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  • First gig tomorrow with new rig

    My solo rig has gotten really complex in the past month and saturday is my first gig with my entire new trainset. I have been having palpitations about how it's all going to come together. Once I get too much stuff plugged in, it just makes it that much more likely that something is going to go haywire. I generally fall back to the basics - and have the last couple times out - when met with on-site challenges at gigs.



    So, here is what I've added.



    I have been using a jamman stereo looper for a long time now. I can just plug a guitar into it and record the verse and solo over it - no problem. But that seemed a bit typical after a while, so I have done a few things to make it ridiculously complex and now there is much to go wrong.



    I built an "undo" button for it that allows me to strip off and re-apply the last thing put on. This created an opportunity for me to change things up a bit more between verse and chorus. The Jamman has a mic jack, so I started experimenting with that. Now I am singing looper harmonies with myself on about ten songs. Let me tell you, you can really screw up a song if you don't have your shi t in one sock.



    Here is the challenge. I needed to be able to add the vocals at a certain point of the loop while the guitar played the entire thing. I tried using a volume pedal with a second mic, which I got pretty used to, but it looked like a press conference to have 2 mics pointed at my face all night. I managed to score an XLR A/B box this past week, so now I can route only the parts I want through the looper. I found that the xlr jack on the looper just mixes in with the other 2 channels' outputs, so I now have transformed the xlr down to 1/4" so that the vocal loop is segregated to another channel.



    I recorded a gig with this duo I am fooling around with and I found that my background vocals were pretty pitchy. I looked into some sort of autotuner type deal and found the TC Helicon Mic Mechanic. This thing seems to sweeten me up a bit. I haven't been using the effects. It boosts the signal up to line level, which has also created some need for adjustment, but i think I benefit from the pitch correction. Also, when I used 2 mics, the mic mechanic could only be on one. Now with the AB box, the mic mechanic is on looped and straight vocals.



    Lastly, I am a guitar player. Part of the reason to use a looper was so I could spew some sweet licks in these songs. I am using a yamaha LD10 acoustic that has built in piezo and contact pickups. I really only use the piezo because the contact pickup picks up way too much thumping. To get a good solo voice, I bought an el primitivo bill lawrence sound hole clip on pickup and am routing that through an older pod xt and into the board. I don't use it much, because I like the sound of acoustic lead. But it's nice to dial up a slightly broken up slapback type tone for some of my rockabilly chestnuts.



    Lastly, I bought an EHX freeze pedal for intros and last chords. This thing has alot of potential. It kind of works like a sustain pedal on a piano. I thought it would be more clunky and deliberate, but it feels very natural to step on it within chord progressions.



    I am also using a couple volume pedals to mix the loop and straight guitar volumes.



    Yikes.



    So, I can make alot of noises now - all my myself. But I have 4 or 5 wall lumps and 4 or 5 mic cables and maybe 10 patch cables to make it all work. This is nuts. I am a luddite and I hate it when people drag out way too much equipment to bar gigs. But dammit, this is what I need to express myself these days. I am scared that the whole thing will just go silent in the middle of the gig and I'll have 42 connections to troubleshoot. I am scared that I'll get to the gig, chicken out and just plug straight into the PA.



    So, the length of this post is relative to my anxiety about the next gig. Do any of you use way too much crap at your gigs? Can you encourage me or disuade me from trying?
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  • #2
    Good luck with the gig. I've never been able to get out of the basement with my loopers, guitar synths, and harmonizers. It's great you've gotten it to this point!



    I understand about the nest of cables too. Once you pretty much have it together, make a "snake" of everything and label the connectors. It'll make setup much easier. Just sayin,....

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    • #3
      Cephus, if you have worked all this out, you are not a Luddite!

      Rather than looping the vocals, why not use a vocal harmonizer? [I have considered both approaches, and I am glad I went with the harmonizer. My next step will be a looper like the JamMan for the guitar, and I'd be interested in your 'undo' button]

      Having done that, you could AB your guitar signal to the pod without the Bill Lawrence [I have one of those for my '71 Guild, it replaced a De Armond pu I had for years]

      You can get a master DC power distribution unit to power all your devices from one source, which would eliminate some of the wall warts..



      I also agree about tying it all together and labeling each connector.
      "We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties due to reality fluctuations. The elves are working tirelessly to patch the correct version of reality. Activities here have been temporarily disabled since the fundamentals of mathematics, physics and reason may be incomprehensible during this indeterminent period of instability. Normal service will be restored once we are certain as to what 'normal' is."

      Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally used up and worn out, shouting '...man, what a ride!'

      Comment


      • #4






        Quote Originally Posted by daddymack
        View Post

        Cephus, if you have worked all this out, you are not a Luddite!

        Rather than looping the vocals, why not use a vocal harmonizer? [I have considered both approaches, and I am glad I went with the harmonizer. My next step will be a looper like the JamMan for the guitar, and I'd be interested in your 'undo' button]

        Having done that, you could AB your guitar signal to the pod without the Bill Lawrence [I have one of those for my '71 Guild, it replaced a De Armond pu I had for years]

        You can get a master DC power distribution unit to power all your devices from one source, which would eliminate some of the wall warts..



        I also agree about tying it all together and labeling each connector.




        the Jamman has this 3 buttom pedal you can buy separately that is tap tempo, play loop backwards and undo. I thought the other 2 functions were less than useful to me. I looked online and found plans for making one yourself and just hacked it down to just the one button. I didn't even need the diodes to get it to work.



