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electro-music 2009 - the aftermath
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bachus



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kevin, your set was the highpoint of a wonderful experience. Your contrapuntal writing is a joy to hear. Thank you so much for doing this at em2009, your efforts are very much appreciated.
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Acoustic Interloper



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kevin, thanks for the detailed explanation. That post is a seminar right there!
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bbinkovitz



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

All I can say to Kevin's efforts and explanation thereof is: wow.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kevin, your performance was astonishing and inspirational to me. I also enjoyed talking about Theremins with you after the show. You really know your stuff. In fact, you've inspired me to do a special program for next year's laptop battle. I'm going to be very uncharacteristic by not blabbing about it and keeping it a secret at least for a while. Well done, man.

Les

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laura woodswalker



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 4:38 am    Post subject: Re: How about an art gallery? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

bbinkovitz wrote:
2-d, static, visual art to a gallery or contest or whatever else might be in existence. I think smokris and bernat would love to do the same as well.


Yeah, that would be a great venue for my LED plastic art, if I ever get time to do it instead of just TALKING about it....!

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laura woodswalker



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

ThinAir wrote:
Sensors!

What if every time somebody walked up the stairs sensors on each step would sing out a scale. Modulated variations if two people are walking in different directions.

Also, a creative doorbell so that when somebody is outside with an armload of gear, they can press a foot pedal and a speaker inside sounds. I noticed this year it got down to a ritual yelling of "door!"

I did see the howling dead fish. The fish-pan installation. Did you know that those fish were caught that morning. And that the installation also acts as a fish drier. Yum! (Seriously! I asked the inventor. What was his name?)


Wow! Awesome ideas!!
I have been fantasizing about a keyboard where you press a key & it would make an LED go on. A different color for each key. Wonder how you'd do that?

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laura woodswalker



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 4:55 am    Post subject: How do you do it? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

While everyone is posting & excited & wants to talk... I want to ask a dumb question about how all this magic is done. (I'm a Noob after all.)

I know how to do tracks in Reason but I'm still a bit fuzzy about how you play along with yourself & create all this wonderful music in realtime. I didn't want to go up & bug performers as they are busy getting ready for a set or taking down for the next guys. But I really want to know.

If you are using sampler modules, which ones? What do you call some of the equipment you use to trigger the music that you play along with. If you use a laptop, how do you trigger your loops/tracks without having to reach over & fool with the mouse in the middle of your set? Especially folks who play solo.

Do you mind sharing some of your secrets?

Last nite I set up my 2 keyboards to try & jam with myself. I could play some patterns on my Micron but it is kind of limited because it is knob-based. Maybe I want a gadget with a bunch of pads so I can play back samples.

Time to shop for gadgets?? Laughing Laughing Laughing

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1undread



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 9:30 am    Post subject: Re: How do you do it? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:

If you are using sampler modules, which ones? What do you call some of the equipment you use to trigger the music that you play along with. If you use a laptop, how do you trigger your loops/tracks without having to reach over & fool with the mouse in the middle of your set? Especially folks who play solo.


I use the Korg Electribe SX and a Korg KP3. On the SX I have loops that I manipulate live and I use the KP3 for live sampling / looping and playing the bass (and keyboard, which I didn't have at the festival) completes the live element.

As for the festival I had an excellent and enlightening time. I want to come to the next one so I can try to do one of those circuit bending kits as well as perform and meet more people...

You guys are all great, and know how to put a festival together:)
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shanemorris
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 10:12 am    Post subject: Re: How do you do it? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

laura woodswalker wrote:
While everyone is posting & excited & wants to talk... I want to ask a dumb question about how all this magic is done. (I'm a Noob after all.)

I know how to do tracks in Reason but I'm still a bit fuzzy about how you play along with yourself & create all this wonderful music in realtime. I didn't want to go up & bug performers as they are busy getting ready for a set or taking down for the next guys. But I really want to know.
If you are using sampler modules, which ones? What do you call some of the equipment you use to trigger the music that you play along with. If you use a laptop, how do you trigger your loops/tracks without having to reach over & fool with the mouse in the middle of your set? Especially folks who play solo.
Do you mind sharing some of your secrets?
Last nite I set up my 2 keyboards to try & jam with myself. I could play some patterns on my Micron but it is kind of limited because it is knob-based. Maybe I want a gadget with a bunch of pads so I can play back samples.


well first of all...depending on what you are doing...but playing solo can be more difficult than playing with others. All sounds are coming from you so If there are errors they tend to show themselves a little easier.

with that said... I love playing solo and love the challenge.

just like anything...it takes practice.

