August 8, 2011
by Chris Randall
Something a little different this time. I've been trying to come up with a workflow to enable direct-to-tape "live PA" style performances for the next round of micronaut stuff, and this video is a proof-of-concept of that.
(As an aside, every time you see me use the word "workflow" you are to drink one shot of The Macallan 18-year-old Scotch whiskey. It's the new AI drinking game.)
In any case, with this one, I'm only using Live for sequencing during the performance itself. There are 6 sound sources, two of which (the TETR4 and the iPad) are running in stereo, for a total of 8 tracks. These are sent to the 8 tracks on the (conveniently enough) 8-track tape deck. I've been trying to come up with an 8-buss console solution that didn't take up half my office, but in the mean-time, I just bussed these direct. What this means is that there is no EQ or mic pre prior to the sound hitting tape. Each sound is, for all intents and purposes, plugged right in to the deck.
This would only work if you had all line-level signals to work with, as is the case here, obviously.
Anyhow, coming out of the deck, I'm using my lil' trooper, the Yamaha MW10, to mix the outputs of the deck, and apply a touch of EQ. I've also got an instance of Eos on my MacBook Pro, which I'm using as the sole send effect. So a tiny bit of cheating, but I didn't have cables long enough to use my Lexicon 300 as the send 'verb, and really, when you get to it, they're both digital, so it's not that much of a cheat.
Anyhow, the net result is a 7-minute hybrid analog/digital synth jam recorded to and mixed from a 1/2" 8-track tape deck. In 1990 this would be a stupid high-end home recording rig. In 2011, it's a silly anachronism that really only proves I have time on my hands. But it's puzzles like this that make life worth living. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.