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Re: Live sequencing.

>An informal poll:
>When doing your live looping gigs, i'm curious how much everyone is using
>canned sequenced materials?

I've just started a new group, currently a trio with a drummer that doubles
on turntables and a bassist who loops. I'm playing rhodes, modular synth,
sampler, etc. Our goal is to be a cross betweem Herbie Hancock's Sextant
band and DJ Spooky. In this group, I'm using a Roland MC303 drum
machine/sequencer, and an analog step sequencer in the modular. We've had a
couple of gigs now, and I feel like we're figuring out a few things about
the machine/human-time connundrum.

I use the MC303 as a master clock for all my stuff, because it has a tap
tempo to quickly sync it to the rhythm section or the turntables. I think
this is pretty important, to make the machine-driven stuff a little more
flexible. If I set the tempo with the MC303 at the start of a piece, the
band follows it and I generally don't have to adjust. If the drummer starts
a piece, I'll sync to him and keep following him. This seems to really help
the flow.

Also, I don't have complete tracks sequenced, maybe just drum loops and a
few percussive synth tracks at a time. I try to make the sequenced parts
really obvious, and to leave holes for the 3 of us to play parts that fit
into the grooves. Also, I have things set up so when we move to different
sections, I have to trigger them manually, no sections are a fixed length.

Another thing is that I don't sync everything up. The bassist uses a
boomerang for looping, I use a vortex and a jamman, but it's not
MIDI-synced. It keeps us more awake trying to do loops that work in real
time, and if it drifts, that's OK too.

I use Vision as my main computer-based sequencer, and it offers a lot of
flexibility for live stuff as well, you can use keys from the computer
keyboard or MIDI notes to trigger new sections, things like that. I'd just
rather not take a computer to gigs.
>Reason i ask?  Just saw Michael Brook/Djivan Gasparyan at the
>newly-remodeled Gothic Theater in Denver.  I went to see the famed duduk
>player, not really to catch Brook, and while i REALLY enjoyed the duduk, 
>presentation left something to be desired...  I felt that there was alot 
>rough edges, mostly due to trying to integrate technology into the gig, 
>the fact that Brook is NOT the 'virtuoso guitarist' that the CD liner 
>to 'Black Rock' make him out to be...  Most of the sequenced stuff was
>really just loops, but the lengths of the sections were definitely
>programmed and just when they finally started to hit a groove, they moved
>on...  I don't know, in this case, they just relied TOO much on technology
>in my opinion, and there wasn't enough PLAYING...  (off my soapbox..)  Buy
>the record (which i like) and save the $$, unless you wish to see the
>legendary Gasparyan (you won't be disappointed in him).
Sounds like a fairly disappointing show, too bad because Gasparyan is an
amazing musician.

Dave Trenkel : improv@peak.org  : www.peak.org/~improv/

"...there will come a day when you won't have to use
gasoline. You'd simply take a cassette and put it in
your car, let it run. You'd have to have the proper
type of music. Like you take two sticks, put 'em
together, make fire. You take some notes and rub 'em
together - dum, dum, dum, dum - fire, cosmic fire."
                                            -Sun Ra