I will just discuss a littlel of what I do. I still at this point do not use computers to create music. So...in that regard Laura...you know more about Reason than I do.

Generally, to play along with your machines you need to be aware of the Tempo and Key signature.
The tempo can just be felt by tapping your foot in time...or you can certainly visually see the BPM as well if you are going to midi sync or something.
The key signatures can be choosen for each composition. Of course, playing scales and knowing chords comes with practice and often years of study...but that all depends on how much time you have to invest in learning and what your intentions are musically. This doesnt in any way mean that you cannot make music without this prior knowledge...in fact to me that is the beauty of electronic music...it allows the ability to almost anyone make great music without years of training. However, the more you know about music and theory...the more tools you have in your box for composing, improvising, etc.

For solo performance, I utilize both sequencing and live looping. Playing with loops if fun but loops can get stale listening to them over and over. I like to try to develop ways of modulating the sounds of loops in many different ways while they are playing. Simultaneously, I also play live synths, epercussion, and field recordings where I see fit. So I am improvising within a structured composition at times...and just improvising completely at other times.

I enjoy the challenge of using all 4 limbs and sometimes even my voice to create polyrhythmical music that sounds like several people. I play and practice my set up every week for several hours. So... as i said in the beginning. practice , practice, practice.

Arrange your instruments so they are within easy reach and experiment with using them in different ways. Your voice will begin to emerge as you hear things you like and want to remember to play them again... and weed out other sounds that you arent interested in using.

Hope this is helpful. Each one of us could have a whole different response to this question/idea.

Was fun to hang with you some at EM09 as well Laughing

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Kurt Michaels



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 1:00 pm    Post subject: Re: How do you do it? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

laura woodswalker wrote:


I know how to do tracks in Reason but I'm still a bit fuzzy about how you play along with yourself & create all this wonderful music in realtime. I didn't want to go up & bug performers as they are busy getting ready for a set or taking down for the next guys. But I really want to know.


You could start out by making a modest investment in a stomp box looping device. Boss makes a great one....you could probably find a used one cheap on Ebay or Craigslist....

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kkissinger



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 2:01 pm    Post subject: Re: How do you do it? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thank you all for your compliments on my music. To perform at the festival is an honor. Your support means a lot to me and I'm definitely excited about more composing, patching, and other activities as a result of the festival.

laura woodswalker wrote:
If you use a laptop, how do you trigger your loops/tracks without having to reach over & fool with the mouse in the middle of your set? Especially folks who play solo.

Do you mind sharing some of your secrets?


To answer Laura's question, my approach to laptop-based looping is a solution to problems I encountered when trying to loop with a theremin.

The theremin is a gestural-controlled instrument and is extremely sensitive. To motion (or to even look at) foot pedals is enough to change a good note into a sour note.

Besides looping, I also want to pan the sound and do other things while I'm playing notes on the theremin. The solution is to compose every note and use VST automation (a feature of Cubase SX) to control the delay plugins, fx, panners, eq, and other plug-in effects. I design my works such that the loops' content doubles as cue material. My live-looping works start with a piano cue that enables me to play the first note on the precise position of beat '1' on the correct pitch. The loop duration (i.e., delay time) is short enough that the first note repeats in a metronomic manner thus establishing the tempo. It is upon this opening note that everything is built. There are other critical notes within the looping works that MUST be played precisely on beat and on pitch or else everything falls apart.

Another way to put this is that when I hit <play> on the laptop, the computer will produce the cue pitch and will do all the automation. It is up to me to play at the correct time and tempo to match up with the automation events. On "Three-Legged Race" and "Rotations", if I hit <play> and let the computer run without playing the theremin, the result will be silence. Indeed, the live theremin is the sole sound source for those works.

