Taurus T-Di Bass Preamp and DI-Box Review

Taurus T-Di Box
Taurus T-Di Box

Previously I mentioned being given a Taurus T-Di Bass Preamp and DI-Box for Christmas by my parents. I also promised I would do a write up about it. I’ve been meaning to do it for quite a while – almost 4 months.

Finally though, here it is!

Read moreTaurus T-Di Bass Preamp and DI-Box Review

Hello 2010

Happy new year everybody, I hope 2010 see’s you well!

I’ve been away from Brisbane since the 20th of December. So far I’ve been in Wagga and Batemans Bay, soon I’ll be on my way to Melbourne as well. It’s been a great break, but today I’ve had to sit down and get back to work.

This Christmas I got a couple of things that I would like to focus on more this year.

The first is from my parents, a Taurus T-DI box for my bass guitars that has a built-in pre-amp. The idea here is that when I play bass at church, or anywhere else with a PA system, I don’t need to take my amp. It doesn’t matter whether I’m playing accoustic or electric, I just take the DI box and plug my guitar into it, then from it to the PA system. There are already plenty of DI boxes at church which I normally use, but the Taurus DI box has a pre-amp built into it. This is a particularly useful thing as it gives me extra control over the volume and tone of my bass from where I am, and allows me to use the electric bass directly through the PA system more effectively.

The timing is perfect as my old Peavey bass amp has actually just died so I need to get a new amp anyway, but this is a very useful interim device.

So what I would like to do this year is focus on my music more. Every year I go through 4 to 6 months of frequent playing, then 6 where I don’t play much at all. I’d like to keep going all year!

The second thing is something I got myself a couple of days ago, a Canon EOS 500D Digital SLR camera. I’ve been experimenting with photography for years, but I’ve only ever had point-and-shoot style cameras, this is the first DSLR I’ve ever owned. I have been considering getting a high definition digital video camera for a while now, but decided not to because none of them in my price range actually take decent video. After much contemplation, I decided to go the still camera route, and focus on my still photography more. When picking a DSLR though, I kept the video in mind, and the Canon EOS 500D jumped out at me as it takes HD video as well, for around the same price as the video cameras I was looking at. I also tossed up going with the 50D, but it really was a bit too expensive for me at the moment as a beginner in the DSLR arena and doesn’t offer the HD video option, maybe in a year or so (excuse me while I day dream for a bit).

I got it in a kit with 2 lenses, an 18-55mm IS lense and a 55-250mm IS lense, it ended up being $1599 with a backpack bag from Camera House. I also got an 8gb SD card with it, but I’m probably going to need to get a 16gb or 32gb one if I want to shoot in RAW format. From my experimenting so far, the 18-55mm lense seems to be the better lense, but I’m definitely going to have to get myself a 1.4 f-stop lense at some point as neither of the lenses it came with are very good for low light photography unless the flash can be used.

Then again, every time I use it I think of something else I want to get for it!

I’ve spent the past few days playing around with it a lot and I’ve got a number of shots to put up on Flickr for you to check out. I just have very little mobile reception here in Batemans Bay, so they will have to wait until I get to Melbourne, or somewhere else.

So the other thing I would like to focus on this year is my photography.

I’ve decided that I want to focus on these things because everything else I do is work related in some context or other, so even when I’m doing one of my hobbies, it usually ends up being work related somehow. Personally I think thats a good thing since it means I enjoy what I do and I can make money from my hobbies. I just think I’d like to start looking at some different things and focusing on some of my other hobbies and developing them further.

I’m sure I can tie photography into TerraMedia anyway once I get better 😉

I have a big project under way at the moment, but once I get a chance, I’ll do a write up on the camera so far (I am very impressed!), and once I get home and test out the DI box, I’ll put up a write up on it too! I’m looking forward to it! This year is going to be one interesting year and I’m really looking forward to it!

What are you looking forward to this year?

2009 South NSW SDA Big Camp

From the 16th to the 25th of January I was up at Jindabyne for the 2009 South NSW SDA Church Big Camp, which I have to say, was absolutely amazing!

The speakers and meetings in general were great, the events were heaps of fun (the ones I got to anyway – I had to work over most of them), and the people were so friendly!

In the youth programs, we had Tony Knight speaking every night and in church on both the first and last Sabbath of the camp, along with a number of other speakers for the morning meetings on Sunday through to Friday, all of whom were very interesting to listen to and had really great messages to share with us.

The program for the youth was:

Breakfast Morning Worship Afternoon Program Evening Program Cafe
Friday Pr Tony Knight Free Cafe
Saturday Free Brekkie Church – Pr Tony Knight Pr Andrew’s Ordination Free Concert in Big Tent Cafe
Sunday Brekkie Pr Andrew Kingston Free BBQ picnic from Sanitarium followed by impromptu water skiing on Jindabyne Lake Pr Tony Knight Cafe
Monday Brekkie Jonathan Duffy Water skiing on Jindabyne Lake Pr Tony Knight Cafe
Tuesday Brekkie Paintball or shopping in Canberra Pr Tony Knight Cafe
Wednesday Brekkie Youth lead worship in the Big Tent Free afternoon Pr Tony Knight Cafe
Thursday Brekkie Herb Larson Service scavenger hunt 1920s themed banquet
Friday Brekkie Pr Grenville Kent Rock climbing and sports at the Jindabyne Rec Centre Pr Tony Knight Free Cafe
Saturday Free Brekkie Church – Pr Tony Knight Combined afternoon Staff dinner Pack up

Aside from Tony’s sermons during church and the evening meetings, we also had a song service, drama, various challenges and other things, all of which were great! The overall theme for the youth was “Entrusted”. We are entrusted by God with his word to share and spread among others.

