Welcome

live at leedsI’m a looping guitarist living in Sheffield, England. I have been performing for 45 years in a variety of professional bands and latterly, as a solo artist / collaborator.

Repetition and Intuition are the key factors behind my music, which places dynamics & timbre high up the list. I see the guitar as an organic sound source that uses looping technology and laptop treatment to build moods & soundscapes. My pieces are born, evolve and die away.

Forthcoming gigs:
Diversity Fest 8th October 2017 Hagglers Corner

At the Zoo

We were joined at today’s rehearsal by all round good bloke Martyn Bailey. He likes his cameras and took some photos.

Dig Vis Drill – Survival

Dig Vis Drill were a mid-80s band that I am *immensely* proud of and we couldda been contenders. Here’s a 12″ mix (with a vid from Phil M) that Fon Records were going to release before it all went pear-shaped ;(

Play LOUD & enjoy some of Ogy’s finest lyrics, still chillingly relevant today!

I’ve also uploaded some recordings we did.

Arachnid Audio custom pedal for my Boss GT-1

I’m now using the superb Boss GT-1 both my primary tone source as well as providing a USB/audio interface. One of the compromises of its low price is limited switch options; if you want to retain the patch up/down switches, you are left with a control switch and a further switch on the expression pedal (which usually triggers pitch or wah but can be reconfigured and extended). However, round the back is an input for either another expression pedal, or two single pedals via a stereo cable. This works with either latching or momentary foot-switches, you set the mode internally.

So, you can set up further foot-operated options such as effect on/off, boost, solo, tuning as well as changing parameters within a setting (best done through the graphical interface of the Tone Studio software). Having selected a control target for these external switches, you can then layer up to 6 simultaneous changes, so one tap could add echo, subtle chorus and a deeper reverb, for example.

Having got my had around this, I commissioned Arachnid Audio to come up with a suitably hi-spec container fitted with two “silent” momentary switches, different colour LEDs (they let me choose!) and a “thru” system for the power, so the GT-1 power cable plugs into the switch (to power the LEDs), then a standard male to male power cable passes power on to the GT-1. It arrived and works perfectly, looking pretty cool into the bargain 😉

I highly recommend this solution which provides a huge increase in versatility and slips nicely into your gig-bag. Arachnid Audio were superb to work with and their pedal is top quality and looks cool, plus it cost me less than £30, including postage! They do lots of other switching solutions as well.

Red Zoo by errr Red Zoo

This tune was first recorded during our demos made in Fairview Studios near Hull and appeared on the “Bucket of Sleet Cassette release. Here it is, 35 years later at a recent rehearsal, showing at least one of us (cough) can’t count backwards 😉

      red_zoo 9 July

 

Harriet track

Here’s “Late Nights”, one of a set of demos I recorded at Phonogram Studios with Harriet Roberts, Jonny Short and Russ Courtenay. I’m particularly happy with the opening guitar and especially the minimal solo plus there’s Jon’s amazing bubbly bass 😉

We were managed by Rob Allen (brother of Leppard’s Rick) who went on to work with Taylor Swift amongst others. Sadly, red light nerves got to Harriet (who was incredibly young) and she’s not quite pitching perfectly, despite having a superb voice – in them days, autotune was just a dream. They gathered no interest from the labels and the project petered out. Harriet went on to great success with Russ, composing for Tina Turner amongst others. Below a few assorted images from the recordings.

      late nights remaster

 

I got a new toy (OEO)

After a looong period of restraint, I bought this today for a reasonable £170. It’s an Ibanez S470. Will have to refresh my double-locking bridge skills! I still love my long-term Strat, but felt this might suit my rock covers band a bit better.

Farewell to Rare & Racy

Yesterday, I got together with Martin Archer & Mick Beck to play some live music as a mark of respect for the imminent closure of  Rare & Racy – a gem of a book & record shop in central Sheffield, being compulsorily closed & demolished (along with the block) to make way for a commercial development.

I’ve been shopping there in the mid 70s (well, browsing and listening mostly) and have lost count of the times I’ve asked “what’s that you’re playing it’s great”! People have traveled to Sheffield from far and wide on the reputation of the shop. Whilst most Cities would be delighted to boast such an amazing attraction, Sheffield Council are happy to kiss it goodbye, to join the pantheon of old buildings lost to us. We will be so much the poorer for the loss of it

Thanks to Allen Capes & the staff for changing so many people’s lives for the better…

And here’s a rough & Ready mash-up video of the day….

midi footpedal code

WordPress won’t let me easily include code in comments, so I’ve posted it as a page. This code is used to control my Echoplex Digital Pro by sending specific midi CC messages, but these can easily be adapted to send other messages, PC, CC etc. Although it works, it’s nowhere near finished and there’s probably a much better way of doing the same thing. I’m also running out of arduino pins, so multiplexing will be required to add more buttons or leds. The learning curve never seems to flatten out ;(

