Systemd: The Ceremony

January 25th, 2019

It is important to acknowledge that systemd calls attention to shortcomings in Linux that were never addressed, largely due to the stagnancy of major distros (RH in particular). And we should acknowledge this during the sunlaunch ceremony.

The Junior Member

November 11th, 2018

Does the band have not-nearly-enough gigs to fill your calendar by a long shot? Do you also get treated like a junior member and get a short cut because you have gigs with other bands? Does Band Leader also have another personal gig, which happens on weekends or nights, but which is not considered a conflict because he does the bookings? Has Band Leader canceled paying gigs because of higher paying personal gigs after you have passed up higher paying gigs for the same date? Does Band Leader take an extra cut because he handles all the bookings, but acts annoyed about needing to confirm your availability?

Just wondering. Never happens to me of course.

How did I get here anyway?

September 5th, 2018

Passive Crossover

Passive Crossover #1

What I really wanted was to buy a bass-appropriate blend pedal. Or two.  Maybe even three. “If you want a thing done right, buy the pro model and a good road case.” Those are words to live by. And I would have, but there wasn’t one to buy! I found a lot of good pedals that were almost right: A really nice bass crossover pedal with an obvious frequency hole right in the middle of the bass range. Several traditional blend pedals that only do full-range, and one huge blender with tone controls. Like my pedalboard isn’t already huge enough.

So I thought: I’ll keep this simple. I made simple passive crossovers, and  hacked together pedalboards out of hand-made passive crossovers and buffered blend pedals and lots of patch cables. My pedalboard became large. It worked acceptably, right up until the point where I realized I also needed a phase switch.

As it turns out, making a phase inverter is a bit more work than a simple passive crossover.

If you want a thing done right, be prepared for it to consume all of your free time forever

At which point I sort of snapped. “I’m an engineer! I’ll just make one!” I thought. And that though quickly combined with “Why stop at just one?” and “Surely there are other bassists out there who have the same problem!” And then I spent all of my New Years break running spice simulations.

I could be finished by summer! Within a year at worst.

19 months is a year, right?

Early Prototypes

Early Prototypes

Design of the crossover and blend circuits went smoothly. “Wow, this is going to be easier than I thought!” I thought to myself in a textbook example of foreshadowing. As it turns out, the actual audio circuit is the easy part. There’s power supply, headroom considerations, and protection circuitry to consider. After two prototypes I gave up on capacitor-coupled designs. By fall, Sugar Britches had a switching power supply, was DC coupled, and prototypes were on my pedalboard going to shows.

This is the reason that the first production model is GB-5…there were 4 prototype designs before this one.

Road case sold separately

There was no need for additional development at this point. I could just quit! But what the heck, I came this far. So I spent the next 7 months getting the packaging and production together, to the point where I’m reasonably happy with the result.

Sure, there’s room for improvement. Sugar Britches may not be perfect, but it’s the best damn bass blender available.