james david low

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Third Culture Parent

Just letting the world know that my wife has started a blog parenting products and all the things we’re doing to try and be intentional parents: Attachment parenting, baby wearing, reusable nappies, elimination communication.


5:32pm / Sep 12th / 14 Comments

Presonus iTwo with Garageband on iPad

I really miss my M-Audio Fasttrack 8R. M-Audio/Midiman had the most stable drivers and best customer support, until they were bought by Avid, and the sold again, decimating one of the best value midi/audio interface companies.

I sold the Fasttrack to downsize, but also because the drivers were becoming less and less stable on newer versions of Mac OS, and it became impossible to contact Avid without paying for support. I bought a Apogee ONE, but the Mic did’t compare to my old Rode NT1, and I missed being able to do 2 mics, or 2 lines at the same time.

I’m about to sell my ONE and get a PreSonus Audiobox iTwo (it wasn’t out when I got my ONE). I was trying to figure out if it would work with Garageband on the iPad for mobile recording, since in all the marketing they push their own app. I contacted their sales and go this reply:

“You can use Garageband; you’re not limited to just our recording app, no.

Conversely, there are people who bought our PreSonus Capture iOS app and use the built-in mic or other 3rd party audio interface on their iPad to track stuff when they’re out an about… so our software app isn’t limited to just work with our iOnes/iTwos.”

I also eventually aw that right at the bottom of the features they have a comment that it works with other apps on the iPad:

8:45pm / Sep 8th / 14 Comments

Dumble in a box pedals list

Always loved Larry Carlton and Robben Ford’s tone, and even tried to build my own Dumble clone at one point. It didn’t sound good, and I didn’t have the expertise or time to make it sound good. Anyway, 13 years later and I’ve moved on in the music I play, but I still get GAS for that tone. Recently there have been more and more pedals trying to get that sound, and some of them are starting to come close. Here’s a list of the ones I know of:

I’ve owned both a Fishbone (Zendrive) and an SOV-1. When I compared the two the Fishbone sounded closer to me, less saturated and more touch sensitive. It was also smaller and didn’t run of mains voltage, so I kept it. Having heard demos of the Simble I was tempted to get one of those, however recently I’ve just bought a Fulltone Fulldrive 3 to replace my Fulldrive 2. I found that with the comp-cut mode, I could get close to the Dumble sound too. I hope to put up a comparison soon, but first impressions are, the FD3 comp-cut sounds more open and transparent (something I wanted out of the Simble) and is even more touch sensitive than the Fishbone, but a little bit more saturated when playing harder. The fishbone has a more pronounced midrange, making it to my ears sound more like Robben Ford, and the FD3 comp-cut more like Larry Carlton.

Update: Here’s a demo of the Fulldrive 3 (Comp-cut mode):

Oh I almost forgot, there was also the infamous Freekish Blues Joyo Alpha Drive

3:20am / Aug 24th / 14 Comments

Low cost made in China pedals

A list of some of the low cost pedals coming out of China these days. In some ways its a good thing, but Bill Finnegan of Klon Centaur fame, and some interesting things to say about when any company (not just Chinese), just clones a pedal, rather than offering their own unique interpretation. Anyway, on to the list:

In addition to the effects pedals, Joyo make tube amps, as do Bel Cat sometimes branded as SubZero.

4:02am / Aug 10th / 14 Comments

Small single-pedal sized multi effects

I’ve been searching for a single-pedal sized multi effects pedal to fill the last spot on my pedal board. Personally I want something that could do octave up/octave down (like an EHX Pog, but in a smaller/cheaper pedal) and the be a delay or chorus if I need it. After Googling, I didn’t find much of a definitive comparison list, so here’s a list of what I found. Let me know if you know of any others.

Update 1: I realised the iStomp Shape Shifter plugin doesn’t do chord/polyphonic tracking very well, so that’s now out. There is the Z-Cat Poly-Octaver 2, which also has Reverb and Chorus, so that’s almost multi fx – 3 pedals in one. There’s also the Mooer Pure Octave (and other mooer pedals) which are so small, you can get more than one for the same space on the board for different effects.

Update 2:
Polyphonic Dual Octave Harmonizer List:
EHX Micro Pog (a little on the big side)
Z-Cat Poly-Octaver 2 (has a 20ms delay)
Earthquake Devices Organizer (turn the octaves down to have less woble)
Earthquake Devices Pitch Bay (has a little distortion even with gain turned down)
BOSS PS-6 Harmonizer (tracking issues with Chords)
Mooer Pure Octave (doesn’t sound like it tracks well)

Digitech iStomp
The iStomp itself is one of the cheapest around, and Digitech recently made most of the iStomp pedals free. I’ve owned one of these before, and it does have an octave up/down effect. Main disadvantage is that it requires an iPhone to change effect, and its also a little wider than a standard pedal.
Zoom Multistopm MS-100BT / MS-50G
Unlike the iStomp, this pedal has more editing features onboard and can do more than one effect at a time. Like the iStomp the MS-100BT can be updated with new effects via an iPhone (MS-50G is standalone), but there is no octave up/down sound yet.

