Saturday, October 31, 2009

Magix Music Maker 15

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Image Source: www.magix.com

Magix Music Maker 15 is a multitrack sound loops music workstation. For around $50 on eBay it is an absolute bargain, and a great entry level music making package. The software comes with great quality samples of drums, guitars, bass, keyboards, percussion, sound fx, Vocals, as well as a full set of
effects processors.

It has a really well set out drag and drop interface, as shown here with 4 of up to 16 tracks of sounds that can be assembled while building a song:

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If we want to see the whole song at once, then we can click the Overview tab:

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The sounds are grouped into "Soundpools" of various genres, that can then be previewed, and dragged onto the recording timeline. Additional sounds and soundpools can be purchased online, or you can find and import your own .wav sounds into MMM 15 to use as well. There is also facility to record external sound by using a microphone plugged into your computer's sound card.

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There are also lots of effects that can be applied to each sound loop that we add onto the timeline. These are just some of the items, there are also guitar distortion, compressor, chorus, and delay pedals.

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There is even a Vocoder included, which we used to add some background vocals on a techno song we made.

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Here is an Alternative Rock Song that we made at Passy World using MMM 15, and the set of sound loops that came with it: (My 10 year old son actually made most of this song, and I just added some extra guitar into it).


Image Source: www.magix.com

Here is part of a Techno Song that was made at Passy World using MMM 15:


Image Source: http://www.redbubble.com/people/leonardo/art/1645217-2-techno
(Copy of Image has been purchased by Passy at redbubble site on 1/11/09)

Finally, here is a Reggae Song we made, using some MMM samples that we purchased for around $5 and downloaded from "Catooh":


Image Source: http://www.myspace.com/poowaahz

If you want to find our more about Magix Music Maker, then check out the Magix website:
http://www.magix.com/us/music-maker/

There is probably the usual free 30 day download trial version available at this site that you can try out for free.

The version we use at Passy World is the standard MM15 shown below:

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Magix MM 15 is a great way to learn about the structure of songs, how to assemble instrument parts together, and apply production effects. It is easy to use, and really good fun. Best of all it is quite cheap to buy compared with more sophisticated music software such as Sony Acid and Abelton.

It is also great for making simple drum, bass, and rythm guitar tracks to play along with and practice guitar.

So give it a go and get those big beats blasting out.

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Thomas Gets Tanked

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Okay so what is Thomas The Tank Engine doing here at Passy's World ?

Well I thought I would share with you some of the weird and wonderful things people are putting up onto You Tube. First there is a whole series of various characters "Firing their Lazers" and dear old Thomas is certainly the star of the show here:




The next clip is for anyone who can remember back to the days of the dial up modem, and all those silly noises this machine would make as it connected up with the distant computer:




Finally, there are a series of "Ernest the Tank Engine" videos on You Tube. Most of them are totally inapropriate for this site, due to the bad language involved, except for this one:


Anyway, that's it for now, I'm off to get my steam up and do some work cleaning up the yard.

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Sunday, October 25, 2009

How to Play Hendrix "Hey Joe"

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Okay, this post is all about How to Play "Hey Joe", the Jimi Hendrix classic.

First of all, here is a good quality video of Jimi playing the song:




Now let's take our first look at how to play the song, starting with the intro:


Here is a video on just the intro, nice and slow :


And yet another way of playing the intro:


This video is about the chord progression and the pentatonic scale in E:


And finally a video on how to do the main guitar solo:


As well as all these videos to watch, some tabulature would be handy as well.

Hey Joe
Jimi Hendrix

Intro
0---------0------------------------------------------------x
3-5----5-3-------------------------------------------------x
------------- --42---0-------------------------------------x
----- --------------------2--------x-------0----0---0------x
---- ------------------------------x----2-5---5---4----0---x
-------------------------------0---x-----------------------x

Intro (cont'd)
-------------------------|
-------------------------|
-------------------------|
-----------0----------0--|
---0---2-----0---2-------|
-------------------------|

Verse
C G D A E E E E
C G D A E E E E
Repeat this chord sequence throughout the song.


