Studio Diary #21: Homemade Shelving For My Amps

In February, I decided to change the layout of the room at home that doubles as my home office and home studio. It was a good decision. Now I just have to work through the consequences.

There isn’t the same amount of space for my amps as there was before. I needed new furniture to put them on. In a world of metric measurements and largely imported furniture, amps and their dinosaur imperial measurements are a very awkward fit. I wasn’t able to find anything in the shops that would suit.

I had to make my own. And, partway through, the pandemic lockdown started.

This one’s a bit of a long read, as much about the story as step-by-step instructions. If you’re interested in making your own, I hope you find it useful!

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First Impressions: Universal Audio’s LUNA DAW

The thing I hate most about digital recording? Latency. Even though I’m about as far away from a technically-accomplished player as you can get, I really struggle with coping with latency when I’m recording with Reaper. It’s the main reason that I bought my first UAD Apollo interface back in 2016.

So when Universal Audio announced LUNA, and made a huge song-and-dance about how it enables recording with virtually zero latency, I had to try it.

That was at the end of April 2020. I’ve been using it on-and-off throughout May, and scribbling down notes as I went along.

When you read this, please remember that it’s perfectly possible that some of these points may have been addressed in more recent releases of LUNA. UAD seem to be doing a great job of getting regular updates out for users.

That kinda hints that I ran into a lot of pain points with LUNA …

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Studio Diary #20: How Am I Going To Hear All Of This?

With the home studio revamp,

  • I’ve addressed my lack of preamps
  • My Synergy rig is now back up and running
  • I can easily patch in any of my affordable pedal platform amps
  • I’ve got a way to play (rather than just program) drums
  • The signal chain’s now in a sensible order
  • I’ve bought so, so many cables

… and I’ve revamped the layout of the space, as part of improving the vibe. It feels like the end is in sight, at last.

I’m not quite finished yet though. I need to add a set of studio monitors to my setup.

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New Arrivals: April 2020

I wasn’t planning on making any purchases this month.

With the UK firmly in pandemic lockdown, the second-hand market has massively shrunk. There’s not a lot of gear on sale right now, and some sellers are going to find it difficult to ship gear out to buyers.

The plan was to concentrate on actually putting my gear to use. When I tried, it was clear that a couple of things needed sorting. That, and conversations about gear helped convince me to pickup a very special indeed.

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New Arrivals: March 2020

This will be the last regular “New Arrivals” for the time being.

Partly thanks to the UK Government following scientific advice that was based on an outdated model of the wrong disease, Britain has failed to contain the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus before it became widespread. We’re heading for a lengthy social lockdown (at best), with the serious economic hardship that inevitably follows.

Don’t worry, the blog’s not going anywhere. It’s just that there’s more important things right now than buying guitar gear.

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First Impressions: Anasounds Element Spring Reverb Pedal

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This is a bit of a difficult First Impressions for me to write. After years of everything being in the same place in the room, I’ve recently moved everything around. I’m still getting to used to how everything sounds in its new location – and in my new listening position.

Anyways. The Anasounds Element has just arrived, and I’ve had a couple of hours with it through my rig. Here’s my very first impressions of this pedal.

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New Arrivals For February 2020

Winter NAMM 2020 has been and gone, and now we wait for announcements to become shipping product … and then to reach the UK, which can sometimes take months longer.

I’ve pre-ordered a couple of things that were announced at (or around) NAMM. They’re going to take up most of my gear budget this year. The PRS S2 Singlecut McCarty 594 might arrive by the summer. We already know that Neural DSP’s Quad Cortex won’t arrive until the autumn at the earliest. At least I don’t have to wait as long for the Lark (Rhett Shull’s new signature pedal from Mythos Pedals); that should ship in March.

I’m still keeping an eye out for interesting bits of gear, but it’s got to be pretty special – and at a special price. By and large, I’m only looking to pickup pedals to help me fill in the gaps in my collection, or provide complementary tones for recording with.

Finally, I may have finished my planned revamp of the home studio, but now I’m sitting down to use it, I’m finding that a few things need sorting out, and that there’s a few gaps that are nagging at me a bit. I’m going to be tackling those, but not all in a single month 🙂

Here’s what arrived this month.

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