What’s wrong with midi?

The current trend for multi-fx seems 100% down the foot-pedal market. Apart from the dubious merits of having £1000+ worth of gear on the beer-sodden stage to jump up and down on, I’ve yet to find a pedal that is compact and can be configured they way I like it (easy patch jump, switch effects on & off easily within a patch etc etc). I realise different players want different options, but a bit of common sense would help – for example, why does the TC Nova system have a *dedicated* reverb button on the lower bank of switches?

My Boss GT5 is pretty good but lacks things like a range of echoes. So, when I saw the GT001, I thought – excellent, loads of modern sounds, compact unit, cheap, hook up my FCB1010 and I’m away. Sadly not, it has no midi socket. What were they thinking?? With a midi controller, it would be a superb & flexible solution.

There are plenty of us enlightened twangers who are familiar with midi and love the flexibility it offers, who just want a nice 1U rack with all the gubbins inside to be controlled by a midi pedal. C’mon Boss, you know it makes sense.

Below a possible DIY solution. My quest continues.

gt001

Me & Hervé

I really enjoy collaborations – they always seem to bring out an aspect of your musical character that you weren’t aware of. I had a fun session with local improv ace Hervé Perez recently, who played & treated some shakuhachis that he had made, along with some minimal drum loops. I added my usual loops & twiddles, captured live in stereo. He’s uploaded some of it to this site. I hope we can play live at some point….

Mobius bindings

As I slowly trudge up the ladder, I’ll share any issues I’ve managed to get a handle on.

Midi binding
Firstly, I couldn’t (as reccomended) get M to accept midi direct, I had to create a mid track in ableton & route it through to Mobius. Next, when sending mdi signals to set bindings, you *must* have the midi capture checked, otherwise it receives (and displays) the midi message, but doesn’t update the *value* box.

mob-bindings1

Mobius

I’m quite happy with Ableton’s built in looper, it will do almost everything I need/want, but there’s no way to do quantise replace, which I feel will take my performances further, offering Bill Walker style poly-rhythms. So, I’ve had yet another look at Mobius and am determined to get past the initial “how the f**k do I do that” phase and move to the “wow, it can do that!” stage.

With a little help from my friends, I’ve got it to a basic stage of functionality and the learning curve is slowly beginning to level out. I’m surprised there’s no central repository of scripts (the feature that gives it almost limitless expandability) but I know that developing a product like this must take so much time, with little left over for extending the website, adding resources etc. I hope I can use the forum for adding tips.

My biggest frustration is the GUI, which although customiseable to a degree, is still bulky and doesn’t fit with modern windows expectations. My button “click here for the mobius window” simply doesn’t work, so I have to use the mouse or alt/tab to select it. Maybe it can be selected via midi, that would be handy. That said, the possibilities of the program mean I’ll happy to live with this.

Here’s a wonderful example of Mobius in action by master-looper Per Boyson and it’s all so inspiring! I’ve sent a small donation to the creator and urge you all to do the same if you use this free software.

mobius

3 Cranes – entire set

From a gig supporting the amazing Howlaround. I usually just post 5 minute live snippets, but I felt this performance hung together quite well, so I’m sharing it and we’ll see if anyone actually gets to the end 😉

The 3 Cranes is a superb pub, offering live music. – please give them your support….