Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Colorado Weather

  Been here on and off for about 20 years now, particularly "The Springs" as it were.  Never a dull moment with weather, well rarely anyway.  January usually brings a second, odd Indian Summer of about 60 to 70 degrees for a week or two every year, and March is just jacked.
  Take for instance, the last few days: 70 degrees and somewhat windy followed by 15 degrees tonight and snow.  65 degree change in 24 hours.  That's pretty good, but not the wildest I've seen since I've been here.  Back in 1996 it went from 85 degrees to -10 in 12 hours.  Fun!  Still, it's about almost always a bit windy in the Springs, unlike Denver where it's more temperate, though Denver gets more wet snow.  We get the powdered stuff, dry like crushed styrofoam.  Makes for slippery driving when it's about a half-inch deep.  It's almost.. oily.  Weird.
  Gonna work on the song, "BattleScars" by Rush and Max Webster done in 1982 as my next project.  My Boss Octaver OC-2 is perfect for this.  Indeed, I think that's exactly what Alex used back in 1982.  I also won a Feedbacker on eBay.  The Boss DF-2 "Super Feedbacker and Distortion " (changed from the ultra-rare DF-1 "Super Distortion and Feedbacker" (made with the same innards exactly, but the name was changed after 2 months thanks to DiMarzio already having a pedal called "Super Distortion")  It's a neat pedal that when you press and hold it down, it gives a Jimi Hendrix style held feedback noise.  It doubles as a distortion pedal as well.  The "feedback" effect is a naturally occurring sound when the guitar's pickup is getting sound from the amplifiers creating a "feedback loop" back into the guitar from the speakers, then through your wiring and back into the speakers.  Eventually it gets out of control and squeels pretty insane if you're not careful.  Jimi used this previously undesired effect to create haunting sounds (as here).  Joe Satriani (who I've always felt was far better than Jimi and probably the best guitarist of all time), another virtuoso used the effect 20 years later.  (Truly mesmerizing).

  Normally, this cool sound can be had with active pickups and large speaker cabinets, of which I have neither, though I've accomplished the sound a few times in jam-sessions with a Marshall tube cabinet.  To facilite this effect and give it a little push, Boss created a pedal for studio artists in 1984 (such as myself) to not have to mic my speakers (which, to me is undesirable due to ambient noise and volume required) for those who prefer to record directly from effects boxes and preamps (which is what I do, right into my soundcard's input).  It amplifies the note played and feeds it back up into your guitar's pickups, which then spit it back down through the cable into the pedal making a "mini loop".  It works, and it works good, and will sound good at the beginning of BattleScar during the bullfrog-depthcharge baritone guitarwork.

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