Timothy Bulaon is a guitar gear hoarder who's current home church is LifeCC located in Maidstone, Victoria, Australia. There he is lead guitarist for the Highpoint campus and forms part of the leadership for the worship team.
Playing For Worship 101: Learning when NOT to play.
So here is a concept that most of us struggle to come to terms with. Knowing when to not play. Not playing anything is just as important as playing everything.
We want to take the congregation on a journey. We want them to really worship and go hard at it but then scale it back down so they can have really spirit lead, intimate moment. The way we do that is by observing musical dynamics and making sure we listen to the band and only play what is needed.
Remember ask yourself. Do you really need to play that solo during the verse when the keyboardist is laying down some fat pads and the acoustic is chugging away? By leaving space and not playing you are essentially going to lay down the foundations and help take worship to the next level by adding your layer when its needed.
Don’t get me? Take for example: you have a really mellow verse with just bass, pads and acoustic with the drums laying down a nice beat. If you add your part during this verse, where are you going to take the congregation if you’ve already given them 100%? You’ve hit the ceiling. There’s no where else to go. If you take yourself out of the equation, you can really drive the song in the chorus and push the song to the 100% and bring it back down.
Just remember these tips when learning when not to play
1. Pay attention to the dynamics of the band. Are they driving the song? Have they brought it down for the verse? Has the worship leader signalled for the acoustic only?
2. Listen to the band. Listen to what your fellow band mates are playing. If the dynamics have been brought down and it’s only the acoustic playing, do you think it’s necessary to rip out a sick 1/8. delay riff? Probably not. Which brings me to
3. Play only whats needed. Sometimes, you just don’t need to play at all rather then ripping out that sick 1/8. delay riff
It’s been a good while since I’ve updated this Tumblr. In the past few weeks I’ve decided to still do the gear thang but move towards more practical worship team stuff. Keep posted! I plan on at least doing a Monday Devo and a Wednesday Theory and a post Sunday worship workshop. Got plans to do a fortnightly video on Youtube. Very exciting stuff! So keep your eyes posted on my Tumblr and spread the word guys!
Whip out the soldering iron!: Ruby Practice Amp Build
My little ZT Lunchbox packs a heavy punch. So much so that I can’t crank it past 1/4 of the way without my family alerting me to the noise.
The solution? Salvage my old guitar amp and build a Ruby Amp.
The ZT Lunchbox is awesome! So awesome in fact that it’s hard to get a good tone out of it without waking up half the neighbourhood. The Ruby Amp designed by runoffgrove.com (the Ruby amp located here) is a 1/2 watt amplifier. It’s low part count and easy to follow schematic makes it an ideal first build for budding DIY’ers and is relatively cheap to make. That is if you keep it on the prototype phase. Being a 1/2 watt amp, don’t expect to take it to gigs or band practices but for solo bedroom jams it’s more then efficient.
Most people will house the complete build in an enclosure, some people replace their old amp’s PCB with this one. Crazy people make amps out of crazy things. I ripped apart my old amplifier to get to the potentiometers inside and I ended up with a small 6.5” speaker in an amp enclosure. So I decided to create the cutest stack amplifier ever!
The stack amp stands at about half a metre and at it’s loudest, its probably the same level as a casual conversation.
Why haven’t I painted the front?
Simply put. I’m not finished. I’ve still gotta add a tone control (not in the original schem) add a footswitchable bazz fuzz, add a switch to go from normal ruby to bassman clone and finally add a tube pre-amp. Yes. A real 12AX7 tube. Keep your eyes on this post as it becomes updated.
When I was about 15 I the track “Plug In Baby” by Muse and wondered how the hell Matt Belamy achieved that high pitched squealing. At the same time I had this Muse obsession and was totally in awe of the whole band. Needless to say, Matt Belamy and Chris Wolstenholme were the reason why I started to practice 6 hours a day on bass and start researching and lusting over effect pedals.
Stock DS-1 sounds rather tinny and empty. To top it off, it doesn’t sound rather natural at all. As you know, distortion pedals are made to emulate an amplifiers speaker being overloaded. With the DS-1, you get this harsh, shrill sounding thing that’s rather fake.
A Quick internet search lead me to a few solutions.
- Buy a kit from Monte Allums
- Replicate a certain mod that everyone knows
- Find different mods and perform them
Being the cheap ass that I am, I opted to go for the 2nd and 3rd options seeing I already had the parts I needed.
For this I did a Keeley All Seeing and Ultra Mod. To fix the shrills, I socketed the input cap so if I wanted more roll-off, I just have to open the DS-1 up and replace the caps.
That’s all done. And as always, signed and dated. Just in case I decide to sell it/
P.s. Just go to instructable and type in DS-1 mod keeley. It should come up straight away.
There is no strict guidelines when it comes to pedal arrangement. It all comes down to each persons specific tastes. That’s the beauty of pedals. You can build a pedalboard according to your specific needs and tastes. Some people will just whack pedal after pedal with no thought to any layout. However, some of us who need to adhere to a specific guideline can rejoice. In this post, I will outline what pedal goes where, how it sounds, patching them up and powering your electronic monstrosity.
