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Tuesday Jones "adsman7" (London)

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Boss Me-25 Guitar Effects Unit
Boss Me-25 Guitar Effects Unit
Offered by Fair Deal Music
Price: 135.00

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Impressed, 19 Mar 2013
I specifically wanted a device that would allow me to record and mix tracks on my average (windows 8) laptop.

The Boss ME-25 caught my intention as it acts as an audio interface and comes with a light version of cakewalk sonar.

I'm not particularly technical, so very pleased to report that this device made it extremely easy - the tutorials that come with the software were essential, and easy to follow.

My first four track effort was achieved using included drum loops, two guitar loops recorded through the ME-25, and vocal track from a microphone (also recorded through the ME-25 - as a microphone pre-amp, the unit works, and result is acceptable - but obviously it's not designed to mix more than one input channel so I'm not complaining), and an MP3 came out the other end within an hour or two.

So am more than satisfied that this product met my own requirements.

Am very pleased to be able to additionally report that the guitar effects are excellent. Everything I expected from a brand such as Boss. The sound library is divided into 8 sensible categories (such as clean, crunch, lead etc) and within each are 10 further presets. Selecting one of these categories is very straightforward (a button for each), as is switching between the presets (a single knob). It is also possible to mix effects together (eg overdrive, reverb, and delay), and tweak the individual effects settings (using 3 parameter knobs), and this process is a lot more involved, but then I guess this is exactly why there are 60 memory slots (navigable using the 'up' pedal and 'down' pedal) into which you can save your own combinations. Surely that's more than enough.

Oh, and I'll say it again, the effects sound great!

The build quality is also excellent, sturdy metal casing and firmly fitting knobs. The pedals and buttons also seem strong under foot.

The only use I can so far find for the expression pedal is to control volume between dubs using the looper ... which is brilliant while composing. The looper is intuitive to use, but so far I've struggled to be sure that it's turned off when I'm done with it. Another LED exclusively for that purpose would have been perfect.

After 3 or 4 hours constant use, the original batteries (provided) are still powering it.

In summary, it does exactly what I wanted, does it very well, and looks pretty cool to boot!

Aliens: Colonial Marines: Limited Edition (PS3)
Aliens: Colonial Marines: Limited Edition (PS3)
Price: 4.06

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well I liked it!, 14 Feb 2013
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
It's a shooter. Me, I prefer racers. But I love the Aliens film, and it's always good to have something different to play.

It's said the graphics could be better, and gameplay is a bit clunky. I don't know, those reviewers may have a point. I'm not judging this by the technical standards set by Halo or Call of Duty... both of which I've played... but neither of which I enjoyed as much.

This one is set well and truly in the world of Aliens, with mad scampering aliens to shoot with weapons I've seen on the screen, and to be honest that's just great!

From what I've seen so far, the atmosphere is exactly right. The lighting is just about good enough to see the (many) xenomorphs leaping from shadow to shadow, wall to ceiling, and they've startled me out of my skin a good few times. Tremendous.

The weapons run out of ammo too soon, and take far too long to reload while you are trying to keep them in your line of sight (never mind crosshairs). All of which adds up to create just the game I was hoping it would be. Hard and Scary.

There you go, that's the thrill of it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 15, 2013 3:33 PM GMT

Primer [DVD]
Primer [DVD]
Dvd ~ Shane Carruth
Offered by HalfpriceDVDS_FBA
Price: 12.99

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Primer primer, 25 May 2007
This review is from: Primer [DVD] (DVD)
I really enjoyed this film. Not for the cinematography, plot, characterisations, or acting (all of which were at least competent), but for the 'challenge' of it.

The blurb's comparison with Donnie Darko drew me to it, indeed I hadn't even heard of it before I saw it on the shelf in the video rental shop. I read the synopsis and, intrigued, took a chance on it.

The first thing that struck me was the feeling that the viewer was being excluded from the story: rather than it being performed for my benefit, I felt like an eavesdropper. No effort was made to signpost significant development. Even while the protagonists are simplifying their theorisation on the invention to themselves, the explanation is not intended for the audience. The exchange simply just conveys the spirit of their discovery, and their awe.

