Living Outside The Box Born-Again Techo-Geek Renaissance Man


Wanted: Swiss Army MIDI Workstation

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

One of the goals of my guitar setup is to be able to use it in 3 different configurations:

  1. Hardware only
  2. Hardware/software
  3. Software only

Ideally I'd like to be able to exactly the same things with each, but hardware costs money! A lot of money. For instance: a hardware looper that syncs with MIDI clock starts around $400. That's more than what I paid for my whole laptop! It's becoming increasingly obvious to me that dollar for dollar, software is the way to go.

But I'll never completely eliminate hardware, and I don't think I should. It's not that I don't think software is reliable: my laptop runs effects for hours without a hiccup. But you still need hardware for interfacing things together. Controllers, pedals, mixers, etc.

So I guess the question is, what's an acceptable mix of hardware and software? If I say hardware only, I know exactly what I'd need to buy, and it wouldn't be cheap.

For effects, i.e. amplifier models, delays, etc. I've got it covered in hardware. That's easy, and I can control everything without a laptop. Everything syncs to the MIDI clock (delays, drum machine, etc.) and everything works. I'd still like to be able to use the Master Control to select drumbeats and the ART pedal to control effect presets... but because of the way the Linn handles that, it will require another piece of hardware to insert Bank Change signals so the MC will only switch drumbeats. Not ideal, but doable.

In order to control the Adrenalinn's drum and effect presets with two separate MIDI controllers, it requires injecting "bank change" messages into one of them to change the A3's preset mode. This isn't very complicated, except that there's currently no piece of hardware that will do that. However, for about $30, I can build a hardware MIDI filter out of an Arduino Uno board, and it looks something like this: (This is the actual MIDI board I will be using with my Arduino)


Proof Of Concept: Live Looping

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

As I wrote about last week, I'm usually inclined to flit from one project to another. The problem with that is that I rarely get to finish anything. I spent more than an hour working on arranging and testing my music gear last night. Was it productive? Well, yeah, I think so. But was it critical? No, not really. Why did I do it, then? How does that fit into my vision of getting things done?

Honestly, I don't know. There's a reason for it, of course, and it's one of those things that I will have to do eventually. Why did I work on it instead of other things? I don't know. It was forefront in my mind, and I had to get those ideas out, so I just ran with it.

Where am I going with this?

Basically, with all the things I write about coping with ADD, you'd think I'd have a better grip on that stuff. And then I get an idea, and I go all Doc Brown and stay up working on some mad scientist thing that may or may not ever actually get used.


More Live Looping

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

More live looping fun! Major props to Arthur. Without his music, I may never have discovered live looping. Keep doing what you're doing, man.


Live Looping: Music For People With ADD

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

I’ve recently run across a type of musical performance called “Live Looping” which involves a performer on stage using a delay device to layer sounds until they have an entire song. After watching some of these musicians, I am extremely impressed, and very much inspired to try it myself. I will have a detailed video on how I set my rig up later on, but for now, I’ll just say that it is incredibly fun, and perfect for musicians with Attention Deficit Disorder. Why? Because you not only get to perform the whole song, but you get to do it all yourself, jumping from instrument to instrument, and part to part, while keeping track of everything you’ve done already.

I’ve got two guitar amps, a digital effects unit, a MIDI keyboard controller, a computer, and a MIDI footpedal controller. Oh yeah, and a couple of guitars!

I know it’s kind of a tease to just describe it without some sort of photo or video, so here’s something to tide you over! This guy is one of the best I’ve seen at this kind of music. Yes, this is what I am wanting to learn how to do.