29:11 am »
Yes, Pink Floyd were another band who would always present a spectacular show.

Cheers,

Keith

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Offline Majik

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #143 on: February 25, 2021, 09:48:43 pm »
I've had a bit of a pause in updating my road case, due to family matters that need to be attended to.

But one small thing happened recently. If you recall, I previously posted:

Well, as it turns out, over the last 3 weeks I've been extremely busy with work stuff, but also working with Takashi-san (the developer) on triaging, debugging and testing the particular bug fixes and some related issues.

...

The good news is we successfully tested the code over the weekend across a number of devices, including some small code tweaks I contributed based on the testing and, this morning, Takashi-san posted a whole bunch of patches onto alsa-devel (the mailing list for ALSA development). So, for now, I have finished with that.

...

The bug I was working on were some long-standing issues with "implicit feedback" which, roughly speaking, is a mechanism used by some USB audio interfaces to synchronize the rate at which audio samples are transferred between the computer and the audio interface. The bug was preventing some specific audio interfaces from working reliably or, in some cases, from working at all.

Well, just over a week ago, Linux kernel version 5.11 was launched which includes the code I was testing. This enables the use of a whole bunch of Boss devices on Linux including devices such as the Boss Katana, GT-1, GT-001, GT-100v2, BR-80, and AD-10.

If I can find the time I will do a write up on some of theses devices (the ones I have) plus some other music technology stuff I have.

Cheers,

Keith
« Last Edit: February 25, 2021, 10:50:07 pm by Majik »

Offline Majik

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #144 on: February 25, 2021, 10:27:11 pm »
Roland V-Studio 20

I will start with one of the early devices that got me into testing ALSA driver patches. I have mentioned this before in this thread, I picked this up cheap from the local Dawsons as it was a display model and end-of-stock. It intrigued me because it wasn't just a desktop multi-fx device, but also a control surface. I also wanted to test some recent ALSA patches.



This is quite a nice unit because it has built-in stereo mics as well as an XLR input for an external mic (with phantom power) as well as a guitar input. Despite its looks, it's not a mixer and you can only use one input at a time.

It's powered by the USB connection to the PC, which also provides the audio and MIDI interface. It has audio outputs which I used to connect to a mixer, and also a headphone socket.

The onboard guitar effects are based on (I believe) the Boss GT-10 engine which is old by current modelling standards, but is actually pretty good. The unit also has some vocal effects, including pitch correction and chorus, and some bass amp modelling. So all in all it's a pretty versatile little unit.

The sliders and buttons on top are a control surface. For those that don't know what that is, it means they are MIDI controllers which are designed to communicate with and control a DAW. So, for instance, there is a set of "transport" buttons on the front edge which can be used to trigger play, record, fast-forward, rewind, etc. on your DAW. The faders can be mapped to individual channel faders on your DAW mixing view.

The idea is it gives you dedicated hard buttons for commonly used functions on your DAW. I contributed the MIDI mapping I created to the Ardour project.

Another really nice feature at the time, that I hadn't seen on many other similar units (other than the Boss JS-8), was the ability to "re-amp". That means you can record the "dry" guitar with no effects or amp modelling into your DAW, and then replay it back to the unit via the modelling and effects. This lets you test different amp models and effects, and different settings, on the same recorded guitar (or vocal). After "re-amping" the recording, you can the record the result.

The effects, and the routing to and from the computer, were controlled using a quite nice little application that would run under Linux using WINE.


You could also connect a foot switch or expression pedal.

I haven't used this device in ages but I don't see any point in getting rid of it at the moment, partly as I can't see anyone would want it these days. Support for it on Windows or Mac stopped a few years ago, so only Linux users can still use it.

Cheers,

Keith


Offline Majik

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #145 on: February 25, 2021, 10:46:29 pm »
Boss GT-001

This is, in some ways, the more modern version of the V-Studio 20 (VS-20).



Like the VS-20, this is a desktop multifx/modelling unit. In this case it contains the modelling technology used in the Boss GT100v2 floor unit, which is much more modern and, until the fairly recent GT-1000 launch, was Boss's flagship modelling technology.

It has a huge range of models and effects compared to the VS-20 and, unlike the VS-20, you can create effects chains where you can put the effects in just about any order. You can also run two amp models at a time on each patch and either switch between them or blend them together. You can also have different effects in each chain.

It's controlled using a version of Boss Tone Studio which will be familiar to anyone who has a Boss Katana:



Boss Tone Studo does work on Linux under WINE but, unfortunately, it only works in offline mode; it won't directly control the GT-001. This is because it will not connect to the GT-001 until it's done a handshake with it to test the audio driver and, until recently, the GT-001 didn't work as an audio device on Linux at all (the same applies to Boss Tone Studio for Katana). However, with the patches I helped with, it now does so I may experiment with trying to get it fully working at some point.

