Friday, September 13, 2019

Hey We Got on the World Famous Maximum Rock and Roll Magazine.
Hey sorry for the absence.  Been a busy year full of ups and downs.  Mostly ok.   Was nice of the folks at the east bay to review our white trash in Asia CD.  Back when there was a press this would have been huge for us.  Still love these guys, but really worried for the future of printed word.  However don't underestimate the value of these sites. Still better than the front pages most people check and SM outlets.  This band has a vinyl out in December which I engineered.  Starting another recording maybe in December.  Hopefully I'll get a weird recording blog up by then.   Oh and we made this painting and fable writing recently at the dojo.
and here

Well, thanks for taking the time.   

Monday, January 7, 2019

The Treble Booster, Secret Weapon of the 70's. Now in Standard Power

    Happy new year and rotation around the nuclear fusion reactor everyone.   Let's talk treble boosters.  For years I didn't understand them and just passed them off as an oddity of the past.  Most of us guitarist don't need more treble.  In fact some guys I've heard are ear piercing.  I used to think you'd get the same thing from and EQ pedal.  I couldn't have been more wrong.  What I found was using a treble booster helped cut through a band mix and they're great for solos.  It does this by cutting some of the bass frequencies that get covered up by the bass guitar or kick and boosts some of the really sweet spot frequencies so the guitar can stand out.  It also adds a bit of hair on an already distorted amp.  The tone is very unique and badass.  So let's look at how and why I built an odd take on this cool effect from the past.
    A while back I realized I had a bunch of germanium AC128 transistors laying around, and a super small enclosure I hadn't figured out what to do with. Around this time, a friend of mine sent me to tonefiend 's project of a flipped Dallas Rangemaster Treble Booster.  I was intrigued to try this circuit, after reading about positive ground circuits of the old days like the Fuzz Face and Dallas Rangemaster, which could be reversed to negative ground by flipping the circuit upside down.  Thus allowing us to run the pedal on a standard power supply, and daisy chain it to other pedals.  I was also intrigued by some of the illusive tones of the 70's like Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath, Brian May of Queen, and Marc Bolan of T Rex.  The circuit seemed small enough I could fit everything in the enclosure.  With a lot of measuring, I barely made it.  

    However, I ran into problems after breadboarding it up.  It didn't work.  I gave up, until last fall.  Tried to test the circuit again; this time flipping the transistor around.  Worked!  I've ask folks with more electrical knowledge about why my circuit worked with a backwards transistor (emitter going to ground)  and didn't really get an explanation.  Seems every schematic I've seen for flipped positive ground circuits has the transistor in the wrong pinout?!  Everyone else can't be wrong can they?  If I get an explanation, I'll update this.  But I've got a pedal and schematic that works.  And it sounds pretty damn amazing.  That same friend of mine and I were testing it out last week, and it just seemed like the magical pedal that made everything sound better.  

My modded circuit
    I went with most of the same values as the tonefiend used and added a few different options.  I added an input cap selector switch like that of Analog Man's Beano Boost.  You'll need a ON-OFF-ON DPDT switch wired as in EX.2  In the "OFF" position, the middle cap gives us a standard vintage treble boost with .005uF.  The switch in the above "ON" position adds .005uF to .005uF to give us .01uF.  This acts as a bit of a mid boost.  In the bottom "ON" position with .005uF added to .01uF, gives us .015uF.  This is more of a full range boost, with more bass.  I also added a .001uF cap to ground at the very end of the circuit.  This helped cut down on some of the high end noise.  You'll have to experiment with different transistors to find one that isn't too noisy.  Germaniums can be finicky.  The bible of these DIY clones was written by geofx , with every detail addressed, right down to the voltage bias.  I couldn't get the same readings as his, probably because of the flipped circuit.  However, this pedal sounds great with my values without a tweaked bias.  

    In the end, I decided to go with a Texas flag paint job.  "Dallas", Rangemaster.  The only other advise I have, is keep this pedal in the front of your signal chain.  Much like a Fuzz Face, it needs the right impedance, or it sounds nasty.  Also, you'll find these pedals don't sound inspiring through a super clean amp.  You'll need to run it through something slightly to really broken up.  Have fun.  I'll try to get some audio or video clips soon.          

