Latest version of Guitar Rig looks snazzy, but I’ll stick with my Line 6

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Guitar Rig was my first guitar-to-computer interface and it was really impressive.  This latest version still looks impressive, but ever since I switched over to the Line 6 HD300, which has the A/D converter built into a steel pedal board, I haven’t had much use for Guitar Rig.  Here’s the article about the newest version.  A lot of these features are already available in the Line 6 product.  Basically, the Line 6 works more like something you’d have on stage.  The Guitar Rig (by Native Instruments – a GREAT company from Germany)seems more like a studio tool.

New original musical microblogging – POWERLESS

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Notice Uncle Leo hiding behind the guitar in the picture above.

[audio:http://mpomy.com/Music/Powerless.mp3]

Powerless – this is more musical microblogging, very much in the spirit of Hector & Achilles, but with better software.  I’m not sure if it’s a better result.  Anyway, the goal was to get both Guitar Rig and Reason running through Logic.  That worked great, except I couldn’t quite figure out how to use the Logic instruments without triggering the Reason stuff.  And the video tutorial I was working from sucked, so there was still a lot of trial and error.  And Uncle Leo kept walking on the laptop – big surprise there.

So this is a pair of Dr Rex rhythms coming through Reason (first one then both patterns), acoustic piano from the Reason NN-19 sampler (but using reverb and chorus from Logic) and a Thor patch called Alan Turnig’s Dream, also through Reason.

Guitar was supplied by my old Travis Bean, still in need of some cosmetic repair work.  Sadly, it was too late at night to run live out of the Lab Series amplifier, so I settled for a cheezy preset from Guitar Rig.  You have to hand it too Native Instruments, even the feedback from the Bean’s high output humbuckers is faithfully modeled.  Basically this is supposed to be a Vox AC-30 (2×12) with a bit of delay.  I don’t like these digital models for guitar, but they are damned convenient, especially after hours.

All other sounds were played on the Axiom 25 keyboard, which had to have its first hard reset because when I started all but three of the keys were non-functional.  Fortunately the reset solved that problem.

Hopefully there is decent volume.  My old GarageBand efforts are usually pretty quiet.  This may be quiet too because the meters on Logic weren’t peaking.  To my ears, though, it sounds OK.  I haven’t tried to automate any panning or really doing anything left-right at all.  Sorry – no spacial dynamics this time.  I try to learn that as I get more comfortable with the recording, mixing and mastering.

This was really just an exercise, but I’m very pleased about it’s faithfulness to the original musical microblogging concept from Fretbuzz.net – almost exactly one minute.

Back to the whole DJ thing – will I ever learn?

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Ah the mix-tape.  Am I still in high school?  College?  Trying desperately to get the attention of a lovely young lady who barely knows I exist?  I know!  A mixtape!  My unaprralleled knowledge of music will instantly win her over and we’ll live happily ever after.  All my fears of rejection will be extinguished even before the auto-reverse mechanism clicks over to the second 45 minutes of aural bliss.

Actually, my ‘mixtape’ fantasy worked once.  A tape I made caused two people to fall madly in love and get married.  The only problem was that I was not one of them.  That’s a story for another time.  But a recent release of crazy cool Brazilian music made me rethink the whole DJ thing, but this time in a slightly different light.  The record is Gilles Peterson – Brazilika, and I guess if I had grown up in the UK, I might have a better of who Gilles Peterson is and why i should care about his music.  It’s amazing to me that there’s a DJ in the UK, over 40 years old, who can release a relevant compilation of music.  Would that happen in this country?  Anyway, the record is great, introduced me to Azymuth, whose early stuff seems vey much ‘up my alley’, and is a nice listen straight through.

But, of course, I got to thinking – ‘I could do that.  Better.’  Of course.  So, the thinkg before was starting with an abstract idea of making everything happen all at once – past-present-future all mixed on to one glorious track.  Looking back on that post from the past, it’s little wonder I didn’t follow-through on the project.  So now, after delighting to the treasures in Mr. Peterson’s vault, I’m thinking of going back to my virtual decks, looking into some of the more obscure corners of my record collection and – mixtape.  Something of a glossy sampler to be released through Blogerantz.  Maybe some post-production and a fancy bit of art, but still really just a mixtape.

Mpomy and Guitar Rig Session

That’s not my guitar, but its very similar to the instrument that was used to create this 2 minute jam (Notice the Funk 49 reference at the beginning – not intentional). More important than the guitar, however, is the fact that this represents a good solution. After work, basically no time to work on composing, but I had a real need to rock out. So, I just hooked up to Guitar Rig and ran that, not as a plug-in, but rather as a stand-alone. It’s got a recorder that let me get down some ideas very quickly. I wouldn’t try to merge these into a Logic project, but at least the ideas have been taken down quickly and cleanly. I also have to compliment the folks at Native Instruments who made the guitar sound pretty realistic.

This what it sounds like.

Mpomy Music – ‘No See’ (first draft)

I’m pleased to be getting a little more facile with Logic 8. This 50 second fragment was constructed over the weekend, and I think it has some promise for inclusion with other parts. I started with a template just to get some instruments on the page. I picked some loops for the drums, and it still feels like cheating. Ironically, the worst of it is the guitar part – which is replete with wrong notes and out-of-tune strings. I played this for The Lovely Emily, and she gave me some great tips, which are incorporated into this draft. Also, I was able to do some finishing when the computer wasn’t hooked up to all the hardware. The Axiom 25 and the Guitar Rig Session I/O are small enough, but I’m not usually carrying that stuff around with me. Now I see that I can edit anywhere I have my computer.

Anyway, here’s the song – ‘No See’