I’ve just seen that this has a pitch shifter, so you could at least get octave up or down, but because you can run more than one effect, you might be able to add it twice and get both up and down.
It also has a Z-Organ patch which seems to a polyphonic up/down effect

Korg Pandora Stomp
This pedal does tons for the price, but seems a little complicated for live use. It does have pitch shifting effects, but I’m not sure if it can do the octave up/down thing.
Behringer Digital Multi-Fx FX600
Behringer make great value stuff, and this pedal seems to have a really straight forward interface. I’ve heard bad things about the sound quality on this one though.
Beta-Alvin Multi Effects ME-100
One of the new low cost pedals to come out of China, but I’d never heard of this brand before. Seems to have a nice simple interface, but a limited array of effects.

3:39am / Aug 10th / 14 Comments

Fulltone Fulldrive 2 Circuits

I was looking into moving my Fulldrive 2 circuit into a smaller pedal enclosure (Hammond 1590BB) so that it took up less space on my pedal board. While I was looking into it, I realised that my Fulldrive 2 was one of the few pedals that could easily be moved into a smaller enclosure.

There seem to be 3 main variations:

fulldriveshortboard fulldrivelongboard fulldrivelongboard
Short circuit board – hand wired (early original edition) Long circuit board – hand wired (late original edition) Printed circuit board (MOSFET edition)

The really early Fulldrive 2s seem to have shipped in Hammond 1590BB enclosures:


12:42am / Jul 18th / 14 Comments

Ikea Standing Desks

While I was at Onoko I did a standing desk for a while. While it was really good, I found doing it 100% gave be cramps in my legs. Now that I work at home a smaller desk (in additional to sit down desk) that would take up less room and also allow me to move it around the house or even to the garden to work! I had some GERTON legs so I got a £1 piece of wood from the bargain bin and built my own. There are lots of fancy options at Ikea Hackers, but here are the other ideas I looked at:

At a height of 105cm the BILSTA Bar table would make a perfect standing desk. Its also available as just the base so you can add your own top from a piece of wood the bargain bin or any of: TROFAST / INREDA / ALGOT / KOMPLEMENT / BILLY / BILLY / FJÄLKINGE / IVAR / EKBY LAIVA or even the top off a LACK coffee table
Another bar table that works is BJÖRKUDDEN. Its quite deep so do can fit too people with laptops facing each other.
Get the GERTON legs extendable up to 107cm:

Get any of the compatible desks, or a piece of wood from the bargain bin or one of the tops mentioned above.

There are also the BILLSTA desk legs, but they’re more expensive and less flexible in terms of tops.

Use one of the wall mounted leaf desks:

Select an item from the various wall shelves available. If you want something bigger, buy the sturdiest brackets and again get a piece of wood from the bargain bin or one of the tops mentioned above.

I hope that’s helpful. Sorry the links are to the UK store if you live somewhere else. I’m still wondering if I should eventually get a Cycle Desk!

5:17pm / May 10th / 14 Comments

Who I’d like to see in the dunk competition

The dunk competition was pretty rubbish this year (2014), so here’s who I’d really like do it:

8:37pm / Mar 25th / 14 Comments

Top 10 things I am missing about HK, enjoying about the UK

Missing about HK
Living in Ocean View
Walks along Ma On Shan promenade
Pacific Coffee at the Science Park
Hyatt Shatin
Crystal Jade
Chinese food in general
Living near the ocean
Friends and family
Living in the Hong Kong international bubble

Enjoying about the UK
Buying things online
Walks on the downs and in blaze
Living close to my mum and Grandma
Seeing Nate and Shaun
Fish and chips
Having a king size bed
Not living in a box
A much bigger kitchen
A fresh start at church
Having to face the realities outside the Hong Kong international bubble

6:09am / Feb 8th / 14 Comments

Simultaneous MIDI/Audio with Apogee ONE for iPad

The original Apogee ONE for Mac was USB audio compliant and could be made to work with the iPad with the iPad camera connector and a powered USB hub (see video).

I just tried the the same thing with the new Apogee ONE for iPad. It is USB audio compliant and does work natively with its own cable to the iPad, but I couldn’t get it to work with the USB cable through a powered hub in the same way as the original ONE.

Has anybody else managed to get it to work?

