Virtual Band. Electric guitar, vocal, drums, piano, bass, vocal and acoustic guitar.
Virtual Band. I’m playing the electric guitar in the upper-left.

In the first month of shelter-in-place I, Natasha, and other musicians recorded parts for a Virtual Band performance. I received the recordings to combine into the aggregate result.

The procedure to create a virtual band (or virtual choir) includes four steps. (1) Create a reference recording for the participants to…


Natasha playing drums, John singing and playing guitar, Eliott playing keyboard.
Natasha, John, and Eliott playing music.

On Sunday, April 5 Natasha, Eliott, and I performed a song on Facebook Live. Shelter-in-place was in effect, so we were limited to the members of our family and the equipment already in our house.

Here are behind-the-scenes photos.


Left to right: Dunlop DVP Volume (X), Fractal Audio Systems EV-1 Expression Volume Pedal, Kemper Profiler Remote, Mission Engineering EP1-KP

I’ve been testing expression pedals for my Kemper Profiling Amp. I already have a Mission Engineering EP1-KP (the green/black pedal on the right) that I really like. It feels like a Dunlop Cry Baby which is appropriate because I use it primarily for wah. It works well as a controller…


Natasha moving from fifth grade down to kindergarten provided me the opportunity to re-architect her classroom’s computers. For a while I entertained the idea of buying a small set of tablets (iPad Minis or Nexus 7s). Thinking about how Natasha would have to maintain (i.e., charge) the tablets, the risk…


Like many people, I am a reluctant shopper. Well, not exactly. I enjoy shopping in general. I dislike clothing shopping. I think it’s because I don’t like making fashion decisions. And since I’m a problem solver, I was excited to learn of several websites that will make fashion decisions for…


Razor Blade Shave-Off winner: Derby Extra Super Stainless

Third round of the Razor Blade Shave-Off completed. Since the three Round 2 finalists performed similarly from an objective closeness/nick perspective, Round 3 was about subjective experience. Basically I picked the blade that I liked the most. Only one made the “cut”: Derby Extra Super Stainless.

Big Ben and Crown…


While prototyping a pedalboard, two events prompted me to reconsider the pedal board idea. (1) My Boss GT-8’s input exhibited some noise (probably a loose solder joint); and (2) I realized most of the equipment on my prototype pedal board wasn’t designed to be touched while playing (power supplies, direct…


Second round of the Razor Blade Shave-Off completed. One blind-tested razor blade a week for seventeen weeks. 119 post-shaving forms filled. 114 cuts. After analyzing the data looking for the fewest nicks and closest shave, three blades rose to the top. In no particular order:

  • Big Ben Super Stainless
  • Derby…

Prototype pedalboard and Boss GT-8

I’m prototyping a pedalboard for my electric guitar effects gear. The first phase was stabilizing the gear I need. The second phase (pictured) was building a prototype from Home Depot pegboard.

I intended to make a larger pegboard and place the GT-8 (big black thing in the front) on it…


Remaining razor blades at the end of the first round.

First round of the Razor Blade Shave-Off completed. Last year I bought a razor blade sampler. After many months of using a new blade a week I can declare a set of losers and a set of winners. Or more specifically, a set of losers and set of maybes: since…

John S. Jacob

Software developer, electric guitarist, runner, scuba diver, singer, husband, father. https://about.me/jsjacob

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