Van Halen Tour 2015

Ok, so admittedly I’m a few days late on posting about this, but Van Halen announced a new tour for 2015 a few days ago. Tickets go on sale for the general public on April 4th.

I’ve seen Van Halen 3 times; twice with Sammy Hagar and once with Gary Cherone. I’m planning on taking my wife to see this tour, so this will be my first time seeing them with DLR.

You can find more info in the official announcement on the VH website.

Delay of D&D 5E Conversion Guide Explained

Awhile back, Wizards of the Coast announced that at some point before spring, they would release an official conversion guide to aid in converting older edition modules and adventures to be compatible with 5th Edition. Spring is here and the conversion guide has yet to be made available.

It turns out that the reason for the delay is simply that the person who needs to do the final approvals on the guide before release has been called to jury duty, and that the case he’s involved with could last another 4 months or even longer.

Escapist Game Magazine has more details with quotes about the situation from Mike Mearls at

So it sounds like it will still be some time before we have an official conversion guide. In the meantime, you can still do some basic conversions of your own following the guidelines posted in this article.

Original Song: Into The Eye Of Harmony

When I was about 16 years old, I started learning how to play “Cathedral” by the great Edward Van Halen. That song uses a repeated delay and volume swells, literally turning the guitar’s volume control up and down with each tapped note. I began playing around with that same exact delay setting on my Digitech Digital Delay pedal (which, regrettably, I sold about a a year ago) and came up with my own song.

Anyway, I had a lot of fun with what I came up with, and even got to play it live at a huge family reunion that our extended family had at Orange Beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama sometime in the late 80s. I never recorded the song, other than with a tape recorder set up next to my amp, until recently.

You can here it here.

I had never come up with a name for the song, but I decided it was time to make a recording and give it a name. The song is called Into The Eye of Harmony and was recording using the HD500X both for the guitar parts and for the bass (using my typical setup of using my guitar with the Flip Top Bass amp model with a bass octaver effect). I found a royalty free drum track on the web and set out to record a quick demo of the guitar part, but ended up using that first take without doing another. Since I hadn’t previously written a bass part, I just improvised the bass part in two takes.

I enjoyed finally getting this recorded and mixed and I hope you enjoy listening to it.

Free Original Dungeons & Dragons Adventure – The Cavern of Sundark

During the D&D Next playtest, I wrote an original adventure module called The Cavern of Sundark. If you’re interested in playing it, you can download it for free.

I recently decided to update it to be more in line with the final rules now that 5th edition has been out for awhile. The Cavern of Sundark is designed for four 1st – 3rd level characters using 5E rules, although it should be easy to adapt it to other systems. I’ve run two groups through this adventure (several co-workers in one group, and my kids in another group), and everyone that has played it really enjoyed it.


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HD500X Medium Gain Tone

Newly uploaded today is one of the two medium gain HD500X patches that I regularly use. I created it using the Super O amp model, and have been using it live for almost a year.

This is also one of patches I used in the recording of Most Beautiful, a song I wrote for my wife. It’s the patch used for the guitar interlude after each chorus, although in the recording, that guitar part was double-tracked, giving it more of a chorus-effect sound that isn’t present in the actual patch. You can hear it in that recording here. I typically use this patch with a bridge pickup, but in Most Beautiful, I used it with the neck pickup.

You can download it directly here or on the HD500X Guitar Patches page.

So, This Is a Real Thing

Ok, admittedly this is not related to either guitars or gaming. Maybe I’ll rename the site to “(Mostly) Guitars & Gaming.”

We were out shopping at the mall today and my wife wanted to stop by Elder Beerman to look at jewelry. I was standing around doing my best to keep from looking bored when I saw this:


This, my friends, is a woman’s choker. As in one of those necklaces that are made to fit closely around the neck. And it’s a fox made of sparkly jewels.

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Space Hulk 4th Edition: A Great Update to a Great Game

Years ago, a good friend of mine introduced me to an amazingly cool space combat game that he had recently come across. This amazingly cool game was called Space Hulk and it felt a lot like the movie “Aliens” in which marines are engaging in combat with aliens.


I bought my own copy of Space Hulk sometime after the 2nd Edition was released. This past fall, Games Workshop released the 4th version of the deep space combat boardgame.

Here’s my review:

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