james david low

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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.

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.

Update:
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:

fulldrive1590bb

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:
http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/60261626/

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
Onoko
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

Disable Git in Eclipse

I use the excellent Source Tree as a visual Git client, and really dislike messages about versioning when I’m coding. Eclipse’s Git colours and overall intrusiveness seem to be particularly bad. I couldn’t find which plugin to remove but I did find the following settings:

This setting will stop Eclipse from automatically attaching its Git functions:

disablegit

If you’ve already loaded some projects before disabling the above setting, you can disconnect those individual projects from Eclipse’s Git functionality here:

disconnectproject

7:17am / Jun 5th / 13 Comments
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