Help a noob get his band midi sync'ed

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Omniant
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Help a noob get his band midi sync'ed

Post by Omniant » Thu Dec 09, 2010 10:35 pm

I'm in a band which plays prog rock and live electronica (mostly house and trance). We'd really like to start getting deeper into trance grooves but the "human element" sometimes holds us back. I'd like to be able to sync up to the drummer together so that we can do more layering and sync'd arpeggios. Not so much of a concern for the bass player but for myself and the guitarist (he has a few fx like the gig-fx pro chop which has tremolo and midi) it would be great.

In addition we'd also like to start messing around with vocal samples but sampling is not something that I've really ever learned about; I'm really more of a playing musician. Is us having 3 expensive laptops with ableton the only way for us to start doing this? We don't mind spending the money but that is a little over our budget at this point.

Any info would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: Help a noob get his band midi sync'ed

Post by Omniant » Thu Dec 09, 2010 10:38 pm

Drummer plays an acoustic kit and an SPDS. Probably will eventually spring for the TD12 or TD20 but for now that's his setup.

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Re: Help a noob get his band midi sync'ed

Post by space6oy » Thu Dec 09, 2010 10:55 pm

could try to find one of these:

Image

(the kahler human clock, not the bass station...)

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Re: Help a noob get his band midi sync'ed

Post by Omniant » Thu Dec 09, 2010 10:58 pm

I take it that is some sort of Midi master clock? I could honestly use all the help I can get here. This is not something I'm really familiar with at all.

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Re: Help a noob get his band midi sync'ed

Post by Stab Frenzy » Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:38 am

So what's the problem? The drummer can't play in time to your arpeggios? Get them to practice more.

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Re: Help a noob get his band midi sync'ed

Post by Stab Frenzy » Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:47 am

Omniant wrote:In addition we'd also like to start messing around with vocal samples but sampling is not something that I've really ever learned about; I'm really more of a playing musician. Is us having 3 expensive laptops with ableton the only way for us to start doing this? We don't mind spending the money but that is a little over our budget at this point.
Check out the SP-404SX, they're great samplers for live use. Also why would you need three laptops? Why not just one?

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Re: Help a noob get his band midi sync'ed

Post by space6oy » Fri Dec 10, 2010 4:52 am

Stab Frenzy wrote:So what's the problem? The drummer can't play in time to your arpeggios? Get them to practice more.
playing drums and keeping time to sequences or loops can be tougher than it seems...

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Re: Help a noob get his band midi sync'ed

Post by Stab Frenzy » Fri Dec 10, 2010 5:00 am

Yep, hence the practice more advice. :D

I mix quite a few bands that have live drummers playing to sequenced beats or loops, and my band just started playing with a drummer. It's not the easiest thing to get the hang of straight away cause most drummers are used to being the one who sets the tempo, but like anything you practice it and you get good.

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Re: Help a noob get his band midi sync'ed

Post by space6oy » Fri Dec 10, 2010 5:48 am

heh, touche... ;) i just know sometimes when i record some guitar loops then sit down at my kit it's a b***h to keep time. but i ought to be using headphones instead of just trying to hear the loop through the amp over the kit.

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Re: Help a noob get his band midi sync'ed

Post by ninja6485 » Fri Dec 10, 2010 5:53 am

adam, another sampler you could check out is an akais5000. i got mine dirt cheap, and it's a VERY powerful sampler.
that other dude needed a click track, perhapse you could use that for the drummer? also...i do have a crazy idea... attatch some sort of ghetto rig to the kick pedal that hits the "tap tempo" button on some cheap peice of gear that has a tap tempo function, and use that for the master clock. that way the drummer's kick drum keeps the time for everything that's synced up. not sure if this is less work than having the drummer practice and actually be able to play in time with the synced gear, but it's a start! i take it you're trying to do stuff where you change the tempo of the synced gear and that's where the drummer is getting tripped up?
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...

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Re: Help a noob get his band midi sync'ed

Post by Elandroth » Fri Dec 10, 2010 2:38 pm

ninja6485 wrote:adam, another sampler you could check out is an akais5000. i got mine dirt cheap, and it's a VERY powerful sampler.
that other dude needed a click track, perhapse you could use that for the drummer? also...i do have a crazy idea... attatch some sort of ghetto rig to the kick pedal that hits the "tap tempo" button on some cheap peice of gear that has a tap tempo function, and use that for the master clock. that way the drummer's kick drum keeps the time for everything that's synced up. not sure if this is less work than having the drummer practice and actually be able to play in time with the synced gear, but it's a start! i take it you're trying to do stuff where you change the tempo of the synced gear and that's where the drummer is getting tripped up?

Hah, awesome idea, but that'd have to be one durable button!

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Re: Help a noob get his band midi sync'ed

Post by Omniant » Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:36 pm

That's a pretty hilarious idea. I'm assuming that the kahler human clock would more or less be doing what you were just saying. From what I read, it can send the transients from the kick drum as midi data to multiple devices? It doesn't look like they're easy to find though.

In regards to the laptop situation. I assumed that we would all need to be integrated into ableton.

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Re: Help a noob get his band midi sync'ed

Post by th0mas » Fri Dec 10, 2010 7:01 pm

I've seen a number of bands solve the human/computer divide by having the drummer wear headphones and play to a click track.

You need one MIDI master to feed:
- clock to your synths and the guitarist's FX chain.
- audible click track to the drummer's headphones

From there for the vocal sampling I'd suggest maybe just using a kaoss pad? It can do simple looping and grind things up nice and gross on the fly. Not sure if you want that or more like a precisely looped harmonizing kind of deal.

You could go to one laptop running Live as the MIDI master providing clock as mentioned above and audio to the drummer out the monitor mix, but you'd need an audio and MIDI out interface.

I've had a couple USB audio interfaces, as Tascam US144mkII and a Native Instruments Audio 4 DJ. The Audio 4 DJ was built with DJ using timecoded vinyl as a control medium and I've found that it maintains a much lower latency than the Tascam (which was seemingly built more with a cheap guitar&mic recording setup in mind).

Then you could run FX chains as well as Live's Sampler instrument and go from there.

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Re: Help a noob get his band midi sync'ed

Post by hollandturbine » Sun Dec 12, 2010 2:08 pm

I think I read somewhere that the Korg KP3 can do beat detection (audio to MIDI) and if the KP3 works as well as my RedSound Voyager, it would probably get the job done.

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Re: Help a noob get his band midi sync'ed

Post by cartesia » Mon Dec 13, 2010 3:08 am

it does an OK job as long as the beat is quite clear/not too loose

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