And Lyrics:

Hey Joe, where you goin' with that gun in your hand
Hey Joe, I said where you goin' with that gun in your hand
I'm goin' down to shoot my ol' lady
I caught her messin' 'round with another man

Yeah, I'm goin' down to shoot my ol' lady now
You know I caught her messin' 'round with another man
And that ain't too cool

Hey Joe, hey, Joe, I heard you shot your woman down
Hey Joe, hey, Joe, I heard you shot your woman down, baby
He said, "Yeah, I did it, yes I did, I shot her
You know I caught her messin' 'round with another man"

Yes I did, I shot her
You know I caught my her messin' 'round with another man
Yeah, and I gave her the gun

Hey Joe, hey Joe
Where you gonna run to, now where you gonna run to now
Hey Joe, hey Joe
Lord, where you gonna run to, now where you gonna run to, baby

I'm goin' way down south, way down south
Way down to Mexico way, yeah
I'm goin' way down south, way down south, baby
Way down where I can be free

Ain't no one gonna mess with me there, baby
Ain't no hang-man gonna
He ain't gonna put a rope, a rope around me, yeah
You better believe it, baby

Hey, Joe, you better run on down, you better
Goodbye everybody

Here is a video that shows how to play the chords for the song, with some nice little inbetween runs added in:


And a Tab for the Solo from "911tabs" on the internet:

Band: Jimi Hendrix Experience
Song: Hey Joe (Solo)
Composer: Jimi Hendrix
Tabber: Calum croft
Tuning: Standard

key:
BU= Bend up to the pitch of note signalled
BD= Bend down to pitch of note signalled
P= Pull off.
H= Hammer on.
#/(#)= e.g. 9/(14) This means sound the first note in this case 9 (the grace note) then immediately slide
to the next note indicated do not pluck this note it should ring out anyway if your fast enough.
X= Pick rake (mute string with fretting hand).
FHT= Fretting hand tap (this is just like a hammer on but you don’t sound any note before it.
~= Trill

the arrows are just to show you to carry on and the lines down the middle of the are just the sections i
suggest practicing individually before playing the hole thing together.

e:------------12-------------------------------------|------------12--12--12>
B:--15BU(17)------15--12-----------------------------|--15BU(17)--X---15--12>
G:--------------------12--14BU(16)BD(14)P12------12--|---------------------->
D:-------------------------------------------14------|---------------------->
A:---------------------------------------------------|---------------------->
E:---------------------------------------------------|---------------------->

>--------------------------------------------------|------------------------>
>------------12------------------------------------|------------------12---->
>--14BU(16)------14--12--14P12----------12------12-|----------12------14---->
>-------------------------------14----------14-----|----------12--14------14>
>--------------------------------------------------|-9/(14)-------14-------->
>--------------------------------------------------|------------------------>

>---------------------------|--12--12------------12------------------------------->
>--15BU(17)--------15BU(17)-|--12--15--12--------12--15------------12------------->
>---------------------------|----------14BU(16)----------14BU(16)--------------14->
D---------------------------|------------------------------------------12--14----->
>---------------------------|----------------------------------------------------->
>---------------------------|----------------------------------------------------->

>-----|--------------12--15BU(17)--12----------------12-----------------------|>
>-----|----------12------------------------------15------15-------------------|>
>--12-|14BU(16)------------------------14BU(16)--------------14BU(16)--12~----|>
>-----|---------------------------------------------------------------------14|>
>-----|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|>
>-----|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|>

>---------------------------------------------|
>----------------------X----------------------|
>----------------------12---------------------|
>--------------14--16------14-----------------|
>-----12/(16)--------------------FHT2/(16)/---|
>--0------------------------------------------|


I also highly recommend Googling on "Power Tab" for Hey Joe, and downloading the version four 5 star tab from Ultimate Guitar Tabs. This gives excellent detail for playing all of the fills between the chords. You will need to have the free "Power Tab" editor software installed on your computer from their site at: http://www.power-tab.net/ .
(See our previous post earlier this month all about "Power Tab".

This will help work out things like the low notes run:
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Finally, here is some great vintage footage from before my time, of Jimi at the famous Woodstock Concert:




Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Friday, October 23, 2009

Matching Objects Game in Flash



The above matching game was made in Flash Actionscript 3.0 .
(Make sure you have your speakers turned on to hear the sound effects).

