I’m a looping guitarist living in Sheffield, England. I have been performing for 45+ years in a variety of professional bands and latterly, as a solo artist / collaborator.
Repetition and Intuition are the key factors behind my music, which places dynamics & timbre high up the list. I see the guitar as an organic sound source that uses looping technology and laptop treatment to build moods & soundscapes. My pieces are born, evolve and die away.
I also like to rock out 😉
I’ve started a Bandcamp page. so you can download & listen to tracks there, as well on my audio page
My Das Rad band-mate Martin Archer has released several CDs with Julie Tippetts, aka Julie Driscoll of “Wheels On Fire” fame. Some years ago (these things take time!) I was asked to send over a couple of short, acoustic pieces for them to work with. Today I heard initial mixes of the tracks (“Sword Swallower” and “Big Cat Tamer”) and they are amazing!
It never ceases to amaze me where different musical minds can “take” a piece – what was a bare, stripped back guitar composition now has amazing vocals and a subtle “jazz” feel not dissimilar to Joni Mitchell. Martin plans to add a string quartet – I cannot wait to hear the results. The CD should be out some time next year, but it will be worth waiting for!
Any musician wants to play with respected artists and it’s taken me a while (cough), but I feel I may now have achieved my dream thanks to Martin’s faith & trust. Long may it continue.
Last year I played a set at the Awakenings gig in Rugeley, with fellow artists Skoulaman (Hans van Kroonenburg from the Netherlands) and Peter Challoner also on the bill. I was delighted to be invited up to play during part of Skoulaman’s set!
Since it’s relatively light-weight, has a line out for recording and has an internal speaker for practising, I carry my Katana 100 head home after rehearsals. However, the commercial cases you can buy seem little more than dust-covers, they wouldn’t offer any serious protection. So, I bought some felt backed vinyl for £3 and made my own. I’d considered sewing the case together, but in the end went for the simple solution of gaffer tape, I even found a matching colour in my collection. 20 minutes later, here’s the result. Flawed perhaps, but fully functional 😉
For my acoustic forays with Mithril, I’ve been using a Laney LA35C combo, which has been fine for low-key pub-type gigs. More recently, I played a slightly larger venue, where it’s limitations were cruelly exposed. The sound was basically distorting.
After some thought, I realised I didn’t need many of the features of the combo anyway, since the sound was being formed in the HX effects. All I needed was amplification, so I picked up this modest 100W powered speaker, a Yamaha MSR100.
It’s light and portable, both of which are higher up my list these days. For an 8″ speaker, the sound has a lot of depth (it’s a 2-way Bass Reflex system) and the cabinet has a variety of “angle” options. There’s an output to feed to a full PA system, so this will be perfect as a monitor. It also has treble & bass controls, so I can do quick & dirty adjustments to the sound if needed.
I need to remember that however exciting a new sound is at home, it’s not usually a good idea to launch it upon an audience later that evening. Like most looping pedals, the one on my HX effects has no feedback control, so it can’t fade away. My plan was to fade in a long delay and stop the loop, so it tailed off nicely. This would have been a plan, had I not forgotten to stop the loop, which continued to feed into the echo and sounded, well, dreadful.
I’ve loved the “freeze” effect for years but never actually bought one due to balancing cost with pedal-board space and how often I’d actually use it. I’ve tried to achieve a similar effect using the HX. Given that it doesn’t have a “hold” feature, I’ve used a reverb set to maximum decay to simulate it. All the freeze effects are controlled by a single momentary switch, placed after the EQ and compression blocks.
Set to an even split, then A100 when depressed, so the signal stops being sent to the freeze path.
This is for the basic signal, on or off via latching switch, so you’re not “dry” when the freeze is in effect.
This has a zero mix until triggered creates the freeze with maximum decay and mix. On release, it return to zero mix and reduces the decay, so the next segment you freeze doesn’t contain the previous one(!)
this is so when the Rev 1B is zero mix, the signal dies away after a short interval. It’s off by default so you have a fully dry signal. It’s off by default, the switched on (with tails) when the pedal is pressed. If there were internal send/return levels from path A to B (instead of a split), this probably wouldn’t be needed.
You could substitute (or add) a delay for Rev 1B to alter the “fade out” effect. Obviously, you can try different freeze reverbs & settings to fine-tune the frozen sound, add modulated reverb etc. I’ve since moved the loop block so it picks up on the frozen signal.
The next step is to try using a short delay instead of the reverb with max feedback to see what sound that creates 😉
Lost Garden were an ambient duo (or pick your own genre) performing quasi-improvised instrumental pieces. Andy Peake (ex Comsat Angels) on keyboards and Nick Robinson (who was with Andy in the Comsats for a short spell) on guitar/loops.
Tracks were recorded for the projected follow-up to their debut album “Cotyledon” (released on English Electric Records), but Andy was unable to devote more time to the project and reluctantly bowed out. The tracks have been gathering dust on Nick’s hard drive, but he decided they were too good to keep hidden, so here is a posthumous release Senescence from the duo.