Archive for November, 2014
We have 2015 calendars available in several themes.
This is the time to order if you want them by the end of the year.
They are each individually printed and assembled right here in North Dallas using heavy card stock produced in Texas as well. When we say “Made in the Great State of Texas“, we mean it.
At a paltry $19.95 each, this is quite a bargain. Better order yours quick before we figure out we can’t afford to keep selling them so inexpensively and raise the price!
We have 6 themes in our current lineup and working on a couple more. Visit our website to view our catalog and order direct.
These make great gifts and, in addition to being a useful visual reminder of appointments — they are ART. And some mighty fine art, to boot…
Inexpensive Synthesis For Your Guitar
As a guitar player for almost 50 years (not particularly good, but I amuse myself) I’ve always been fascinated by the synthesizer options for stringed instruments. There are been many on the market since the mid 70s, including some amazing hex-pickup models that enabled really cool stereo field effects. All of these have been fairly large investments for sometimes marginal tracking.
One of the benefits of the rapid advancement of technology is some really cool new apps and inexpensive hardware interfaces to pull it all together. There are some fairly full-featured modeling apps for iPhone / iPad, but not much for Android so far, (HINT, HINT).
Sonuus has been working on some pretty cool computer-based MIDI interfaces of late and their latest offering is reasonably priced – and full-featured. It works on anything you can plug into its 1/4″ jack, so vocals, mic’d instruments of any kind, etc, can all be synthesized with this module.
The i2M Musicport Signal Converter is a decent product that tracks pretty well. It’s monophonic, but you’re not paying the hefty price tag for polyphonic.
The i2M musicport is the new way to connect your musical instruments to your computer. It combines a high-impedance audio interface that won’t suck the tone from your instrument, with very fast, low-latency, monophonic MIDI conversion that doesn’t require special pickups to be mounted onto your instrument.Designed particularly for guitar and bass, it works with most musical instruments including the human voice. Now you can record great-sounding tracks and play synthesizers and samplers how you have always wanted to: by using your favorite instrument.Using class-compliant USB drivers built into your computer’s operating system, and with no special instrument set up required, the i2M musicport offers a true plug-and-play experience for all musicians.
Check it out:
You can order it from Amazon:
As we were gearing up for our Halloween party, I wanted to make our long, L-shaped hallway into something special.
Starting with the indirect lighting that I installed several months ago, I added red gels over the ultra-white LED lighting to create a very Dante’s Inferno look. Theatrical gels would yield the best results, but they are expensive, especially when you need about 80 feet of gel that measures about 3″ wide. Fortunately my wife found exactly what we needed on her travels. Red cellophane rolls used for wrapping gift baskets is perfect. It did take about an hour to cut something like 6 strips and drag a ladder along, setting them in place. The effect was worth it though, as it created an uneven, fire-like effect.
I decided parking a fog machine in the doorway to my wife’s office was the best location, and on a tripod above the fog machine I installed a
TSSS® Disco DJ Stage Lighting LED RGB Crystal Light unit, which turned the hallway into a swirling mass of color. Very kaleidoscopic effect with the heavy layer of fog. I had the fog machine set to pulse for about 2 seconds every minute of so to keep a distinct layer of fog in the hallway.
A nice feature of this unit is that it has a standard tripod fitting on the underside, which enables mounting it almost anywhere. It comes with a plastic bracket if you want to permanently mount it — and a compact (5″ or so) flexible tripod for lightweight installations of a temporary nature. Since most of us own a tripod these days (or can pick one up cheaply) this is a great feature.
The fog machine I used is one of the professional units rated at 700 watts. I’ve used lots of the “party” level fog machines over the years, but had them all fail after one or two uses, so I decided to go the Eliminator Lighting series. These are very well made and quieter than the cheap ones.
The thing to note about these fog machines is you CANNOT use the party variety of timer controls that you buy at a Halloween store. The control voltage is entirely different. I found this unit to be perfect after contacting the very helpful people at Eliminator.
The end result looks like this: