DIY

DIY Music Stand Carrying Bag

You never know when you’ll need an extra music stand. I remember wishing we had more stands at last year’s IT Christmas caroling fun, so I decided to buy one in time for this year’s party. Also, once in a blue moon, if I’m rehearsing with friends, I’d often wish I had another stand. Maybe I just don’t like sharing. Actually, I have a hard time seeing the little black dots sometimes so I need my eyes as close to the page as possible.

I ended up getting a black ProLine music stand, which I do NOT recommend. Even though my silver Belmonte is… Whoa! Twenty years old! …it feels a lot sturdier in my hands than does the brand-new ProLine. I’m just trying not to be so picky… Of course, every time I use the black stand I’m going to think that I SHOULD have gone from store to store comparing all of the music stands out there!

Though the Belmonte stand is great, the brown carrying bag that it came in is a bit clunky, and it’s beginning to show its age. I’ve been wanting to make my own for a while now, and having two stands (actually three*) gives me the motivation to actually complete my first “real” sewing project. I don’t think hemming pants counts as a real sewing project.

My design criteria:

  • separate compartments for the two sets of stands (to minimize movement and scratching)
  • must hold 2 music stands
  • magnetic snap enclosures for fast and easy in/out access of the stands
  • sturdy construction
  • comfortable strap length, which conveniently places the stands on top of my violin case as I’m toting everything around

All in all, I think it turned out really well, even if I do say so myself!

*Note:
My main music stand is actually a Manhasset Voyager, a GREAT, STURDY stand. I only wish the “desk” were magnetic, but I still highly recommended this stand. It’s supposed to be portable, but in practice, it’s much easier to tote around a folding music stand — or two!

Adding an Aux Audio/iPod Input to a Car Radio (Any Excuse to Buy New Tools!)

This project of adding an auxiliary input jack to my factory car radio took way too long to complete.  I got a bit lazy after I failed the first couple of times, but it finally worked this fourth time!  Break it and learn, huh?

I’m basically piggy-backing the factoy-installed radio/cd player in my 2000 Corolla.  This is not a how-to guide, but rather, it provides supplemental photos to instructions written by others.

The first time I hacked my car stereo, it half worked…  The right channel worked, but the left channel was flaky.  “No prob,” I thought.  “Just a loose connection.”

I took it out a second time, but that only resulted in my losing my radio reception.  I also had no vocals when I plugged in my mp3 player, so I successfully disabled my radio AND I failed to get the aux input jack to work.

I finally got around to taking the radio out a third time 6 months later (so I had poor radio reception for 6 months!).  I thought that there might have been a loose antenna connection, but it turns out that I had completely forgotten to plug the antenna back in!  I then resoldered all of my audio cable connections, but I STILL wasn’t getting any vocals!  There’s a short circuit somewhere….

This fourth and final time, I bought a better stereo audio cable and cleaned up my solder connections, and that FINALLY did the trick!  Now I can hook up my mp3 player to my car stereo system!

Useful guides created by others:

 

Follow their safety guidelines.

Supplemental photos for your viewing pleasure: