Roland Juno-106 Beyond Effective Range

Roland Juno-106 – “Beyond Effective Range” Vocal – Retro 80’s Groove.

Had a lot of fun working with the AKai S3000XL this evening. I used Propellerhead’s Recycle to slice up a vocal phrase and send it directly via SCSI to the S3000XL. I have an old Windows 98 computer that that is connected to the AKAI S3000XL which is also connected to an MO drive. The Roland Fantom XF is controlling the S3000XL which I’m playing on the lower part of they keyboard. Everything in the video is improvised including the sequenced parts and drums which were put together this evening.

In the video I’m playing live:
Roland Juno-106 – Synth Lead ( Right Hand )
AKAI S3000XL Sampler ( Left Hand )

Roland MC-909 Sequenced:
Synth 1 – Roland D-550
Synth 2 – Roland MKS-50
Synth 3 – Roland SH-101

Drums were loop recorded with the Boss RC-300 Loop Station.

Akai S3000XL Sampler
Akai S3000XL Sampler
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Roland RC-300 plus dual RC-505 Synth Jam

Jim Atwood in Japan Live Setup
Jim Atwood in Japan Live Setup

Here is a video of a jam I did this evening where I finally had everything setup and in sync. It took me a while to wrap my head around how to get this particular setup, but I can now say it works perfectly. Here is the workflow in the video.

On the floor I have a Roland RC-300 loop station that acts as the Master Start/Stop with midi clock. The RC-300 is also setup to trigger three different bass lines, sort of like a verse, chorus, and bridge. ( That is my intent for future grooves ). The RC-505 to my right is setup to trigger support synths, the Roland MKS-50 and Oberheim Matrix 1000. Those two synths are triggered from a Roland Fantom X6 where I can both play the sounds and change the patches. The actual sound I’m playing on the Fantom is the Oberheim Matrix 1000 module.

There is also a Roland RC-505 to my left that is looping the Roland VT-3 transformer audio of my voice. I also have a foot pedal connected to the RC-505 so that I can trigger the stutter effect on the vocals. There are three sound loops. One is a high pitched chorus vocal. Another is a robotic sound, and the third is a radio phrase, all recorded from the VT-3. I’m using two midi patch bays, one for the Loopstations and another for the synths. This keeps the midi clock working properly. The drums are from the Roland MC-909 and the bass parts are from the Novation Bass Station 2.

Basically, I have the Boss RC-300 setup to work on separating the verse, chorus, and bridge parts. ( The tracks are in single mode ) I then have one Boss RC-505 working the vocals parts. ( Multi mode ) The other RC-505 can record and loop supporting synth parts. ( Both single and multi mode ) The MC-909 acts as the sequencer for any midi parts. I can then play live on the Fantom X6 triggering synth modules as it’s easy to change external patches with. I can also use the non midi synths like the Korg Polysix for live playing. I found if the loop stations are organized and allocated to vocals, synths, and bass parts, they’re much easier to work with live.

There are definitely a lot of fun possibilities here.

Roland Fantom X6 Muting On/Off External Synthesizers

On the Fantom X6/7 you cannot mute external synthesizers triggered by the sequencer. You “can” mute in Song Edit mode the individual midi tracks but that process is not entirely practical for live use. By using RPS, you can create a pattern and write your own sysex messages which will be sent when triggered via the pads. This effectively allows you to mute on/off external synths in your live composition. It works very well.

Here’s a quick rundown from the video.

In Song Edit Mode you switch to PTN mode on the Roland Fantom X6.

There you create a pattern and insert a sysex string.

The sysex string for any particular synth can be found in the event window of MidiQuest 10 or 11. Just call up the synth ( it doesn’t have to be connected ) and press the button you wish to change. The sysex string will magically appear in the event window.

For the sake of this video I set PAD 1 to VOLUME OFF TRACK 1 and PAD 5 ( above it ) to VOLUME ON TRACK 1. I use the MIXER section on the Fantom X for dialing in specific volume levels.

