Hey, just posted 70 fine digital pics of my recent jaunt around Kyushu – click on the ‘Photos’ button from the menu on the left and feast your eyes on the likes of this:
Posts Tagged ‘Kyushu’
Tags: Fukuoka, Gibson SG Standard, Kyushu, Roland VS1680, Yamaha AW2400
Well, the final leg of my Kyushu trip took me to Fukuoka, a cool metropolis indeed, and there I chanced upon a fine purveyor of musical instruments.
Chanced upon my arse! I was looking, I was in the market for a nice brand-name guitar suitable for such a maestro as myself. Weaned off the big chunky Gibson Les Paul Standard, I had come to the realisation that the lighter, slightly cheaper but altogether groovy-sounding Gibson SG was the way to go, and having already tried one out in Hiroshima, I knew it was the beast for me.
This particular axe only comes in three flavours, heritage cherry, black or natural burst. The first in the list is not to my liking and the last has apparently never appeared on these shores, so I was holding out for the mean and nasty black, although I was well aware that my current guitar, and its predecessor, had also been of that same shade.
Anyway, back to the music store in Fukuoka, and suddenly I spot a white SG. Huh? The cheery clerk informs that it is a limited edition with only 200 made, of which only 20 have made it over the Pacific to Nippon. I bought it instantly, and what a joy to play it is, too – smooth and silky neck, low action and dirty rock ‘n’ roll sounds to boot. Yay!
Not content to blow 150,000 yen on that little item, I then began to think about a replacement for my ancient Roland VS1680, the digital workstation that I’ve used to record all my songs on these last 9 years. The VS1680 itself is fine, but the external CD burner it uses to store data and master CDs has died and is so old I doubt a replacement can easily be found.
What this has meant is that I can’t master my latest album, which is only one song from completion, and a number of tracks are now stranded in digital limbo with no way of being transferred off the machine. So, I needed a new one, this time one with a USB connection so both song data and finished tracks can be stored on PC as well as burned to CD, and with digital connectors that will allow me to siphon off my poor orphaned songs and rehouse them.
I’d have gladly stuck with Roland, since their products are fine, but the top of the range model is currently a little old, costs 350,000 yen, and doesn’t have USB.
Yesterday I finally made my choice in the form of the Yamaha AW2400, slapped down my 200,000 yen, and it will be delivered on Friday. Yippee – a new incredibly complicated machine to learn how to use! In a way it’s a pain, as I have become so accustomed to using the Roland that setting up and recording songs is a breeze. Now there’s that steep learning curve to work out how to make recordings which are to my taste, but it’s also kind of exciting in that a different studio sound can maybe open new avenues of sonic inspiration.
So, I’m going from 16- to 24-tracks, and for the first time will have motorised faders, that PC connection for data storage and even a gizmo which can fix bum notes on the vocal track (and hell, I certainly need that!).
This weekend I’m going to take it for a test drive, pick up that shiny white Gibson SG and lay down some serious riffage, so make sure to keep your ears plugged if you’re going to be near Yano (not that anyone in their right mind would be).
Tags: Aso, Fukuoka, Kagoshima, Kirishima, Kyushu, Nagasaki, Nikon, Rakuten, Sakurajima, Shimabara, Unzen
On Sunday I’m finally off on my holidays - a two-week circuit of Japan’s southernmost major island Kyushu. Huzzah!
I must admit, although it’s not an exotic foreign destination (well, it is, but it isn’t, if you see what I mean) I’m really looking forward to it. No hassles, just jump on the train with a bag full of undies and a fistful of hotel reservations courtesy of those nice folks over at Rakuten.
I deliberately timed it so that the trip falls during the second half of the spring vacation, which gives nature time to shed her winter togs and put on something more alluring, and has given me something nice to look forward to during the less-than-pleasant parts of grim February that I’ve just got over.
So, Nikon at the ready, the plan is to hurtle straight down to Nagasaki (out of the frying pan into the fire!) for four nights, with maybe a sidetrip to volcanic Unzen, before going down the Shimabara peninsular and taking the ferry over to Kumamoto. There, three nights to gawp at the magnificent (I hope) castle and do a day trip out to the unfortunately-named Mt.Aso, a bloody great caldera still active in parts.
See a theme developing for this trip?
Then down to Kagoshima for four nights to gaze at (and sniff) the mighty Sakurajima (pictured above), as well as a quick peek into the Kirishima National Park to the south, which – yes, you’ve guessed it – is chock full o’ volcanic bits and sulphurous pongs.
After all that, it’ll be time to wind down with a big chunk of urbanity in the shape of three nights in Fukuoka, there to hunt out guitar shops and generally do the ‘loping anonymous git in a unfamiliar city’ type thing.