Category Archives: Music

The Volume Pill

The volume control on my guitar amp does not behave as I want it to.

Today it is like this:
Amp volume at 0 = (silence)
Amp volume at 1 = LOUD
Amp volume at 2-10 = LOUDER

This is a problem when using a distortion pedal without a dedicated volume control, as our very easily disturbed neighbors starts banging the wall at volume 1, and I sometimes want to play without headphones.

For the distortion to really kick in I can’t lower the volume knob(s) on my guitar too much either, so I had to introduce an additional volume control to take effect after the pedal.

In short, I needed to go from here:

[Amp]<--[Pedal]<--[Guitar]
to here:

[Amp]<--[Volume]<--[Pedal]<--[Guitar]

So I made a small volume controler using a 500k potentiometer and two 1/4″ jacks. I didn’t have a good enclosure at hand so I simply used an old plastic medicine jar.

The Volume Pill
The Volume Pill

It’s not pretty, but it works!

The Pedalboard Project

About two months ago I bought an electric guitar after a 17-18 year long hiatus. A cheap Les Paul copy that looks good but plays bad. 😉 I also bought a few effect pedals such as Overdrive, Distortion and Echo/Delay. And then a few more. I realized that I needed a pedalboard to avoid having to patch in everything and getting wires all across the floor whenever I wanted to play. I was looking at a number of the pre-made solutions and also a few custom ones before deciding to build one myself. Wanting to add some additional functions and a semi-retro style, I decided to go with wood as my material of choice. After measuring, sketching, drawing and calculating about two weeks I had a finished design. I bought two pine planks and began by drawing up lines for everything that were to be cut and drilled. I wanted an empty place on the right side where I could add additional pedals such as Wah, or as in the pictures below, a multi-effect pedal. After producing the rough pieces, I began sanding everything by hand. Since this is not going to be displayed on a pedestal in an art museum, I only went with 120 grain paper. The top parts were first glued, then drilled and screwed for additional stability. After a single layer of wood stain, I assembled the pieces using a piano hinge for opening the lid and a pair of chest clasps for fastening the lid when closed. Wanting something to carry the pedalboard with, I opted for IKEA ULVSBO drawer handles. While at IKEA, I also picked up the laptop support BRÄDA, which after cutting out a piece from a lower corner and flipping upside down was a perfect fit for the dashboard. Filing the corners and sanding it in a single direction made it look a bit like ebony. Adding all jacks, switches and panels, next up was the soldering. No biggie. Aside from power, I wanted 4 jacks on the pedalboard:

  1. Guitar in. Also used if you want to add additional pedals first in the pedal chain.
  2. Aux in. Will be sent directly to the output(s) so that you can attach your phone or audio player for jamming without it being affected by the pedals. I might add a separate booster/volume control to this later.
  3. Amp out. Also used if you want to add additional pedals last in the pedal chain.
  4. Headphones out. I might add a separate booster/volume control to this later.

The control panel has the following functions

  1. Main power. Powers the whole pedalboard on/off
  2. AC/DC. There is a 2x9v battery compartment (connected in parallel)  under the lid for powering the pedals with batteries instead of using an AC/DC adapter. This switch allows you to change power source on the fly.
  3. Pedals/Bypass. Allows you to send the Guitar in signal directly to the outputs, bypassing all pedals.
  4. Voltmeter. Very useful when running on DC power to see how much is left.

All power cables are detachable and reroutable. This gives you the option to power only one or a few pedals with battery power and the remaining pedals with the transformer. This includes the main power switch, voltmeter and LED strips. If running everything on batteries, it eats batteries fast – especially the Korg RP50 multi-effect – but it works! After adding some industrial-strength Velcro, it was only a matter of arranging the pedals how I wanted them, patching the audio signal and routing the power cables. I also added TDK ferrite cores around all patch/power cables to minimize electrical interference. Being only the second wood-based project I’ve done since I was 15, I’m quite happy with the results. What would you have done different? I am already thinking about version 2. 🙂

Frank’s Roadtrip Collection 2011

Frank's Roadtrip Collection 2011As I recently wrote, I collected a lot of (in my opinion) great songs for a roadtrip album last year. Originally to listen to while riding motorcycles, it should work just fine in a car as well. 😉

This year I decided to to it again, waiting for the season to turn and getting the bike out of storage. The list is constantly evolving, but I have currently narrowed it down to about 85 songs. As last time, the songs are from around the last 60 years or so, but this time the focus it is slightly more on modern rock.