You can insert any desired sysex string into any of the Patterns. You can even insert multiple sysex strings and have multiple commands happen at the same time.

Make sure you are in RPS mode and assign the Patterns to each pad like I mentioned above.

Be sure you set the PTN to trigger ONCE only in RPS mode. That’s all you need to trigger and send the sysex.

The all works BEAUTIFULLY for controlling external synths using sysex. The sky is the limit for all the custom possibilities.

Side Note: The video quality is a little bright and perhaps a tiny bit shaky. I’m still trying to get a handle on recording music videos. Over time I’m sure I’ll improve the quality and know how of it all. Thanks for watching!

Yamaha TG500 Groove 90 Sketch

Today I decided to get cracking and put some performance videos online. My goal is try and whip something together as often as possible. I finally got an old iphone 4s, FilmicPro app, Fostex AR-4i, and a place to put the stuff and record. It’s kind of crazy getting everything setup and to record right, but I’m happy with at the very least getting something onto video. I’m fascinated with how 99% of Youtube musicians record without mistakes. Not mine..laugh. I’ll be uploading raw footage and hopefully improve over time. Plus gear I post on my blog here will likely pop up over time. Perhaps this will also inspire other musicians on the fence to just bite the bullet and record video jams for fun.

The other day I picked up a Yamaha TG500 and I’m in love with the drum sounds this box makes. I’m a big fan of 80’s music, but I also really like the club dance and New Jack Swing grooves of the late 80’s and early 90’s. I know the M1 was used a lot for this sort of stuff, but I particularly like the collective sound options of the TG500. I heard it was used extensively from about 1992 for dance and club music. It works very well for that.

In the video I am recording with the Roland Fantom X6 sequencer. I actually also have an X7 and an XR because I like the sequencers the best on the Fantom X series workstation. As you can see I can live loop and record without ever stopping the Fantom X. I can also change tracks, record, erase, mute, and adjust a wide array of parameters on the fly. The entire video is completely improvised and recorded without any initial thought at all….laugh. So, mistakes are included and one might find it interesting on how I can erase and record the tracks again without stopping. Note that there is absolutely nothing wrong with stopping, but it’s just my workflow and how I like to keep things going. In the video you’ll see me holding down notes a few times which is actually a way to erase notes within an rage of keys on the Fantom X6.

The Yamaha TG500 audio is sent to a Roland M12E 12 Channel Mixer which I use for my main synth mixer on stage. I absolutely love it! The M-12E then goes into the input jack of the FOSTEX AR-4i of the iPhone 4s. The TG500 is in Multi-Mode so that I can access sounds across 16 channels via the Fantom X6. Volume can be controlled on the X6, but in the video I kneel down to adjust the volume on the TG500. I actually didn’t program the Multi-Patch used in the video, rather I just used a preset multi. I found the volume between patches to vary which is a common annoyance of the TG500. It runs hot audio wise and I’ll have to adjust the volume beforehand.

I really like the Yamaha TG500 quite a bit. ALL of the sounds are musical and quite usable. I’m really going to enjoy creating grooves and using the TG500 with songs in the future. No doubt it will likely get a permanent spot in my rig because it is so incredibly useful. I highly recommend it if you are looking for some fresh sounds. Now that might sound strange since many think the TG500 is dated. I have to laugh a tiny bit because when I went through the sounds upon initial inspection, I practically didn’t recognize any of the sounds. They were all great and I felt could be used for almost any situation. Thus in my fine it sounds pretty fresh. The TG500 also allows you to import up to 1MB of your own samples to create new patches as well which is great just like the Yamaha RM50.

Let’s see if I can do a sketch a day for 30 days…laugh. Singing will be included. I didn’t have my mic setup for recording in this video. I like to add lyrics and vocal bites to jams. The new V-Synth with the Vocal Designer card is great for this. I’m anxious to integrate that next time.

Have a great week!