Brad Ormand Strat

11.19.2014 – Songs, ARM & Strat

Ugh.  Major Fail.  I tried soldering my ARM chip to a board that I wanted to fit on my breadboard and I nearly stuck all of the pins together.  It’s my first venture into 0.5 millimeter pin pitch soldering, and I sucked very badly at it.  But, I haven’t quit, yet 🙂 .

Brad Ormand - Botched ARM 0.5mm chip

Yeah, I hesitate to even show this pic at all since this is public, but…  Oh well, I started this whole thing to detail out the progress and happenstance events of my various journeys into art and engineering, and well…  The fails are part of it, I guess.  But….  It’s like soldering eyelashes together!!  Like connecting the ridges of a dime!!  (rant)  Whew, okay… Hey, I’m a software guy (cop out).  I mean, I’m just a musician (cop out).  Damn.  Ok, I’m not very good at this yet.  For real. Dammit.

Ok, moving on (quickly).  I finally have my guitar tuned inside and out!  I, of course, put those new strings on there, and adjusted the bridge and neck so that the strings would be as close to the neck as possible, and retuned like 12 times, and finally came out with something stable.  It plays better than ever!  I mean, one of the things I didn’t like about this Strat (’91 vintage, USA) was that the strings stood off of the neck quite a bit more than an Ibanez metal guitar or Les Paul (which are other guitars that I like 🙂 ).  But, this Strat is my primary axe and my favorite.

Brad Ormand Strat

So, now, I’m working on transcribing out the solo I want to accomplish on the guitar out into musical notation from MIDI screenshots so that I have a good view of it, and can read off of it while I’m learning it.  I’m starting with the first 2 bars and then I’ll learn it 2 bars at a time, from the beginning of it to the place I’m at.  Keep in mind that I wrote this solo, and it has already been recorded.  But, I used an instrument other than the guitar to capture and post-process the final solo.  I used the Roland JP-8000 to assist with that 🙂

And, speaking of the songs, I did get a chance to mix down “Fine” and “Kitchen” with a new kick drum arrangement, for ’em both.  They are massively punchy, and I am incredibly glad!  There’s not much to do left.  The mixdown session well.  The testing session went well.  It’s just failing less and less.  Which is a good thing.

And….  back to the ARM chip, if you’re still with me.  Okay, yeah, uhm, I will get out a heat gun to desolder that chip, and really, I shoulda used that in the first place to solder it.  I just had too big of a solder tip and not enough flux when I did it.  I’m going to have to get a smaller tip and a flux pen or something to start soldering that kind of shit, manual.  I’ll work it out. The pins are sooooo small!!  I keep thinking: “eyelashes”!

And, I’m doing these projects fresh off of work, most days, where I’m still somewhat thinking about our project iterations there, and next to my social life where I have several motivating things to think about right now.  So, it’s hard to switch over, I find. …Okay, I might be making more excuses…  However, I do have some vacation time in about a week, and I do want to lay out some time between the holiday outings to get me and 0.5mm ARM on good terms. And, I’ll launch this blog as well during that time.  Music player and painting gallery are almost finished..

Eventually, I’d like to be able to get this manual small-pitch soldering down.  It’s not like slipping a chip into a DIP socket or through-hole shit – it’s a whole different ball game.  People have become awesome at this shit, and I know some of these tiny-part, microscope-soldering guys, personally – and they brag about it, too.  And, now I know why.  Props to them.  I know now.  LOL.  But, my experiment went haywire, and I learned a few good lessons.  Cheers to the new revolution of tiny eyelash-spaced parts!!! YaY. (mumbled facetiousness).