#include <MIDI.h>
#include <Button.h>

// Constants

#define recLED 15
#define ovrLED 14
#define multLED 18
#define halfLED 16
#define revLED 17
#define BOUNCEDELAY1 100
#define BOUNCEDELAY2 20

Button RECbutton = Button(2,PULLUP);
Button OVRbutton = Button(3,PULLUP);
Button MULTbutton = Button(4,PULLUP);
Button UNDObutton = Button(5,PULLUP);
Button INSbutton = Button(6,PULLUP);
Button NEXTbutton = Button(7,PULLUP);
Button HALFbutton = Button(8,PULLUP);
Button REVbutton = Button(9,PULLUP);

// Variables:
int recLEDstatus = 0;
int ovrLEDstatus = 0;
int multLEDstatus = 0;
int halfLEDstatus = 0;
int revLEDstatus = 0;

void setup()
{
MIDI.begin(1);
//start serial with midi baudrate 31250 or 38400 for debugging
Serial.begin(31250);
Serial.flush();

// Setup Switches and activation LEDs
}
void loop()
{

// RECORD

if(RECbutton.isPressed())
{
MIDI.sendNoteOn(38,127,1);  // record on
delay(BOUNCEDELAY2);
do {
delay(BOUNCEDELAY2);
}
while( RECbutton.isPressed() );
MIDI.sendNoteOn(38,0,1);  //  off
if (recLEDstatus == 0 )
{
analogWrite(recLED, 255);
recLEDstatus = 1;
delay(BOUNCEDELAY1);
}
else
{
analogWrite(recLED, 0);
recLEDstatus = 0;
}
}

// OVERDUB

if(OVRbutton.isPressed())
{
MIDI.sendNoteOn(39,127,1);  //  on
delay(BOUNCEDELAY2);
do {
delay(BOUNCEDELAY2);
}
while( OVRbutton.isPressed() );
MIDI.sendNoteOn(39,0,1);  //  off

if (ovrLEDstatus == 0 )
{
analogWrite(ovrLED, 255);
ovrLEDstatus = 1;
delay(BOUNCEDELAY1);
}
else
{
analogWrite(ovrLED, 0);
ovrLEDstatus = 0;
}

}

// MULTIPLY

if(MULTbutton.isPressed())
{
MIDI.sendNoteOn(40,127,1);  //  on
delay(BOUNCEDELAY2);
do {
delay(BOUNCEDELAY2);
}
while( MULTbutton.isPressed() );
MIDI.sendNoteOn(40,0,1);  //  off
if (multLEDstatus == 0 )
{
analogWrite(multLED, 255);
multLEDstatus = 1;
delay(BOUNCEDELAY1);
}
else
{
analogWrite(multLED, 0);
multLEDstatus = 0;
}
}

// UNDO

if(UNDObutton.isPressed())
{
MIDI.sendNoteOn(43,127,1);  //  on
delay(BOUNCEDELAY2);
do {
delay(BOUNCEDELAY2);
}
while( UNDObutton.isPressed() );
MIDI.sendNoteOn(43,0,1);  //  off
}

// INS

if(INSbutton.isPressed())
{
MIDI.sendNoteOn(38,127,1);  //  on
delay(BOUNCEDELAY2);
do {
delay(BOUNCEDELAY2);
}
while( INSbutton.isPressed() );
MIDI.sendNoteOn(38,0,1);  //  off
}

// NEXT

if(NEXTbutton.isPressed())
{
MIDI.sendNoteOn(44,127,1);  //  on
delay(BOUNCEDELAY2);
do {
delay(BOUNCEDELAY2);
}
while( NEXTbutton.isPressed() );
MIDI.sendNoteOn(44,0,1);  //  off
}

// HALF

if(HALFbutton.isPressed())
{
MIDI.sendNoteOn(48,127,1);  //  on
delay(BOUNCEDELAY2);
do {
delay(BOUNCEDELAY2);
}
while( HALFbutton.isPressed() );
MIDI.sendNoteOn(48,0,1);  //  off
if (halfLEDstatus == 0 )
{
analogWrite(halfLED, 255);
halfLEDstatus = 1;
delay(BOUNCEDELAY1);
}
else
{
analogWrite(halfLED, 0);
halfLEDstatus = 0;
}
}

// REV

if(REVbutton.isPressed())
{
MIDI.sendNoteOn(49,127,1);  // record on
delay(BOUNCEDELAY2);
do {
delay(BOUNCEDELAY2);
}
while( REVbutton.isPressed() );
MIDI.sendNoteOn(49,0,1);  //  off
if (revLEDstatus == 0 )
{
analogWrite(revLED, 255);
revLEDstatus = 1;
delay(BOUNCEDELAY1);
}
else
{
analogWrite(revLED, 0);
revLEDstatus = 0;
}
}
}