Thursday, September 15, 2005

I went around to my mate's place, with another mate, and we all drove down to Parramatta, and went into Billy Hyde music.

We had a look around, and then we went and got some lunch.

We went back, and continued looking.

My mate was interested in the effects pedals, one in particular, the PODxt Live, so they set him up to have a muck around.

I browsed around for a while, noticed that they had some of the Fender Jazz signature Basses, but not the Geddy Lee.

I spoke to the guy working in there about bass pedals, and he showed me some of them, and set me up mucking around with an effects board.

I spent a bit of time playing on it, but it was silly, it was really a synth, than an effects pedal, and would have had limited use.

I switched to using another one, which was just effects, so it could be used fairly effectively.

We sat there playing for ages, it was really quite cool. Eventually I decided to buy the pedal/board I'd been mucking around with, and my mate the one he was playing on.

I haggled the guy down in price on the pedal I was after, $199 from $299, and agreed to buy it.

We went up and got one, and I grabbed a guitar stand, because I'm sick of propping my bass up everywhere, and went and paid for them.

The guy then saw the model that my mate was buying, and remembered they'd just had the bass version come in, the Bass PODxt Live.

Hmm, now I had to decide what I wanted to do. The guy asked if I wanted to look at it, and I said I'd have a look. He went and got one, unpacked it, set it up, and I jammed on it for a few minutes.

While he was setting it up, I asked if they could get the Geddy Lee Fender Jazz bass, and he told me they could order it in. I didn't ask the price, since I've only just bought a new bass, and I'd probably be looking at about $1800 for the Geddy Lee bass.

My mate went to get more money out, to pay for his effects board.

When I was going through the factory preset setups, I came across "Have A Cigar" (Pink Floyd), sounding very much like the song, and a couple of others, like
"Live at Leeds" (The Who).

Once I came across "Tom Sawyer" (Rush), I was sold. I can't argue with something that comes with Rush preset effects.

I had to cheat a bit, and I played some of "Closer to the Heart" and "Xanadu" on it, since I don't know the bass for Tom Sawyer (a crime), but it sounded really good.

The guy came back, asked what I'd decided, and I told him that I'd decided to pay the extra, and swapped the unit I'd bought for the bass unit.

My mate got back just as I finished sorting it out, and told me that the bank had closed before he got a chance to get the money out, they'd locked the doors, and wouldn't let him in.

I paid for his unit on my card, and then we left, and went back to the car, and drove back.

I regretted not bringing my bass with me this morning, since I couldn't play with the effects board.

I got dropped at home, taking it with me, and was able to muck around on it.

It's got a USB port on it, for updating the firmware, loading patch settings, and recording the signal.

I plugged in the unit to my laptop, and saw:

usb 2-1: new full speed USB device using uhci_hcd and address 2

I googled around, but could find nothing about linux support for it, which was no real surprise.

I sat and played with the unit for ages. You can set the output level to line or amp, so I was able to use it as a preamp, and connect the audio out to my stereo.

I sat and learnt "Have A Cigar", (not too hard, and sounds groovy).

I tried to install the drivers for the board, but they don't work in wine. I did a bot of research into this, a few days later, and found that wine can't be used for drivers to support hardware, but apparently there's a spinoff for doing it.

Guitarport (software that can be used with it) was mentioned in a web page I found about wine support for USB drivers.

While looking in the wine application DB, I saw tha Guitar Pro was classed as gold when running under wine, which seemed promising.

I installed it under wine on my laptop, but I couldn't run it, after putting in the registration key, it would just disappear.

I downloaded another version, and installed it, which ran fine (but had no midi support), better than nothing I suppose.

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