So you think you’re analog, eh? You always use physical faders for your volume swells, you only record to tape, and you have that nifty vibrato guitar pedal with a BBD IC chip. I call bullshit. That’s not analog enough! An IC chip? Well, domo arigato, Mr. Roboto, but no arigato. If you want that pedal to be even more analog, you need to send your guitar signal through an aluminum disc covered in oil to rubber pickups. WTF? Here’s one of the biggest stomp boxes you’re likely to ever see, the Tel-Rey Morley RWV Rotating Wah.
Raymond Lubow invented the oil can echo in the 1960s for his company, Tel-Rey Electronics, to be a more reliable device than the tape-based echoes of the time. Smaller than a tape echo, it was also able to be added by amplifier manufacturers to their products. It uses an aluminum disc rotating in an electrostatic oil which brushes against conductive rubber pickups to carry the sound. Raymond used the same technology to create the Morley rotating speaker simulator and shove it into a pedal. The name was a pun on the Leslie (less-lee) rotating cabinet speaker. Thus a company was born and we all got ever-so confused. Now imagine you have a broken one. Fuck.
I have an Amazon Wish List a mile long. They’re dreamy items because I dream of having disposable income to spend on them. Maybe some dreamy billionaire who reads my blog will think I deserve a present. On Christmas Day, my brother surprised me with what he dubbed a “baller gift” from said list. He’s had a good financial year, so he gifted accordingly with a Shure SM7B. Fuck to the yeah.
I’m even more excited to play with the box.
I don’t own much in the way of equipment that’s not been used. Like, almost nothing. It’s a big deal for me to get something like this without a hunt on craigslist. I’ve wanted a really good vocal mic for some time and the Shure SM7B fit the bill. If it’s good enough for Michael Jackson, then it’s good enough for me. That same logic is how I also got addicted to prescription drugs and why I’m always trying to hang out with Macaulay Culkin.
Mauz from Kicker had this interesting paperweight laying around the shop for awhile over at Monolith Press, where I work my day job. Turns out, it used to make noise. This was a remnant of the eighties, a Gallien-Krueger GK 400RG in all its solid-state and rack-mountable glory. It had its own crusty history as the amp for Geoff Evans from Skaven followed by Mauz when he recorded guitar for Dystopia’s “The Aftermath.” It also had a history of blowing up and some questionable, tweaky repairs with non-spec parts.
So crusty, it has a P.E.T.A. sticker certifying that it’s vegan and better than you.
Mauz asked if I would take a looksy, so it went from a paperweight at the shop to a paperweight in my room. I wasn’t jumping at the chance to work on it. Fixing solid-state amps is a bitch. There’s so many little things that could be wrong or blown and you can’t always see it. You actually have to be smart… or you can blindly test everything a gazillion times until you get it right. So, yeah, testing everything it is.
I had a very frustrating conversation the other day about a fade out on a song. I thought it sounded too fast. To me, it sounded very linear. I was trying to explain it should be a logarithmic fade out. Sarcastically, I was told I should teach a class on the subject if I flippin’ knew so much. So fuck it, class is in session. When speaking about audio, what does one mean when using the terms “linear” and “logarithmic?”
Nothing draws readers in like math!
For a linear fade out, a linear equation of the dB decrease could be shown simply as y=e*x+dB, where e is a negative number. That’s a straight line heading downward. When speaking about “logarithms” in audio applications, though, it’s actually describing several things: exponential and logarithmic curves, and their reverse functions. For a “logarithmic” fade out, the function would be y=ex*dB, where e is a number between 0 and 1; that is an exponential function showing decay. For fade ups, the function can be reversed to y=ex/dB to show an exponential increase in volume. Fucking confused, yet? YES!*
While I’m sure some of it had to do with the fervent fan base and maybe even partially the music, it’s nice a record I did the design and layout for was voted Pirate’s Press “Record of the Year” by Facebook voters. Ghoul’s Maniaxe LP won the prize, but let’s be honest…. it was mostly ’cause of the layout, right?
Doing the layouts on a 10 year old record is no joke. A lot of people were waiting for Ghoul’s second full-length to be on vinyl for a long time and expectations were high. I didn’t want the packaging to disappoint. It wasn’t easy because 10 years ago no one bothered to make sure everything was prepped for this big-assed release.
Justin from Secret Serpents was kind enough to ask me again to be in on a gig poster tour series for a favorite band of mine, High on Fire. I had a wedding coming up followed by a honeymoon, but Justin said I’d get some date late in December. I thought, hey, no problem. Then he gave me my date… it was before my honeymoon ended. The only way I’d get this poster done was to cram it in-between my blessed matrimony and my drunken adventures in Central America.
I’m happy with the result. I had maybe my goofiest idea yet for a poster and managed to finish it early and get it shipped off to Matt Pike and the boys to sell at their show. My copies are up for sale here on the site: http://doktorsewage.com/product/high-on-fire-2013-11-23/ Time constraints, however, meant that pen never met paper when I drew this poster. I had to get all Tron up in this bitch.
The Dead Shall Dead Remain album cover is perhaps one of the most infamous pieces of art I have ever been involved in. The idea was conceived by Sean McGrath and executed with the help of every member of Impaled. I took the photo and printed it myself back when printing photos was a thing you did before you could actually see the image. 13 years later, we re-recorded the album and I was tasked with paying homage to ourselves.
My concept was to play off the original title coined by Leon del Muerte. It made no sense other than its emphatic truthiness. Revisiting the music 13 years later, the new title, The Dead Still Dead Remain, supports the original’s conceit that dead is dead; only it’s a tad more rotten. I’ll never understand what that has to do with a toilet full of guts, but it was gross, got us a lot of attention, and it cost nearly nothing to make.
or, Strategic Harmony Interference Elimination and Lead Defense.
Guitar pickups are electro-magnetic transducers that use changing magnetic fields to induce pulses of alternating current electricity from a coil of copper wire at voltages reproducing audible sine wave frequencies in relation to an absolute ground. I think. Sometimes I prefer the definition as proposed by Messrs. Dope and J; magnets are a “miracle.” Unfortunately, the latter definition does nothing to help understand why my bass might be buzzing like a bee chainsawing an alarm clock when the FOH sound guy turns the lights on and off. There’s two ways to solve the problem. One, you can learn to play the chainsaw.
it works for that dude in Exhumed
Or two, you can shield your guitar. Truth be told, it should probably be shielded from you: throwing it around, spilling beer on it, bleeding on it… and by “you” I mean “me.” But the shielding I refer to will protect that precious guitar signal of malodorous melodies from the buzzing bullshit of the outside world.