It was developed as a follow-on from an excellent tutorial found on the "Flash Classroom" website, and can be viewed at this link:
http://www.flashclassroom.com/docs/documents/444_dragdroptargetsflashcs3.pdf

The original game in the tutorial shows how to set up a game where we can match geometrical shapes to their sillouettes. This basic game comes out something like this:




The following is the Actionscript 3.0 Code that was used in these two games:



If you would like to have your own full size copy of this PDF, then simply click the save disk icon button on the PDF viewer, and you should be able to save it to your own hard disk.


Alternatively, you can view or save the full size PDF by clicking the link below:




If you would like to download a rar zip file of all of the resources for these two games, (Including the .FLA source files), then click the following link:




If you struggled with the Flag Matching Game, then perhaps this very short YouTube video will help you learn your World War II history a bit better.



A classic piece of Animated story telling right there for sure.

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Moments in Life



The above four minute clip is an amazing reflection on modern life, that I found by reading a friend's blog, and just had to put up here onto Passy World.

The linking of the mini clips is perfect, the flow and the feel of it is just so perfect: a true masterpiece of YouTube cinemaphotography.

It comes from an interesting website at:
http://blogs.wnyc.org/radiolab/2009/08/14/16-moments/


Many people believe the old saying "Smile and the World Smiles With You", which is no better encapsulated in the following video on YouTube. Perhaps they are cliches, but "Success Breeds Success", "Make Every Day Count", "Greet the World with Open Arms", "Sieze the Day", and so on and so forth.

Well all I can say is a positive attitude has got to be better for you (and the rest of the world) than a grumpy bum, whinging and whining, self pitying, pessimistic, or paranoid approach to life.

It is all taken to the limit in this "500 Days of Summer" 2 minute clip from YouTube: (But has that classic feel good aura to the whole thing, just the kind of sweet fairy floss thing we love here at "Passy World"):




And one last item, as a contrast to the others. A wonderful ballad, all about some not so happy people and circumsatnces:
"Funeral for a Friend - History" :




So that's our reflective post done for this month, and here is a new cliche to add to the collection:

"Live each Day: Don't Waste Away".

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Saturday, October 17, 2009

How to Get Guitar Tabs



When it comes to finding Guitar tabs on the Internet, the sites we use here at Passy World are these ones:





Both 911 Tabs and Guitare Tab sometimes have links where we can listen to the Song we are getting the Tab for.

However, we did not have much luck getting the Guitare songs to play. The play link seems to go to a site called "Blastro" but then the songs did not come up. Maybe I was unlucky and picked the wrong songs to try out ? And for 911 Tabs, not all of the songs have this "listen to" function.

But Guitare Tab! did have the tablature for the whole Beatles Magical Mystery Tour album, all in one long web page, which was interesting.

In 911 tabs we can search on Band Name, as well as Song Name.
So we can just look for AC/DC songs if we wanted to.

So let's say we are interested in getting the Guitar Tab for
Carlos Santana's version of the song: "Black Magic Woman".


If we search 911Tab on song name, we soon obtain plenty of tabs, in fact we first get groups
of Tabs and have to choose which group to navigate to:

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So we picked the first group of 110 tabs, and then clicked. A
t the next level down we get tabs that are rated, and we usually choose one of the top of list highly rated tabs.

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Note that some of the tabs are "Guitar Pro" or "Power Tab" tabs. These require software to be on your computer to use the tab. "Power Tab" is free and you can find information on how to download and use it at our previous post at: http://tinyurl.com/PassyPowerTab .

Guitar Pro is not free, and costs around $ US 60 to buy and download online.

Since we are only after some basic tabulature here, we will choose one of the higer rated plain guitar tabs, such as the one from "Ultimate Guitar Tabs" and we then get a plain tab like this:

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with Tablature for Solos included as well:

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It is usually worth checking out more than one tab, because sometimes the other tabs supply us some additional information, such as extra chords and guitar riffs to use.

If we just want to have a copy of the words to the song, then the "Lyrics Mode" site at: http://www.lyricsmode.com/ is great for this:




and a search using song name of "Black Magic Woman" soon gets us what we need:

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And last but not least, it is always great to have a look and listen to somebody else playing the song when learning any new tune on the guitar. And there is no better place for this than YouTube.com :




So 911Tabs: a strange kind of name to be sayin',
but full of great tabs to be playin' :)

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Free Websites at Weebly



Funny how the best free web page creators that I have found thus far, have both been at the "W" end of the alphabet. These being "Wix" and "Weebly".