Unfortunately I missed the meeting on the first Friday night, but on the first Saturday morning during the church song service, I noticed there was no one playing bass in the band so offered to play if anyone happened to have a bass around that I could play. If there wasn’t one, I was contemplating driving back to Wagga to pick up the bass I have at my parents place, it’s only an SX bass, an imitation Fender P-Bass, but it does have a good sound, and it’s still a bass after all. Fortunately though, and I’d say God had a hand in it, Estelle and Daniel Williams, the music coordinators brought a long a bass just in case!

So for the rest of camp, I played bass in the song service, an OLP (imitation) MusicMan bass, again a nice sounding imitation bass. It was really great to play music with all the great musicians in the youth. We had two guitars, keyboard, drums and two alto saxophones. Then there were the musicians that played different instruments depending on the song, Deb and Stef, Deb alternated between tenor saxophone and trumpet, and Stef played more wind instruments than you could poke a stick at! I’m pretty sure she alternated mainly between trumpet, soprano saxophone and clarinet. Then to lead out with the worship we had 5 vocalists.

The drama with the theme “Drive” built on the overall “Entrusted” theme and was written specifically for the South NSW youth program by one of the youth. Amy I think her name is, I’ll have to check that though! The actors played their parts very well and really did the script justice.

There are so many extremely talented youth in the South NSW conference, it’s great.

Back to the program though, some of the youth organised and ran a breakfast for the rest of the youth every morning. It was free on Saturdays and the other days it was a minimal cost to try and cover the costs of the food for the week. $3 if you just turned up for the morning or included free if you got an activity pass which covered the cost of all the activities.

The cafe in the evening after the meetings were run the same way. They were free on the Friday nights than a minimal cost to try and cover the costs of the drinks. Janita and Charlotte, a couple of youth from Wagga were organising and managing the cafe and got my sister involved before camp to help out. I also decided to help out at camp, since I didn’t really know anyone, it was a great way to meet people and find out about them. We made hot chocolates, milkshakes and spiders in various flavours with different syrups, they were delicious, even if I do say so myself!

The morning meetings were great as well, rather than a sermon, they were more of a group discussion or chat, between the youth and the speaker, so I gained a lot of insight from these and the speakers involved had some really inspiring things to say! Unfortunately I missed the ones on Monday and Tuesday, but the others were all great! I’ll be writing up some of the things we talked about in these later on, it was really quite interesting hearing what these people had to say!

As I mentioned earlier, I had to work instead of going to most of the afternoon activities, I did however go to the lake on Sunday and had a lot of fun on the jet ski! The way I hear it, all the other activities were a lot of fun though! I would have loved to get to them but ah wells, what can you do. I did really enjoy working with a view out through the hills over Jindabyne lake though.

Luckily, I made it to the 1920s banquet as it was so much fun! It had a murder mystery theme with 55 unique characters with their own background stories, secrets, items and goals. Apparently the game that was purchased only came with 13 characters and then the rest were written by the youth that organised the evening, Amy and Jess. It was well worth their time doing it though, it really was a whole lot of fun and made for a great opportunity to make friends and have a chat with people I hadn’t yet had a chance to properly meet. Not to mention the food was absolutely delicious!

Saturday night, Gloria Jeans in Jindabyne opened up exclusively for the youth staff where we were provided with free drinks and food as a way of saying thanks for all our help throughout the week, after which we ended up playing cards for a good few hours.

Overall it really was a great week, the South NSW conference really is very different to the North NSW and South QLD conferences that I am used to, I found it much more inviting and generally a whole lot more fun, despite having to work and missing some activities. I’ve been to them in the past when they were at Goulburn, but this one was different to how I remember those being, and I’ll definitely be going there again next year, it is well, well worth it! A big thank you to everyone that was involved in making it happen, all the effort paid off and it was an excellent program!

I took a stack of photos whilst I was there, probably the most I’ve taken in a while, you can check them all out on Flickr at my 2009 South NSW SDA Church Big Camp collection. Enjoy!

Brisbane Guitar Show and Warrior Basses

Custom Accoustic Guitar and BassAs some people would know, I was in Lismore from Monday 26th of May until Wednesday the 4th of June, however, on Sunday the 1st of June, I came back up to Brisbane for the day to go to the Guitar Show at the Brisbane City Hall with my dad and sister.

There were some very interesting and unusual guitars there, particularly in the accoustic section. Of course there were also some very rare and expensive guitars, including a couple that were $90,000 and $100,000. Then of course there are the ugly B.C. Rich and … guitars that all the young kids seem to love. I am of course a bassist though, not a guitarist, so I was more interested in the basses that were lurking around in various corners.

I came across a few interesting ones, such as some LightWave basses, that don’t use traditional magnetic pickups, but optical pickups. I have heard about them a couple of times, but I haven’t seen or heard any of them before. Anyway, the guy showing them wouldn’t let me play one, but gave me the card of a place in Brisbane that sells them and suggested I go have a look there, so I’m thinking I’ll go there and have a look sometime.

The other basses I cam across that were particularly interesting were a brand I haven’t heard of before, Warrior Basses. The Guitar Brothers had 3 of them there, they were all quite expensive basses, starting at $5,000 for one of them, and the other two were $7,200 (though they did offer them to me for $5,000 each if I bought one then). For anyone that knows about me and my white Spector NS5, you would know how much I love it and how much I firmly believe that it is one of the best basses in the world, well, these Warrior basses are getting up there comparatively.

Read moreBrisbane Guitar Show and Warrior Basses