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WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

Final piece of the puzzle...
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Production Techniques  
Author Final piece of the puzzle...
blackbetty88
Hey wigglers,

After spending the last few years researching and buying and selling gear, I have come to the point where I think I may have set upon a setup where I can replicate/create the types of sounds & rhythms in my head and apply that in a musical context through production.

I've done much exploring and trial and error eg software or hardware, digital or analog, laptop or no laptop and many hybrids in between and conceptually what I have settled on is:
- E-RM multiclock (master clock)
- Beatstep pro (main sequencer)
- Soundcraft FX16ii mixer (all audio/effects through mixer)
- dreadbox erebus (synth 1)
- dreadbox hades (synth 2)
- volca bass (synth 3)
- roland tr8s (drum machine/sampler)
- vermona DRM1 mkii (drum machine)
- boss rc505 (looper)
- various effects (routed via aux in mixer)

Any piece of gear can be swapped out for a different make or model of the same type of gear but I believe having access to these 'instruments' or members in the band so to speak will allow me to create in a way that gets the paint down on the canvas quicker and more effectively when inspiration creeps up and taps me on the shoulder.

Now the final piece of gear I am thinking of buying is the Roland Handsonic HPD-20 which will be fed into the rc505 looper so I can make live loops on the fly as I play various rhythms with my hands/fingers. Most if not all my musical ideas are rhythmical and being able to quickly get these out through my hands and looped will be of great benefit…I think.

So I wanted to see what thoughts/feelings/recommendations/opinions/tips everyone and anyone had to not only the addition of the handsonic but to the entire setup in general?? All feedback be that positive or negative is welcome.

I understand there is the need for possibly a polysynth in place of one of my current synths as an example but the basic idea behind this selection of ingredients of gear is that it allows me to seamlessly (I hope) move between both production/track creation and more longer form live performance type practice/recording.

Everything seems to be working how I envisaged it so far but now with looking to add the handsonic I just want to be sure that there isn’t any unforeseen issues/hurdles I am not aware of??

Appreciate all your time and honesty.
Technologear?
Hey dude.

Polysynth- any purchase would need an inbuilt polyphonic sequencer as your BSP can't do polyphonic sequencing.
Alternatively you could play poly synth pads and stabs into the looper and play back loops. But rc505 lack of individual outs reduces your integration into your mixer system - you can't route loops onto separate channels.

BSP- as the brain/sequencer limits you to only 2 mono synths+drums. Fine if future purchases all have inbuilt sequencers that clock well to your erm master.

Handsonic- no onboard sequencer or quantisation options, so you'd need to be exceptionally good at hand drumming on it to get percussive loops that match the track bpm, plus be able to adapt to the latency (pad hit triggers the sound, that goes into the desk, then out an aux into the rc505). I predict that would be very difficult. On the rc505 you can't edit or shift the start end points of the recorded loop. Warts and all recording.

Try it out using your BSP: set it to control your DRM 1 and try and manually play the DRM, and record it as a loop into the rc505, while the tr8s is playing something. Then playback the loop.

The handsonic surface won't be significantly easier than the BSP pads. Quantisation was invented for a reason.

A MPC might be worth considering, especially if wanting to streamline into a live system.
MindMachine
Since I am a geezer, I pretty much come from the opposite side of what technologear offers. More from the performance side, I think the Handsonic is an awesome choice (and why would a physical hand percussion unit need a sequencer... play it into a loop if necessary). And any polyphonic is good. A polyphonic with a built in sequencer is gravy.

Your rig might be suited for a sampler like a Boss/Roland 404SX or 555. In addition to the looper RC-505 it could add a ton of preset sounds, stabs, sequences and acoustic samples. They also have pretty good effects built in.

I think your rig looks pretty sweet as is. I would put a Roland/Boss Dr. Sample next to the Handsonic.
blackbetty88
Technologear? wrote:
Hey dude.

Polysynth- any purchase would need an inbuilt polyphonic sequencer as your BSP can't do polyphonic sequencing.
Alternatively you could play poly synth pads and stabs into the looper and play back loops. But rc505 lack of individual outs reduces your integration into your mixer system - you can't route loops onto separate channels.

BSP- as the brain/sequencer limits you to only 2 mono synths+drums. Fine if future purchases all have inbuilt sequencers that clock well to your erm master.

Handsonic- no onboard sequencer or quantisation options, so you'd need to be exceptionally good at hand drumming on it to get percussive loops that match the track bpm, plus be able to adapt to the latency (pad hit triggers the sound, that goes into the desk, then out an aux into the rc505). I predict that would be very difficult. On the rc505 you can't edit or shift the start end points of the recorded loop. Warts and all recording.