8:31pm / Dec 30th / 13 Comments
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Third Culture Parent / Presonus iTwo with Garageband on iPad / Dumble in a box pedals list / Low cost made in China pedals / Small single-pedal sized multi effects / Fulltone Fulldrive 2 Circuits / Ikea Standing Desks / Who I'd like to see in the dunk competition / Top 10 things I am missing about HK, enjoying about the UK / Simultaneous MIDI/Audio with Apogee ONE for iPad / iPhone Repair Bristol / Disable Git in Eclipse / A New Language for App Engine / iPhone Push Notifications with JavaPNS on Google App Engine / Midi Keyboard Velocity Curve Calibration With Pianoteq / Top 10 things I will and won't miss about Hong Kong / List Apps To Update After Moving iTunes App Store Countries / DynDNS via curl on Apple TV 2 / iOS-WebStack with Apple TV 2 firmware 5.2 (iOS 6.1) / Fast Track Ultra 8R in Mountain Lion / Google DFP with Appcelerator Titanium / Alternatives to Google Apps / Digitech iStomp and the new iPhone 5 lightning connector / The case for wired keyboards / Cornerstone vs. Versions vs. SmartSVN / Use of Foxconn and other manufacturers / iPhone Screen Setting / Pedal Board / New Family Friendly Homepage / Tip for efficient living / Detecting Quercus / Amazon S3 for WordPress with CloudFront / Database Read Replicas / Force User Login Multisite / Moving Church / Top 10 things I love about living in Ocean View / My Paper / iPhoto '11 No Place Smart Album / Creed / Random OSX Hacks / Getting Married :) / Diddy Feet / Very helpful error message / Apple LED Cinema Display with a PC / Simply Christian - N.T. Wright / Some things need to be said again / G. K. Chesterton - Orthodoxy / What life in heaven is like... / Cut & Paste and Tabs in Finder / Titanium Autocomplete Eclipse / <3 Adobe / Must listen to / Number 5 UK Social Networking Apps / OpenTerminalHere and AntHere / Two Excellent Podcasts / Grrr Apple / Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven / From The Lord's Prayer / Writing Word/RTF Docs In Java / CarbonHomepage.com - One up on blackle / Manifesto - The goal theory of motivation and the circle theory of value, security, Sin and repentance / Chrome my firefox / iPhone Apps / On not having energy to explain depression because you're depressed / Windows Live Fail / My official (only?) post on the iPad / Stop blaming the investment banks / 2010 / Thoughts On Keyboards / Guitar History / Good Idea / Can I lose my need to impress? / Some Images / The Things That Will Destroy America / HTTP headers and raw POST data for PHP-CGI / Mail.app RSS Smart Mailbox / iSync icon after iTunes sync / The New Cosmology: Theistic Implications / A Guitar Story / A slow miracle is as incredible as a fast miracle / Prayer - Ravi Zacharias / Dismantle.Repair. / Great Ravi Zacharias Talk / Top 5 Pet-Peeves / Top 5 Books / iPhone Idea / Top 5 Movies / Dawen - American Me / Great new homepage / US$150 Off Dreamhost Promo Code / Songs I wish I wrote / Apple Remote Control / Worship slides on an iPhone/iPod / 50 Things To Do Today / Back on form / iPhoto -> Wordpress / Emoji on iPhone / Friend's Music / Reverse Sabbath Ends / Very Happy / Nick Pitera / Dream Impossible / Lost in 8:15 / Reverse Sabbath / Awareness / How He Loves / Upgrade IE / The God Delusion Debate / Gibson ES-175 Reissue for sale / Shabbat / Random Things / Make your google look gorgeous / Competition / The best video EVER! / Games / Icebreakers / Inconsistent Messages / Spanish Proverb / I think you're wrong about this one / Hugs / Ravi Zacharias - The Existence of God / Life Story / Mission Statement / God Rock Music / Why I'm in counseling / Wordpress Bible Gateway / More Ideas / Imago Dei / Only in Hong Kong / Limegreen Autoupdate / Wordpress Backup / App Ideas / Spreadsheet Widget / RandR REST Library / BufferedReader / Regular Expressions / fishnchips.hk / Number 352 / YouTubeApp.com / My new favourite store / Post ToDo / 3rd Party Authentication / Sound Interfaces / Computers Again / Google Spreadsheet to iCal / Shouting Match / More Dawen / Dawen @ A-List TV / YouTube Feed / Limegreen Released / Creativity / Nice Blog / Podpress and Wordpress 2.6 fix with revisions / MySQL BIT in PHP / Life Matters / Love the iPhone / What we all should be / No I will not fix your computer / These Pages / Obama Endorsement / Business Ideas / Jesus And Domitian / Tuesdays / Thank You / The philosophical implications of stepping on that crunchy looking leaf / Pointless Sites / iPhone HK / Private Files / Dawen Wang / T-Shirt Gifts / Allow Categories / Remedy / Alter Ego / Hey! Get My IP / Facebook Comments / Donald Miller - Story / Play - update / Fresh Look / Limelight Released / Random / Updates Galore / Most Amazing Blogger Ever / Just LOVE / The Lark Ascending / Time To Blog / Still catching up / SYATP / Here To Eternity / 2006 / 2005 / FINALLY


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