Sunday, April 4, 2010

Materials Welding Class

Last week I've got a hands on experience in welding, which I must say is not like what I expected. It's not that easy, requires years of training to get the best welding job and the equipment is not expensive stuff. I always thought that I could weld very well, although a bit ironic I must say since my soldering skills really sucks.

The workshop guy explaining to us about the science of welding:













Ha ha master welder Ariff is in town.




The mask uses some sort of polarizing filter, which cuts off probably 80% of the light.


A video of the welding process.
video

There are also other welding types other than electrical, like this one, oxyacetylene welding.





I cannot remember what this type of welding is called, but can be use for quick adhesion.




Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hard Work Paying Off

So after almost 2 months going to the gym, I can finally see some results. No I don't meant that I'm skinny of buffed up yet, but at least I'm stronger and faster this time. All those time spent of threadmills and cycling machine made my legs stronger. Hitting the weights made my muscles bigger, I can actually do a pullup now.

But my belly is still there, so I'm not gonna pose for a before/after shot yet. But I'm definitely gonna continue going to the gym until I am finally satisfied with myself. But I have to admit, it is quite costly. Although I am fully sponsored by my mom for club fees, I've developed other bad financial habits over there. For example, after every session I would almost always head over to McDonalds downstairs to indulge myself. I felt like I should reward myself for working out. Not to mention the expensive parking at Subang Parade. Maybe I should start Parking at Carrefour instead?

So the next time ur gonna see me, u'll be surprised. To the guys, I'm gonna make all ur girlfriends ditch u for me. To the girls, this time ur not gonna be rejecting me.

Monday, March 1, 2010

My Pedalboard

One of the most important things to a guitarist is sound. Of course, that's the whole point right, to produce sound so you can get the rythm? If you have a shrieking tone, or a muddy tone, it could just turn people off. That's why it's very important to achieve a tone which is favorable to you and the audience. And one of the best ways for you to achieve that is by using effect pedals. Effect pedals has a very wide range from overdrive and distortion to delay and pitch shifters. Brands like Boss, MXR and Digitech gives players excellent pedals and has been used by many famous artists. Of course, there are other ways of getting that sound you want, you could just use the overdrive on your amplifier. But to produce top notch sound from an amp, you'll need a top notch amp to do that, and would probably cost you thousands of ringgit. Plus if you have an effect pedal you could just bring it anywhere, no matter what kind of guitar or amp you're using, you could always get that sound you are so familiar with.




So this is my pedalboard. It took me more than a year to get it like this. Mostly I used my allowance money from my scholarship to buy stuffs. Well what else am I supposed to do with that money, sleep on it? I don't have to pay rents and fees so it shouldn't be a problem. Don't worry I have plenty left, just used a small portion of it.

The most basic pedalboard consists of a overdrive/distortion, delay and some other modulation. Mine of course, is much more complex than that. I have a wah pedal, tuner, pitch shifter, overdrive, distortion, equalizer, flanger, delay, noise gate and a volume pedal. I plan to get a compressor later on, to fill it up in that empty space over there. I realized a compressor is quite important when you're strumming with a clean sound, especially when I'm in Dr. Herbert's band, which plays mostly 60's songs.






Behringer Hellbabe Wah HB01

I'm not much a wah pedal user, but I do need it sometimes, especially when I'm playing Voodoo Child by Jimi Hendrix. And this is the most cheapest wah pedal in the market, but it is definitely not a lousy stuff. Even though it's Behringer, it's tougher than you think. I can just step on this all day and it would hold great. It's a nice luxury item, definitely not necessary, but nice to have. It's cheap anyways, doesn't really bother me that much. Also comes with a bypass jack so it doesn't affect my tone when I'm not using it.

Bought for: RM100 used from a mudah.com.my advertiser
Would probably sell for: RM120, heh heh I want a bit of profit.




Korg Pitchblack Tuner
This is the second latest addition to my pedalboard. I bought it because I couldn't use one of those headstock tuners while jamming with Dr Herbert. His bass made it impossible for the tuner to detect vibration coming from the guitar alone so I need a tuner in my pedalchain. This one caught my eye the most. It's cool, it's popular and it's black, just like my guitar. Not to forget the colorful colorful dancing lights moving while I tune the guitar. And the bright LCD displaying the note which can be seen from far away. But it was expensive, and I immediately had remorse after buying it. I wanted it so much so I couldn't think straight. Oh well, still a necessity. Keeping in tune is very important.

