Had a great time last night at the ancient Bishop’s House. Sadly Martin Archer was too ill to perform, but it mean Meson and The Garden got to play extended sets! Good to see Mark & Mark, ever-present at my gigs, it seems. Also great to see Dean from Hathersage and long-time CSA fan Elliot Wheeler (now in a revitalised Danse Society!) from Liverpool! Jan Todd & Elliot took some great photos (below)
That’s the snappy title of an article written by Koshiro Hatori in the Tanteidan Magazine 145. The Tanteidan (Japanese for “detectives”) are a high-end origami group who study the deeper ends of the folding art. I can’t read Japanese, but Hatori-san contacted me a while ago for details of how I have used paper within the field of music. You can read more here.
Just a quick reminder of the next gig I’m playing on Friday 30th May 7.30, at a delightful 16th century house just down the road from where I live, called Bishop’s house. I’m playing with my Garden duo, alongside Martin Archer and Meson. Here’s a photo from a previous set there.
More details here
If you’ve ever fancied a custom Fender, here’s a chance to get one step nearer. Nip to this site and you can design your own from the ground up, then, assuming you have more money than your wife needs, have them build it for you! Here’s my dream Strat…
Large corporations are often accused of overlooking the “little guy”, so when I tried to source three knobs for my (discontinued) GP100, I held little hope when emailing Roland. How wrong I was, they said they had none in stock, but could have them shipped over from Japan if I would pay the postage. How much would the total package come to? A whapping £6.50!
Cash paid, the knobs arrived within a week and had this cute receipt, listing KNOB and MR KNOB, weight zero! Nice one Roland….
As someone who grew became absorbed with music around the birth of progressive rock, there are a few keyboard sounds that I have loved ever since. A Hammond organ, a Fender rhodes and a Mellotron. A few years ago, I bought a Roland Vintage Synth module almost solely because of the mellotron patches (recorded from the real thing).
For years I’ve searched for a decent software emulation that doesn’t cost the earth and just today, I found it!
Made by Artifake Labs it’s not only a wonderful VST plugin, but better than that, it’s totally free! Whilst I’d still love a real one, compare the cost (several thousand pounds) and potential maintenance of the real thing and it’s a complete no-brainer. Here’s a video demo.
It’s now in my plugin rack for Ableton ready to be looped. I look forward to indulging my Crimso tendencies a bit more often from now on 🙂
There are any number of textural loopers out there, but my friend Stephen is amongst those closest to my musical heart.
Listen to the first track on his bandcamp album and tell me it isn’t lovely. I’ve played a few gigs on the same bill and admire the way he can closely recreate his tracks live, something I frankly struggle with ;(
Whilst totally unsung, he ploughs his furrow with considerable musical skill.
Here’s the latest mix from a live improv session between myself and Andy Peake AKA Lost Garden. I love it!
The Garden is the name of my latest improv duo, featuring the wonderful Andy Peake on keyboards & FX. The last time I played original music with Andy was back in the 80s during my brief tenure in his band the Comsat Angels. We’ve been good friends since and done plenty of jamming with various drummers & bassists, but more recently we’ve shrunk back to a duo and are developing a sound & feel. You can check out the first fruits of this on a live recording called Kairos
Our first gig will be at Bishop’s House on friday May 30th, alongside Martin Archer and Mark Hadman.
For my covers band, Rachel & the Riffs, I’ve been running my Line6 M13 into a JMP preamp (with a stereo reverb send to a zoom 1201) then into a stereo power amp. Great sound, but I lose the stereo end of the M13. So, I’m switching back to a GP100 preamp.
I’ve found out how to split the banks of the M13 so banks 3/4 are sent via the FX output to the FX send/return of the GP100. This will keep FX in stereo at all times and place the spacial effects where they should be, after the preamp. It means an extra set of cables, but this won’t add much to the setup time. I’ll need a midi pedal to select patches on the GP100, but I was using a similar device to select patches on the JMP1, so no extra gear overall. The GP100 will also have reverb running, so I can lose the Zoom from the rack.
The other logic behind this is that I’m using the M13 for distortion to boost solos etc. This is more easily done by having the EQ section of the GP100 foot-switchable so whatever patch I’m using, one pedal will go into boost mode. This should reduce the reliance on the M13 for tone and allow me to set up scenes that are FX only, not tone or distortion. I can also go a step further and trigger patches on the GP100 that are set up for a given sound including things like compression, again reducing the M13 toe-tapping and scene switching.
Sadly, the GP100 shows it’s age with choices of delay, mod etc, so the M13 can’t be replaced altogether, but the tone section is still pretty good. I have a pal Mark who uses a GT-100, I’ll borrow that, check it out and see if I can summon up the energy to persuade my wife it’s a necessary upgrade. I’ll start by showing her the cost of a Fractal AXE-fx 😉
My main band don’t go in for extended jam/improv sessions, where the M13 shines, so I’m hoping this setup will mean less worriting about what to press with my size 11 and more chance to focus on the music 😉