Variax MIDI breakout cable

Got a Line 6 Variax you want to hook up to use the Workbench software, but don’t own a POD device you can use as an interface to a PC?

Nope? Well it’s my blog. And I’ll probably forget how I did this if I don’t post it here.

With a network cable, a couple of 5-pin DIN sockets, and just the right amount of electrical tape, I achieved the classy result you see below:

Variax Midi Cable

Variax Midi Cable

I borrowed this hard-to-find diagram from the internet and added pin numbers for MIDI sockets. I used sockets so I could connect it to one of those USB-MIDI cables on the run. You could just as easily use plugs. Just pay attention to the orientation of pins 4 and 5. I accidentally had them reversed at first and the result was not immediately spectacular. (Ignore the AES and 7V stuff.)

Variax Midi Wiring

Variax Midi Wiring

Voila! Line 6 Monkey and Variax Workbench now happily recognise my Variax 600 via MIDI cables.

Fender Blues Junior III mods


Fender Blues Junior

Fender Blues Junior

Like many guitarists, I am the proud owner of a Fender Blues Junior amplifier. Picked it up for a song when a major Australian music retailer went bust a while ago. It’s a nice little amp but many people on the interwebs complain that, stock, it sounds “boxy” and lacks bottom end. This is mainly a symptom of cramming a 12 inch speaker into such a small cabinet. Fortunately there are plenty of ways of improving the sound.Continue reading

Baritone Guitar Conversion

I’ve faked the baritone guitar sound in the past (“If You Knew”, plus a couple of upcoming tracks on the new album). I’ve even used a Variax guitar live and programmed a patch with each string detuned by a fifth. But when I stumbled across a baritone stratocaster neck on ebay at the right price, I figured it was time to try building the real thing.

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Sick Rick

My beloved Rickenbacker 4001 is in hospital at the moment, undergoing neck-joint reconstruction surgery. While we’re all anxiously awaiting the news, here’s a little tribute to the bass guitar gracing the next Tunisia album..

I refinished it in these familiar Chris Squire colours a few years ago. But it started out as a fairly standard fireglo red model:Continue reading