Thursday, June 22, 2006

MIDI Setup

Samplers, Synths & more

In between bands with some time to spare I found myself writing scoring and creating in the MIDI domain. While I had come to master Cakewalk (and later Sonar) I found myself in need of a more expressive controller. Enter the Peavey MIDIBase. This is a novel setup that included a bridge-mounted pickup system. Also, every fret was split into four switches, one for each string for precise positional information across the entire fretboard. The bridge system provided additional information such as string deflection, pitch bend and other expression types. While this was perhaps the best MIDI system available for bass at the time, it suffered from many of the problems that still plague bass MIDI controllers to this day. It was slow, but in this case workable.

It's interesting to note that this same system was first offered as an option on Wal basses. The inventor, an Australian gentleman later sold the design to Peavey and it could no longer be offered on Wal basses.

I used the MIDIBase to control my racks which included:

Mark of the Unicorn MIDI Timepiece
EMU Vintage Keys
Roland D-110 synth
Roland U-110 synth
Roland U-220 synth
Roland R-8M synth
Roland GR-50 synth
Roland S-770 sampler (the dragon!) with optical disks, colour monitor
Roland A-880 MIDI patchbay
MIDIBase controller

Roland M-12E mixer
Roland M-12E mixer
Roland M-16E mixer
Roland RSP-550 effects
Digitech GSP-21L effects
All routed to a Tascam DA-88 8-track digital recorder

This was quite the system. Although it never paid for itself, it was serious fun.