        As far as a harmonizer, I think it has more to do with the transparency that the looper affords. Like, I do "I've just seen a face". I start the loop at the first chorus with vocals and guitar. When it gets to the verse, I cut out the vocals but keep recording the guitar. The end of the loop is the beginning of the next chorus. At that point, my voice from the previous chorus starts and I can sing the higher harmony. Then the verse chords play under the solo. At the end, I can repeat the chorus 3 times by stopping and restarting the loop.



        the response I have gotten is that you can tell that I am doing something. I don't use the looper to build a chorus of harmonies. It's just usually me singing a harmony with the melody. The harmonizer deals seem kind of magical and I am trying to keep it real. I have said before that I am not that strong of a singer. The value in what I am doing is that it is au natural (warts and all) and that it is pretty transparent.



        As far as consolidating wall warts, I have a bunch of electric guitar stomp boxes and the associated power supply, but these new fangled pedals have weird power supplies that don't just expect 9 volts. I think the freeze pedal can use that, but the mic mechanic and looper likely can't. I will look at them, though to see if maybe the mic mechanic is standard issue. Might help me eliminate a couple.



        Have you had luck using the piezo into the pod? I really like the vintagey rockabilly sound that I get with that lawrence pickup into the pod. The pickup isn't as much of a hassle as is the pod, the power supply and the footswitch thing with the volume pedal. I considered drilling a hole for the output jack and permanently installing the lawrence pickup on my gigging acoustic. It's not that nice of a guitar and the hassle with the lawrence is that the cable is routed outside the soundhole.
        This space intentionally left blank

        Comment


        • #5
          Wow! I give you props on all that you're trying to accomplish but it just seems to be a lot of work. I'm just wondering (not criticizing), is it really worth it? For instance on "I've Just seen a Face", its just a simple acoustic tune that can stand on its own with out all the bells and whistles. You have the looper right there I would think that playing the solo would be enough to make people take notice. Add a harmonizer and you're in.



          Although I will say that I've often thought it would be cool to loop my vocals as well. I've just come to the conclusion that I play so many friggin songs a night I can't let myself get overly complicated. Just sayin... <see what I did there? lol
          Just Darrell Web Site

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          • #6
            any vids of you playing on the flux capacitor you've built yourself? remember, it might be fun for you to build loops, and it might be fun for us to watch you build loops, but most civilians with think it rather like watching grass grow......
            my solo act: the uncle ward show. http://www.reverbnation.com/#!/wardewing


            "why's he stopping here? this is bat country!"

            looking for: a new home in sunny Florida.

            Comment


            • #7






              Quote Originally Posted by tinfish
              View Post

              remember, it might be fun for you to build loops, and it might be fun for us to watch you build loops, but most civilians with think it rather like watching grass grow......




              Boy, I do get that. That is one thing Iike to keep in mind. That's why I've been focusing on capturing what I was doing anyway and "recycling" it for subsequent verses, etc.



              But, yeah. This isn't going to be a volume business. I have like 150 songs that I would normally play under the guise of a solo gig. But I think its just kind of flat. I honestly don't feel competitive in the normal solo gig market. I can't really pull off the normal eagles / james taylor thing. I have added like 20 weird songs that you're not likely.to see another acoustic guitar guy play. I am limiting my market and possibly my viability. But its what I want to try now musically.



              I would freaking love to have a video of what is am doing. My android phone distorts any audio over a whisper and my wife is generally disinterested. I think maybe Idescribed it like it was spinning plates on sticks on ed sullivan. But Ithink its pretty relaxed. Its musical. I think if you weren't looking it would sound pretty normal.



              I took some advice and put together a pedalboard tonight so Iwont have to make a bunch of connections onsite. I will practice a little tomorrow. I need to make a run sheet of the songs Iam doing and reminder when to start the loops and to make sure the ab is on the right channel. Overthinking is apparently a big part of my personality
              This space intentionally left blank

              Comment


              • #8






                Quote Originally Posted by cephus
                View Post

                the Jamman has this 3 buttom pedal you can buy separately that is tap tempo, play loop backwards and undo. I thought the other 2 functions were less than useful to me. I looked online and found plans for making one yourself and just hacked it down to just the one button. I didn't even need the diodes to get it to work.




                I had seen the add on pedal, which is why I was curious about the undo only (the play backwards would seem like a once a gig thing to me, if that, and strictly a novelty). If I go with the JamMan, I willl come back and ask you about the mod circuit diagram for the undo!





                I considered drilling a hole for the output jack and permanently installing the lawrence pickup on my gigging acoustic. It's not that nice of a guitar and the hassle with the lawrence is that the cable is routed outside the soundhole.



                There are hollow end pins for acoustics that are made to pass the cable through. you just need to take the jack off (hey now!), and make a 'fishhook rig' to draw the cable through. I got mine years ago with my De Armond pu, but I would think they are available ..or maybe not...hmmm...
                "We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties due to reality fluctuations. The elves are working tirelessly to patch the correct version of reality. Activities here have been temporarily disabled since the fundamentals of mathematics, physics and reason may be incomprehensible during this indeterminent period of instability. Normal service will be restored once we are certain as to what 'normal' is."

                Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally used up and worn out, shouting '...man, what a ride!'

                Comment



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