EDP, welcome home

I am (re)starting a vox /acoustic loopy duo and decided if we were going to play summer fetes(!) etc. then the laptop was OTT and probably impossible to see in the sun. I had my EDP gathering dust in the attic so down it came. Bit of a learning curve since I haven’t used it for some years, but I’m loving the fact that there are so few distractions to using it, although some browing of the manual is required, since it’s feature set goes deeper than most people would ever need or want!

I’ve knocked up a controller using a few switches & resistors (a wonderful feature of the original) but may need to resurrect my midi based custom controller, since you can’t otherwise easily access reverse and half speed at the same time. It’s time I started work on mark 2 and tidy up the wiring, but I’ll need to get my hear around multiplexing in order to add more lights, since I need more pins than the arduino offers.

Echoloop comes round again

In my fairly obsessive quest to achieve quantise replace using ableton, I’ve tried to persuade the built-in looper to drop record in/out based on a dummy clip, that’s a goner. I’ve had a look at Mobius, which is a supremely powerful looper, but the one thing preventing me from going any further is the screen glitches I get when running it, parts of the display remain when I switch tracks and it’s just too annoying to live with.

So, I’ve come back to Echoloop, the VST equivalent of the Echoplex Digital Pro, both created by Matthias Grob. Last time I had a number of niggling issues getting in the way, but somehow (windows 10?) it has just started working exactly as I hoped it would. I’m now investigating the various QR parameters and looking as ever to videos my main QR-inspirer, Bill Walker to see what’s possible. Here’s some of his work collected together. Check him out (buy his CD!) and you’ll quickly hear how his rhythmical patterns lift his work out of the realm of frippertronics and the morass of swampy reverbs that many loopers seem satisfied with.

One reason for success has been to follow Andy Butler’s guide rather more closely than before (RTFM!) and to have the FCB1010 send mid notes on a different channel to the CC messages, with the mid input channel only passing on data on that midi channel. Previously, I had spurious CC commands triggering parts of Echoloop, doh…

Once I’m more familiar with it, this is likely to feature in my live set, along with a lovely octave shimmer reverb I’ve created using Ableton’s grain delay. Patience, waiting world 😉

COS gallery

colour by Jez, b/w by Gavin Morrow

Combat Astronomy contribution

I‘m delighted to appear on the latest release by Combat Astronomy “Symmetry Through Collapse” (on the tracks “Kyber” & “Hik Mahl Hisze”) recently released by Discus Music.

It’s fascinating to hear the finished results of an Archer production, since I contributed at an early stage (pre-vocals, courtesy of Dalila Kayros) so you never quite know how your performance will be used.

The results are dark and dense – it’s safe to say this is challenging music (my metalhead son has just been driven out of the room!) but who wants to play it safe??

Cloudberry Cake

Is the name of a wonderful blog run by Roque, who has a real passion for obscure indie bands. I discovered it whilst searching for old band sleeves and there’s an entry about Typhoon Saturday (with a picture of Active Gliders, but what the heck).

She (?) shows a rare sensitivity for the genre, clearly aware that although small potatoes to the world of musical movers & shakers, these bands meant the world to a select few and we treasure our memories of them, which take us back to younger, happier, healthier(!) days…

Anyone remember Vena Cava?

Happy Birthday Elaine

Readers will no doubt be enjoying the earth-shattering news that Red Zoo have reformed (albeit with “new” bassist Max). Well, it’s singer Elaine’s birthday today, so here’s a shot from the good old days, when we played at the Lion on the Wicker on the 80s.

lion on wicker


The Big Boss Man

Over the years, I’ve loved Boss multi-FX pedals, they are so flexible & well-thought-through. Starting with a GP100, I was using a GT3 until recently and now, thanks to my thoughtful son, I own the latest GT-1 device! I think it will deliver *exactly* what I need in a compact, study package.

My good mate Martyn Bailey persuaded me to unbox & demo it on the morning after my 60th, so please excuse the sloppiness!

Thanks son!