My Latest Sequencer

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Daryl
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My Latest Sequencer

Post by Daryl » Sun Nov 03, 2019 12:33 pm

In another thread
Big and Bashful wrote:Our jamming mob has been pining for a drummer, someone or something to help the "band" with timing. Since we lack a drummist I have started looking at using midi files and now, I am starting to play with another DAW, to see how the midi side of things works, getting interesting, pity I have to do inconvenient things like work, it's getting in the way, this could be good fun!
This reminds me that I've failed to post a report on my newest sequencer. Since I seem to have a complete disconnection between the drummer in my head and all the rest of the parts of my body, it allows me to "jam" with myself, in addition to providing a really long term electronics hobby. Since I've made my new sequencer using a rack system, and limit it to pre-microcomputer electronics (as with my previous sequencer), the project will never be truly finished, but here it is at the moment. Beethoven it ain't...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bc5J6mW1AxY

With all those dangly wires you can bet that I sympathise with you over having to re-arrange things to keep them cat proof. There are two curious felines living with me. If I'm not careful I'm also likely to find sundry components knocked off the table I work on and on the floor, and some things disappear entirely.
Daryl...

Big and Bashful
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Re: My Latest Sequencer

Post by Big and Bashful » Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:34 am

Nice piece of home made sequencer/synthesizer! I managed to get the full size Soundcraft console a place to live in in the clubhouse where the jammers jam, so I have my dining table back! I have a small 12 track Behringer mixer which can squirt audio through a USB port into my PC, so I can record audio as well as midi to my DAW, which is Cakewalk by Bandcamp, I had the older version which was payware, and fairly pricey, so was happy to see an updated version which is free. My Yamaha AW16G 16 track portastudio thing does have midi ports but I haven't figured out what they do yet, wotking on the PC I am slowly getting to grips with midi and building a track, only copying a song so that I can mute the tracks the jammers and I will play live, leaving things like drums and maybe keyboards to be filled in by a computer, maybe my 10 year old laptop if it is quick enough to cope.
My aim is to get the jammers playing a track, something doing the midi thing to supply drums, all mixed through the Soundcraft mixer into the 4 separate stereo sub-groups, which will be outputted into the Yamaha recorder which can record the 8 tracks, giving me a multitrack recording to work with, (To show the jammers were improvement is needed (mostly everywhere!)).
As the group often consists of three or 4 vocalists, a man on bass or guitar, another man on bass ukelele or ukelele, another who has bass and guitar, another on banjo, I think there is sometimes another guitarist, then me on anything from mandolin, 6 string guitar, 12 string guitar, 6 string Nashville tuned guitar or maybe even simple keyboards, we can easily use all 16 channels on the big mixer. (Where possible I like each instrument to have its own channel, so I can set the channel up and not have to adjust every time a musician swaps instruments, also eliminating the bangs when people unplug an unmuted instrument.
So no home made synths for me, but a whole load of leads and toys!
Hopefully next Friday, once I am back from Gibraltar again, there is going to be a jamming night where all the toys can come out to play! Bet we don't have enough leads!
I am the God of Hellfire! and I bring you truffles!

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Daryl
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Re: My Latest Sequencer

Post by Daryl » Tue Nov 05, 2019 7:57 pm

Big and Bashful wrote:Nice piece of home made sequencer/synthesizer! I managed to get the full size Soundcraft console a place to live in in the clubhouse where the jammers jam, so I have my dining table back! I have a small 12 track Behringer mixer which can squirt audio through a USB port into my PC, so I can record audio as well as midi to my DAW, which is Cakewalk by Bandcamp, I had the older version which was payware, and fairly pricey, so was happy to see an updated version which is free. My Yamaha AW16G 16 track portastudio thing does have midi ports but I haven't figured out what they do yet, wotking on the PC I am slowly getting to grips with midi and building a track, only copying a song so that I can mute the tracks the jammers and I will play live, leaving things like drums and maybe keyboards to be filled in by a computer, maybe my 10 year old laptop if it is quick enough to cope.
My aim is to get the jammers playing a track, something doing the midi thing to supply drums, all mixed through the Soundcraft mixer into the 4 separate stereo sub-groups, which will be outputted into the Yamaha recorder which can record the 8 tracks, giving me a multitrack recording to work with, (To show the jammers were improvement is needed (mostly everywhere!)).
As the group often consists of three or 4 vocalists, a man on bass or guitar, another man on bass ukelele or ukelele, another who has bass and guitar, another on banjo, I think there is sometimes another guitarist, then me on anything from mandolin, 6 string guitar, 12 string guitar, 6 string Nashville tuned guitar or maybe even simple keyboards, we can easily use all 16 channels on the big mixer. (Where possible I like each instrument to have its own channel, so I can set the channel up and not have to adjust every time a musician swaps instruments, also eliminating the bangs when people unplug an unmuted instrument.
So no home made synths for me, but a whole load of leads and toys!
Hopefully next Friday, once I am back from Gibraltar again, there is going to be a jamming night where all the toys can come out to play! Bet we don't have enough leads!
There are never enough leads. The drummer of the basement band I used to jam with had purchased a lot of digital tape equipment and I advised him to start doing it on the computer but he had a sunk investment he was convinced was how all the "pros" would be doing it for a long time. We did a few recordings where he really utilised the gear. For example, after getting a song down pat by jamming, we'd come in separately to record our individual bits, so even things that were on mics would have crystal clear tracks free of incidental sound from other instruments. But, to be honest, I could have recorded and downmixed all of those with nothing more sophisticated than Audacity, and not devoted so much space and money to recording gear. There is something to be said for tangible gear, though, and despite the advantages of separate recordings, there is an energy to a full ensemble performance that can't be duplicated just in mixing. All the toys definitely have a place.

