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Nearest dealer for me is Cosmo Music, my favourite guitar shop in the Toronto area. Great excuse for me to take a trip to see my friends at Cosmo.
I am really enjoying Zwift. Still completely dedicated to the Sufferfest but on those days where I want to dial it back a little, Zwift is great fun.
I came across this video which highlights how Zwift blurs the physical and virtual worlds of indoor cycling with the clever use of gaming.
Hard to believe that only a few years ago I was spinning to Coach Troy all winter.
On, ahem, a DVD player.
Hold on. I am not starting a new business.
But, there is another Cleaver out there who rides a bike, another Richard Cleaver. And he is in the business of providing personal training for cyclists:
Cleaver Cycling is a personal training service that focuses on getting you, the client, the most out of your cycling journey. Every bodies cycling goals, desires and dreams are different, and with me (Richard Cleaver) on board supporting you, you can be sure you’ll be pushed to achieve them.
Unfortunately for me, he is in the United Kingdom.
His website is here.
This guitar was in the news lately as the most iconic guitar ever created in Canada.
I had not come across this instrument before which tells me that I need to focus a bit more on guitar building in my own country.
A wonderful addition to our family arrived last week, our third grandchild.
You can see it can’t you? The weak link in the Ernie Ball Volume Pedal?
There are actually two weak links: tone loss and the strings and spring.
I corrected the first one by getting my pedal from JHS. They cure the tone loss by installing a buffered splitter. This gives the player two isolated outputs, one for the tuner and one for the guitar out. Gets rid of noise, tone loss and improper signal load. They even put in a cool LED light.
A few days back, as I was working through a set for this coming weekend, my volume pedal started misbehaving and then the string broke. In the picture above, there are actually two runs of string with one end hooked on the bottom of the foot pedal and the other end hooked to a spring. One run of the string had severed near the potentiometer midway between the spring and the foot pedal.
The potentiometer had also worn out — lots of scratching and noise.
If you use this pedal, you will need this kit. They thoughtfully provide the instructions for installing the kit here.
Unfortunately, I could not get this kit delivered in time for the gig this weekend. And, to be honest, I have had lots of issues with Ernie Ball Volume Pedals over the years.
Off I went on a bit of a mad dash to get a new volume pedal.
I picked up the Mission Engineering VM-PRO. It is buffered, includes an isolated tuner out, although with the need to run a special adapter, and seems to be built to a very robust standard.
I put it on the board last night.
Some feedback for the Mission Engineering folks. A few of us do put our pedals on pedalboards. Could you do a wee bit of reengineering on the bottom plate to allow for Velcro strips?
The bottom of the pedal contains four rubber foot mounts secured by four screws and a battery cover that extrudes over the cover plate. I thought it would as simple as removing the four mounts and securing the bottom plate simply by reattaching the four screws without the rubber mounts. And then I would just put a few Velcro strips on the bottom plate and attach it to the board.
The screws do not fully secure flat to the plate as they are too long without the rubber mounts. The screw heads are not flat so they leave a ridge at each corner — and the ridge is quite a bit higher because the screws aren’t fully engaged.
I had to remove the battery plate completely so that the unit would stay reasonably flat against the pedal board.
Nowhere near a flat surface at the bottom of the pedal but I managed to get it to work. I’ll scour around for some flat screws with a shorter throw but really, a pedal maker like Mission Engineering should have anticipated this use case.
The pedal itself is very smooth and passes the tone as expected. The throw is not as long as the Ernie Ball pedal so I am finding it a bit of a transition to get the same feel for swells. I tend to use a volume pedal almost exclusively for ambient parts. The distance from volume off to volume on is quite short in comparison to an Ernie Ball volume pedal. For me, I would have liked more travel in the pedal. Maybe it is something that I will get used to over time.
Otherwise, quite pleased with the pedal. Things were sounding pretty bad with the old volume pedal until the string finally broke. Then things were not sounding at all.
Putting the Mission Engineering pedal on the board made a huge difference to the sound: clean, pure guitar tone.
My mother-in-law passed away a few weeks ago. A wonderful person whom I will really miss.
Her memorial service is this coming Saturday. We have been asked to play at the reception that follows the service. When I say “we”, the band is a trio: myself and my two sons.
Somewhat challenging to build a setlist for such an event, particularly when my sound is very much on the contemporary side of things. No vocals so the covers will all be instrumental pieces. My part will be covering the melody lines with a bit of improvisation here and there.
This is what we are going with:
- It Is Well
- Be Thou My Vision
- Amazing Grace
- Before The Throne Of God Above
- What Child Is This
- Christ The Lord Is Risen Today
- Holy, Holy, Holy
- Crown Him
- Great Is Thy Faithfulness
- Come Thou Fount
- Great Are You Lord
Yes. They are all hymns. However, we are playing contemporary arrangements and supplementing our little trio with percussion, strings, keys courtesy of MultiTracks.
The video below shows our setup for the date.
Some of my passport stamps. From Sufferlandria.
Since mid-October, basically the end of the outdoor riding season for me, I have been logging about 5 or 6 Sufferfest sessions a week. They are tough workouts. Really, really tough.
I tackle the rides early in the morning. In the dark. In my Pain Cave.
The Pain Cave is definitely a place of suffering, however it can look quite appealing to the untrained eye. Here, then, is a quick tour of my Pain Cave. Missing from the video is the vomit bucket — something unique to cycling that we do not need to talk about here.