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Old 03-21-2007, 04:05 PM
skeeterd skeeterd is offline
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Default one man band set up

Hey, first post here...anyway the other night I saw a guy using the Roland pk-5 which is a device that has base pedals you play with your feet (like an organ in church) so he could play base guitar while he strummed and sang. I'm pretty sure you have to run this through some kind of midi device, but does anyone know what the otpions are there? (Don't want to buy a keyboard and trying to keep expenses down) I'm pretty clueless when it comes to this stuff...

Has anyone used other gizmos to fill out their sound when going it alone on stage? I'm not a big fan of the drum machine or pre-recorded stuff but was wondering what other "live" options there may be. Anyway, cool forum!
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Old 03-21-2007, 08:12 PM
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cotten cotten is offline
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Welcome, skeetered! You're among friends here. Some are rank beginners, but others remember the invention of dirt. Most of us are somewhere in between.

For a one-man-band, many people need nothing more than their guitar, and get a wider variety of sounds out of it than I would have imagined. Sounds like you're looking to go a step or two beyond just tapping or harmonics or varying your picking hand placement.

Might I suggest that you look into getting a looper? It's a device that can record and play back segments of your playing, allowing you to move on to additional melodic ideas. Phil Keaggy is a master at looping, but there are a great many people who use them to lesser extent. There are several good models to look at, by Boss and others. From what you've said, I suspect that's just what you're looking for.

cotten

Here's one that was in our Classifieds a few days ago. http://69.41.173.82/forums/showthrea...ghlight=looper Here's a thread from a while back that you might enjoy: http://69.41.173.82/forums/showthrea...ghlight=looper Of course, you can type in "looper" into our Search function and find a number of other threads on the subject, if you like. You don't have to - we certainly don't mind discussing them again.
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Last edited by cotten; 03-21-2007 at 08:18 PM.
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Old 03-21-2007, 08:45 PM
earbleedz earbleedz is offline
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Default one man band

Hi, Skeetered. I'm an acoustic player who's tried many ways to fill out my sound. Right now I accompany myself with a harmonica holder on my neck, but I recently saw Bill Frisell and he was using a looping device like Cotten was talking about. Sometimes I can get my dog to sing along.
I really don't like drum machines either. I guess the best thing is a friend you can bounce things off of on stage.
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Old 03-21-2007, 08:56 PM
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Another warm welcome, earbleedz! Cool name! I've done the harmonica thing sometimes, with mixed results. There are floorboards that add a bit of bass drum feel, but I haven't tried them. I have known of acoustic guitarists who would trigger, via MIDI, some prerecorded things for adding, say, soft strings to that last chorus of a balad, or a somewhat muted bass/drums backup for something more energetic. It can work, but a lot depends on how it's recorded and used.

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Old 03-22-2007, 05:01 AM
Earthworm Earthworm is offline
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I use the Boss RC-50, which is cool because I can bring in other parts (up to three different ones) completely in synch with the first part (e.g. rhythm guitar part then I can bring in the bass or drums, etc). This works really well for me. I don't overuse it in my shows, but I enjoy using it alot. It also allows me to play lead (which I love).
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Old 03-22-2007, 07:53 AM
JohnZ JohnZ is offline
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Before going to sequenced tracks for cover song gigs some time ago I used a couple of different pedalboard controllers made by Elka. I'm not sure how the Roland system works but Elkas would play a bass pattern so you didn't have to play every note, and 7th chords, minors, diminished, etc. were buttons on the volume pedal. Cumbersome, but at least you could improvise.
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Old 03-22-2007, 08:28 AM
KyCabnetMkr KyCabnetMkr is offline
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as an aspiring Phil Keaggy Wannabe (likely for the rest of my life) I also use the famed Boss RC-50. It is a phenomenal tool because of how it's programmed. You can set up a phantom power mic thru it because of the XLR input, and the fact that you can throw any of the 3 loops into reverse at any time with just the press of a pedal makes it awesome. I've also figured out how to only do a 1x repeat of a loop while still looping solos over and not have it build out of control. My guitars are equipped with the also famed Fishman Stereo Blender Barndoor preamps, but i love them because i don't have to setup a mic on stage picking up my constantly moving feet. I use two varieties of egg shakers (one more grainy in tone and the other softer in tone), an 18" & 36" rain stick vintage of mexico all wooden, a finger cymbal which i hit with my metal slide across, a Pearl Guiro w/chop-sticks , and percussive taps across the top of my guitars on both the lower bout for a slightly increased bass drum sound and the upper bout with my ring for a much higher sound. And I don't sing! I can tell you it's very fun when looping because inspiration will come to you when you least expect it. i'll hear something in my head, and wonder how can i convey that sound to the audience. Keep going to music stores and look for oddball stuff that they'll sell to you for 50% off because it's been there for 3 years and nobody wants it. Another man's treasure i say. Oh, and a penny that was made into a guitar pick kind of the shape of a miniature football. Gives the guitar a much different tone.