(See previous blogpost at http://tinyurl.com/passywix all about "Wix").

To see the above "American Muscle Cars" website full size, click on the following link: http://americanmuscles.weebly.com/

Weebly is an AJAX website creator that allows us to create pages using template skins and content widgets. Users can easily drag-and-drop content widgets like pictures, text, video and Google Maps in WYSIWYG-fashion. They also have a new blogging platform that can be added to the navigation bar of your personal Weebly web page.

The following three YouTube videos cover how to use Weeble to set up your own website.

It is suggested that you watch them in the order they are given here.

This first video does not have ultra clear screen views, but does show how to make a Homepage and a "Contact Us" page .




This next 3 minute video is a good follow-on to the above video.



The following 8 mins 30 seconds video shows how to use custom HTML to add UStream, Twitter, and YouTube, and a Contact page that connects to an email address that you specify.




Here at Passy World we have built a basic website with Weebly, that contains brief information about American Muscle cars. For a free application Weebly was ok, but we did encounter the following difficulties:
  • On quite a few occassions the navigation or toolbar items would not display, and we would have to right click on them ad then click "show picture" to make them appear on our screen.
  • We also found that Weebly was sometimes incredibly slow at performing certain tasks, but at other times did the exact same tasks at very acceptable speeds.
  • We need to keep going to "Page" and Save all our pages every 5 minutes or so, to get the best results.

The following PDF document details "How to Use Weebly" based on our experiences, and will show you how to build a site like our American cars one.



If you would like to have your own full size copy of this PDF, then simply click the save disk icon button on the PDF viewer, and you should be able to save it to your own hard disk.

Alternatively, you can view or save the full size PDF by clicking the link below:


So Weebly is free, and simple to use once you know how to fix glitches and find your way around it. Websites made using it seem to perform quite ok, and cost zero $ to create.

So if you have a simple little website you'd like to do, then Weebly could be the tool for you.

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Sunday, October 11, 2009

How Guitar Pedals Work

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Okay then, let's look at how some of these great guitar pedals work.

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Shown above are some basic "sinusoidal" shaped sound waves. Our ear detects these when music is played. Various "Guitar Pedals" or "Stomp Boxes" can be used to modify these basic sound waves to create new and interesting sounds.

The mathematics of sinusoidal shaped waves involves the trigonometry of right angled triangles. This is illustrated very nicely by the following diagram:
(Copyright Russell Kightley - www.rkm.com.au - used with permission)


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Russell also has a brilliant animation of the sine wave being generated, as the radius of a circle is moved in a manner which continually alters the sine value of the angle. (it also cleverly illustrates Cosine at the same time).

Go to the following link to view this sine wave animation:
http://www.rkm.com.au/ANIMATIONS/animation-sine-wave.html

Russell also has many other amazing animations and images at his website:
http://www.rkm.com.au
(Check it out, especially the scientific drawings of influenza viruses).

In this post we will look at "Chorus" and "Distortion", and how the mathematics of wave re-shaping works for these two sound effects.

Chorus Effect

If we add in extra sound waves that are of similar shapes, all around the original sound wave, then we create the classic guitar “CHORUS” sound effect. This makes things sound like more than one guitar is playing and is often said to fill out and "color" the sound.
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In the world of guitar effects chorus makes one guitar sound like multiple guitars playing the same thing in unison. Just as each singer in a chorus would have different voices that blend, a chorus effect for a guitar will sound like different guitars all playing together.

This is demonstrated in the two sound samples below.

Press the play button of the mini-player on each one to hear the guitar play, both with and without Chorus effect applied.




Distortion Effect

Distorted Heavy guitar sound occurs when smooth Sine Waves are mathematically transformed into Square shaped, Sawtooth, and Triangle shaped waves. This is shown in the animation below:

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Basic Distortion effect is demonstrated in the two sound samples below.

Press the play button of the mini-player on each one to hear the guitar play, both with and without Distortion effect applied.




The sounds in this post were made using "Magix Music Maker 15".

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Magix Music Maker is only about $50 AUD to buy on eBay and is a marvelous set of sound loops and song making software that is so nice and easy to use. We will be doing a full review of MM15 in an upcoming post.

But in the meantime, get into stomping on those pedals, and make a myriad of marvelous sounds with your guitar. I know that's what I'll be doing this week :)


Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Behringer iAxe USB Guitar

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Big Passy plays the Behringer iAXE393 USB-Guitar, and he likes it!

