A Bit On (The) Edge

And I’m not referring (at least not directly) to the guitarist for U2.

The Edge Church

 
Yesterday was a great time at church. We had as guests Eric Marshburn and Tony T-Bone Martin, who together will be serving in The Edge Church in Holly Ridge, NC. The church’s main geographical area of interest is the Holly Ridge – Hampstead area, nestled (so to speak) between Jacksonville and Wilmington.

Eric is pastor and T-Bone is music minister. T-Bone joined with our praise team on keyboards and vocals. We opened with the U2 song When Love Comes To Town. That seemed to wake everyone up!

Rather than me try to tell you all about the new church, please visit their website over the next few weeks to see what’s happening.

On The Cold (Biscuit) Front

 
As you may or may not know, T-Bone is one of the famous Cold Biscuit Band Irregulars. He occasionally joins us, playing either bass or keyboards as the situation requires, and usually throwing in some vocal magic as well.

As I mentioned in my last post, the CBB hasn’t played in a while. We do have an upcoming gig at the Barbecue In Blue Jeans event on January 21st.

Good Old Fashioned Guitar Synthesizer Blues

 
[With apologies to Morton Subotnik.]

Well, the deadline for this contest is now rapidly retreating. Unfortunately I never found the time to do an entry video, nor in fact have I done any videos for my YouTube channel. I do still have plans to actually record and upload some video material.

New Toys

 
Had a chance to shop for some new toys at Christmas time. I picked up a Fender Mustang II amp and a BOSS OD-20 pedal.

The plan for the Mustang II was that it would become my always-hooked-up-at-home amplifier. Then last Thursday at practice for church I ended up using my new toys and liked the way it sounded. I think my new church setup is going to be my Samick guitar through the OD-20 to the Mustang II. I’m seriously thinking of not using my VG-88 at church (at least for a while – all specifications are subject to change).

So the old Gibson Falcon amp will be my always-hooked-up-at-home amplifier. But for recording purposes I’ll probably use the Mustang II as well.

And when gigging with the Biscuits I’ve got some things I want to try out. I need to see if I can use the Mustang II (which is fairly low wattage) as a preamp to the FM212 DSP. If this works well the next step is to see how well the VG-88 and GR-30 feed into this. Oh, the joy of experimentation.

All In All

 
That’s it for now. More later.

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SyntheSizing Spiders

It’s been a long year this week!

SyntheSpider

 
I finally got around to revamping the SyntheSpider website. As mentioned in an earlier post, I set up the SyntheSpider Stuff blog to document my progress in the Roland Guitar Synth Challenge. That blog is an offshoot of the SyntheSpider site, and the site was in sore need of a facelift and update. I also took the opportunity to begin moving the gear pages I used to have on the SoaringSpider site over to SyntheSpider. I’ve been a busy little spider bee.

In His Service

 
The Lord was gracious. He allowed me to play at church this morning. With all that’s been going on recently (a lot of which I don’t share with the public) I really needed that this morning. There is something about playing in a worship service that you don’t get playing at an event like last week’s chili festival.

Sally From Syracuse

 
Back in 1998 we sallied forth from Syracuse (and you probably thought I was going to talk about the famous song by Stu Nunnery!) and ended up here in New Bern. As much as I don’t miss dealing with the bitter cold and the snow and especially the slushy mush that’s in the streets and driveways and parking lots so often during the winter, I truly do miss old friends.

So in my copious spare time the last week or so I’ve been tracking some of those folks down on facebook. It’s been a lot of fun. And I see I’m not the only one who’s been through a lot of stuff through the years.

I mentioned earlier that my Share The Stage series may have some of the Syracuse folks in it. I’ve been keeping a list and have several names from Central New York to add in.

And speaking of STS, it’s become obvious to me that I won’t be able to devote a separate post to each artist. I’ll be doing them in batches of from 1 (which I guess ain’t really a batch) to some number larger than that (sorry if I’m not being vague enough).

All In All

 
That’s it for now. More later.

Guitar Synthesizer Challenge

It came to my attention a couple days ago that Roland is sponsoring a guitar synthesizer challenge. The object of the challenge is to produce a video of original material featuring one of the many guitar synths that Roland has made over the years and put it up on YouTube. Deadline for entry is (just before) midnight on the 31st of December.

GR-30 Time

 
If you recall from an earlier post I have a Roland GR-30. So I’m going to try and make a video of myself and the GR-30. Since I’ve been gigging with it a bit lately I’m somewhat in shape for the challenge. By mid-December I should have something together.

SoaringSpider on YouTube?

 
So I’ll obviously need to set up my own YouTube channel, rather than using the Cold Biscuit Band channel. OK, done: here is my channel. I’ll most likely post some interim non-entries before I do the final work.

And Another Bird Goes Down

 
I also have had a BOSS RC-50 Loop Station for over a year now and don’t have a lot of experience with it under my belt yet. So my secondary goal in working through this challenge is to use the looper in my video as well, and thereby gain some experience with it.

Documenting The Process

 
A couple days ago as I was updating my main web site I was reminded that I’ve had a blog through my host for a few years that I set up to be associated with my music technology website I started and have left idle for quite a while. So I’ve decided to use that blog, SyntheSpider Stuff, to document my progress in this challenge. So after today look there for the most current updates on my progress.

All In All

 
That’s it for now. More later.

Cold Biscuits and Hot Praise

It’s been a great weekend!

Saturday

 
Yesterday we (meaning Cold Biscuit) played the deck party at the Hilton in New Bern.  This was our fifth time this summer.  All in all it was a good gig.  We had some competition from down the street at Farmers Market, but we had the breeze off the river to help us out.

Lately I’ve been bringing my guitar synth to the gigs, and I’m getting more comfortable using that.  I’ve had it a long time, but haven’t used it until recently for a couple of years.  And the last couple of years that I did use it was as a tone generator for my keyboard and wind controller.

I’ve debated adding some keyboard and wind controller back in but haven’t as yet convinced myself to do it.  Maybe later.

The guitar synth is a Roland GR-30.  I also have a Roland VG-88 that I use a lot, so I have a splitter to split off the hex pickup to both boxes.  Then I run the regular guitar pickups into a Roger Linn AdrenaLinn, and all three of the boxes (AdrenaLinn, VG-88, and GR-30) feed a little Crate mixer, then to my Fender FM212 DSP amp.

I’m getting to feel pretty good about the utility of this setup.

Sunday

 
This morning I played at church (New Song United Methodist Church).  The style of music played here took some adaptation on my part, and, I’m sure, on the part of the musicians I’m playing with there.  But God is good, and he provides for all our needs.

The setup I use at church right now is lighter than what I gig with.  I use the VG-88 only and play through a Fender Blues Deluxe Reissue.  Oh, yeah, I have an Ernie Ball volume pedal that I use in both setups.  And my one guitar is a Samick thin hollow body that I’ve used the last 15 or so years.

All In All

 
That’s it for now.  More later.