Month: April 2014

My Guitars, Rig, Effects and Amps Rundown

It’s very uncommon for me to write about music and music-making here, because the blog is reserved exclusively for HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript. Recently, however, I made significant changes to my home studio and guitar rig, which I’d like to share.

Disclaimer: This is not a professional gear review, neither I am a professional musician, just a software developer, who, back in the days dreamed of becoming a rock star.

The Amps

I’ve experimented with various amplifiers, both tube and solid state. A few months ago, I decided to go for Carvin’s VL300, better known as Steve Vai‘s legendary Legacy 3, which I’m using with a 50-watt HT-112 Blackstar cabinet, but I’m planning to switch to a 4 x 12 Bugera, Marshall or Engl custom 2 x 12 Zilla cab in the next couple of months. Since the the AVID Eleven Rack’s output is stereo, for the second channel I am using an obscure active monitor, which I bought several years ago.

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Effect Processors, Loopers and Stompboxes

AVID Eleven Rack with Behringer FCB1010 MIDI Foot Controller

After so many years of being a devout BOSS user, I switched to AVID Eleven Rack and PRO Tools. The reason – I was searching for a new sound, look and feel, and also for a professional solution with direct I/O to my PC and DAW. After a thorough research, I narrowed down my choices to BOSS GT-100, BOSS GT-001 and AVID Eleven Rack. Although revealed on Frankfurt Musikmesse 2014, as of April 2014, the new BOSS GT-001 is still not available on the market, and the online reviews are scarce and controlled, so I decided to give AVID a try, and I was not wrong. The Eleven Rack is the most amazing guitar effects processor I’ve ever stumbled upon ever since I started playing the guitar. Sadly, I said goodbye to my GT-10 (sorry, BOSS!).

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Since the Eleven is rack mountable, my choice of a MIDI foot controller was either Voodo Lab’s Ground Control or Behringer’s FCB1010. Behringer is a well-known name in Europe, and they are famous with their high quality products at really reasonable prices. This, combined with the 2 expression pedals convinced me to go for the FCB1010. In order to save myself from the nag of programming the board, I changed Behringer’s original PROM with the EurekaPROM by EurekaSound. If you are using Roger Linn Design’s AdrenaLinn III, Kemper Profiling Amp, Behringer V-Amp series, Behringer Bass V-Amp Series, Avid Eleven Rack, TC Electronic G-Force, G-Major, G-Sharp, Nova, Fractal Audio Systems Axe-FX II, BOSS GT-PRO & Roland VG-99 & VB-99 or Line6 POD series and you still don’t know what EurekaPROM is, you should definitely check what David and the other guys from EurekaSound create!

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DigiTech JamMan Stereo

Unfortunately I don’t have time to play in a band anymore and I practice alone, so I’ve tried a number of different loopers, like BOSS Loop Station, Line 6 JM4 and KORG SOS, but none of these was as versatile as the DigiTech JamMan Stereo. The truth is that I’ve never been a great fan of DigiTech, but the JamMan looper and it’s librarian software really rock, so I guess I’ll keep it for a couple of years.

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The Guitars

Since 2012, my main guitar is this amazing 7-string B.C. Rich Stealth. Even now, after a couple of years of using it, I am still amazed by the sound, awesome looks and playability of this instrument. I am also using a heavily modified MH and SV’s by ESP, Schecter Omen 7, Jackson Dinky and custom Aurellia guitars.

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The Drums

From time to time, I play a heavily modified Yamaha DTX400K electronic drum set, which I also use for recording drum tracks. The customized drum set has an additional bass drum, extra crash cymbal and 3-zone snare drum.

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The Rest of the Gear

In case you are interested, you may want to can check the rest of my guitar fleet and more gear on this page.

HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript Pie Charts

AcidJs.Pie is a lightweight pie chart plotting widget, utilizing CSS3 instead of HTML5 canvas or SVG with small, but powerful and easy to use API, custom events and numerous usage possibilities.

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You may download AcidJs.Pie or find more information on this page, and the demo and documentation are here.

More Screenshots

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Key Features

  • Fast and elegant, with a very small footprint
  • Small, but powerful API
  • Custom events
  • Fully CSS3-driven – no Canvas, SVG or Flash

Requirements

  • Standards-compliant (HTML5 or XHTML) page
  • JavaScript should be enabled in the browser
  • Web-server

Related Posts and Links

Atypical Uses of Radio Buttons and Checkboxes for Building Interactive UI Widgets

Radio buttons and checkboxes are traditionally associated with forms and data, however if you spend some time playing with these elements and CSS you will certainly find a lot more possible and not so boring uses. Here are a few, which will maybe give you ideas and will inspire you.

Star Rating Widget

Fully functional star rating widget, utilizing simple HTML form, hidden radio buttons, adjacent sibling selectors and right-to-left, with hover, selection, persisted state and disabling (a.k.a. already voted).

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Animated CSS3 Vertical Accordion

The widget utilizes a simple form with radio buttons, CSS3 animations and adjacent sibling selectors.

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CSS3 Treeview

Fully functional, multi-level CSS3-only treeview with persisted state, utilizing hidden checkboxes and list elements.

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CSS3 Treeview with Nested Nodes Selection. Almost JavaScript-less.

Similar to the treeview from the previous example, but with updated look and feel and added support for nested nodes selection via an additional checkbox.

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CSS3 Tabstrip

Feature-complete CSS3-only tabstrip widget, utilizing hidden radio buttons.

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Notifications Bar

JavaScript-less animated notifications bar, utilizing a couple of div elements and a single hidden checkbox.

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iPhone Toggle Buttons

Fully functional iPhone-like toggle buttons, made up of labels, radio buttons or checkboxes.

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Animated CSS3-only Slides Viewer

Fully functional presentation slides viewer, utilizing radio buttons, CSS counters and animations with native keyboard arrow support.

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Custom Skinnable Radio Buttons and Checkboxes

My favorite approach for styling radio buttons and checkboxes with semantic and minimalistic markup.

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Enjoy the weekend!

Related Posts and Links