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Perceval Burkett

Hello and advice solicited.

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Posted (edited)

Old guy guitarist/ bassist here. Recently diving into keys, working to learn Logic on my MacBook. My long time jammin buddy and I are looking to get into some synth/seq/drum machine type live jams so I’m looking at picking up some kind of drum machine, seq, synth combo to supplement what we already have.  Think Kraftwerk, Tangerene Dream, as inspiration more than strictly dance music. Synth ambience with some beats and the ability to work in some real instruments in a live jamming  situation. 
Heres what we have to start off with: Old Korg X5D. Currently using it as a midi controller for Logic. Scarlett I8i8 interface, 12 ch mixer, powered 12” mackie and sub,, plenty of mics, bazookles of guitar effect pedals. MacBook, iPad. Old Boss Dr5 drum machine that’s a bugger to program and a lot of the preprogrammed patterns and kits are pretty dated. An old Casio home keyboard that has 1/4 l&r outs and midi, a few rhythms, no aftertouch. Sounds are pretty crappy but can be enhanced with pedals.

Can’t decide which path to go down. Key and pad controllers, sequencers,  and semi modular stuff, or go with a drum machine like a DrumBrute Impact or the Beringher 808 clone and a keyboard  equipped synth. Would probably start with an analog mono synth like a Minibrute, Monologe,  Reface CS( no seq but a looper and also polyphonic) or MS 1, and use the computer( with maybe a new dedicated midi keyboard) for the poly sounds at least to start, but IDK if that’s a good plan or not. There’s so many choices out there. I’d  be willing to spend up to a grand or so on this endeavor eventually, but I need some kind of plan. The stuff needs to be easy to use live and all work together without a lot of hassle.

where would you start? Thanks.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Perceval Burkett

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I guess you mean the mc 101. I dunno. It seems a bit too sample based and digital with a buncha menus to navigate. I might go for a sampler/Groovebox at some point but right now I kinda want to explore analog sounds and twist knobs and sliders.  I can see where the 4 track seq would be handy but I’m thinking either maybe an  Arturia Key-step seq/midi keyboard , a Poly D, and a Volca or two.....or something like a Miniloge and a DrumBrute might be more my speed. 

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4 hours ago, Perceval Burkett said:

I guess you mean the mc 101. I dunno. It seems a bit too sample based and digital with a buncha menus to navigate. I might go for a sampler/Groovebox at some point but right now I kinda want to explore analog sounds and twist knobs and sliders.  I can see where the 4 track seq would be handy but I’m thinking either maybe an  Arturia Key-step seq/midi keyboard , a Poly D, and a Volca or two.....or something like a Miniloge and a DrumBrute might be more my speed. 

How about soft synths then?

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Posted (edited)
On 4/24/2020 at 3:13 AM, 1001gear said:

How about soft synths then?

Well, I’m already using the ones that come in Logic.  Maybe with a better controller with some hands on knobs. Looking at the Nektar Impact 25lx or 49lx for more hands on control in Logic. But I really want to get away from computer screens, samples, and presets as much as possible. More in the moment improv vs pre programmed tracks.

I’m lusting more for real knobs, sliders, and keys, and an easy to grok sequencer, arppegiator, or looper.

Edited by Perceval Burkett

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If you're thinking analog / Kraftwerk / Tangerine Dream etc. I'd take a look at real analog like for example Moog Mother 32 / Moog DFAM combo... it would be a bit more than 1K new (although you could get them used) but you'd have plenty of knobs, and real analog sound. Alternatively, there are many digital or virtual analog desktop machines that offer both sequencing and drums in one package...

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If you want to go with hardware, it's pretty hard to beat those inexpensive Behringer boxes. I already had a Roland TB-03, so I didn't get one of their Bassline clones, but I did pick up their Model D Minimoog clone and their Pro 1 (Sequential Pro One clone) and both are spot-on in terms of nailing the sound and basic functions of the synths they're based on. Both are monosynths, with no presets, so you'll need to create your own patches from scratch (and use photos or patch sheets if you want to "store" them for later "recall") but both are great deals on real analog synths. 

I also purchased a pair of the Roland JX-3P reproductions - the Roland Boutique series JX-03's. They're only 4 voice each (although you can cascade them for 8 voice operation), but otherwise quite nice recreations (via digital modeling) of early Roland polysynths. For drums I'm using Spark on my iPad and a Spark LE controller from Arturia. I like that it gives me all the classic drum machine sounds from the 808 to the 909, as well as digital (DMX) type sounds too. Lots of variety. They make Spark for the Mac too. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Since posting this, I’ve been experimenting with what I can do with what I have, and had a kind of epiphany as to a direction to go in, as far as a core, or brain to a system, and I’ve decided the first thing I need is a multi track looping device.

How I arrived at this was 

1. Programmed a suitable drum beat and tempo on the old Dr5. 

2. layed down some rhythm guitar on my Jam Man Solo looper pedal. 

3. Played lead guitar or keys on top.

I realized that if I had a good way to loop a bass part that could easily be synced with the drum track and guitar loop ,I’d be well on the way to achieving a backing “band” that can be layed down rather quickly in a live jam, freeing me, or me and a partner, to play lead guitar, keys, or concentrate on singing. If the parts could be easily preprogrammed and chained in a specific order to build up songs that would be even cooler.
 

I thought about buying another looper pedal for the bass that would sync easily with the Jam Man,

  but then I ran across the  Boss RC 505 loop station. Expensive, but seems to have everything I’d need to sync up drums, bass, and rhythm guitar tracks. It had 5 separate loop channels of independent length, tap tempo , some quantization available, sync, midi, usb, effects on input and output channels, some built in drums, and plenty of pattern storage.  
For a guy who really doesn’t play keys well and doesn’t want to be always limited to 16 or 32 steps in a sequencer for bass lines and chord progressions,  this seems like the most usable (for me)gadget I’ve ran across.  
Since the looper would have a tap tempo clock to send via midi seems like you could hook up just about any synth, drum machine, or any source really,  to this core. 

Theres also the RC300, which has foot pedals, but you have to stoop over for everything else, and it also has less tracks. Does appear to be a bit sturdier built tho. I can see adv and disadvantages to either the 300 or the 505. Anyone used either or both?

Still want a new synth to play with though. MS20 mini is the one speaking to me right now as of this moment.

Am i way off base as to what either of these +/- $500 boxes can do, or am I way off track here?

Mod: If this post might be better in another forum, like solos and duos, then I can move it or copy it over.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Perceval Burkett

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Today I downloaded Mainstage on a recc from another forum. Buncha nice sounds and really convenient way to organize them into fav patches and set lists.  Logic drives ne crazy because I haven’t figured out how to do something similar in it, easily recall inst and patches without getting lost in menus and sub menus. Supposedly there’s a way to make Mainstage do loops through the delay, but it’s complicated. Lots of midi assignments and measure counting involved. Havn’t dug into that yet.
Supposedly Logic and Mainstage work together as they are both Apple products, but I haven’t really figured that out . Like how to record a Mainstage performance, or how to use the Mainstage instruments and effects in Logic. Idk, they’d may all be the same but the ones in Mainstage are certainly more rationally organized. Plug ins are still a mystery to me. I havnt bought any and so the only ones I’ve used is those that magically appear alongside a software instrument  in Logic when you load it.

Damn, I hate learning  software. I’m too friggin old. 

 

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