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I'm a student at the Queensland University of Technology Gardens Point Campus, in Brisbane, Australia. I'm studying a Bachelor of Information Technology.

My main hobby is music. My primary instrument is the guitar, and I specialise in jazz. Obviously music is fairly important in my life. Combine that with my interest in computers, and it's fairly obvious why I'm part of the community. For the record, I currently compress my music with Monkey's Audio on Extra High and Nero AAC on Streaming and Fast mode.

My Guitar Rig I'm currently playing a custom Strat. The guitar was built by John Youngberg of Brisbane, Queensland. It's a very strange strat I'll give you that, but that's the way I wanted it. It's a maple neck with a rosewood figureboard. The neck is bolted onto the body with four bolts. The neck pickup is a Dimarzio Air Classic (Neck Model). I cannot remember what the center pickup is. I know it's built by an American company and it sounds much like a standard Fender strat pickup. The bridge pickup is a PAF. The tuning heads are locking sperzel's. The bridge is the same one used on the Fender Jazzmaster. It's similar to a Floyd-Rose in that you can get large bends, but doesn't suffer the associated tuning issues. Yep, those controls look a little funky, so let me explain. First there's the mysterious pickup behind the bridge pickup. This is a Roland GK-2A Internal Kit Pickup. It allows the guitar to connected to Roland's line of synth products, as well as other compatible GK devices. Both Roland and BOSS currently make a series of GK products. I currently own two of these the GR-33, a guitar synthesizer using MIDI, and the VG-88, arguably the world's greatest, and most versatile guitar effects unit. I'll get to it's capabilities in a moment.

The five switches in a row (on the right) control pickup selection. They are push/push style buttons. The first three buttons turn pickup's one, two, and three on/off, while the last two split the neck/bridge pickup's for single coil tones. The two switches above the pots are for the Roland GK-2A unit, as is the three way switch. The first pot is volume, the second synth volume, and the third tone for all pickups. My usual setup is as follows. The guitar is plugged directly into my VG-88. None of the guitar sounds I use on stage are real, they are all generated by the VG-88. It does not use MIDI or any usual synth technology. The notes I play are not converted to pitches. It works by taking the waveform from what I play, and restrucuring it using sophisticated DSP units. The VG-88 is able to simulate a variety of guitar pickups (strat's, tele's, lp's, PAF, and a number of others), bodies (flat, round, metal, f-hole, solid), amps (JC-120, clean twin, Marshall Stack, MesaBoogie, Vox AC30, etc), and speaker cabinets. It also includes a large variety of effects, including delay, chorus, wah, tremelo, reverb, phaser, compressor/limiter, flanger, and a few others. The fun doesn't stop their though. The technology is possible because the unit captures the sound of each individual string. As such, instaneous pitch shifting can be done on a per-string basis. Drop-D, Open-E, Open-G, Open-D, all at the push of button with no returning required. Custom tunnings are also possible. Each string can be adjusted +/- 24 semi-tones, allowing you to also emulate basses, or have the bottom two strings bass, top four strings a 335 f-hole.

There are loads of other features that I haven't even begun to talk about. Auto-harominzing, the ability to adjust the order of the DSP chain, various synth-like sounds, organ sounds, the ability to mix live guitar and synth guitar, the list just goes on. With the version 2 software, it's damn near perfect. The thing sounds damn accurate and in my opinion is the single best piece of equipment a guitarist could ever own (except maybe a guitar :D ). The best part about the unit is the ability to emulate classic setup's for covers bands. I've got patches on here for Clapton, Gary Moore, Santana, Mark Knopfler, Hank Marvin, No Doubt, Sweet Home Alabama... every classic song is covered and sounds damn close to the original recording. You just find out what gear they used, match it as close as possible, and adjust the EQ settings, it's that simple (although does take a lot of time to get right).

The VG-88 has a Roland EV-5 expression pedal connected to it. The pedal has been modified to include a switch at the toe end (just like wah-wah pedals). I use the pedal for all sorts of things, wah-wah, b-bender on the tele, drive control, adjusting EQ settings on the fly, octave pitch-shifting, etc.

The whole unit is connected to the power-amp (the VG-88 providing the pre-amps) of a Peavy Studio Pro 112. It's a cheapish amp, but it's loud, solid (it can be thrown around), and it has a decent power-amp and speaker combination. It's almost perfect for the VG-88. Keyboard amps or a PA-System are about the only things that can top my amp for VG-88 use.

Computer Setup

  • AMD Athlon 64 3500+
  • MSI Neo Platinum 2
  • ATI X800XTPE
  • Creative Audigy 2 Platinum (much to my cottempt, I wan't to get a Digi 002 Rack for recording stuff)
  • Western Digital 36 Gig 10,000 RPM drive
  • Pioneer DVR-108 DVD Burner
  • LiteOn 52327S CD Burner
  • Mitsubishi DiamondPlus 93SB 19" Flat Screen Monitor
  • Logitech MX700 Mouse & Logitech Cordless Keyboard
  • Apple iPod 4G 20GB

System is currently running Windows XP MCE 2005 with a HDTV Tuner installed. I plan to build a new box, and transfer the tuner card to it and move it onto my DLP projector (90" screen).