Bought for: RM240 new from Music Master Studio
Would probably sell for: RM200,as long as the screen is not scratched.




Behringer Ultra Shifter/Harmonist US600

This is definitely something very important for me and I used it a lot. I like to play Malmsteen songs, unfortunately it uses half step down tuning. In order for me to change tuning on my guitar, you need different set of strings and also would take a long time to tune it. I also need it to for standard tunings and also one step down tunings for metal. So this is the best solution to that problem. It can achieve tuning up to 2 octaves down and up. Of course it wouldn't sound nice, but it's good for the harmonist function. I admit that it does eat up a bit of your tone, but I normally use a front end booster to regain that tone. I waited to have this for 4 months, finally able to get it from engbok when the product arrived in Malaysia. Definitely a necessity, did not regret buying. Might switch to Digitech Whammy in the future, but then no space in my pedalboard.

Bought for: RM180 new from Engbok MMO
Would probably sell for: RM150, it's actually RM210 new on the market.




Digitech Bad Monkey
This is definitely an awesome overdrive pedal. The sound is very sweet, and it has a very tube like sound. I say it's better than the TS808, much better and more controls. But I normally use it to boost my distortion, primarily with my microcube on the lead stack function. It is extremely heavy, heavier than a boss and solid as a tank. Might be bullet proof, it is the toughest pedal I have. A great buy, somewhat necessary but I definitely enjoyed it.

Bought for: RM200 new from Bentley Music Mutiara Damansara
Would probably sell for: RM130, this is the cheapest price I've encountered




Boss OD20 Overdrive Zone

This is the latest addition on my pedalboard. It is the centerpiece on my pedalboard, the biggest, most powerful and most important piece of equipment on it. It is where all my tone is generated. It comes with pedal modulations that I longed for, TS808, DS1, MT2, Dist+ and Metal. I wanted it so badly, I ordered it from Deadeye and waited 3 weeks for it to arrive. Unfortunately he messed up on the price, found out it is actually almost twice the price. I needed to find a replacement soon and I got it while surfing through Jamtank. Just got it yesterday, so I haven't been able to use it to its full potential. But so far I like it a lot.

Bought for: RM500 used(9/10) from Jimmy (Jamtank)
Would probably sell for: RM450, standard used price for this item.




Artec Graphic Equalizer SE-EQ8

An equalizer is definitely an important addition to a pedalboard. Fortunately I got this for cheap. I needed something to replace my Behringer EQ700 since it crapped out on me but Boss GE7 is too expensive. My first option was a Danelectro Fish and Chips but you can't get that here. Good thing I found this on mudah. It has a true bypass circuit and 8 band (1 more than GE7). A good buy, and cheap. Less noisier than GE7.

Bought for: RM120 from Mohd Zaid Othman (Mudah.my)
Would probablys sell for: RM150, that is the advertised price of this eq



Danelectro FAB Flanger
I don't use flanger a lot, but it is the best modulation to be used with distortion. Lot of metal artists uses flanger, from Iron Maiden to Wintersun. And this was cheap, and incredibly solid for a plastic case. I was shocked to find out it was plastic when I opened the battery compartment, as I thought it was made of metal. Nice buy, wouldn't opt for any other flanger.

Bought for: RM55 used from Joshua Chin
Would probably sell for: RM60, he advertised it for RM65



Behringer Digital Delay/Reverb DR400

I always wanted a delay, and reverb. But have no money to but both. The best way is to combine it both in a same pedal. Boss has a RV3, but that has been discontinued. So I bought the clone instead. I've been eyeing this for 4 months and when I got it, I was so happy. This is a brilliant pedal, definitely worth my money. It can do everything Boss DD3 and RV5 does, maybe more. And it saved a lot of space on my pedalboard, and also saved some money in my bank account.

Bought for: RM200 new from Music Master Studio
Would probably sell for: RM150, still cheap



Beta Aivin Noise Gate NG100

After passing through shitloads of pedal, the noise generated is insane. That's why it's important for me to have a noise gate. This thing is brilliant, it doesn't suck tone and performs it's job very well. Much better than Boss NG1 and NS2. It has a metal casing so it's rock solid. Also one of my first pedals. Served me very well, don't regret buying it.

