Posts by :
For many instruments, the dreaded metronome is something you absolutely MUST make friends with. Finding one that handles all your needs can be tricky, especially for free.
NCH TempoPerfect Metronome is available for Windows, iOS and Android
As you can see, it allows you to set tempo freely, but more importantly allows you to chose subdivisions, making hearing 8th notes and 16th notes or even triplets a breeze.
I strongly, and can’t stress strongly enough, encourage my students to make frequent and intimate use of metronomes. Usually starting at a very slow speed and then going up two Beats Per Minute once they can play a part right twice in a row. If it starts getting ugly, go down 1 BPM at a time until it is comfortable again.
Learn it slow and perfect, and just go up slowly, 2 BPM at a time, and before you know it, you are FLYING. I like to say “you just put in the time, the metronome will do all the work”. Speed is almost always easily reduced to spending time with the metronome, so have at it, this one is great! I’m still looking for a decent one for OSX
If you play any sort of steel stringed instrument in Hawaii, changing strings is a constant nightmare. I’ve lucked out with Elixirs, but getting them locally can be tricky. I went out looking at tests of brands we can find at most shops here and came across this video by Ryan Bruce
FYI Coconut Grove music store in Kailua carries the cleartones last I checked – (808) 262-9977
Recently I wrote a post about mounting a pair of PZMs in the big room at KMS. They worked well, but the bass response just want quite would it could be. Opening them up I saw a capsule of questionable origin run thru a transformer of very dubious quality.
A google search revealed this schematic which allowed me to ditch the transformer and change some things around.
After a trip to Radio Shack I came back with a handful of capacitors, some zeener diodes and this capsule
I got out a breadboard, my soldering iron, glue gun, wire strippers, basically the regular gang of friends and went to work
So here’s the workspace ready to go
Soldering iron is on and heating up and I’ve placed the first capacitor in the breadboard
Here goes, inserting the rest of the caps, resistors, zeener diode and the leads for the mic element. I tried to lay this out in the most compact space I could
Now I’ve inserted the mic element and attached the mic cable for testing
Yay! It works, and no smoke when I hit the phantom power switch!
Time to gut the old PZM’s innards.
I chopped up the breadboard with some side cutters and made the circuit board as small as I could.
I got out the hot glue gun and cut the old foam to fit the new, larger capsule
Stick everything in the case, screw it together to look for shorts, flip the phantom power back on, test again and its ready to go!
And now its back where it belongs
“But, what was the point of all this?” You ask, in extreme aggravation waiting for all the photos to load
Well, see (or hear) for yourself:
First the unmodded PZM
And now the modded PZM
Listen for yourself. The modded PZM has WAY more bass response, more gain and less noise. Win win win all around!