For the first Fishman TriplePlay demo I posted last month, I featured pretty, naturalistic acoustic sounds. This time around I went for something a little less polite.
I’ve been having a blast — albeit a humbling blast — trying to play real-time drum parts from the guitar. I still suck if it’s much more complicated than what I play here, but I can imagine learning to do it well. It’s also fun using the guitar to access the big keyboard sound libraries I’ve built over the years. Perhaps most exciting of all are the hybrid guitar/synth/sample sounds I’m starting to develop. (There aren’t any in this demo — the sounds are either samples or processed guitar, though I blur the lines with guitar-ish samples and guitars processed to sound like machinery. Next time, though, I’ll try to showcase some of those unholy hybrids.)
Here’s how the setup looks from my perspective. (I’m not trying to be secretive about what’s on the floor — it’s just hard to fit into the frame, even with a wide-angle lens.)
- Homemade strat with Fishman controller/pickup. MIDI transmitted wirelessly.
- MacBook Pro running Apple’s MainStage software. I use a ridiculous number of plug-ins and some ridiculously huge sample libraries. My main sampler is NI Kontakt.
- Focusrite Scarlett interface. All the prosumer interfaces sound pretty decent to me these days, though I like the fact that this one isn’t made out of cheapo plastic.
- Boomerang III looper. I love its ergonomics and smooth looping points. I screw up my loop points constantly, but I have fewer disasters with the Boomerang than with anything else I’ve tried.
- Boomerang Sidecar. Basically just extra buttons for the Boomerang so you can access more features without reprogramming it or performing awkward foot moves.
- Keith McMillen SoftStep MIDI controller. Powerful, rugged, feather-light, and not too expensive.
- Logidy UMI3. A nice, rugged, and inexpensive USB MIDI controller — just to have a few extra switches.
- Generic controller pedal. Its role varies from patch to patch. It might be a mod wheel, a pan pot, a fader, a filter cutoff control, etc.
- Piles of crap. These magically materialize every time I start messing with this stuff.
Just to be clear — these sounds are from my collection, and are not included with TriplePlay. Also, I used TriplePlay in “simple mode” for this video — in other words, I’m not using the dedicated TriplePlay application, but simply using TriplePlay as a generic MIDI controller to trigger sounds loaded into MainStage.
BTW, I’m about to head out for Musik Messe in Frankfurt, Germany, where I’ll be demoing this contraption. Oddly, I’ve never been to this vast musical instruments show, which has been described as a much larger NAMM show with more sausage, beer, and accordions. I’ll be sure to tell you about any cool stuff I see!
DISCLOSURE: Fishman, Apple, and Keith McMillen are among my clients, but no one paid me to make or post this video.