My pedalboard is also slightly less equipped in gizmos as I have two delays (Boss DD5 & 6) with the DD5 being set on reverse, a Voodoo Lab Microvibe (rotating speaker emulator), and a volume pedal pre-loop for volume swells and a volume pedal post loop to bring the loop back gently without stopping it abruptly. I do also have two Boss FS-6 footswitches with TRS cables running into the RC-50 because it allows me to use it's programming capability much more effectively as i now have 4 more footpedals to operate the machine with and can program them any way i want. I did have once the looper setup in an effects loop chain so i could keep playing my guitar through the loops while bring the loop down to delete it, but the effects chain was soo darn quiet that the volume of it would never work. not nearly enough to work with. So it went back as a thru-signal. I do believe minimally a looper and post-loop volume pedal would be a wise investment as you can program the boss rc-50 in so many different ways that it will definitely change the way you write songs. It has for me and I'm glad it did. I'll hope to be enjoying my rc-50 for many years. In doing bass style tracks a Boss oc-2 or oc-3 would be an excellent choice as it bring the guitar signal down a whole or two whole octaves, but sometimes it doesn't sound that great depending on the pickup used. I don't have any of the OC pedals on my board because i feel my guitar is sufficiently bassy (dread).

BTW, don't let a pedalboard get out of control. I did. Mine's 4' long, and i use most of the real estate on it. I carry it in a keyboard bag! It's not extremely heavy, but it only fits across the back of my SUV with just about an inch to spare!

So, basically, have fun playing! Be wise in your choice of equipment, as it can definitely have a very positive effect in your performance, or it may not be so great after all. I can say the RC-50 singlehandedly rewrote the way i perform and I'm glad it did. Everything else is just seasoning on the side dishes. Enjoy & God bless!
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Old 03-22-2007, 10:24 AM
skeeterd skeeterd is offline
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Wow, thanks for all the great info everyone! It looks like there are a ton of options out there and the Boss RC-50 seems like a fave. My son actually has a collection of flattened pennies so maybe I'll sneak in there to "borrow" one, kinda like the tooth fairy's evil twin.

Btw, what's it mean to put a loop in reverse? Sort of reminds me of how we used to play albums backwards looking for the secret messages...
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Old 03-22-2007, 11:47 AM
kak1154 kak1154 is offline
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If you want to go low-tech, here's what I can remember about a street musician I saw in Boston once.

He was playing an acoustic, obviously. He had a harmonica with holder around his neck. There was another acoustic laying down in front of him (soundhole facing the sky) and his right foot was tapping a pedal (like a hi hat pedal) that drove a linkage holding a pick back and forth across the strings to strum it. This linkage also bounced a golf ball off of a cowbell each time he tapped, and I think there was a tambourine attached, so that shook with the beat as well. The left foot was pressing a series of what looked kinda like organ pedals. Each pedal made a certain combination of rubber "fingers" press down on the fretboard of the acoustic to fret a variety of chords.

So, in short, he was playing two guitars, harmonica (or singing), cowbell, and tambourine all at the same time. There may have been more, but that's what I remember. It was quite an impressive setup. I wish I had a picture.
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Old 03-22-2007, 02:46 PM
tadguitar tadguitar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skeeterd View Post
Wow, thanks for all the great info everyone! It looks like there are a ton of options out there and the Boss RC-50 seems like a fave. My son actually has a collection of flattened pennies so maybe I'll sneak in there to "borrow" one, kinda like the tooth fairy's evil twin.

Btw, what's it mean to put a loop in reverse? Sort of reminds me of how we used to play albums backwards looking for the secret messages...
I would definitely suggest that you try the Boss RC-50 before you buy. The reason is that there is a slight timing issue that Boss is aware of and has current no plans to fix. The AKAI headrush is a simple looper that does not have any timing issues. You can also wait until the new and improved version of the Boomerang come out or just pick up a used Boomerang 2. I picked up a Boss and few months back and ended up returning it. It has many great features but didn't work for me in a live application setting because of the timing glitch.
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Old 03-22-2007, 02:54 PM
skeeterd skeeterd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tadguitar View Post
I would definitely suggest that you try the Boss RC-50 before you buy. The reason is that there is a slight timing issue that Boss is aware of and has current no plans to fix. The AKAI headrush is a simple looper that does not have any timing issues. You can also wait until the new and improved version of the Boomerang come out or just pick up a used Boomerang 2. I picked up a Boss and few months back and ended up returning it. It has many great features but didn't work for me in a live application setting because of the timing glitch.
I saw some people talking about that on another thread, and it seemed like the guy got it figured out, but I couldn't tell how he did it. Anyway here's the thread http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...ighlight=rc-50
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