Like the VS-20, the GT-001 also has a switchable mic input with phantom power, and includes some vocal effects. It's powered off the USB, but can also have a separate PSU connected so it can be used without a computer. It can have a footswitch or expression pedal connected, and has a mode where it can be used as a basic control surface, although it lacks the physical faders of the VS-20.

It can also be used for re-amping (as can the Katana).

An interesting capability is a guitar-to-MIDI setting which converts notes played on the guitar to MIDI notes to control a synthesizer. I have experimented with this with variable results. It can, sort of, work with strummed chords, but it mainly works with single notes, and doesn't handle slides or bends. To me it's a fun thing to experiment with, but not particularly practical.

All in all this is a really powerful, portable, and great sounding, little desktop guitar recording device, that can also be used as a standalone practice tool with headphones (or to a mixer/PA).

I actually took this with me to Japan, along with my Tele, for the last few months I was there.

Cheers,

Keith

Offline close2u

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #146 on: February 25, 2021, 11:03:03 pm »
I was very, very interested in the GT-001 as a desktop option - which is the route I wanted to take with my minimalist no amp setup so that makes for very interesting reading Keith. I opted for a cheaper, tried and trusted revisit to a Zoom G3 that I found 2nd hand at a good price locally. But the GT-001 did come close to being mine.

Offline Majik

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #147 on: February 25, 2021, 11:16:33 pm »
Boss BR-80

Now this is a fun little device:



This is what I got as a replacement to the old Tascam MP-GT1 guitar trainer I used to use (which is now, I'm pleased to say, getting new life under the ownership of glpguitar).

In fact, I replaced the Tascam, initially, with a Boss Micro-BR which was the first version Boss made, but then upgraded to the BR-80.

The BR-80 does a lot. It's:
  • a field recorder with built-in stereo microphones
  • a MP3 guitar trainer with A-B looping, slow-down, and guitar cancel capabilities
  • a portable guitar amp simulator and effects processor, based on the GT-10 engine
  • a portal vocal recording and effects processor using either the internal or external mics
  • a portal multi-track recording, editing, and mixing system with mastering capabilities
  • a drum sequencer with MIDI triggerable drum sounds, so it can be used as a drum synth
  • a USB audio interface

It also has a built in metronome and tuner, and a bunch of supplied "micro tracks" backing tracks.

I bought this primarily because I was doing a lot of travelling and spending most of the week staying in hotels near my clients, and thought it would be useful to take along with a guitar to give me something to do in the evenings. I also took it with me when I went to work in Kuala Lumpur for 4 months several years ago. I didn't take a guitar with me, but bought a cheap electro-acoustic at a local KL music shop, and used the BR-80 with it.

I've also used it as a field recorder for all sorts of things, including helping me, and others, to learn lines on the odd occasion I've done some local am-dram: stick the recorder in the middle of the group when doing a read-through, and then send a copy to everyone to listen to whenever they want. I've also used it to capture the sound of our local church bells, which I then created a "soundfont" (synth plugin) for, and have recorded some of our handbell practices with it.

I've not really used the multi-track capabilities of it that much. I did a bit whilst in Malaysia, but layering, editing, and mixing on the tiny display and with limited controls is quite painful. You can program in your own drum sequences as part of that but, again, it's pretty painful to do it.

These days, you could do the multi-tracking and sequencing a lot easier on a smartphone or tablet.

The jog dial on this unit is getting a bit sticky and I probably need to take it apart and clean it. Other that that, it works fine and as a guitar trainer/portable amp unit, it's great.

Cheers,

Keith

Offline Majik

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #148 on: February 25, 2021, 11:29:10 pm »
I was very, very interested in the GT-001 as a desktop option - which is the route I wanted to take with my minimalist no amp setup so that makes for very interesting reading Keith. I opted for a cheaper, tried and trusted revisit to a Zoom G3 that I found 2nd hand at a good price locally. But the GT-001 did come close to being mine.

It's a really nice little unit and incredibly powerful. From what I've seen of the Zoom G3 Edit and Share app, I would say that the GT-001 with Boss Tone Studio is a bit more capable unit in terms of tone sculpting, as well as possibly easier to use (I have heard that the skeuomorphic approach taken with Edit & Share can make it quite clunky to use in some cases).

But, of course, you don't get the stomp pedals on the GT-001. And the Zoom G3 is a pretty powerful unit so, in practice, I suspect any benefit the GT-001 has over the Zoom G3 are minimal at best.

Cheers,

Keith

Offline LievenDV

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #149 on: February 26, 2021, 12:48:49 pm »
Cool gear I saw passing by and these reviews are very insightful; thanks.

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