Adrian Smith Guitarist

Adrian Smith has listed Gary Moore as one of his influences. You can certainly hear Moore eque overtones in some of his work (listen to Wild Frontier by Gary and it does sound a little bit like the co-penned New Frontier) and Adrian Smith guitarist Wasted Years solo has some of the same techniques used in Gary’s “Empty Rooms” track. I’d love to hear them play together, they are two of my favourite all time axemen as you can probably tell from the moniker “the god that is h”.

Having read some articles about Iron Maiden playing the same old songs on countless tours I watched my new Death on the Road DVD for the first time yesterday and yes some of the old tracks are there but I think the sound has changed on some of them. For instance Wrathchild now has all three of the guitarists taking on some of the lead stuff, with Adrian belting out the intro, Davey taking the middle solo and Jan crashing in at the end. I think this has strengthened the song and gives it a new dimension. I know we have all heard The Trooper a thousand times but again the double solo with H and Jan is awesome and worth a few more tours.


Adrian Smith, it’s one of those persons you’d like to meet I guess, he seems to have such a great understading of things. I don’t know how he’s as a person but I’m sure he’s a great guy, you don’t play in a band for so long if you don’t get along with everyone imo.


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Apogee Mic 96k

Works well for me on my 15″ MBP i7. My iPad is old so I don’t use it (96k = lightning cable). Iphone 6 works well but you can only have 1 audio in (i.e. no phone patch) If you do wanna phone patch, it seems to pick up the cell interference from days of you are so that’s no good but how does it sound? It sound awesome! Gain control is a little too swift but it is easy find the right level and for portability the apogee mic 96k is great. It’s easy-going enough that I take it with me most places, and it also comes with a lightning cable. Had no trouble with it, however it was a gift and a little more than I would have liked to pay myself.apogee-mic-96k


Roland TD-30KV

Once again I’m considering options for practicing drums silently (or reasonably silently). I grew up playing an acoustic kit but once I graduated from college and had to live in an apartment for a few years, my days of playing an acoustic kit were limited. I didn’t have the option of renting practice space somewhere so my alternative to taking up a different instrument was to get into electronic drumming.The roland td-30kv kit caught my attention. My goal is to use the Roland for practicing, in place of acoustic drums. The most important thing is that I’m still building appropriate technique and touch for acoustic drums.  The deterrent with the studio/acoustic kit approach is my practice time is limited and I end up wasting a large portion of this in transit. Up to now, none of the electronic kits offered enough dynamic response and timber response such that I was hearing what I was playing and felt I was building transferable sills. (i.e. Instead of learning acoustic drums, it felt I was learning an entirely new instrument, the electronic kit, and not one that spoke the way I want to speak musically.)

Roland TD-30KV

From what I’ve read is that the dynamics have improved over Roland’s last flagship module (TD-20) and it has a totally new sound engine (referred to as Super Natural). Some claim the new sounds are a vast improvement.

I am very pleased with the insight offered by the people that had been using the drum kit for years now.

Roland TD-30KV

Cleaning Service Company

My friend love these guys. It always seems like the initial appointment goes over the top to encourage you to re-book so my friend was a bit skeptical.  But he did again. And then again. And again. The cleaning service company did a first rate job the first time (and my friend is highly critical having done most of his own cleaning for years) and has continued to do that and more. They are professional, fast, friendly and not obtrusive. Even when my friend and his employees are in the office they get the job done.

cleaning services company

My friend’s office was spotless! Sometimes a splurge is worth it, and this one was. Once they are finished my friend and I didn’t even recognize the workplace. We were so caught up in the mess that we forgot what a very clean workplace felt like. It was such a relief! The fog was lifted, and my friend and his employees are more focused, happy, and go about their jobs like they should be. And me and my friend thinks the organization has been great to work with as well. In my friend’s case the cleaning service company reached out the day after my friend’s first cleaning to see how everything went and was easy to reach with any feedback my friend had.  They also call if your cleaner is late. And if your cleaner by chance is ever out they will call to let you know and give you the option to reschedule or use a backup.

cleaning services company

And the cherry on top for my friend is if you like your first cleaner you are able to get him or her every week after.  So you can actually find one you like. And if you are ever given a backup and like them you can designate a default backup too.

