Tolkien ap Azard

In ‘Where was The Shire?’ I mentioned a tradition, local to the Vale of Usk, claiming that Tolkien had not only written part of The Lord of the Rings in Talybont-on-Usk, Powys, Wales but also based his notion of The Shire — the hobbit homeland — on aspects of the Black Mountains landscape. Huge questions and objections had loomed […]

via Wales and Tolkien — Calmgrove


It is perhaps very telling that all of the review blurbs on the back cover of Andy Partridge and Todd Bernhardt’s Complicated Game: Inside the Songs of XTC are written by fellow musicians and songwriters. Andy Partridge has always been a musician’s musician. Complicated Game is a series of candid and detailed interviews with Andy […]

via The Complicated Game Inside The Songs Of XTC – Andy Partridge and Todd Bernhardt — The Fat Angel Sings


Gregory Maguire After Alice Headline 2016 (2015) The title is the absolute epitome of what this novel is: a kaleidoscope of conflicting contradictions. Is it a literal description of us readers following Alice and the White Rabbit down the rabbit hole? Is After Alice instead an acknowledgement that we can’t ever return to the state of innocence that was children’s literature before the world […]

via Scattergun execution — Calmgrove

Recording the electric guitar

I think that I may have solved my problem of recording my electric guitar.

I tried using the Peavey Vypyr 75 (mentioned in the previous post) as an audio interface today but found it a little too muddy without much fiddling and adjusting of the presets. I then tried using Native Instruments Guitar Rig in Logic and found most of the presets fairly bland and noisy though this might be due in part to some rusty technique. I then fed the headphone (speaker emulated) output of my Blackstar HT-1R into the line-in inputs of my Presonus Inspire audio interface, turning off the amp reverb and using Logic’s own reverbs, delays and modulation effects. Great results, not perfect but great! Clean hum free input with my modified Ibanez Blazer (Kent Armstrong humbucking blade pickups) that bothers nobody. And I can always put a dynamic mic in front of the speaker for recording when there’s nobody about.

Blackstar HT-1R not for sale!
A photograph of 2 (1981 Japanese ) Ibanez Blazers
My favourite guitar (left).


Everything below is just my opinion!

Having tried the RG-55 guitar synth set up in PMT, Bristol a few weeks ago for the synth sounds, I thought I’d give the COSM guitar modelling a go in PMT, Cardiff today. I tried the ME-25 and was left alone for quite a while (always the sign of a good music store and a good salesperson, I think)  to pedal through the COSM presets. I have to admit that I was quite disappointed with the sounds (my Peavey Vypyr 75 has tones equal to if not better than the Boss) and the experience has finally made up my mind for me – I’ll not be investing in the GR-55 at the moment.

However, I am notoriously fickle and may well feel different after I’ve sold some equipment.

ME-25 photograph copyright Boss/Roland.
GR-55 photograph copyright Roland.