Thursday 22 February 2018

SOME more USA contracts to sort out then I coax Margaret into the studio to help me fine-tiune some of the patches I’ve programmed into the Fractal AX8.

Because my guitars (and banjo!) are so loud acoustically, it’s hard to judge precisely what;s coming out the speakers. The PA is set up in the live room and the AX8 DI’d as it would be in a gig situation.

I stay in the control room with the AX8 hooked up to the computer for easier editing and Margaret goes through to the live room. Let noise commence!

We work our way through the patches, tweaking EQ and some of the slapback delays, then go through each one to get the output levels of each patch and instrument as consistent as possible. We know we’ll rarely, if ever, be able to give the engineer a sound that’s perfect for the room/venue, but if we have it as close as possible to start with it’ll make his/her job much quicker and easier.

Over lunch we discuss progress . Margaret admits she was sceptical about moving away from the existing pedalboard setup, especially at the cost of the Fractal AX8…but she’s quite blown away now that she’s heard the difference. The proof of the pudding will be tomorrow (Friday) night’s show in Aberdeen…and also next week’s Edinburgh and Glasgow shows.

I rehearse my set in the afternoon then pack the great ready for tomorrow.

In the office I do a bit of last-minute online promo for the Aberdeen show before calling it a day and heading back to the house.

Dinner, wine and a documentary about Australian rock and AC/DC.



Tuesday 20 February 2018

I get a start setting up and programming the Fractal AX8 in the studio…impressive piece of gear, but a big learning curve…

AFTER looking out some images for Rab from the photoshoot a few weeks ago I get onto some web stuff he needs me to look into.

I probably spend too long on it, but am keen to get things exactly as he wants them and before I know it, it’s lunchtime. 

An earlier phonecall from FedEx asks if I’ll be in tomorrow (Wednesday) for delivery of the G10 wireless I ordered yesterday (Monday) for next day delivery…ie: today. So why are they asking if I’ll be around tomorrow? Of course I challenge the FedEx caller who keeps avoiding the question and asking about ‘tomorrow’. The game wears thin and I lose the tattie with him a bit and he says he’ll get a driver to deliver today.

I’m having lunch when I hear a van pull up…but it’s not FedEx, it’s UPS who are delivering the Fractal AX88 that isn’t scheduled to be here until tomorrow. That’s good, ‘cos I wanna get it properly programmed and give it a whirl at Friday’s gig in Aberdeen so we can make sure it cuts the mustard. if it doesn’t it’ll be going back. So good to have some time today to get a start.

I set up the AX8 in the studio and get a call form FedEx…a driver this time – and they;re in the village but can;t find us.  I give him directions and a nice BMW pulls up and the driver hands me the package. Looks like FedEx fucked up and had to send someone in their own car!

Back in the studio I set the G10 wireless up to charge – I’ll test it later – and continue trying to get my head round the rather complex Fractal AX8. The Mac-based editor works a treat and offers a more intuitive start to the programming/setup.

I spend a few hours working on it and first impressions are that it’s pretty amazing. Margaret thinks so too, so looking good. The G10 wireless works well too…but that’s for another day as I need to get into the office and get a load of (digital) contracts out for the USA shows booked so far.

It’s well after 8pm when I get into the house and get dinner on the go. I’ve got a phoner meeting at 9pm and wanna be through with dinner before the call.

We eat, then at 9pm on the dot the phone rings and an hour of chatter follows with arrangements made for a meeting at the end of March.