This USB Guitar made by Behringer is a bridge which joins the wonderful world of guitar to the equally wonderful world of the computers. The results of this union sound absolutely superb.

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But before you race out to buy this USB-guitar, consider a better investment to be the stand-alone USB adpater (if you already have an electric guitar of your own that you are happy with).

I say this because the quality of the iAxe guitar is basically "Made in China" beginner guitar level.

Basically the guitar comes straight from the factory and needs some setting up. - See previous blog post about setting up electric guitars by clicking here: http://tinyurl.com/axeadjust

  • It has really high action that you need to adjust yourself with the allen key wrench they supply.
  • The pickups are very weak and tinny and need to be raised up closer to the strings.
  • The frets on my iAxe are suspect on the low E and A strings, and so these had to be left with higher action than the other 4 strings. (Otherwise there was bad fret buzz on E and A).
  • The strings that come with it need to be discarded and replaced with some decent brand new ones.

However, we need to keep this in perspective, because the guitar is so wonderfully cheap cheap cheap to buy! So obviously it is not going to be as good as a Fender Squier Strat costing 4 times as much.

For a beginner's guitar for my son, the iAxe393 is great, and for the money I paid ($US 180) for the Guitar with inbuilt USB Interface plus the Native Instruments software, I am not complaining at all.

If you take the time to change the strings and adjust the action and pick ups, then the guitar can
be made playable.

But if you have your own electric guitar already, then buy the USB "Guitar Link" Adapter unit: (instead of buying the iAxe guitar)

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The USB link is basically the same electronic interface as the IAxe guitar has, but in a stand-alone unit that we can plug our own guitar straight into. It also comes with the exact same Native Instruments "Combo Amps" software that the iAxe has.

The best part of both the USB Guitar Link and the iAxe393 guitar is the "Native Instruments Guitar Combos" amplifier emulation software that comes with each of them. The software consists of three virtual amps.


If you've ever plugged into a guitar amp, then you can easily operate guitar combos. The computer screen resembles the face-plate of the amp that it emulates. We can click on any knob, then slide our mouse up or down to rotate its level, and that's all there is to it.

Here is a screenshot of the "AC Combo" VOX Amp emulatation:

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Here is a screenshot of the "Twang Combo" Twin Reverb Amp:

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Here is a screenshot of the "Plexi Combo" Marshall Amp emulatation:

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The range of preset amp settings is great, but we can also adjust knob settings to make our own ones and save them for later re-use.

The other great things about the USB link and / or guitar, is that we can play with headphones on, (and not disturb others), and we can play along with any MP3 tune we have on our PC. We can also record what we have played on guitar to MP3 output.

Here is a press release for the iAxe393 USB guitar when it was launched in the latter half of 2006.

The Behringer iAXE393 USB-Guitar connects directly to the computer (either PC or Mac) through its built-in USB port, allowing jamming and recording "out-of-the-box". The guitar features a maple neck with three single-coil pickups, five-way switching and an integrated headphones jack.

Alternatively, the iAXE393 USB-Guitar can also be played with any real amplifier. Additional software which comes bundled with the iAXE393 USB-Guitar gives the user enhanced editing and recording options. These include ultra-low latency ASIO drivers for PC, KRISTAL Audio Engine Multitrack production software and Audacity® audio editor.

To provide the iAXE393 USB-Guitar with an array of virtual amplification and modeling options, Behringer collaborated with Native Instruments to develop a special Behringer Edition of Guitar Combos, which emulates three classic combo amps with an absolutely authentic, warm, and dynamic sound.

The exclusive Behringer Edition is enhanced with Tapedeck and Metronome functions for easy recording and practice.

Customers can choose from one of these combos:

Guitar Combo I: the sound that revolutionized British pop music
Guitar Combo II: the clean and crunchy unmistakable blues sound
Guitar Combo III: the sound of rock legends of the late 60's and 70's

The Behringer Edition Guitar Combos software package bundled with each iAXE393 USB-Guitar features three fully functional demo versions of the popular Native Instruments' amp emulations, consisting of a classic tube amplifier with speaker and integrated effects.

Behringer customers can use the coupon that is packaged with the iAXE393 USB-Guitar to download one of the above Behringer Edition Guitar Combos for free from the Native Instruments website. The other two combos can be downloaded for $15 USD/EUR each.

