One of a billion fragments I’ll probably never finish

But I really like the progression on this song snippet & the key change for the chorus (neither of which have been mixed together properly, but still).

Just thought I’d share.

posted by Robb Allen @ 10/24/2014 9:18:34 AM | Feedback (3)
This is going to be an ongoing theme, I can tell

You can make a guitar out of the wood you find on pallets, and people will pay $10,000 for it. You can blindfold master violinists and they will choose an inexpensive violin over a Stradivarius.

And now you can put McDonald’s on toothpicks and get ‘foodies’ to tell you how delicious the McNugget is and how the flavors simply roll around the palate.

The gun enthusiast falls into the same trap. We get so wound up in the hype around a feature that we rarely will do a double blind test to see if said feature really is what was making a difference. You can get people to tell you something is better if you indicate it *is* better

Most people agree that wholegrain is better for you without a) knowing what the term ‘wholegrain’ actually means or b) why eating the germ & bran matters at all. Even then, the term ‘wholegrain’ is used as a marketing ploy and not indicative of actual benefits. There are measurable benefits to it, but most people have no clue what they are.

posted by Robb Allen @ 10/23/2014 11:16:31 AM | Feedback (15)
Not the prettiest cuts

But I’ll be damned if they’re not perfectly parallel!

With the new garage set up, I wanted a better way to mount my presses & vice than just bolting them through the workbench. I was pointed to Rockler & their aluminum tracks and decided that I would give them a shot. The idea was route a channel for the tracks into the bench then permanently attach the presses / vice to a good piece of plywood. Those then could have the t-bolts attached to them so I could slide whatever I needed on or off the bench. If I need the whole bench, I no longer have to unbolt the damned things for the space.

This, of course, meant routing two perfectly parallel channels into my new bench. Nerve wracking to say the least, but minus one glitch where the guide popped loose (the back of the bench is practically flush with maybe 1/2” hanging over to clamp onto) and a little chatter, it worked pretty damned good.

20141021_191126 20141021_192301 20141021_193520 20141021_203112

Those rails aren’t going anywhere. A bit of wood-filler should cover up the ‘oopsie’ and the end of the channels.

Now, I measured twice & cut once on the plywood to hold the presses / vice, but measuring doesn’t do diddly when you cut in the wrong direction, so I ended up screwing up the mounts. Luckily it’s only $8 for a sheet of plywood so I’m not out a ton of cash. However, I did mount my Hornady just to see how it would work using only one rail and I have to admit, I may have been able to just get away with a single. This damned thing doesn’t budge.


I’m far from a handyman and things I do may not be the prettiest but I do take pride in the fact that I’m capable of doing such things.

posted by Robb Allen @ 10/22/2014 9:50:51 AM | Feedback (6)
Just something I did for a contest

ADSR, who makes tutorials for many popular synths & DAWs ran a contest for people to make the ‘stab’ or ‘intro’ that will be used on their tutorial videos. They provided the animation and asked people to put a 3 second sound clip behind it. The winner gets some pretty impressive prizes, so I tossed my hat into the ring.

This is what I came up with

Not too shabby. You can hear a bunch of others here. Lots of stiff competition & some pretty pro-sounding stuff out there, but I gotta admit mine really seems to fit the animation.

posted by Robb Allen @ 10/20/2014 10:29:25 PM | Feedback (2)
Want to see the beginnings of open tyranny?

Pastors face jail time & fines for not marrying same sex couples.

The tyranny is no longer hidden behind patriotic phrases & the constitution, it’s now being exercised in full sunlight with nary a care in the world if you see it. The reason? Nobody who made any decision on this will face any penalty for their actions.


While not my cup of tea and I don’t believe it should be called marriage, if two members of the same sex wish to form a union, the state’s only requirement is that the contract is enforced. If you wish to bequeath your estate to your partner, I don’t give a damn who has a problem with it, it’s contractual and no outside party has any say in the matter.

However, this is no longer about rights – it’s about cramming “acceptance” down people’s throats, now at the point of a gun, and in that light, I’ll fight this tooth & nail.

I follow quite a few gay people on Twitter & in blogs not because of their orientation, but because they are liberty minded. They are the kind that abhor these stories because they understand what the end game is and that when that’s achieved their kind will be 2nd against the wall, right after the useful idiots.

I know it’s a social faux pas to say it, but people should be allowed to be complete dicks if they want and to discriminate at will. Yes, that means Leroy Washington Mercury Lincoln Continental Jr. the Third should be able to kick white people out of his BBQ joint if he wants. If a gay baker refuses to bake a non-wang shaped cake for a bar mitzvah, he or she (or shim or herm, don’t want to be too cis-binary-normal or whatever) should suffer the business penalty, if any. Freedom often sucks because people do things you don’t like and sometimes even do well.

This isn’t the way to gain acceptance. It’s only going to strengthen the animosity. And if this is allowed to go through, violence starts becoming the only way out for some people.

Is that where we really want to go?

posted by Robb Allen @ 10/20/2014 9:26:18 AM | Feedback (56)
Pickup lines

There’s a behavior in practically every hobby where people glom onto what they think is the best X for Y, usually with 0 scientific evidence to back it up. Often, things just sound like they make sense and are accepted as gospel. For example, my daughter’s science experiment where people swear that audio played at 99kHz/24 bit just sounds better than CD quality 44.1kHz/16 bit because more samples has to sound better, right? (no)

There are people who will argue ad nasuem if 1 in 13 right handed twist rate is superior to 1 in 13 left handed twist rate because there’s a physical difference, thus there must be a measurable difference and one has to be better than the other.

This extends to every known facet of human life. Somewhere, there is a knitting forum arguing over needles and yarn. Or, more to the point of this post – the wood used in an electric guitar.

There is a physical difference in certain woods. Softer woods probably have bending issues that make them unsuitable for neck construction (as stated in the article, balsa would suck as a neck and would crack under string pressure) and thus there are woods that won’t work for certain applications. And it is clearly evident that the ability for the string to vibrate longer works better on a body that doesn’t absorb the string’s energy as much, thus a denser material does help sustain.

But it doesn’t change the sound.

Oh, it does change the sound – the harmonic vibrations are physically different based on body material, but from a human’s limited hearing range, not enough to matter. In one of the samples, there’s a concrete guitar that sounds just as good as a wooden one although concrete is MUCH more dense and thus should completely change the sound right?

The pickups are the key in an electric. They are small power generators that use a fixed magnet where wires are moved in and out of a fixed field to generate electricity (many people mistake the ‘electric’ part as ‘requires electricity’ when in fact they make it). Those magnetic fields are not affected by the wood underneath and thus if you were to put the exact same pickups in the exact same position on any number of guitars, the human ability to discern the difference would approach “wild ass guess”.

Still, people will fork out a bajillion dollars for exotic truffula wood because it sounds so much better then argue your guitar sucks because you’re holding it wrong.

I still want a Virgil Guitar though. Not for the wood but rather for the craftsmanship.

posted by Robb Allen @ 10/19/2014 9:55:24 AM | Feedback (12)