I have made a tiny collection of midi gear and have mostly figured it all out. I even made my own midi cables from old PC keyboards; they used the same DIN connectors. I've found latency a big issue with every computer I've tried to use as a controller. When I press a key on the computer keyboard and there is a noticeable delay before the sound comes out of the synth, that is a problem. My M-Audio midi keyboard connected directly to my Alesis Nanobass produces no such delay, and my computer is fast, so I assume software is the problem. Overall I've given up on Midi, even though I do have the connectors that will even allow my Android phone to drive old-style midi devices like the Nanobass. I could be mistaken, but midi seems better suited to controlling devices other than instruments; devices like lights, mixers, and curtains. If I ever want my sequencer to play one of my midi devices, I will hook up mechanical fingers to hit keys before I add a midi interface to it!
Daryl...

weeladdie18
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Re: My Latest Sequencer

Post by weeladdie18 » Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:16 pm

Big and Bashful spoke of a 6 string Nashville tuning.....Please can someone tell me if this is a standard guitar tuning with a capo or a changed open tuning
like the 12 bar open bottle neck blues D A D G A G .

I remember a lecture on blue grass ( ? ) where every tuning was open and played with a bar whilst finger picking.

The session country guitarist who played for Elvis in Sam Phillips Studio did a performance in England some twenty years ago . He was over 70 at the time .

Anyone ever used the Canadian Maple Leaf Beer Bottle Top pick up ? stuck on with blue tack ?.....I used one on a wash board pumped through a magic box

One last one , Chuck Berry style 655 ( ? ) played with an attenuator and a Fender Valve Amp. ...I am afraid the music was lost in a bundle of toys .

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Freedomforall
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Re: My Latest Sequencer

Post by Freedomforall » Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:21 pm

I like it a lot. It is very space-age sounding.

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Daryl
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Re: My Latest Sequencer

Post by Daryl » Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:33 am

Freedomforall wrote:I like it a lot. It is very space-age sounding.
Thanks. The chip I am using for sound is the original sound chip from the Space Invaders arcade game, so it comes by its spaciness honestly. That chip is the Texas Instruments SN76477.

(In the past I have said it was used in the Asteroids arcade game, which may not be true, it turns out. Either way, it is still a 1978 chip.)

If you like space-agey then this video might be entertaining too. It's not an attempt to make music but rather to play with visual patterns corresponding to various harmonies between the chip's two oscillators. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlEsDO9rzy0
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Big and Bashful
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Re: My Latest Sequencer

Post by Big and Bashful » Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:25 pm

weeladdie18 wrote:Big and Bashful spoke of a 6 string Nashville tuning.....Please can someone tell me if this is a standard guitar tuning with a capo or a changed open tuning
like the 12 bar open bottle neck blues D A D G A G .

I remember a lecture on blue grass ( ? ) where every tuning was open and played with a bar whilst finger picking.

The session country guitarist who played for Elvis in Sam Phillips Studio did a performance in England some twenty years ago . He was over 70 at the time .

Anyone ever used the Canadian Maple Leaf Beer Bottle Top pick up ? stuck on with blue tack ?.....I used one on a wash board pumped through a magic box

One last one , Chuck Berry style 655 ( ? ) played with an attenuator and a Fender Valve Amp. ...I am afraid the music was lost in a bundle of toys .
Nashville tuning uses lighter strings, the E, A, D & G strings are 1 octave higher, with the B and hig E the same as standard guitar tuning, basically the high strings off a 12 string guitar. High tuning is slightly different, I think Dave Gilmour used high tuning on Hey You (off The Wall). Can't remember the exact difference but a quick Google will reveal all!
I am the God of Hellfire! and I bring you truffles!

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Re: My Latest Sequencer

Post by weeladdie18 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:56 pm

B & B thanks for Nashville Tuning ....I must try that with my Chinese Acoustic Guitar

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Re: My Latest Sequencer

Post by Big and Bashful » Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:41 am

Wee laddie, it is an interesting sound, a bit more ethereal and less bassy (obviously). All the standard fingerings and chords work, often if there are multiple guitars or if you are recording a track and want to emphasise the acoustic guitars, you would record the acoustic strumming twice, one panned left, one panned right and also with one of them in Nashville tuning, the high tuning gives a good spread of sound and prevents the multiple guitars sounding muddy. Also as they are being played separately the differences in timing stop them just sounding like a 12 string.
Just committed Google, High tuning tunes the bottom 3 strings up an octave, Nashville tuning is the bottom 4 strings tuned up an octave. Of course you need to restring with suitable string sets, I bought mine from D-Addario (Bet that spelling is wrong!). The same article says these popular songs all feature Nashville tuning:

The Rolling Stones – Jumpin’ Jack Flash – Intro
The Rolling Stones – Wild Horses
Pink Floyd – Hey You
Elliott Smith – XO
The Smiths – The Headmaster Ritual
Pat Metheny – Country Poem & Phase Dance

Finally, some folk, (notably Dave Gilmour on the song Hey You also replaces the low E string with the same gauge and tuning of the high Nashville E string to give a different tone again.
I am the God of Hellfire! and I bring you truffles!

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