Try it out using your BSP: set it to control your DRM 1 and try and manually play the DRM, and record it as a loop into the rc505, while the tr8s is playing something. Then playback the loop.

The handsonic surface won't be significantly easier than the BSP pads. Quantisation was invented for a reason.

A MPC might be worth considering, especially if wanting to streamline into a live system.


Hey mate,

Polysynth/BSP - yeah I realise that the limitations with the BSP. The plan is to eventually replace the BSP for a cirklon which will solve the issue of needing gear to have on board sequencers and the lack of the BSPs poly sequencing.

Handsonic - Ok this is what I want to know...I'd like to think my hand drumming skills are quite a bit better than average but if the setup won't allow me to do what I want it to do then that is a problem. One of the main reasons for using this combination of handsonic and looper is to not have quantisation. This allows me greater flexibility in my setup as a variation of everything else that is sequenced per step. Obviously if I can't get everything to stay in time with another this will sound like a dogs breakfast but if I can then that opens more possibilities when creating grooves/beats.

In my head I imagined that the handsonic mono output would be fed into the mono instrument in on the rc505 and then the rc505 would go into a channel on the desk. So one mixer channel would be dedicated to the rc505 basically. This way I could use my aux effects on this channel as I do for all the other mixer channels. Would this work and does this reduce/limit the latency you were referring to?

Haven't had a chance to try it out with your example as of yet but I will do.
Panason
blackbetty88 wrote:

- Beatstep pro (main sequencer)


I don't have one and never will but from what I've read in the forums this could be a regrettable choice as a main sequencer. Probably best to pony up for an MPC or Pyramid. The waiting time for a Cirklon is (currently) at least 2.5 years with no guarantee you will ever get one.
dubonaire
Panason wrote:
blackbetty88 wrote:

- Beatstep pro (main sequencer)


I don't have one and never will but from what I've read in the forums this could be a regrettable choice as a main sequencer. Probably best to pony up for an MPC or Pyramid. The waiting time for a Cirklon is (currently) at least 2.5 years with no guarantee you will ever get one.


LOL I don't know one person who has ordered a Cirklon and not got one when the time comes. Don't exaggerate. Have you seen the waiting time for EMS, why don't you obsess over that for a change?

To the OP, as we don't know the "the types of sounds & rhythms in [your] head", how can we possibly know what you need in your studio better than you after your two years of research? I will say though that a polysynth can also be a monosynth so I don't really get why anyone would not want a polysynth in their studio.
Panason
I'm not obssessing. I heard from someone else that he's been waiting for 2.5 years now (with recent email contact to confirm he's still on the list), and he has no reason to lie. That's a long time, and since Sequentix don't take money up front there is no guarantee that they will not simply stop making them in the next couple of years as has happened to every other piece of music gear sooner or later: discontinued.

Planning for a Cirklon is wishful thinking at this point.
dubonaire
Panason wrote:
I'm not obssessing. I heard from someone else that he's been waiting for 2.5 years now (with recent email contact to confirm he's still on the list), and he has no reason to lie. That's a long time, and since Sequentix don't take money up front there is no guarantee that they will not simply stop making them in the next couple of years as has happened to every other piece of music gear sooner or later: discontinued.

Planning for a Cirklon is wishful thinking at this point.


The waiting time I don't debate. The "no guarantee you will get one" is hyperbolic. But I see no problem with waiting there are plenty of interim solutions, and not everyone gels with the Cirklon. You basically mentioned the Cirklon purely to make a point about the waiting list. With the OP's gear list the OP will have no problem making music, just as no one ever had problems making music before Sequentix started making sequencers. I would have no problems using the BSP as a sequencer. If you can't sequence with a BSP you don't know what you are doing.
Technologear?
blackbetty88 wrote:

In my head I imagined that the handsonic mono output would be fed into the mono instrument in on the rc505 and then the rc505 would go into a channel on the desk. So one mixer channel would be dedicated to the rc505 basically. This way I could use my aux effects on this channel as I do for all the other mixer channels. Would this work and does this reduce/limit the latency you were referring to?.


It's WAY more fun having an Aux send as the input to the rc505. Then any input can be used to create a loop, including the handsonic (on its seperate mixer channel). You could also play the handsonic over the top of a handsonic loop that's already going, as it's patched to the mixer not direct to the rc505.

Plus, you could make a 3 note poly chord pad using a mono synth, running concurrent to 2 handsonic loops: just play each different note onto different loop channels of the rc505.