As a result, while it was perfectly possible to follow the teasingly drawn out story, it's culmination is sudden and typically obscure. Leaving the viewer with a hundred questions about the film, and only a vague grasp of the characters' experience.

The joy in this film is precisely in watching it again to increase your understanding. Unlike 'The Usual Suspects' where a second viewing was sufficient to test if the twist held up at the end, 'Primer' will take half a dozen sittings before you've grasped all the little clues and put them together cohesively ... but the sense of achievement (when it comes) is equal to the insight and cute plotting of the writer / director.

Well done Shane ...

The Outsider (Penguin Modern Classics)
The Outsider (Penguin Modern Classics)
by Albert Camus
Edition: Paperback

25 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Observer, 6 April 2006
This is one of the most thought-provoking books I have read. And in the 20 years since I was 16, have read it 4 times.
The first time, I was impressionable enough to think it was explaining to me how I should view the world. Life-Changing? Yes ... but I was in my formative years.
The second time, I was a only little older and thought that it begged more questions than it gave answers to. Insightful? Possibly ... if you're ready to read between the lines.
The third time, I had just become a father, and was disappointed that my favourite literary character could not share my optimism with the world. Philosophical? Absolutely ... but it's a bleak philosophy.
Last year I read it again. The prose is concise, compelling and evocative. The plot is blunt and unconvincing. The protagonist is enigmatic, but ultimately shallow & foolish.
Patrice Meursault is Generation X, 50 years too soon.
Read it, Read the afterword, Be inspired, But don't believe the hype. It's a thin book with little to teach you really.

No Wow [CD + DVD]
No Wow [CD + DVD]
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: 19.92

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but ..., 8 Mar 2005
This review is from: No Wow [CD + DVD] (Audio CD)
OK, so I don't listen to the radio or watch music tv anymore, so I took a chance on this record on the strength of a short review read quickly in a free paper. Particularly the likeness the review drew with The Velvet Underground.
And I was impressed ! The tired Velvet Underground reference though is misleading, and probably refers to the bands black clothing, and the guitarists remarkable likeness to Lou Reed. Think Jesus and Marychain without guitar feedback, and Spaceman 3 without repeated looping and overlaid riffs, and you get something close to The Kills ... Pared back and insubstantial melodies delivered with energy and style sufficient to make something you can murmur along with.
The songs are simple ... guitars direct ... drum machine put to inspired use. Good, but ... the female voice is tiresome ! The similarity with PJ Harvey is too close, and combined with the songs played with dampened chords (an early trademark of Polly Jeans' playing style !), I'm too distracted to take the music on it's own terms.
50% of this record can make the hair stand up on the back of my neck, and my heart beat faster ... but most of that is when the guy's voice can be heard, or no-one is singing.
Despite that ... highly recommended ! I'm confident it'll grow on me.

Paycheck [DVD] [2004]
Paycheck [DVD] [2004]
Dvd ~ Ben Affleck
Price: 2.75

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars North by Numbers, 18 Jun 2004
This review is from: Paycheck [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
Enough people have already accurately synopsicated the plot here, but seem to be missing a small detail regarding the 'art'. PayCheck is worth a viewing in it's own right due to John Woo's delicate homage to Alred Hitchcock.
In theme, there is the paranoid confusion of an 'innocent' man. The audience sees the plot unfold in time with the lead, with notable exceptions to heighten anticipation (for which Hitchcock was truly the master). And stylistically, with Ben Affleck even dressed and groomed to imitate Cary Grant ! Slow burning close ups, tracking shots around foreground obstructions, and an whole brown envelope full of 'maguffins'.
While the action pieces are dull, they are done without slo-mo, just as Hitch himself may have presented such ridiculous sequences _ a glaring ommission from the father of the 'John Woo' cinematography school.
See it and see a contemporary action director touch his hat respectively (and effectively) to the master of the thriller director. The outcome, however, could have been a better hybrid.

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