I somehow came into the possession of an Ibanez TS-7 that was in need of some desperate repairs. Liking a good challenge I decided to take the plunge.
The first thing I noticed was the fact that the color of the TS-7 was different to mine. Strange. I flipped the pedal over, peeled off some of the velcro and had a peek at the serial number.
As I suspected. A low serial number. Why is a low serial number important? The lower the serial number, the closer the pedal is to the original date in which the pedal was made. This is why vintage tube screamers can range from affordable (don’t know if $250 is affordable though) to the down right absurd (I’ve seen it go for $500 to $600 tops) no matter what the condition. Seeing the serial number is in the 6 digits, it could be a second or third revision. If my mate is really lucky, he could be holding a first run TS-7.
My mate had informed me that the pedal wouldn’t go into overdrive with the switch down. But bypassing works normally. With those few words, I had already diagnosed the problem. It was a bad switch. If not, I would have to delve deeper into the rabbit hole and try to find the source of the problem. As soon as I got the pedal. I opened it up.
I was right. The switch is absolutely hammered. The Hulk must’ve owned this because the switch has been smashed to smithereens. This is why the pedal wouldn’t go into overdrive. Because the switch is gone, the switch that tells the tube screamer to engage is broken. So the tubescreamer waits for the command, but it’ll never come because there’s no one to tell it to. Next thing to do is to rip out the PCB and start replacing the switch.
Holy hell Batman! There’s 5 PCB’s in that pedal. It sure was a pain in the ass to pull the whole thing out. The T shape PCB is where the switch is located. Below is a picture of the PCB without the switch and the 2 switches below it.
The next picture is the switch in place.
Now. The moment of truth. Was the underlying problem the bum switch? Or will I need to pull out the good ol’ multimeter and audio probe (a guitar effect DIY’ers best friend!) and go poking around?
And yes, it was the switch that was the problem. Next is to convert this baby to a TS-808.
This next part should be shorter then the repair. To convert the TS-7 to a TS-808 we need to replace 2 resistors. If you’re planning on doing this you need 2 resistors. Make sure they’re 1/4, 5% resistance and are CARBON FILM. Not the blue metal films.:
- a 100ohm resistor (reistor code: BROWN, BLACK, BROWN)
- a 10k resistor (resistor code:BROWN, BLACK, ORANGE)
Where do you find R55 and R58? It’s on the output jack PCB. How to find it?
- Flip the pedal over so the back is facing upwards
- Make sure it’s facing the right way e.i. The writing on the back is not upside down.
- Unscrew the back plate.
- Unscrew the main PCB. Be careful not to lose the spring.
- Pull the PCB out. It’s socketed to the Potentiometer PCB but be careful as there are wires that you could pull out.
- The output PCB is located on your right. There are 2 screws. The first one is on the right. See a hole in the output PCB? The last screw is there.
Whip out your screw driver, put it in the hole and twist away.
using the following image as a reference, you need to take out R55 and R58.
See the R58 label? The R58 resistor is located directly underneath. Replace that with 100ohm
Next to R58 is a large round black thing. That’s a capacitor. above that there’s a piece of wire labeled W28. Next to that is R55. The colors on the rings for R55 if you can’t see it are yellow, purple and brown (or is it orange?). Replace R55 with 10k. When it’s done. It should look like this:
Screw back the output jack, the main PCB (make sure you plug the main PCB back in to the potentiometer PCB at the top.) and the back plate in and your done! Before I put the back plate off, I went ahead and wrote some stuff in the back plate. As a boutique pedal and DIY’er I like to know that people have actually had a part in building or modding something. So I wrote down what I did, put a serial number and signed it off.
Just let them know that someone put their time, effort and love into something they’re passionate about :-).
Voila! A TS-808 at half the price. But in my friends case, for free.
Curios as to how the mod stacks up against a stock TS-7? Want to know what it sounds like before you purchase a TS-7? Look no further!
ZT Lunchbox Amp
Squire Tele with Seymour Duncan pick ups.
The TS-7 on the left, next to the amp is the TS-7 with TS-808 mod. Next to it is a stock model.
I’ll let your ears be the judge. I’m impressed. I’m sure you will be too!
PRO TIP! The TS-7 superseded the TS-5. Around the 1990’s Ibanez produced the Soundtank series. These where meant to be a more economical versions of their pedals but with lower build standards and plastic housing. If you can find a TS-5. The TS-5 again is basically a re-housed TS-9 so the same TS-808 conversion can be done on a TS-5.
I take no responsibility what so ever if you attempt this mod and horribly screw it up. The way I wrote it is the way I attempted it. So don’t even try to pin me with this “the instructions are wrong” BS. If you can’t do it. THEN DON’T. Get someone else to do it for you.
I can do the mods and repairs. Just email me for a quote.
I can mod a brand new TS-7 and ship it out to you. I charge $140 for the mod. $60 for the TS-7, $60 for parts and labour and $20 for shipping. A brand new TS-7 from here cost the same amount so what are you waiting for? That $140 isn’t solid. The TS-7 comes from USA to keep the price down and is subject to change.