Since several several artists occurs more than once in the list, I usually sort it by song title, not by artist:

Title Artist


#41 Dave Matthews Band
25 Miles Edwin Starr
40 Day Dream Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
Aint No Mountain High Enough Marvin Gaye
Airstream Driver Gomez
All of Us Blindside
American Woman Guess Who
Another Travelin Song Bright Eyes
Another White Dash Butterfly Boucher
Are You Gonna Be My Girl Jets
Babylon David Gray
Bad Motor Scooter Montrose
Beautiful Day U2
Blinded By The Light Manfred Manns Earth Band
Bohemian Like You Dandy Warhols
Boulevard Of Broken Dreams Green Day
Bright Side Of The Road Van Morrison
Brother Lee Citizen Cope
Bullet And A Target Citizen Cope
Call Me The Breeze Lynyrd Skynyrd
Carry On Wayward Son Kansas
Crazy(Album Version) Gnarls Barkley
Dingdong Thing Gluecifer
Don’t Believe a Word Def Leppard
Electric Worry Clutch
Engel Rammstein
Float On Modest Mouse
Free Fallin’ Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Grounds For Divorce Elbow
Highway 49 Muddy Waters & Howlin’ Wolf
Home Depeche Mode
Home Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
Hotel California Eagles
Hurt Absurd Minds
Hush Kula Shaker
I Don’t Want to Be Gavin DeGraw
I’m in love Madrugada
Innan Allt Försvinner Bo Kaspers Orkester
Just Like You Imagined Nine Inch Nails
Let It Ride Bachman-Turner Overdrive
Let It Ride Ryan Adams & The Cardinals
Machinehead Bush
More Than A Feeling Boston
No Cars Go The Arcade Fire
No Good, Mr Holden Graveyard
Ol’ 55 Tom Waits
One Headlight (Radio Edit) The Wallflowers
Open Your Eyes Alter Bridge
Our Love Saves Us Blindside
Piece Of My Heart Janis Joplin
Ride Like The Wind Saxon
Road To Hell Chris Rea
Road To Zion (Radio Edit) Damian Marley Feat. Nas
Rock And Roll Hoochie Koo Rick Derringer
Roll Me Away Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
Route 66 Them
Ruby Kaiser Chiefs
Rushing Rotersand
Rusty Cage Johnny Cash
Sailing To Philadelphia Mark Knopfler
See The World Gomez
Six Days On The Road Dave Dudley
Slania’s Song Eluveitie
Somebody Told Me The Killers
Son’s Gonna Rise Citizen Cope
Speed Montgomery Gentry
Steve Mcqueen Sheryl Crow
Suddenly I See KT Tunstall
Summertime Blues George Thorogood
Take It Easy Eagles
The Kill 30 Seconds To Mars
The Mob Goes Wild Clutch
The Promised Land Chuck Berry
The Way Fastball
Time To Pretend MGMT
Travelin Band Creedance Clearwater Revival
Tush Zz Top
Under The Milky Way The Church
Uprising Muse
Walking In My Shoes Depeche Mode
Weightless Black Lab
Widower The Dillinger Escape Plan
Wishing Well Free
Worm Drink Clutch

 

Again, friends that I know personally can ask for a copy.

Frank’s Roadtrip Collection 2010

Frank's Roadtrip Collection 2010Last summer I did quite a bit of roadtripping on my bike.  And without music it tends to become pretty repetitive. So I started riding with earbuds (which you still want to use to dull the noise) and an mp3 player. But as most albums have their bad parts and it’s hard to skip songs when you’re riding at 110km/h, I decided to put together a roadtrip collection.

This collection features music from the last 60 years or so, but the focus is mainly on 70’s rock. I’ve been going through thousands of songs, made many revisions and kept only the ones that really works for me, over and over. Of course, it wasn’t the only thing I listened to while riding, but it’s still over 6 hours straight. Originally the list was 130+ songs, but now it’s down to 88. An example of a removed song is Guns & Roses – Paradise City. Sure, it’s a great song, but only if you listen to it once or twice a year. After 7-8 times in 3 months you kind of want to skip that song when it comes up.

A small warning: Several of the remaining songs are related to my childhood and what we listened to in the car when I was very young. Mostly the country songs. 😉 A few of the songs are also in Swedish.

