April 1, 2012
Hands, With Occasional Beard...
by Chris Randall
It's been a while since I did a Disembodied Hands Touching Gear video, so I busted one out this afternoon. I've picked up quite a few new pieces of kit in the intervening months, and some of it appears in this video.
The bassline is the old MeeBlip, while the main melody is the new MeeBlip SE; I think you can pretty clearly hear the difference. The new one is quite a bit cleaner and more sedate. There are significant UI differences between the two, despite their identical panel layout, and this means a pretty big divergence in the results. I had a feeling this would be the case when I saw the specs for the new one, which is why I didn't update my old one. I plan to keep both. They are essentially different synths entirely. That said, a MeeBlip of any stripe is now, and has been since its initial release, the best deal in new hardware synth gear, period, for what you get versus cost.
The drums and percussion are all from the Maschine. I have a Mikro controller, and am seriously thinking about switching up to the Makro one; I'm still trying to decide if it fits in my workflow, though. I'm having a strange struggle with the gain structure, and I'll probably upgrade to the bigger one if I figure it out. (Obviously, the software part that actually makes sound is not dependent on which controller is used.) The samples are all from my pretty large library of TX81Z percussion sounds; I sampled directly in to the Maschine software. This was an interesting exercise, since it functions essentially identically to a hardware sampling drum machine. Kickin' it old school with the new hybrid gear, yo.
Towards the end, the little percussion pattern that comes in is the SammichFM, which is a MidiBox FM in a little desktop box, from the same folks that brought you the SammichSid. Information available here. Short version: it is basically a MIDI-to-Yamaha OPL3 Chip interface unit, so essentially a 4-op FM synth nearly identical to a Yamaha TQ-5, except without the FX. Or a volume knob. This will rapidly drive me insane; as you can see in the video (or any of my many other videos) I arrange when I improvise by turning the volume on the units up and down. Grrrr. Argh. It sounds like an OPL3-based synth, anyhow, albeit with a much nicer user interface.
The DSI Tetr4 makes its normal appearance, as well as my Eventide TimeFactor and Space. (They are the only effects used, period, other than a couple compressors and gates in Live to tame things; they are configured as External Effects in Live.)