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.)


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Apr.01.2012 @ 9:55 AM
IM 10 Seconds into... that bassline is filthier than your first Hustler mag !

Apr.01.2012 @ 9:57 AM
MeeBlip melody is lush, great tune.

Apr.01.2012 @ 10:05 AM
Mike Nickel
Very cool, thanks.

Apr.01.2012 @ 11:11 AM
This may be my favorite improv, yet. Sounds great and makes me even more excited about he MeeBlip that will be crossing the border to me next week.

Apr.01.2012 @ 12:06 PM
That was well worth the wait. Thanks.
Good to hear you're feeling better.

Apr.01.2012 @ 12:43 PM
beauty pill
This is cool!

(Also: Micronaut alias is officially retired? You are always the One True Micronaut to me.)

- c

Apr.01.2012 @ 2:50 PM
Chris Randall
Yeah, there's just too many now. I wasn't aware of "the Micronauts" when I concurrently chose the name. However, they only did a couple remixes then stopped using it, so it was never much of a problem. Now, there are 8 that I know about, and 7 of them are in other countries so there's nothing I can do about it. The one in New Orleans, I wrote him but he never wrote me back; neither did he do any more shows under the name, though.

Basically, I just gave up. Plus it's silly to have name demarcations amongst the music I do, I think.


Apr.01.2012 @ 3:31 PM
Totally digging the funky backbeat.

Apr.01.2012 @ 4:46 PM
the micronauts (french guys) seemed to have dried up around 2008 per discogs. speedy J did a nice remix of their track "the jag" otherwise their output is not my thing.

link [youtu.be]

there's also the micranots who do hip hop.

i some times think of dropping the moniker.... or retiring it and making up a new one like LMFAOWTFPOSBTWDTF

anyway - nice jam. :)

Apr.01.2012 @ 7:11 PM
>i some times think of dropping the moniker<

I don't know, boobs is a pretty great name.

I was curious about the name thing. I was just discussing last night how people use different names for projects that sound even slightly different, while in the past artists would put out a wide variety of material under the same name. I always say that if I need to become familiar with an artist I just listen to the 30 second iTunes preview of one song and I know everything about their career.


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