To loop with a loop pedal is much more spontaneous however is difficult to do with a theremin. When I loop with my synthesizers or with my recorder the foot pedal works fine because my motion to the pedals won't upset the pitch.

On my non-looped works, I just play along with my accompaniment which is designed such that I can always hear the beat and play in time with it. The alternative would be to listen to a "click track" in my headphones however I prefer not to have a click.

I will admit that the live-looping theremin works are kind of "high pressure" because I must maintain pitch throughout the works' duration, keep track of cues and entrances, and play from memory. At the same time, I think that all the effort that goes into such a performance translates into musical excitement.

Anyway, I hope this explanation helps to explain some of techniques I used for the looped theremin works.

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Acoustic Interloper



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 2:06 pm    Post subject: Re: How do you do it? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

laura woodswalker wrote:

I know how to do tracks in Reason but I'm still a bit fuzzy about how you play along with yourself & create all this wonderful music in realtime. I didn't want to go up & bug performers as they are busy getting ready for a set or taking down for the next guys. But I really want to know.

Hi, Laura. Good question, and lots of different answers, I am sure.

A lot of acoustic people with mic'd or picked-up instruments use Ableton Live. I don't use it exclusively, but I use it a lot.

My piece last year had me picking banjo using a ping-pong delay in Live that is a multiple of my finger picking speed, which allows me to stack up accents in a polyrhythmic manner. A ping-pong delay just echoes the incoming signal in one stereo channel after a delay, then the other after two delays, back to the first after three, etc. The wet/dry ratio determines how much of the processed vs. original signal to let through, and feedback determines what % of the signal to ping-pong each time. The piece was called "Ordinary Machinery" after a short story that my daughter Sierra had written, so I had samples of her reading + household machinery, and I used Live to essentially turn her reading into part of the household machinery (which is what the story was about). Beth from Ruori took some photos of appliances in the Kingsport venue before I played, so the video projection aligned with the theme.

This year I started out playing rounds with myself on banjo using Live to loop prior verses (I had rounds in mind when I wrote the piece in 2003, but I wasn't doing music processing then), and when I finished 3 verses I looped and deconstructed the timbre of two of those looping samples into something like an upright bass and something else like a raspy electronic patch, then improvised MIDI guitar passages over top of those loops.

I control using foot switches that send MIDI signals into Live. I also sang an a capella piece with Max/MSP supplying 3 part harmonies, also controlled via a MIDI foot switch. Sometimes I use ChucK, also controlled via MIDI foot switches.

Basically, either I manage live performance control via MIDI foot controllers, or I kick in a loop that frees my hands to morph the sonics of the loops using a mouse. I usually don't bring any pre-performance samples, but last year I needed a sample of my daughter reading her story, along with samples of household machinery. (A copy of the piece is posted here.) If she could have been in Kingsport, we would have done it live. (I am hoping she can be back east for this next year.) Otherwise I capture sampled acoustic sounds while playing.

Next on the agenda for the banjo is a raga-like piece that I wrote in 2004 or 2005 and never performed with electronics. One part will work well with synthetic "sympathetic strings," another section could use reverb and delays to give a banjo/electric guitar hybrid sound. The intro and outro are strictly acoustic. There are all manner of DSP FX that work well with acoustic instruments; usually my goal is to bring out and highlight timbre that is intrinsic to the particular instrument that I am playing. I am up to 4 open back banjos and looking at a fifth. Part of my original motivation was to stop buying banjos and extend the sonics electronically.

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laura woodswalker



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 7:21 pm    Post subject: Re: How do you do it? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

[quote="Kurt Michaels"]
laura woodswalker wrote:


You could start out by making a modest investment in a stomp box looping device. Boss makes a great one....you could probably find a used one cheap on Ebay or Craigslist....


Yeah, there is a stomp box lurking around somewhere...belongs to my son...he wanted to sell it. Um, maybe I should, like, buy it??

As to the Electribe... yeah, craigslist is real dangerous. I found a bunch of them for sale there. The reviews are great! Only question, I assume you can play your own keyboard sounds into them, or are you stuck with the cheezy hip-hop sounds?

A lot of the instrument demos, they play up the cheezy disco music but I think I'm getting away from that...I want to make sure I can provide my own sounds, riffs etc. and loop them, I don't want just a disco/hip hop module.