Bought for: RM100 used from Music Master Studio
Would probably sell for: RM100, same price even after years of usage




Boss Volume Pedal FV50

A volume pedal is very important while gigging. And this is the best option that came to me.Not much to say, it's just a foot pedal with a potentiometer. I love this thing,it really served me well.

Bought for: RM200 opened box from othniel (Jamtank)
Would probably sell for: RM150, standard used price for this model




Godlyke Power Supply kit
This was an impulse buy. I somewhat regretted it, but now realized I need it. With all my pedals, I need something powerful to light it up and this is the best. I used to use a Zoom PSU that supplies only 300mA, compare to this that supplies 2000mA, more than 6 times than the Zoom. It comes in a kit consisting of various converters and extenders. Quite expensive, but cheaper and better than 1Spot.

Bought for: RM150 new from Music Master Studio
Would probably sell for: RM90



CNB Large Pedalcase

I used to have a medium one, but sold that to make way for this one. One thing about this CNB Pedalcase is that their extremely heavy, well that's why I'm going to the gym right? But ofcourse it's reliable and cheap. And this thing is much better than the crappy pedalboard I built myself. A good buy, satisfied with it.

Bought for: RM150 used from En Zulhusni (Jamtank)
Would probably sell for: RM130, quite cheap don't you think

Total spendature on my pedals: RM2195

Shit that cost more than a GT10, owh well I didn't spend it all in one shot. But it's an investment. I may not gig as much as I'm supposed to, but this is what I love, and this is what I'm going to do for the rest of my life. I will never stop playing music, worst case scenario is I'm a bedroom shredder.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Celebrity Fitness

So it's been a month since I joined Celebrity Fitness, Subang Parade. The reason why I joined this particular gym is because of its location. I've tried the 2 weeks trial at True Fitness, USJ and what bother's me the most is the time taken to reach there from my home, which is approximately 45 minutes, not counting the heavy traffic jam going towards USJ which usually occurs everyday at peak hours. This Celebrity Fitness is located in between my house and Monash, therefore I found it the most suitable gym for me, plus it's at Subang Parade, currently my favorite shopping mall.

But I must say this gym is not the best. The treadmills are jerky at times and not equipped with tv screens, the machines have torn fabrics at the seats , and most of all the toilet door is rotting, so it's just disgusting. But there are upside to it, the staff are very friendly, you get free towels, and the gym are filled with people like me, fat but trying to get rid of it. Not like True Fitness, you only see really fit and buff peole, which actually brings you down, because you know you are such a loser compared to them.

Here are some pictures of Celebrity Fitness Subang Parade:

A view of the cardio machines from the cycling machine




The spin class


Weights ranging from 10 lbs to 250 lbs




The muscle training machines




The bigass window which can be seen from the road down below




Don't worry I'll post pictures of myself before and after joining the gym when I got myself into shape.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My new guitar

It's been such a long time since I last blogged. I guess I've just lost interest. No one's even visit this page anyway. But now I really have something to blog about. A new guitar. And it's damn nice too. Unfortunately I have to let go two of my other precious electric guitars to get this one ( So long Jackson Rhoads and Squier Strat, I'll miss you ).

This here is an IBANEZ RGR321EX. It has a basswood body, maple neck, rosewood fretboard, EMG designed pickups, and a fixed bridge.





Why did I choose this guitar? At first I wanted something with a radical shape like a BC Rich Warlock or Jackson Kelly. But years playing the Jackson Rhoads made me dislike all this fancy guitars with pointy shapes. It's just hard to place it on your leg when practicing. Sure it might be great when playing in a live metal show, but I just decided that I like the Strat shape, and opted to go for an Ibanez.

Then there's the choice of picking which Ibanez, there's so many option. RG350,PGM,RG470,etc... I chose the guitar based on 3 criteria:

1) Must have reverse headstock ( I just love reverse headstock, it grew unto me when I had the Jackson)

2) Must be black (Need something for metal)

3) Must have body binding (Without it the guitar will look very plain)

4) Fixed bridge (Gotten sick with tuning problems on a Floyd Rose)

At first I was tempted to get Ibanez RGR08LTD, it has a different but metal designed dot inlays and Seymour Duncan Blackout on the Bridge pickup. But it only has 1 pickup, which looks weird, so I didn't like it. Plus with the usual dot inlays, it's easy to see which note you are pressing, great for teaching.