Bizarrely I'm suggesting to connect the rc505 back via an aux return, not onto a separate channel. I don't think smooshing it's 5 loops through fx sends will really work. Plus you save a valuable mixer channel and use an unutilised Aux Return.

I'd set up your 505 like this, trial that experiment with BSP pad playing, and decide on handsonic afterwards. You might find that live playing percussion loops is too tricky but still decide to get the handsonic just to live play over your sequenced stuff (which seems to be what it was designed to do).
blackbetty88
Panason wrote:
blackbetty88 wrote:

- Beatstep pro (main sequencer)


I don't have one and never will but from what I've read in the forums this could be a regrettable choice as a main sequencer. Probably best to pony up for an MPC or Pyramid. The waiting time for a Cirklon is (currently) at least 2.5 years with no guarantee you will ever get one.


The BSP has it's limitations and it has plenty of detractors but there are many many world class producers and live performers who use this in a more then effective way so no issues with it so far for little old me.

I'm coming up to a year on the waitlist for the cirklon and although I was told the wait time would be around 1 year back then I don't have the $$$ now so more than happy to wait another year if I must. Plenty of music to be made in the meantime and worst case scenario they stop making them then an alternative will be able to be found Mr. Green

dubonaire wrote:
Panason wrote:
blackbetty88 wrote:

- Beatstep pro (main sequencer)


I don't have one and never will but from what I've read in the forums this could be a regrettable choice as a main sequencer. Probably best to pony up for an MPC or Pyramid. The waiting time for a Cirklon is (currently) at least 2.5 years with no guarantee you will ever get one.


LOL I don't know one person who has ordered a Cirklon and not got one when the time comes. Don't exaggerate. Have you seen the waiting time for EMS, why don't you obsess over that for a change?

To the OP, as we don't know the "the types of sounds & rhythms in [your] head", how can we possibly know what you need in your studio better than you after your two years of research? I will say though that a polysynth can also be a monosynth so I don't really get why anyone would not want a polysynth in their studio.


I wasn't asking what I need in my studio in my OP but simply what anyone thought about the setup that I currently have and more importantly how the implementation of the potential handsonic would work going forward in combination with my current setup.
Honestly I bought all the synths I currently have before I even knew what a polysynth was haha I love the sounds that I can get from the dreadboxs so they won't be going anywhere but obviously adding in a poly will come into the frame in the future. I am also very much a rhythm head and everything I create is steeped in rhythm and groove so having the ability to create chords for creating melody for example isn't really high on my priority list
scozbor
Feeding a send or subgroup output into the 505 is indeed WIN!

I'm currently doing this with Korg Wavedrum with no problems. It's super fun and a great way to improve your drumming. I assume you have a footswitch for the 505?

It also helps to have PFL on your mixer so you can preview your playing through headphones before feeding into the looper.

Heaps fun!
blackbetty88
scozbor wrote:
Feeding a send or subgroup output into the 505 is indeed WIN!

I'm currently doing this with Korg Wavedrum with no problems. It's super fun and a great way to improve your drumming. I assume you have a footswitch for the 505?

It also helps to have PFL on your mixer so you can preview your playing through headphones before feeding into the looper.

Heaps fun!


I have looked into the wavedrum a little and also the Yamaha DTX-Multi 12 but the pads in a format strictly designed for hands as well as fingers is what I like about the handsonic.

I funnily enough haven't really thought too much on the footswitch front as if I'm honest the rc505 is still in the box d'oh! 9 month old baby rolling around has meant my music studio time involves mostly researching and pondering rather than wiggling and creating. I continue to practice patience.
Do you have any suggestions as to foot switches? I imagine for myself it would only be linked to the function of starting and stopping the loop because my hands will be busy and once my hands are free again I can access the unit itself.

I do have PFL on my mixer and am aware of what it does but will have to figure out how this all works with settings and routing when the time comes.
Technologear?
Here are the manuals https://www.boss.info/au/support/by_product/rc-505/owners_manuals/

You can use either footswitch or a midi pedal. I used a foot switch as I wanted midi in to only be Clock Start Stop messages to the rc505 set as Slave.

The Roland Boss brand foot switches feel good, don't cheap out and get an alternative.

You can choose Toggle (press once to Start Rec, again to Stop Record) or Momentary (Stop Rec when you lift off).

You still need to select and arm the channel on the rc505 on the unit.

Read top of page 16, very important setting of button press quantise! I like purposefully hitting switch just before the start and end points, letting the rc505 nail the timing for me. I'm much tighter when playing loop content then. (Timing of the beginning and end points of the loop when recording it, not adjusting any timing of your playing. Rec Start Stop quantisation, not Loop Quantisation
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