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Do we have any musical people on DC?

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I'm also observing that those who claim to hear things that I can't are also more *superstitious* than I am as well.
-superboyac (December 12, 2014, 05:07 PM)
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At least you were polite enough not to mention their webbed feet. ;D
-40hz (December 13, 2014, 08:05 PM)
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hehe... Lately I've taken to omitting the tone control altogether, and swapping the volume for a 3-position switch with resistor networks for full-on, 77% (give or take...), and full-off because I've noticed that playing style and amplifier choice have more to do with tone than anything capacitative in the guitar.   I've played awful guitars through amazing amps and was convinced I was a guitar god.  I've played amazing guitars through awful amps and thought the action was too high and the pickups weak.  At the moment I play a Squier Stratocaster upgraded to better hardware and custom pickup configuration, playing through a hand-made distortion pedal and Wal-mart bass amp.  I have to say I'm not blown away but totally not disappointed either.  

Also just recently proved to myself that imagination can DEFINITELY color your perception; just yesterday I fired up 'speaker-test' to test what I thought was some degradation in the sound of my stereo and ended up playing with my own head;  
Speaker-test will play white noise for a second through one channel, then another until you kill it.  As it ran, I listened for high frequency sound from the left speaker - lo and behold! the left speaker sounded brighter.  "Damn," I thought, "time to replace the caps in the pre-amp, the right channel's getting dull" but then I listened for the same frequency in the right speaker.  Damned if it didn't suddenly get brighter with more "air" and "definition" than the left speaker.  I slowly smiled to myself and spent the better part of the next ten minutes actively listening for different parts of the spectrum, and sure enough, they'd pop out like gremlins at my whim.  Mind you, I have a very nice stereo amplifier and decent speakers, so the frequencies were there to be heard, but it was amazing to see (hear?) just how much expectations will color your perceptions... frighteningly so, in fact.  

Now, I am quite aware that no amount of imagination is going to turn my '53 Fender Deluxe into a Marshall JCM 900, but at least I am dispelled of any myth that might suggest that putting a vintage Bumblebee cap in my '82 Bullet S-3 is going to turn me into Eric Clapton.

OK...finally something musical that may appeal to the broader tech crowd here. The creator of the iOS looping app called Loopy has started on its next iteration: Loopy Masterpiece Edition. He's invited his userbase and interested musicians to participate and follow along with the design process. And he intends to detail the entire development process in a blog he's created.

Here's his introductory video:

Then his three part walkthru of LME: part-1, part-2, part-3

Once you have what LME is all about under your belt, he moves into the software engineering behind how all this software magic is going to happen. This video will probably be quite useful to anyone who ever considered doing a serious music app. It shows just some of the thinking behind such products and is a decent example of an object oriented programming project.

Pretty fascinating, and well worth a watch, even for non-programmer musicians like myself.

There's more to read and see at the blog. I intend to follow this one closely. Recommended. :Thmbsup: :Thmbsup:

@theGleep:  Hmm..... I KNOW I replied several days ago to your post as I was getting ready to head out the door the other day, but I did so on my desktop, which badly could use reformatting, and it must've locked up. Kinda sad my iPhone is faster than this thing...

You're dead on regarding the flake to alcohol ratio. It will take a few days to completely dissolve, but it will.  When it does, I'd bet it is already thin enough to spray, depending on your rig.  If your gun is high pressure, low volume, Harbor Freight has a detail HVLP detail gun for under $20-$25 bucks that works great. I strongly advise adding a water filter to the line. I haven't sprayed shellac through my gun yet, but after this bass, I highly suspect I will. When it comes to brushwork, I'm no DaVinci, and it gets old sanding the lines down. I haven't had time to work on it for a week, knowing I won't be ordering the remaining parts until after the first of the year, so I haven't been feeling the rush to do so with Christmas at the doorstep.

You should be able to put coats on fairly quickly, given the speed the alcohol evaporates. I can't really give you a number to shoot for, it all depends on how thick you coat it each session, I would block sand by hand, so you don't risk going into the stain from oversanding, and remember that once you've got no shiny pits or valleys when you've sanded as close as you dare, you are glass smooth. Spray a couple more coats on to have a good base for polishing, and after curing, you will be set for either the Arm-R-Seal or your car polish, depending on your preference.

I'll look NOW for that invoice, I have at least one of the forms I'm looking to put in a program somehow, I may have to explain it in the email. My computer is acting up, so I need to get this posted. Good luck and Merry Christmas!

@tjbray:  Thanks again for all the advice.  You have mail.

I'm thinking that what I'll do for the shellac is 3 coats per day, with a graduating "cure" time.  15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour...(I guess that means four coats... :). 

And do a "block sand" each morning before starting again.  And I'll be trying for really thin coats. 

I have two HF "guns" - one big siphon feed HVLP spray painter (like, huge...this is the one I got to spray spider-killer around the exterior of the house).  The other one is th $10 airbrush - the one with multiple bottles, and the air blows over the spout in the top of the lid to suck the paint out.  This is the one I'm thinking to use for the bass.

I'll let you know how it goes - I *SHOULD* get my shellac today; but with mixing and dissolving time, it'll probably be Wednesday before I get to using it. :)

@tjbray (and anyone else following the story :) - So I got my shellac soon as I got home, I put them into ever-clear (190 proof grain alcohol, in case you were raised by teetotalers like I was).  It's FULLY dissolved and I can't wait for my daughter's boyfriend to wake up (he sleeps in the basement where I'll be doing the work).

For my first batch, I went with a little less than a cup of alcohol (everything in the little $5 bottle) and an ounce of flakes.  Very near a 1lb cut. 

I will probably up it to a 1.5 cut for the next batch.

@40hz: (re vanilla) - So, I gave out little 1oz bottles of vanilla to my co-workers (wife did the same).  So I think I'm on to something.  Here's my recipe:
* Vanilla beans - I buy from Vanilla Products USA via Amazon (1/2 lb for around $35 ... I'm gonna email them and see if I can get a return customer discount...maybe even a referral discount.  Tell 'em I sent you and deserve it :) - the batch that did so well was "Madagascar grade B"
* 80 proof vodka (around $13 for the really cheap stuff, here in Utah)
* Clean 2 quart bottle (6 for $15 at the local wal-mart)

I used roughly 3 inches of bean for every tablespoon of vodka.  Didn't split them, just cut them into 1-inch (or less) chunks.  (this next time, I will put them in a food processor with the vodka and chop them up that way...not puree, just lots faster and a bit finer chopping).  I put that in the bottle - and *CLOSED THE BOTTLE* (maybe that last is obvious to everybody but first batch I wasn't sure, so I put cheesecloth over top of it ... just didn't taste the same).

Wait a year or so.  Shake a LOT the first couple of weeks...then shake it whenever you remember about it.

When I was dishing it into the 1oz bottles, it smelled like alcohol instead of vanilla.  But the next day when a co-worker opened the bottle?  Oh, YUM!!!!

My wife said "Let's do that again...triple batch this time."

One last note: I put a couple of chunks of bean into each of the 1oz bottles so it would keep ?fermenting?  ?proofing? ?steeping?  Whatever it's I was doing so, I noticed a couple of them actually had vanilla *syrup* dripping out the ends.  So I "squished" the beans as best I could into the remaining extract, added an extra $5 bottle of ever-clear (see above) and this time I put the cheesecloth on it (figuring the overdose of alcohol would really need to burn off).  This was a week ago, and even in the big bottle it's starting to smell really really good.


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