Thursday, November 1, 2018

DIY Ring Modulator and Some Dave Lum Tattoo Art

Original Circuit
Here's some creepy perverted stuff for your Halloween.  I finished up a pedal for a friend that I've made a few of at this point.  My take on Tim Escobedo's Push Me Pull You, Octave Fuzz.  I wrote about that a while back here: .  It's my favorite octave fuzz so far.  You can here it in action at the bottom track of this post.  My friend and I came up with the idea to call it the Paipan Fuzz.  Here in Japan that means basically what the graphics are on it, with no shrubbery.  And those graphics are from a tattoo my dad, Dave Lum did years ago.  He's a now retired well know tattoo artist with mind altering and twisted images.  You can take a walk down memory lane with him occasionally and see his old work here: . Word has it he's working with someone on a book of his work in the future.

Modified Circuit

The second pedal I did with Lum art was a ring modulator, again a modified Tim Escobedo circuit.  I always wanted a ring mod, but never got around to buying one.  Especially with the DOD Gonkulator prices skyrocketing.  So this was a must try.  It's not the most versatile ring mod in the world, but it will give you a bunch of crazy sounds.  I added a few extra controls to make it more usable for me.  First I replaced the original 10K resistor with a 100K potentiometer.  Between the two pots you can get more sounds.  I did get some harsh distortion even when my amp was clean on some settings, so I added a switch with a .0047uf cap ground which cut off some of the harsh high end frequencies.  Lastly I still wanted more control, so I added a wet/dry blend pot.  The simple wiring seemed to work just fine.  With this, you can almost get away with playing something pretty.   Here's a quick demo video I did of the pedal. Enjoy folks. 

Here's the Octave Fuzz in action at the 2:04 mark

Saturday, September 1, 2018

New Solo Album (My Plastic Moon)

Had a chance this summer to wrap up some more recording and managed to have enough songs for a little release.  Some of these songs stretch back a decade or more, recorded from Salem and Portland Oregon, all the way across the Pacific here in Fukuoka Japan.  Some of it is a little lo-if and quirky, but the songs meant something to me as a time capsule of my life in my late 20's and early 30s.  Plus a Daniel Johnston cover.  Hope you enjoy it .

Friday, August 17, 2018

Depressed Fathers Club

We finally finished up the 4th studio Born Shit Stirrers album, with an EP in its wings coming soon.  I had a few more jobs to do on this one this time around.  You can download it digitally from bandcamp below, or in the near future, order a hard copy via Serial Bowl Records out of Sunderland, UK. Here or here.  Thanks for all the support!

Friday, August 10, 2018

New Solo Music

Had a chance to finish up a few unfinished songs I had.  Some of these are pretty old.  Well, they're new now.  Got a new pedal project and some shows coming up, in between everyday chaos.  Hope summer is finding you well.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Don Matsuo of Zoobombs

Had a blast two weeks ago with Don Mastuo and the GigiBand.  Complete trial by fire.  One practice and away we went.  Mostly improvised, just following Don's cues.  It's been a busy spring.  Here's a set list and a few videos.  Big thanks to my band mates for the night. 
1. Mannish Boy 
2. Highway A Go Go (blues)
3. South Central Rock 
4. Circle X 
5. Come as You Are 
6. Mo Funky 
7. Sympathy for The Devil(encore)

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Big Show Next Week

Next week I get the honor to play guitar in the backing band of Don Matsuo from the Zoobombs.  It also coincides with Gigi's 12th anniversary.   It's been a great place to play at over the years, and it's a local music institution at this point.  Well, here in Fukuoka Japan anyhow.  If you haven't heard of the Zoobombs, check them out next time they come to the U.S. or Canada.  They are nuts.

....yeah, we're playing this.......

Friday, April 20, 2018

Live bootleg....BSS PUNK

First and maybe last show for the gaijin punk band I play in. Get the bootleg while you can. Here it is.  I think these pictures sum it up as well.....More recording starts next week.  No rest for me.......