1400 hours, One seventh of the way to 10,000 hours of Piano practice

I’ve been counting.  And I track my hours every day.  On average, I have practice 160 minutes per day since I started. 

Today I exceeded 1400 hours, which is 1/7th the way to 10,000.

The computer forecasted that I will finish on January 1st, 2023.  (Yes that actual date, just by coincidence).

If that’s true, I will not even be 60 yet, far from it!  I may still have brain cells left.  ( I will be be just over 58)

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The Power Supply of Behringer Xenyx 802 and Eurorack UB802, UB502, UB1002, 502, 1002

Here are the specs: USA/Canada model: 18.5VACX2 250mA.   Here are the pinouts with diagram and voltages.

My PSU measurements are in AC volts, there is a negligible voltage between the metal connector and any pin, and I checked for DC voltages in all combinations, and found none.  These are AC voltages!  Also note, that the power supply says something about a 3V 100 mA output, but there is absolutely no evidence of it.

ImageImage

My power supply came with my Xenyx802 and it is labeled “Eurorack power supply”.  I found that a bit odd.  Here are the other labels:

BEHRINGER
MODEL: MXUL3
ITEM NO: PSU-MX3-UL-01
INPUT: 120V~60Hz 14W
OUTPUT 1: 18.5V~ X2 250mA
OUTPUT 2: 3V~ 100mA
MADE IN CHINA

The voltages are :left pin to center pin: 20.7VAC
right pin to center pin: 20.7VAC
left pin to right pin: 41.9VAC
(no other measurable voltages anywhere).

I own both a Eurorack UB802 and a Behringer Xenyx 802, and the PSU which is pictured above, says on it MXUL3 (this is not a typo), is from the Xenyx 802, and works on either mixer.

Here is what the user manual to the Xenyx 802 says about the Power supply:

—————– >8  user manual start ——————

502/802/1002
Power consumption 13 W

USA/Canada
Adapter: Behringer PSU MX3UL (yes, this is not a typo)
mains voltage 120V~,60Hz

Europe/U.K/Australia
Adapter Behringer PSU MX3EU
Mains voltage 230V~, 50Hz.

—————– >8  user manual end ——————

Here are a few weird things I have noticed.

1. There really is no 3V rail that is used on the power supply

2. There are many variations of power supplies out there, some say 3V, others leave it off, some say 13W

3. With a Eurorack with no power supply, I have great interest in creating one.  One day I plugged an 18 Volt AC supply into two pins, and the Eurorack seemed to function.  My guess is the other two pins are for the phantom supply.  When I say “seemed to function”, it seemed to mix all channels to the main mix bus, with no problems, and no noticeable distortion.

3. I was tired of a mixer with only two pre-amps so I connected the two mixers together using only one power supply.  It was a simple matter of connecting the power supply line from one mixer’s preamp to the same place on the other mixer.  The reading on the first pre-amp was about 23 or 24 volts DC.  I used only two wires, one for positive, other for negative.  The funny thing is that the 2nd mixer works beautifully, and I tried ALL its functions, except phantom power, and the interesting thing is that the 2nd mixer’s heatsink was very very cool.  So my guess is that there is a circuit which creates the phantom power that accounts for almost all of the heat generated by these little mixers.  Just an interesting observation.

4. Noting item 4 above, my guess is a similarly connected 24 volt DC supply might possibly power one of these machines, and bypass all that circuitry that makes things hot.

5. If you read this, please leave a thanks, share the luv!  :)

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Enjoying What You Are Playing

I’m reading The Art of Practicing and one thing that struck me was that practicing should be enjoyable!  I thought it was work!  I’ve been practicing certain phrases with a very specific number of repeats hoping that it will sink in eventually.  I allocate my piano time and plan out each session with so many minutes.  But Bruser says that we rob ourselves of the beauty of the sound itself.  Get this:

The less pleasure we receive, the more we try to force the instrument; gripping it tightly instead of moving simply and comfortably.  This tension impedes the flow of musical vibration through the body.

This is so true.  So what I’ve done today and yesterday was concentrate less on the technical and more on just listening to the music.

Listen up:

Practicing is artful, creating something fresh and genuine.  We can practice being spontaneous rather than mechanical.  The spontaneity that marks a strong, communicative performance is actually cultivated during practice sessions.  The qualities of openness, uncertainty, freedom, and aliveness that characterize performing permeate practicing.

So I chose to hear the music.  To actually listen.  After all, I have to remember why I chose that piece in the first place.

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Afternoon Forest Walk

The twisted, broken trees stretched their arms before us sending a notice to all that this was their home and that outsiders were not welcome.  The humid air combined with the rich sweet odors created a blanket of stifling air which we had to cut through on every step.  The birds in the trees and the insects with their chirping, buzzing and humming were announcing the arrival of an enemy, including the details such as its location, its size and where it was heading.

Through all of this we pursued, unabated by the environment which conspired to keep us out.  Our chopping, our walking and our relentless pace dislocated many species with every step.  We would go on undeterred, trying hard to ignore the heat, the foliage which irritated our skin, and taking revenge on the forest for the flies that bit at our faces.

Though I had seen a map and knew we would not be far from a clearing, I had this intense fear that this hellish pursuit would go on forever and we would lose our strength, becoming enfeebled with thirst and fatigue, and ultimately succumb to this vegetative enemy.

Our path revealed and uncertain goal, winding first in one direction and then another.  The wet forest floor and the multitude of small pools of water made it impossible to escape the discomfort of wet feet though we made our best effort to avoid them.  It was only by our determination that we were driven to go on.  – (c) Louie v. 2013

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Playing While Sick and Endless Repetitions.

I’ve got a sore neck.  I’ve had it for weeks.  It could be due to my practicing, or due to my less than ideal computer chair.  I have to do something about those things.  I think I’ll just abandon my chair and use another one for both purposes.  We’ll know in a week. 

Tomorrow is the last lesson before summer, and lately I had some crazy ideas that I should give piano a break, but I doubt I will.  I think the reasons were pain.  But hopefully I can resolve that with a change of furniture.  Maybe I should move back to my bedroom window; I never had neck pain there.  I probably will do that.

Yesterday I started practice and just seemed to be getting nowhere.  I decided that my cold was interfering with it, and remembered that I shouldn’t practice while sick.  (Your body needs all it’s energy to fight the illness, and practice is very physically demanding).  So I quit after 15 minutes and went to bed most of the day.  Today I’m not so lethargic, but I probably practiced too much anyway.

The way I practiced today was not very fruitful.  I tend to do this from time to time: repeat a part of a piece dozens of times, because I just can’t seem to get it.  I’ll have to stop doing that; it’s very ineffective, and probably counter-productive.

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Day 197: Little Accomplished

I got up extra early, and did some practice, then instead of meditation, I went to a meeting.  However this morning’s practice, was, um, seemingly unproductive.  I concentrated obsessively on two bars.  And I did this on multiple pieces.  So I would say, very little of this will contribute to my being able to play the piece in 6 days.

When I returned, I did some older pieces, and began to realize how many old pieces I have on the go.  I might want to think that over.

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Day 195: Today Marks Only 11 Years Left

Today June 10th, 2013 marks the date where I finally have only 11 years of practice left to get my 10,000 hours.

I’ve averaged my times since November 28, 2012, and calculated at the going rate, how long it will take me to reach 10,000 hours.  By the way, today I practiced 225 minutes, making it 463.28 hours of practice so far.

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