Live Streaming - Day One
Started day with a 5 minute melodics practice session (hopefully the first of many), followed by a jog(hopefully the first of many) before I sat down and prepared for the live stream (hopefully the first of many).
The aim: to perform for one hour.
Started pretty much on time. I made a quick screenshot of VCV rack to block the main screen of the live stream until the beginning of the show (while keeping the stream active so viewers know it's coming soon). You can see some flashing lights behind the screenshot showing the live room. I discovered a text source, an hour beforehand, so I put up a message too.
I usually use the JP8000 to let me know if the studio is in sync, so it was naturally the first instrument on the stream along with the TR-8 which is my new instrument for visually seeing when studio is active. This was appropriate because the JP was the first keyboard I bought when I wanted to emulate the Future Sound of London and its ISDN broadcasts. Although I never actually recorded it until recently, it has always been part of my jamming sessions.
I dropped a cut of the studio mix I'm working on knowing I could only use the first half of it because there were two areas where the vocals are mixed way too loud. (I had fixed some parts already but not in time to re-render the mix) so the plan was to find two or three good places for a locked groove, and use about 30 minutes of the studio mix over the hour.
This worked out perfectly. It helps me to avoid the typical downfall of a live PA or modular show where the first few minutes can be brilliant but getting variety for a full set falls prey to dexterity or lack thereof, the fact that there is only one person at the helm, lack of presets etc. Finding the loop points live allows for a certain percentage of liveness and improv versus EDM/Ambient karaoke (which is fine, I'm not disputing that this is my starting point).
Moving from the JP intro to the studio mix was a little bit clumsy, but moving to and from the studio mix and live instruments was fluid once that initial hurdle was crossed. I'll start with a studio-mixed intro in the future.
All was not smooth though. When I entered the first locked groove I notice that VCVRack was not running in sync with the studio. Normally I would stop the system on the fourth beat and press start on the first beat, but I didn't want to take the chance. Kicking Ableton Live in on the first beat is not usually smooth, sometimes it is, but that's when I'm using internal instruments only. So, I left VCVrack out of the equation (It's fine. VCVrack is very new to me so probably apt that it did not feature on the first stream).
The matrixbrute is amazing, it's an integral part of the Techbot sound. Up until now the Techbot sound has been all about T-racks. I'm sure of it. On every tune, I set up T-racks template and then I play into or mix into this mixer template. After that I avoid mastering. I intend to use this same method with the streams. T-racks and the matrix brute makes me feel like I'm playing alongside Pierre Henry :-)
So between it and a very solid groove provided by Puremagnetik's Big Bertha sound pack, some of my own drum loops (live from the TR-8 and the Drumbrute - or pre-sequenced in the Microtonic), some great Simon Harris old skool 707 loops, I played a set which very much is upfront about its 80's heritage, but behind everything, in disguise, is a really sharp 'brutish' sound.
I still haven't programmed the microtonic the way I want. I cannot select a drum voice without playing the note on that voice, so I I have moved the padkontrol over to VCVrack. I need to figure out a different way to control the parameters of the microtonic live, while availing of the pre-programmed drum patterns. Using multiple midi channels as the developer suggested is the answer so I need to put some more thought into it and the right controller. I have always loved the microtonic.
I closed the set with my Barbara Streisand party piece. Sorry folks but I'm a genreless dj. If it rocks it rocks, so don't @ me.