Here is an 8 minute YouTube review of the iAxe :



Here is a demo of some of how you can get great sounds on the iAxe, and play along with your favourite song.



So I definitely recommend getting into USB virtual guitar sounds, but if you already have a guitar, and don't need another one, then just get the USB Link unit, and not the full iAxe393 Guitar.

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Wall Wisher Trigonometry



Tomorrow my Year 9 maths students get introduced to Trigonometry for the first time, and so they will need an online 24x7 online web-based Help site.

Good old "Wall Wisher" to the rescue, and this time we built the whole wall in one session, and did not move any post it notes around. This resulted in no problems or glitches whatsoever, and so this approach is definitely the one to use when building walls.

Note that we had previously done all our Internet research and had all the links and items we wanted to put onto the wall in a notepad text file.

If you would like to see the wall full size, then click this link:
http://www.wallwisher.com/wall/trigonometry9

The best thing about Trig are the sine shaped sound wave graphs, and even better than this is the electronic manipulation of these sound waves by electronic sound effects pedals like these ones right here:

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Just about my dream collection of Boss beauties right there for sure.


So that's about it, and now it's time for us to "sine" off :)

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Friday, October 2, 2009

Bye Bye Big Pond - Hello TPG



TPG has been raved about in local computer and financial magazines as Australia's best internet provider. So finally I thought I should give them a go. Basically we were fed up with running out of gigabytes with the national carrier Big Pond (due to my son's never ending YouTube and downloading of free games and patches). Plus I have heavy internet usage as well.

For the same money we spent with Big Pond each month, TPG is now giving us double the speed, and triple the amount of gigabytes we can download each month.

The ADSL2+/ADSL Dynalink modem wireless router they provided is awesomely powerful, and finally we can get the same powerful transmission speeds upstairs as we have enjoyed downstairs near the router.


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The installation instructions from TPG were excellent and everything was quickly set up and working as a wireless network with no security. But when we tried to put a 128 bit WEP key onto the network, some real fun began. Because the Netgear WG111V2 USB wireless adapters had been used previously for the Big Pond setup, they did not want to talk at all to the new TPG modem.


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After a couple of hours of profanity-laden frustration, we finally realised that what was holding us back was the Netgear software running at PC startup, whereas we needed Windows XP to do all of the wireless network connection at start up.

So what had to be done was Start / Run / msconfig
then go to the
start up items, and untick the Netgear adapter software.

Before this though, we had to use the ethernet connection from the laptop to the modem to download the latest Netgear software, and put it onto a USB stick so we could then do each adapter with its computer. First we had to uninstall any old Netgear software that was on the computers from the Big Pond days.

We then had to take the new install from USB stick all the way through to plugging in
the Netgear adapter and giving it the 26 character 128 bit WEP key. (Eg. Do not stop at the Windows Zero option, but keep going right until the very end of the Netgear installation program. Also do each adapter onto its own PC).

We also had to play around with
the Properites (Start / Control Panel / Network Connections then right click Properties) and make sure under the "Wireless" tab that we had "Use Windows to configure my wireless network settings" ticked, and that we removed any preferred networks that were on this panel.

With the laptop, there was no drama at all, and its wireless card found the network easily, and once we entered the WEP key in the first time everything was go.

So take if from me, you should really check out TPG.

There is an iframe to do it right now at the start of this blog post, or just go directly to http://www.tpg.com.au/ .

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Power Tab Guitar Tab Editor

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The above music is the classic ZZ Top "La Grange" Riff. It was created using an online editor, by typing in the guitar tabulature to generate the standard notation.

"Power Tab" Editor is a Free tablature authoring tool for Windows. It can be used to create guitar sheet music, more commonly known to musicians as guitar tablature and bass tablature.(eg. guitar tab / bass tab).

The program provides the most commonly used symbols in tablature, including chord names, chord diagrams, rhythm slashes, bends, slides, hammer-ons, pull-offs, harmonics and palm muting. It also outputs normal music notation as well.

It is a great piece of software for people who want to learn how to play guitar, and for experienced guitarists who want to transcribe their own music and/or guitar lessons. The software can be used by both acoustic and electric guitar players alike.