Oh well, to the list! Since several several artists occurs more than once in the list, I usually sort it by song title, not by artist:

Title Artist


All Right Now Free
All There Is The Guilty Ones
Already Gone The Eagles
Alright Supergrass
Angel on My Bike The Wallflowers
Another 45 miles Golden Earring
Bad To The Bone George Thorogood
Black Betty Ram Jam
Black Hole Sun Soundgarden
Born To Be Wild Steppenwolf
Born To Run Bruce Springsteen
Boston Augustana
Children Robert Miles
Chop Suey System Of A Down
Come To Life Alter Bridge
Crosstown Traffic Jimi Hendrix
Dancing in the Dark Bruce Springsteen
Drive My Car The Beatles
Dunce Cap Lost Dogs
East Bound And Down Jerry Reed
Everlong Foo Fighters
Free Bird Lynyrd Skynyrd
Gasoline Audioslave
(Ghost) Riders in the Sky Johnny Cash
Grace Will Young
Here I Go Again Whitesnake
Hold The Line Toto
Hot Rod Lincoln Commander Cody
I Am The Highway Audioslave
I Can See Clearly Now Johnny Nash
I Put A Spell On You Diesel
I’m a Ramblin’ Man Waylon Jennings
I’ve Always Been Crazy Waylon Jennings
I’ve Been Everywhere Johnny Cash
In The Air Tonight Phil Collins
In the Summertime Mungo Jerry
Interstate Love Song Stone Temple Pilots
It’s A Great Day To Be Alive Travis Tritt
Kickstart My Heart Motley Crue
King of the Road Roger Miller
La Caja Del Muerto The Barbwires
Lake Shore Drive Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah
Learn to fly Foo Fighters
Life is a highway Tom Cochrane
Lost Highway Bon Jovi
Lullaby Assemblage 23
Mercedes Benz Janis Joplin
My Hero Foo Fighters
My Name Is Jonas Weezer
No Particular Place To Go Chuck Berry
Pamela Toto
Papillon Editors
Perfect The Smashing Pumpkins
Perfect day Lou Reed & Friends
Ride The Vines
Riding with The King B.B. King & Eric Clapton
Runnin’ Down a Dream Tom Petty
Running Up That Hill Placebo
Sången Om Allt Hans & Greta
Scenic Routes Lost Dogs
Schizophrenic Conversations Staind
Shout Disturbed
Sign Of The Gypsy Queen April Wine
Smells Like Teen Spirit Nirvana
Somebody To Love Jefferson Airplane
Stairway To Heaven Led Zeppelin
Statesboro Blues Allman Brothers
Stylo Gorillaz
Superbeast Rob Zombie
Sweet Home Alabama Lynyrd Skynyrd
Take Me Home Country Roads Olivia Newton-John
The City Stromkern
The House Of The Rising Sun The Animals
The Passenger Iggy Pop
The Solo Tyskarna Från Lund
The Weight Smith
Truckdriving song Galenskaparna & After Shave
Turn The Page Bob Seger
Unchain My Heart Joe Cocker
Unrecorded M83
Watching Over You (live) Seabound
Vehicle Ides of March
Whiter Shade Of Pale Procol Harum
Who Wouldn’t Wanna Be Me Keith Urban
Whole Lotta Love Led Zeppelin
Vingar Mikael Rickfors
Vision One Röyksopp
With A Little Help From My Friends Joe Cocker

Friends that I know personally can ask for a copy. 🙂

Update: Don’t forget to check out the 2011 roadtrip collection as well!

The Guilty Ones – All There Is

Liv, a friend of mine since over 8 years back is the singer of the band The Guilty Ones. A while back they released the video to their debut single All There Is from the upcoming album Guilty As…, and a few days later I got a special first print out of the single in the mail. It’s amazing, and getting even better the more you listen to it. The video is also really cool, and gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling inside.

Go ahead, have a look & listen!

If you like it, you might be interested to know that The Guilty Ones are performing live at Debaser Medis together with Joel Alme and Birgit Bidder in Stockholm April 17th.

Glenn Miller Café

Yesterday my old friend Dossen came to visit. After strolling through town, visiting comic book shops and having lunch, we later went to Glen Miller Café together with Marianne.

The food was great (as always), the music (Sara Hedman Kvartett) was classy and temperature was high. We all had a good time, and later went back to my place and was joined by Fredde.

The photos below are from both mine and Dossens cameras (his is way better), and I just had to do a photoshop version of something I have wanted to to for years: put a lightsaber in the hand Karl XIV Johan’s statue at Slussen, Stockholm.

Blindside live (and free) tonight in Stockholm [Updated]

I got an SMS the other day from Simon, guitarist in Blindside, that they are having a free concert tonight (February 5) in Stockholm.
The place is Lilla Hotellbaren (Scandic Malmen) at Medborgarplatsen.
They are on stage around 21:00-22:00, but it might be a good idea to be there as the place only takes 500 people.

Aside from Blindside, others that are playing are the Johan Kjellberg – PENSIONATET 18.00-21.00 and Daniel Howe (Superdiskant) & Johan Ljungberg (Thelma/Louise) 22.00-02.00.

Sounds like fun!

Update:

The concert was good! Place was packed, sound was fine and Blindside was full of energy as usual. 🙂

Took some pictures as well.

Gallery: Blindside live at Lilla Hotellbaren