Sunday, January 17, 2010

new toys

Managed to bag a new Novation Nio 2/4 USB soundcard on Ebay and saved myself about £45 on shop prices. Not a dealer, just someone who had an unused one for some reason. OK you chance it going faulty and having no guarantee but it does come with a manufacturers one. I don't usually bother with them because buying locally, the seller usually honours the guarantee if you have the receipt. Electronics are pretty reliable these days so you are usually safe. Having said that, the Line 6 Backtrack recorder worked for a week then stopped. There's nothing mechanical in it except a couple of switches so you'd think you were safe with that. I rang the shop where I bought it, they are out of them. They said they'd have one by the end of the week - nope. So buying locally, in a regular shop, doesn't necessarily make things any easier.

So what about the Nio. I spent all afternoon playing with it (and made my eyes hurt for the rest of the day). It's looking promising. There's no printed manual but you get one on disc. You get two pieces of software to complement it. Ableton Lite recording software. Quite a steep learning curve but there's a good interactive tutorial, which is worth working through as it tells you how to configure it to work properly with your PC. This is important if you are buying it for the same reasons as me - latency problems. You also get software that gives you a virtual effects rack. This is cool and easy to use. You can select various amp types and effects components which are all adjustable like the real thing. Or you can just use the Nio as it is with a pair of headphones and your own pedals and instruments.

I spent most of my spare time this week making a wooden case for a CBG. Just wanted a lo-fi, rat rod type of thing to carry one guitar, but it had to look cool (of course). I'm pleased to say it has turned out great. I'll tell you more later but just leave you with a couple of photos for now.

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