With this blog post I want to recommend a free Android app that I use myself not only for listening to music but also for figuring out licks, riffs, or lead stuff. It is the AB Repeat Player.
The feature I love most on it is not the one that gave it the name – the ability to define two loop points – but the three ‘Jump’ buttons. These are labelled with 7,5 / 5 / 2.5 and simply make the music jump back for 7,5 / 5 / 2.5 seconds as soon as you press one of these. You are listening to e.g. a fancy Mark Knopfler guitar lick, thinking ‘Wow, what was that?’ – press one button to hear it again. This is to me the best solution, as rewinding or moving the position slider in other apps is very inaccurate and take too much time. You can also combine the three buttons or press one of them several times, e.g. press the 7.5 seconds button twice to jump back for 15 seconds to repeat a longer part.
I love the three jump buttons to hear a phrase again
The rest of the app is fine, too – it simply does what you expect of a music player app.
Here is the feature list:
* AB Repeating Function (Ad hoc and saved) * AB Points post-adjustment Function with “Check Mode” * Interval (Pause) between AB Repeats * Easy traverse inside A and B points * Easy to play recorded A and B points list. * Customizable three Jump Buttons * Bookmark Function (Ad hoc and saved) * Bookmark position adjustment function with “Check Mode” * Unlimited recording of AB points and Bookmarks * Editable list of AB points and Bookmarks * AB points and Bookmark database clean up * Backup and Restore of AB points and Bookmark database * Display order in AB points and Bookmark list. Creation date, name and A point with reverse order for each.(New) * Mp3 Lyric Display.(Font size and previous position memory) * Playlist (same as Google’s standard media player) * Setting to the Ring Tone (same as Google’s standard media player) * Shuffle modes (same as Google’s standard media player) * Search (same as Google’s standard media player)(Enhancement: can be invoked from menu) * Artwork Display (same as Google’s standard media player) * Audio and Video Support * Automatic pause/resume on received calls. * Automatic pause on headset unplugging. * Controls by Bluetooth. * SD card installable for Android 2.2 or later. * Database Migration to a new device. * Sleep Timer * Float Pad: Translucent Control Button Pad floating over any other apps. * Saving the sound between AB as a ringtone, alert, Ankidroid flashcard sound and othe
The song Portobello Belle has been played as a great ‘Irish-reggae-calypso’ version on the Love over Gold tour. An edited version has been released on the Money for nothing compilation sampler a long time ago. However, it was not included on the Alchemy video, and there is no youtube video at all of this song from that tour.
For this reason we do not know much about the guitar on this song. The only info came from myself on my old Dire Straits guitar page where I stated that it was played on a black Fender Stratocaster. The source of this info is my own memory, as I visited the concert in Cologne, May 16, 1983. But I never have seen the guitar I remember well on any picture, until recently when the following picture appeared:
Note the capo at the third fret, a clear indication for an open G tuning, shifted to Bb by the capo, the key of Portobello Belle on this tour (it is C on the Communique album and D on the Making Movies tour!). The guitar might be the Amercican vintage reissue which was released just a year before (it does not llok like 50ies vintage guitar).
Mark played a lot of cool solo licks in the long outro of the songs, often in dialog with Mel Collins on the saxophone, as seen in the picture.
The BOSS DR-80 is an astonishing little device with a vey high fun-factor. In short, it is a digital 8-track multitrack recorder with a lot of effects, and at the same time a virtual band with a great number of jam grooves. And maybe the most astonishing feature is the price which is just about 200 Euros.
I already had a lot of fun with this little device. Here are two spontaneous jam videos that were created with nothing but the effects and grooves from the device. Partly I even used the suggested effects and amp simulation for the backing tracks, without any further editing.
Recently I wanted to measure the neck thickness of some of my guitars. I was surprised to find something as trivial as this to turn out to be rather difficult job. The strings always hindered my calipers from lying flat against the neck surface, no matter how I tried.
I solved the problem with the help of a little battery that turned out as the ideal tool to help with the job:
Tricky job: string hinder the calipers
Take a little battery (here an AG13) and set the calipers to zero
I recently had a problem with a Music Man HD130 amp (the one Mark Knopfler used in the early days of Dire Straits). One speaker was creating a scratchy, distorted sound, surprisingly only at very low volume while it was fine at medium or high volume. I managed to cure it with an easy trick, nothing too special or secret but nevertheless something I want to share in case someone runs into similar problems with his amp.
When I removed the speaker to have a closer look at what might be wrong with it, I immediately noticed that infamous scratchiness when moving the cone carefull with two fingers. It was worse when pushing more on particular places while it disappeared when doing so at some other spots. I quickly came to the suspect that the problem came from “standing” upright for decades (it was a 1976 amp with original speakers). The voice coil is not really a heavy part but still it has some small weight, and after years this weight can deform the cone slightly so that the voice coil scratches on one side. For the same reason you should always store speakers horizontally but who stores a combo amp or a speaker cabinet this way?
The speakers after turning and swapping – the two ‘Music Men’ on those stickers with their heads down now – but the speakers feel happy again
The solution was very easy and inexpensive, even without any costs at all: all I had to do was turning the speaker for 180 degrees, so that what pointed to the top became the bottom end. I did the same with the second speaker, not only to prevent similar problems with it in the future but also to make the connectors of both speakers look to the middle between the speakers again, which means I also swapped the left and the right speakers. Hopefully it will work fine for the next 41 years now
Of course this easy fix does not always work, if the cone or the voice coil is damaged only a recone job will help. But before doing so you should give it a try.