The website is: http://www.power-tab.net

Note that it appears that due to legal action, the archive of Guitar Tabs at this website has been closed. So we cannot obtain input files for the editor at this site. (But don't worry there are other sites that have Power Tabs to download - see later in this post for details.

But at the Power Tab site we can click on Downloads and get a copy of the editor software installed. The zip file is 5.64 MB in size, and the download and install are very quick.

How the editor works is we choose the size of the note we need, (4th note, 8th note, etc)and then click and write on the guitar tabulature, and then our notes (or chords) are automatically created on the music staff at the top of the page.

Then the really nice thing is we can press the play button at the top of the screen, and it will play the notes and chords we have just written. (The midi instrument sounds are not studio quality, but are quite good enough to determine if the notation for our tune is reasonably correct). We can save the file as a .ptb (powertab) file, and can also print it out to paper. Here is the start of a brilliant new tune:

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However, things can get a lot more sophisticated than this. A song I really like a lot is the Led Zeppelin classic - "The Rain Song", (but I have not yet mastered it on guitar by a long shot !).

We can download a .ptb file of this song at: http://www.ultimate-guitar.com tabs site, by searching for the song, and then choosing a Power Tab version of the song from the results list. Here is what a section of this Power Tab Rain Song looks like: (Note that the Tab is for two guitars, one under each other).

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When we use the midi player to play the tab, a metronome sounds, and a moving set of highlighters show us where the song is up to in the notation. It is quite recognisable as being "The Rain Song".

The Help index for the program is great. For example if we want to know how to create triplets, then step by step instructions are easily found in the Help Index:

(A PDF print out of those intructions is shown below).




Now if we want to find and download Power Tabs for various guitar songs, then websites like Ultimate Guitar Tabs at: http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/

Eg. If a song has Power Tabs available then this will be indicated, like in the screen capture below:

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On the Power Tab site, there is also an amazing Chord Dictionary under the "Tools" option, that will pop up this submenu:


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(Note we have selected the Dmajor sus4 chord in the open position.
We can also choose frets to get the chord as a Barre chord at the 5th fret, etc).

Power Tab editor is a great free tool for anyone who needs to share music with other musicians, and get their ideas down on paper. It is just like using a word processor, but for music. Absolutely marvelous, and rated 10/10 by Passy World.

There is so much good technology in Power Tab, that I cannot believe it is free. So get onto it and tab up your own hit guitar song today.

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Orianthi Female Guitar Great

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Well I must live like an ostrich with my head deep in the sand not seeing anything that is going on around me. Perhaps if I had tuned into all the Michael Jackson media coverage (Instead of staying in my room playing guitar), I would have known about "Orianthi".

As a slightly disgruntled reader of the blog recently told me:
Ignoring a local Australian guitar prodigy in favour of a John Mayer post was chauvinist and downright un-Australian.

So to redress this inbalance, here is a post all about "Orianthi".

If you missed all the Michael Jackson stuff, then perhaps best to first watch this Australian TV interview with Orianthi.

Orianthi Panagaris, the 24 year old blonde guitarist who featured in the final video of Michael Jackson rehearsing before his death is an Adelaide girl from Australia. (A distant 1200km from where Passy lives).



Here is some information from the web about her :

"This 24-year-old Australian guitar goddess first captured American audiences' attention at this year's Grammy Awards, when she blazingly accompanied (some might even say upstaged) Grammy performer Carrie Underwood, and she has also been quite vocally championed by six-string legends Steve Vai and Carlos Santana. ("If I was going to pass the baton to somebody, she would be my first choice," Carlos once said of Orianthi.) It was in fact Orianthi's buzzy Grammy performance that made the King Of Pop (MJ) himself take notice, and he quickly hired her to be his guitarist for the This Is It concerts. In fact, she was actually supposed to be Michael Jackson's official spokesperson during his much-hyped London residency."

If you would like a free Guitar Lesson from the highly talented "Ori", then today is your lucky day, (as per the video below) :



Watch the video a couple of times, to learn this nice little descending run.

Here are a few more videos show-casing this fine young lady's skills on the guitar:









There are plenty more videos on YouTube if you want to check them out.

There is also an online Fan Club at: http://www.orianthi.net/ .

There is also her MySpace page at: http://www.myspace.com/orianthi .


She also has a new album called "Believe" coming out soon that will be well worth a listen, and is going straight onto my October JB Hi-Fi purchases list.

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Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi