New Live Guitar Rig

February 22, 2006 04:00 by keithkaragan
New for 2006, I've re-vamped my 'live' rig to accommodate my newly evolved playing style. The only new gear is the Digitech Jamman stop box, which is really a very cool toy that allows looping of your playing. You can pre-load loops and samples onto the device if you want, and then overdub your licks over that, on and on until you run out of memory. It has a CF card, so you can have a significant amount of loops and overdubs before that happens.
I'm running my Ibanez 'Roland-Ready' guitar through the Roland GR-33, and looping in the Korg PX4 Pandora for guitar sound processing, and then this all goes into the Jamman. I've loaded the Jamman with loops of the rhythms I want to use and off I go.
A few complications include:
  • For different guitars (non-synth electrics and acoustics) I need to jack these into the PX4 which is in the effects loop of the GR-33, so I'll need to solve this soon.
  • Many loops are pretty short, and that's great for memory conservation, but for having enough canvas to have an interesting progression running over it it's limiting - and editing a ton of drum samples to extend them is a pretty mundane task ... I'll need to solve this too.
  • The Jamman wants to see  44kHz, Mono WAV samples and most of the ones I have are stereo, so they need this editing done too (I need to find / write a batch converter).
  • The Jamman tempo can be set in an XML file that is inserted into the CF card memory, and the LooperTools application handles this, but you still need to fish this meta-info out of the WAV file to enter it in the application ... it would be nice if it detected it (and did the mono conversion too? too much to ask? How about the extension of loops too while I'm at it? maybe in a future release) - anyway, this is more footwork to do to load it up.
  • The PX4's power adapter is not a standard size plug that I could find at Radio Shack, had to order the original - luckily it was only $10 ... cheaper than Radio Shack  - but have to wait for it.
  • Also had to order the Jamman footswitch, since navigating presets is near impossible while playing otherwise - another mail order Odyssey since the local shops didn;t have it in stock.
  • One main drawback is adding effects to the GR-33 and/or Jamman output ... I don't have another processor to do that with, so yet another loop edit to add ambiance if needed.

Thoughts for further expansion:
  • Scrap the loops on the Jamman and use it only for instrument loops and overdubs.
  • Get a decent PCMCIA pro sound card for my laptop.
  • Use Ableton LIVE for drum and supporting loops and run the rig through this for mixing.
    • Problem is I don't have a foot controller for this (LIVE) to make things smooth.
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