Skip to main content

2022-05-19 Sive - Workmans Cellar, Dublin

  Sive just recently released her latest album, ' We Begin in Darkness ', and what a superb album it is! Every album deserves a launch night and that's what tonight, in the Workman's Club Cellar , was all about, and what a night it was! With the backing of a full band, we were treated to a superb night featuring songs from the aforementioned We Begin in Darkness, Sive (EP) and more. Sive is always gigging, so if she comes to your local venue, I'd really recommend checking her out! Now for some photos:

Creating a Music Room

So it started out with picking up the Tape and Vinyl collections from my folks house... They've been sitting there looking at me ever since.  I had to do something, I had to find a way to store these pieces of history.  I also had to find a way of playing those cassettes!

I made a plan, I was going to use my spare / junk room as a music room.  Somewhere I could go and listen to music in peace.  My musical equivalent of a Library! A skip was ordered, the junk removed and the project kicked off.

As per usual, I got sidetracked with the tech side. I trawled through the online stores for a week trying to find anyone who sold a HiFi with a Tape Deck. Unsurprisingly, no one does.

Next on the hit-list was Ebay. I searched for another week, but again, I came up with nothing. Anything I found was going to be coming from the US or Australia, and given the state of the world at the moment, who knew when it would arrive.

I tried a local site, adverts.ie, and on the second day, found a Sony CMT-DC1 on-sale for €55.00.  I offered €50.00, as you do, it was accepted and I was now the proud owner of a HiFi.  Obviously, before I bought it, I checked it out online and all the reviews came back positive, many raving about the sound quality.

OK, you can see from the photo above, It's not the sexiest piece of hardware ever, but  it does have a Cassette Deck, CD Player, Radio and, most importantly, Aux In so I can connect in my Turntable.

In a previous blog, I mentioned I'd dumped Spotify and setup my own Music Server running Plex. I needed someway of playing that music through the new setup. For a previous, now defunct, project, I had a small Bluetooth Audio Receiver. That would be paired with an Amazon 7" Tablet I had spare. 

That should, in theory, all work perfectly, but I only had one Aux In on the HiFi! Again, for another old project, I had a Stereo Audio Switch Box. 3 Inputs, 1 Output.  I hooked the Turntable and the Bluetooth Audio Receiver to it and then connected the Switchbox to the HiFi.

Then I tested it all out.  Tapes played fine, as did CDs.  I've no aerial connected to the Radio, so I didn't bother trying that.  I turned on the Turntable, loaded up some Vinyl and it worked, a little bit of hiss and crackle, but that could be down to dust.

I'd already installed PlexAmp on the Tablet and paired it with the Bluetooth Audio Receiver.  I selected it from the Switchbox, opened PlexAmp and hit Play on a tune.  It worked, first time, straight away and it sounded pretty good!

Oh and I had a spare TV doing nothing, so I hung that on the wall and connected it up to the network for YouTube and other Streaming services.

I picked up a Kallax unit in white from Ikea and added in two Drawer units in Black.  Rather than standing the unit vertically, I placed it horizontally to use it as a sideboard.  The Cubes are big enough to hold Vinyl LPs, and the Drawer units store the Cassette Tapes.  It's like I actually planned it all out!

The next step was to hang up some Floating Shelves. Keeping with the chunky theme of the Kallax unit, I picked similarly styled shelves in Woodies to match with the drawers.  

All that remains to do is tidy up the electrics, give the room a coat of paint, hang some photos and add a carpet to the floor.

And that's it so far, When it's finished, I'll post a few photos.  I hope it looks as good in reality as it does in my head!


Popular Posts

Bye Bye Spotify...

I ditched Spotify Premium this weekend. Why?  Well, I read an interview with Daniel Ek , the CEO of Spotify, and I profoundly disagreed with what he said and his attitude towards musicians in the interview.  So I said 'F*ck it', and closed my premium account.  I still do have a free account as many bands choose Spotify to release their music, so I'll keep it for that reason. What now though?  Well, I'd created a large library of music on my home server over the last 20 years or so.  Every time I bought a CD, it got ripped to the server.  Every time I bought digital music from Bandcamp , Google or 7 Digital , they too got stored on the server, and that was fine for home use, it worked well.  But now I'd dumped Spotify, what could I do, how could I access my music outside the house? I'd played around with software called Plex a few years back, but had no use for it. I ended up doing nothing with Plex, but for this project, I decided to revisit it.  I knew that if

Pete Kavanagh - Mercy Video Shoot

I've been asked a few times if I'd be interested in shooting a music video.  Each time I said no because, well, I'd no idea what to do.  I'm not technical behind a camera. I know the look I want, I take my photos and, that's it.  I honestly don't know what I'm doing, it just works for me, sometimes (they're the photos you see!). I've known Pete Kavanagh  a long time. We both grew up in the same Kildare town and know many of the same folk.  Over the last few years we became friends through music.  He played, I listened and or photographed.  So, when he asked me if I'd shoot his video for 'Mercy', I said yes, albeit a hesitant yes, one filled with self doubt! Day one of shooting came around all too quickly for me.  I'd looked in to shooting video, read up a bit on how to do it on my camera, what settings to change and so on, just so I wouldn't look clueless on set!  I charged all the batteries and lights, packed all the gear away an

2021-10-27 Firebirds Festival - St Brigid’s Cathedral, Kildare

Over two nights in St Brigid’s Cathedral in Kildare town, we got to see some of the best that Irish music has to offer! Organised by Paddy Casey and Sophia Cadogan , Firebirds was described as a two day music event, a mini indoor festival! Tuesday night started with  Grievous Boy .  I'm a fan of Irish Hip-Hop but I'd not heard of him before, It didn't matter, I enjoyed his set and hopefully I'll get to see more of him in the future. Next up was  Saoirse Casey  complete with a string section.  It was, I think, her best live performance to date, simply beautiful. What can I say about the next performer,  Gemma Hayes .  She hadn't played live in many years, but you'd never know it.  She came, she played, she conquered.  I loved it!  I can't wait to see her play again! Tuesday night closed out with  Mundy .  I've lost count of how many times I've seen him play, but each time it's a crowd pleasing gig.  So many great songs!!! And then that was that,