How I broke my bass amp trying to fix it – Weekly Update 2

TRANSCRIPT:

So, the last update? Big success. We had a deluge of new subscribers. Seven flooded in. And that might not sound like much, but let me tell you: it’s an 800 percent increase.

I’ve had a couple of gigs this week. Neither of them was my gig – I was freelancing, working for another band, and I’m going to talk a bit about that in the future. Unfortunately I don’t have video to share from either of those gigs today. The first one I intended to record, but this is me getting home to find the camera on the kitchen table that I had lovingly prepared before I left, and so it didn’t happen. The second one I have recorded, but timelines are a little bit tight to get that edited ready for this update, so maybe I’ll show you some of that in the future.

So our music today comes from January, back in between lockdowns when we were able to play again for a little while, and we did this wedding for Melia in Burnley Gardens with Craig and Gianni. So, I hope you enjoy a little bit of that.

Sad to report, I did have a technical failure this week. I’ve got this lovely little bass amp made by a company called Acoustic Image, and I use it on just little gigs where it’s very compact, and where I don’t have to set up PA, and it’s always been great, made a fantastic sound, but it’s got this horrible buzz on a low D, and it had reached the point where I just really couldn’t put up with it. I wasn’t using this pretty expensive amp, because it just annoyed the hell out of me every time I hit that note.

So I’ve tried in the past just tightening up the screws and trying to do the obvious things, but I thought today’s the day, I’m going to pull this thing apart, and I’m going to get it sorted out. And I thought, well maybe the problem is in the electronics. There might be something in there rattling around, so I set about taking off the front and the back panel, so that I could get in there and hopefully test and find out what was going on. Unfortunately, in the process of taking the front and the back panel apart, I unplugged a little ribbon cable, which connected the the two halves of the electronics together, and you can see that happening right here. That would have been fine, except that the ribbon cable had maybe ten holes in it, and the socket that it plugged into had only six pins, so there was like three or four different possible positions it could have gone back in.

Now obviously, the sensible thing to do would have been to stop at that point, have a cup of tea and a think about it, and maybe contact the manufacturer to see if I could figure out how this plug was supposed to go back into that socket. Sad to report, I didn’t do that, and what I did instead was a bit of trial and error. Long story short, I now have an amp that’s dead in the water, and I’m going to have to take that in and get it professionally repaired.

It’s not a critical problem, because I don’t use that amp all that often, but disappointing, I’d have to say.

I did have one little bit of technical success though this week, and that was in making this holder that I put on my bike to put my baritone on. I play this little baritone on some of these freelance gigs — I’ll talk more about that — but I had no way of carrying it on the bike without towing a trailer behind, which I had been doing, but it was kind of overkill, so I thought I’ll make a little shelf to go on the side, and it locks nicely onto the rack and stays where it’s supposed to, so it’s always good to have a little win, especially when you’ve had a bit of a loss.

No gigs on at the weekend, so Mel and I took the opportunity on Sunday to catch the ferry from here in Geelong into Melbourne and take our bikes and have a bit of a ride around. We went down to St Kilda and there was a market on there which was good, had some nice food. There was a big car show on, which is not particularly my scene, but it was really interesting to see all those people out and about again in big crowds, and it gives you a little bit of hope that things are going to get back to normal maybe sooner rather than later. Obviously we’ve had a lot of restrictions lifted this week in Melbourne, and so certainly for us as musicians, that’s a really positive sign.

I’m going to leave this video here. I’ve got a couple of gigs coming up next week, so hopefully we’ll get some nice fresh music onto the channel coming out of that — hopefully I’ll remember to take all my recording gear this time. I’m going to leave this here. Thanks for joining me again, and be great to see you again next week.

YouTube Relaunch!

I’ve been working behind the scenes getting a new website ready to launch, and starting to dip my toes more into social media (I could only hold out for so long, as it turns out).

I’m starting a series of weekly update videos on YouTube, which will share a bit more about what we’re doing, in a friendly format with some music from recent gigs. They’ll be short and sweet and I’ll try not to waffle any more than absolutely necessary.

Don’t forget to like and subscribe, as the kids say!

TRANSCRIPT:

Welcome to the Mood Merchants YouTube Channel, and this is the first of what I hope is going to be a whole series of weekly updates that I’m going to start creating.

My name’s Dan, and I’m the person who runs this business. I wanted to use this channel a bit more of a social media feed, and a source of information and news and updates and so forth, about what’s happening with the band, but maybe a little bit about what’s happening with me as well.

In the past I’ve used this channel as basically a video host, for music videos, so I’d make music videos when we were on gigs and then I’d post them onto the website so that people can look and check out what we’re doing, and that’s all worked pretty well, but at this point, I’m getting ready to relaunch the website, and I’m trying to get the business going again after Covid, basically.

So as a part of that, I’m trying to get a bit more social media happening, and YouTube’s a medium that I feel reasonably comfortable with, so I’m starting with that, and I’m going to have to expand into some other socials later on. I’ve sort of resisted that up until now. I’ve relied on my website, which is ten years old, and it’s doing its job okay, but the online world, as you might be aware, has changed a bit since then, and I’m going to need to change with it.

So I’ll be using the YouTube channel a bit differently from this point forward. I’m going to be trying to post every week, just about what we’ve been doing, a bit about what I’ve been doing, both within Mood Merchants and within freelance stuff, which I’ll talk about a bit later on.

In this last week, we’ve had our first gig back again since lockdown’s lifted. That was a wedding for Natalie and Anthony, and that’s the music that you’re listening to now. It was in a venue Metropolis, which is at the top of Southbank looking out over the city. Nice venue, nice people, and Dave and Craig and myself setup there. We did just an hour of music this time, for pre-dinner drinks, and then the DJ took over, which is not unusual for us. We do quite often play, obviously, the whole wedding reception, but it’s pretty common also that we just come in and do an hour like we did last Friday night, and then they have other music organised for later on. So for us, this was a pretty relaxed way to get back into doing things again after a pretty long break this time around.

So we’re going to get more bookings, obviously, going forward, there are certainly some in the diary already and hopefully they’ll keep building up over time, and I’ll be sharing more footage from them, and keep you updated on what we’re doing.

I’m also working on a website redesign. That’s working pretty well, it’s a bit of a tedious job for me, I’ve got to admit, but it’s getting there and it’s looking pretty good and I’m happy with how it’s going. A few slightly different concepts from the way that I’ve used it in the past. So that’s going to take me maybe another month or so, I’m guessing, to get ready, and then I’ll be sharing that with everybody.

So that’s it for this update. Thanks if you’ve made it this far, and maybe I’ll see you again next time.