My friend is so happy he switched to them and never looking back.

cleaning services company

XLR Adapters

My personal favorite are the daddario xlr adapters. I use it to connect my guitar to the computer through an interface and I am really pleased with the result. I used to just buy the cheapest all-metal adapters, and the ones I have still work fine, but I thought I’d try out this adapter. I like the more modern look, and I have had good luck with Planet Waves gear in the past.

planet waves

Promise Ring For Her

The people of from where I got the ring are superb. You’ll get the most for your money with courtesy and respect. Everyone that I interacted with was professional. They helped me design a classic yet unique a promise ring for her that is absolutely exquisite. My girlfriend was thrilled beyond my expectations when she saw the ring. It’s not just beautiful but it is also top, top quality, GIA certified diamond with a strong 14k gold band. They have many beautiful rings on display, but I sort of had a specific classic design in mind – they can customize too. So the important thing for me was the rock. I needed a great diamond and they helped me find one with patience and insight.

I didn’t pick the most expensive, but they still agreed that it was the one. When I second-guessed myself and said, “You know, I should just get the most expensive one anyway,” they literally told me, “But why, you like that one.” They could have made few hundred dollars more, but they convinced me to stay with the one I actually liked the most. “Don’t worry, this diamond is stunning.” They also assured me that if my girlfriend didn’t like something about the ring to come back and they would help take care of it. But of course, there were no problems. Hopefully I will go back to them for engagement rings and wedding rings.

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Hettich Hinges

My friend designed kitchen cabinets for a client. The hinges for the kitchen are concealed hinges. The design is shaker style with flat panel doors inset with frames on cabinet. His client needed a pantry cabinet with shelving mounted onto back of doors. That meant possibly canned goods and heavy stuff. My friend’s concerns are mostly weight. His experience is that those kind of doors tend to sag even if he use multiple hinges. Meaning that periodically, he will have to go back and adjust them up. But using Hettich hinges solved this issue. He never came back to adjust them again. My friend said that so far they are the best, and very good hinges that he used and installed.

hettich hingeshettich pantryhettich pantry


Recording Mixer

Pretty much all that I’ve read n the ZED R16 has been positive, including the pre amps and the EQ. I’m looking at getting a desk eventually and this recording mixer is of my main choices. I want a desk that will meet all my recording needs. 16 channels should be enough for me. 

I have a friend who’s had a Zed R16 as the main interface in their studio for a year or so before they closed.  The desk is now in use in another studio – 4 years old and in absolute perfect condition without any maintenance.

The drivers were rock solid with reaper and my friend never experienced a single problem, build quality is outstanding for the price. I’d say the reviews are pretty spot on.

Regarding the sound of the mic pre’s and the headroom, the pre’s are slightly on the warm/thick end of the spectrum, they added a fair bit of weight to everything my friend recorded with them. They aren’t amazing, but you would need to be  spending frankly silly money to get better, and certainly wouldn’t be the weakest link in most studios – in other words, good enough for professional work. The EQ was of a similar standard, certainly good enough for real work and very useful to get the right sound going in. Headroom was also never an issue, either during recording or using the desk to sum a mix.

ZED-R 16

ZED-R 16

Acoustic Guitar Stand

What a gem!  If you are looking for a magical experience on par with some of the worlds best then this is your spot.  A selection to die for of high-end gear mixed with some affordable pieces.  A sales staff with a depth-of-knowledge that will knock your socks off, and an experience that will inspire you to buy.  This is where I purchased a new guitar and an acoustic guitar stand

There’s a reason people make the pilgrimage to this store.  If you haven’t wandered any of their outlet, you are missing out.  If you haven’t stopped just to chill out and chat, let alone try an unreal selection of instruments, you are missing out.

The sales staff are accomplished players who know their craft.  I wasn’t even shopping the price range of a Collings I-35 hollow-body but the associate insisted I learn about this masterpiece of design and build quality as to put it on my list of desired guitars.  He plugged me into a Carr Imperial amp, tuned it up, suggested a setting and I proceeded to feel notes bloom from the fretboard that were so rich and beautiful I almost wept.  Do I sound like I’m going overboard?  Yes!  Am I exaggerating?  No!

Acoustic Guitar StandAcoustic Guitar Stand

Brass Nut

brass nut

I have a friend that have replaced countless Gibson nuts. The issue is that the sides of the original nut are lacquered over. That finish has to be scored there (and on the headstock side) to remove the nut. If done wrong, yes, the finish can chip.

When you install the new brass nut, you have two options:

1. Fit the nut to be flush with the finish on the neck/binding. You new nut will not be finished over.

2. Make the nut undersized in width by a hair and build up lacquer on the ends to make it look stock. That’s a lot more work, with no benefits other than cosmetics.

brass nut

My personally find Gibson factory nuts to be too high most of the time and like to cut them deeper as well. The trick is, of course, not to go too deep.