Wonderful bolt on neck, easy to find replacement.



Made in Indonesia, surprisingly very good quality. I've done shitloads of homework before getting this guitar, and I have never heard a problem from this guitar.

I also bought an Ibanez hardcase from gapnap. It's damn good quality, normally an Ibanez case would cost more than RM600, this is half the price. At first I was thinking of purchasing a GATOR hardcase, but this one caught my attention.











Will post a video of the guitar in action later.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My visit to the church and temple

The title might surprise you. Why on earth would I want to visit a church and temple? Am I converting to another religion? Is that why. No is the answer. It is all part of trying to understand another religion, so that I can truly understand my own religion. I went there under the Friendly Comparative Religion (FCR) program held by the Islamic Information & Services (IIS).

During our school days the non-muslims were introduced to the Islamic world during our history classes. There they learned about us, but we never really learned about them. So this is kinda like returning the favor, but not just because of that. I wanted to learn more about other religions, why is it that they do what they do and why they believe in it.

We went to visit the church of St. Thomas in Sentul, where they practice the Orthodox doctrine of Mar Thoma. Amin picked me up at Monash University and we arrived quite early so we decided to have a light breakfast. We came back at around 9.15 am in time for the Bible Studies. I can't remember which verse in the Bible the father was talking about but from just one verse, he was able to elaborate it until it took almost 45 minutes. By that time the church was filled with people and the mass was about to begin.

One thing I have to note is before entering the church, I was filled with hatred and contempt and I wanted to question the christians everything about their faith. But the moment I sat at the church, I saw the father prieching to his disciples, I saw the christians so devoted to their religion, my mind suddenly changed. I stopped looking at it Islam or Christianity. I started looking at it as devotion to God.

So the mass was filled with all kinds of ritual, the weirdest I've seen is the use of incense and the candles, looks like a Jewish ritual. This is an Orthodox church, where they're rituals follows similarly to the Catholic church ( Though I was misinformed it's going to be an Anglican Protestant church). It lasted quite long, almost 2 hours. Even Bro Shah Kirit said that it is very long, he expected it to be only an hour. Having said that, it disrupted the plan and we had to make some arrangements. The Q&A sessions was cut very short so we couldn't ask much. So we left for the temple at around 12.



The temple we went to is a Sri Lankan temple of the Theravada Buddhist sect. They're beliefs is quite different from the chinese beliefs. They don't believe in all the gods and praying to ancestors. It's Buddhism to the purest. We were greeted by Mr. Tan and a couple of Sinhalese Monks. Then we were given lunch inside their main hall, it was supposed to be very simple vegetarian lunch until the KFC shows up. Yeah they probably know we malays are suckers for KFC. But even the veggie food was delicious, they have dishes originating from Sri Lanka. So after lunch we we're brought around to visit the temple. We were shown the Buddha statue, the Boddhi shrine, and among many other things. It was very interesting, until the questions start to come out, which destroys the time planning. But Mr. Tan was very patient, he doesn't get angry when we ask all our questions, even ones which was designed to test his faith.

After the tour is finished we went back to the hall for a Q&A sessions. Mr. Tan was probably the most impressive non-believer I've ever seen. He knows about other religion and he really have faith in his own. Even when the questions was getting very offensive, he kept a smile on his face and he explains it in a way that everyone could understand. Bro Shah said that if he were to revert to Islam, he would become a huge asset to Islam. I mean, everyone was amazed by him, for his knowledge and for his his patience. He is doing what Islam is telling him to do, 'berpesan dengan kebenaran, dan berpesan dengan kesabaran'.



The trip to other religious sites was an invaluable experience. Without this FCR I don't think I would have ever thought of going there. But now I want to expand my horizon, to free my mind and become closer to Allah because of it.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Exam dh habis!!

Exam is over people. Freedom is now here. Wow i don't remember when I've felt this relieved. My blood is rushing from excitement.

Wow, this semester has been quite a challenge. And nothing gives me more challenge than electricals. Surprisingly I managed to do fine for the exams. Structures was fucking shit. Fucking hard as hell. I cannot believe they actually come out with that. Too much calculation, not enough time. Computing was alright I guess. Good thing I did that hand calculation exercise.

I think I wanna go for jamming, release some tension. Going to jam with Dr. Herbert tomorrow, play some oldies. Then maybe jam with Faiz, play some metalcore.