Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Volume Pedal Mod Revisited (Switchable Minimum Volume/Volume Off)

 So with the prospects of once again being a supporting guitarist for Don Matsuo this July, I found myself pondering the volume pedal mod I did years ago where I physically stopped the minimum volume the pedal had to control the gain on my amp.  I don't know what to expect with this gig, despite this being my second go around.  Would I need a gain control, or a volume pedal?  I also got tired of pulling out the screwdriver each time I wanted volume swells on my lap steel.  So, the solution for me was clear.  Create resistance to ground on a switch.  I measured 1.55K on my multimeter as the resistance on my minimum volume with the previous mod.  So the idea, was to put a combo of resistors to equal 1.55K that could be added between the volume pot of the pedal and ground, as well as to be taken away (switchable).  After contemplating drilling a new switch hole, I realized I never used the tuner output.  I actually really have no use for it.  So that was my mounting hole.  Also 100% reversible. 

So, (1.)I de-soldered the tuner jack, and the ground wire (grey) from the board.  (2.) Soldered the pot ground (same grey wire) to the middle switch lug. The tuner jack left me some holes to run wires through!  (3.) Ran a new wire from one side of the switch to the original ground board connection.  (4.) Ran my resistors (1.55K) from that same lug to the opposite lug on the switch.  

 After doing this, I found there are a few pedals on the market that do this same thing with a variable resistance pot, such as the new Ernie Ball MVP.  I did my approach, because I didn't want the potential for the knob to get bumped or moved.  I wanted a quick on-the-fly switch to change the function of my pedal.  For me, this is the perfect volume pedal.  (Also there's a treble bleed mod in there as well) 

Here's a quick clip of it. 

Sunday, April 11, 2021

New Split 7 Inch Out in July With Big Guest Stars

I know....It's been a while.  It's trange how things line up and how lucky I've been the last year.  Even though some people have these ridiculous superstitions about the calendar year number, the end of 2020 was a productive and musically rewarding one.  A band I play in and record (Born Shit Stirrers) decided to finally put some music down on recording after being inspired and cheered on by Mike Watt after being on the Watt From Pedro Show.  I think a lot of us felt in a suspended state, unsure of what to do in the future.  I certainly felt very uncreative around March of 2020.  The kind and wise words from Watt really got me out of my funk for sure,  "You're out there on the ocean all alone on a boat."  "What are you gonna do?" "Tell the wind which way to blow?"  In other words, make do with what you got and adapt to the situation.  Watt also always ends his radio show with "keep your powder dry".  Kind of an always be ready mantra of the revolutionary war.   
Not only was he the kick in the pants we needed, but he also was kind enough to add his bass to our tracks.  It's got to be one of the biggest musical moments of my life for me to play on the same tracks as a hero of mine.  I'm really proud of how everything turned out and came together, even though I'm probably going to hell for the lyrics.  
Watt wasn't alone either as a guest star.  We were lucky enough to have Joe King(Joe Queer) from The Queers and Reverend Nørb from Boris the Sprinkler grace us with their vocal stylings.  The songs will come out on a split 7 inch in July on Serial Bowl Records in the UK with friends from another semi-local band in Kumamoto Japan, Led Zep Vietcong.  The album names were definitely inspired by the crappy company I was working for last year and our sexual frustrations in lock-down.   I know July is a ways away, so here is a track to wet your beak to until then.  A cover, believe it or not about Richard Gere and a gerbil.  Written by geniuses from Salem/Portland Oregon, The Bumble Bees   

Enjoy!  ~Lum