Beats for your Feet: BeatBuddy Puts a Drum Machine in a Guitar Pedal

Drum machines — those are those big, luggable rectangular things used by electronic music producers, right? What if one could fit in a guitar pedal? And what if you could use your feet to trigger patterns and fills, leaving your hands free to play guitar (or another instrument)? That’s the idea behind BeatBuddy. Now, the basic notion is that it’s friendly for things like practice – and it should be helpful motivation. But clearly live performance, songwriting, and even dance music could benefit, too. And now it’s a fully-funded project. If the content in the video isn’t appealing, the makers …

READ MORE →
taurus_heels

From a Little Droid to a Big Moog Taurus Pedal, Analog to Digital, More Experimental Sound Tips

Chris Stack, maker of the Experimental Synth series (and formerly of Moog Music), is back with new ideas for what to do with some great gear. Analog and digital meet here: everything from Nanoloop running on an Android handheld to the mighty Moog Taurus 3 pedal make appearances. That means that you ought to be able to glean some ideas from Chris’ sounds whatever your tastes and whatever your gear collection. -PK The Moog Taurus 3 springs from a very iconic lineage. Because of that rich history, it’s easy to type-cast it and not fully explore the full sonic potential …

READ MORE →

Compact Foot Controller Mod: KORG nanoKEY for Your Feet

Compact MIDI controllers for your fingers are plentiful, but tiny foot controllers are far fewer. map~map aka Marcus Fischer decided to build his own by performing a simple but clever mod of the KORG nanoKEY. Now, personally, I find the nanoKEY the one product in the nano series that’s lacking; it feels more like a QWERTY keyboard than anything resembling a MIDI keyboard. But Marcus transforms it into the world’s most compact and portable foot controller. You may have to be somewhat delicate with your toes, but he says the solution works perfectly! i’ve been wanting a compact usb midi …

READ MORE →

Stompboxes @ Messe: Roland Space Echo, TC Helicon Voice Processors

Stompboxes are back! Yes, software is great, but the gigging musician still loves something you can plug in and step on. The Messe show saw some traditionally rack-mounted gear reborn in stomp form. Sure to be a huge hit, Roland’s BOSS RE-20 takes the beloved RE-201 Roland Space Echo and recreates it as a stompbox. It emulates all the major features of the RE-201, down to placement presets and tape flutter and magnetic head sound saturation, and adds a longer delay time — plus the ability to tap in delays with your foot. No pricing or availability yet that I’ve …

READ MORE →

Hack Your Feet: Brad Sucks on Behringer’s FCB1010 Footpedal

Well, clearly, these two pieces of gear are entirely different. I’m sure Behringer didn’t rip off the Roland. They’ve got two expression pedals. Totally different. Brad Sucks, the one-man band known for Internet stardom and Brad’s brilliant title “I Don’t Know What I’m Doing”, is taking on laptop performance. First job: find a way to use limbs on your body other than your arms and hands, since those need to play the guitar. Like many Ableton Live users, Brad finds his way to the Behringer FCB1010 foot pedal. Before you scoff at the brand name, this foot pedal’s configuration is …

READ MORE →

@AES: Digital Guitar Stompbox Smackdown

AES is supposed to be about high-end gear for audio engineers, but apparently no one told the sparring rival computer guitar effects makers. In this corner, from Modena, Italy, the reigning champion: IK Multimedia AmpliTube. And in this corner, from Berlin, Germany, the challenger: Native Instruments Guitar Rig 2. Photos and comparison after the break.

READ MORE →

@AES: Native’s Guitar Rig 2 Strikes Back with Control Stompbox and Loops

Digital guitar software/hardware combos? It’s on. Just days after IK Multimedia shows its new version of AmpliTube with new effects and a new hardware stompbox / audio interface / DI box, rival Native Instruments unveils its own upgraded computer guitar rack with new effects and a new hardware stompbox / audio interface / DI box. Not only that, but both IK and NI are at the AES show, which, as the “Audio Engineering Society” moniker implies, is not usually where you’d expect to find new guitar kit. Native Instruments Guitar Rig 2 So, anything different about NI’s announcement (aside from …

READ MORE →

Mr. Magoo’s Foot Controller: Giant-Numbered MIDI for Your Feet

Stumbling around for the right foot pedal? Prostage hears you with their giant new foot pedals. (via Synthtopia) Looks like fine kit: all-metal, no plastic, delay-tap, LCD on some models (various alternatives) and GIANT LETTERS AND NUMBERS for the vision impaired. Their continuous controller pedal looks especially nice for sending volume to organs or other continuous controllers. (I always just feel around with my feet, but if you really need to know which pedal you’re tapping, here you go. Now if they could just light up . . .) As for foot controllers, though, I’m still loyal to my new …

READ MORE →

MIT Students Build USB Dance Floor in Dorm

As seen on Slashdot: a group of students at MIT have constructed a Disco Dance Floor, with over 1,500 LEDs and covering 128 square feet. Dance on it, and pressure sensors trigger some 4,000 colors. Jeez, I knew I shouldn't have gone to Sarah Lawrence; these MIT folks don't mess around. Not only are the colored patterns surprisingly sophisticated, but it interfaces with a Linux audio player to work with the grooves. So how do you build your own? Check the detailed construction details, though consider what they learned: don't ever do this: "Don't try to build a disco floor …

READ MORE →

Make Music with Dance Dance Revolution Pads

Dance Wednesday continues, so get your dancing shoes on. You can trigger audio and video with a Dance Dance Revolution pad (or any USB game controller). Resources: You'll want some kind of PS2-to-USB converter so you can plug it into your computer, for starters (here's an example). Then check out software like STEIM's JunXion (Mac OS X), which maps USB input to MIDI, or, better yet PSmaX (Mac/Windows), which is designed specifically for this purpose and runs standalone or (if you've got it) in Max/MSP. (Savvy Max users might also map the dance pad to the OSC protocol.) Examples of …

READ MORE →