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Kurt Michaels



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 8:01 pm    Post subject: Re: How do you do it? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

[quote="laura woodswalker"]
Kurt Michaels wrote:
laura woodswalker wrote:


You could start out by making a modest investment in a stomp box looping device. Boss makes a great one....you could probably find a used one cheap on Ebay or Craigslist....


Yeah, there is a stomp box lurking around somewhere...belongs to my son...he wanted to sell it. Um, maybe I should, like, buy it??A lot of the instrument demos, they play up the cheezy disco music but I think I'm getting away from that...I want to make sure I can provide my own sounds, riffs etc. and loop them, I don't want just a disco/hip hop module.


You know Laura...just keep it simple. There's plenty if interesting real time layering that you can do with the Boss RC-20 and it will work with whatever sounds you are playing into it. Boss makes great stuff for cheap that can get you up and running quickly!

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laura woodswalker



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 6:46 am    Post subject: Re: How do you do it? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Acoustic Interloper wrote:


My piece last year had me picking banjo using a ping-pong delay in Live that is a multiple of my finger picking speed, which allows me to stack up accents in a polyrhythmic manner. ght timbre that is intrinsic to the particular instrument that I am playing. I am up to 4 open back banjos and looking at a fifth. Part of my original motivation was to stop buying banjos and extend the sonics electronically.


LOL.... if we could all just grow EXTRA HANDS, we wouldn't need all this gadgetry.

I really wanted to catch your set, but I got caught up with the soldering workshop. If you have a link, I'll listen to your stuff!

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1undread



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 7:12 am    Post subject:  Re: How do you do it? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

laura woodswalker wrote:


As to the Electribe... yeah, craigslist is real dangerous. I found a bunch of them for sale there. The reviews are great! Only question, I assume you can play your own keyboard sounds into them, or are you stuck with the cheezy hip-hop sounds?

A lot of the instrument demos, they play up the cheezy disco music but I think I'm getting away from that...I want to make sure I can provide my own sounds, riffs etc. and loop them, I don't want just a disco/hip hop module.


Hi Laura. The SX is a sampler. so you can get rid of all of the preloaded samples and replace them with your own. I've also done strange things with mine like 7/8 time signatures and interesting song forms by moving between 2 or more patterns. The Korg is more than just a Dance music machine (I don't really think of my music as dance music, maybe Brain Dance lol) but I don't rate it for live sampling for that the KP3 is much better, but to tell you the truth the Boss stomp box is the King when it comes to looping. I like the KP3 because of what you can do to the loop once you've captured it.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 8:20 am    Post subject: Re: How do you do it? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kurt Michaels wrote:
You know Laura...just keep it simple. There's plenty if interesting real time layering that you can do with the Boss RC-20 and it will work with whatever sounds you are playing into it. Boss makes great stuff for cheap that can get you up and running quickly!


I agree with Kurt. Start out with something simple such as the RC-20.

At the live-looping festival, one of the most effective sets was by a singer who used nothing more than an RC-20.

When it comes to equipment, it is easy to go off on an aimless path from one piece of equipment or software to the next without every really mastering any aspect. To master a limited piece of equipment will yield more satisfying results than an endless foray from one gadget to the next.

In a sense, I was fortunate to have built a kit synthesizer because it forced me to focus one-by-one on each module as I completed them. Years before that I started with a J.C. Penny's tape recorder and a 20-in-one electronic project kit.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

My father always used to say to me, "Never let yourself be limited by your equipment".

He was talking about photography, and quoting Ansel Adams, but it applies in all areas of life. Don't become a victim of functional fixedness!

(BTW my father is still alive and well, he just doesn't say that anymore because my photography quickly got wackier than what he had in mind when he started teaching me.)

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 12:17 pm    Post subject: Re: How do you do it? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

laura woodswalker wrote:

I really wanted to catch your set, but I got caught up with the soldering workshop. If you have a link, I'll listen to your stuff!

I have some things at http://virb.com/dparson and this last summer solstice's scrabble-to-midi piece is in my audio files on this forum.

I don't have a recording of my em2009 pieces, but Howard and I did a duet of the main piece at my university on September 30. My son Jeremy just dumped the raw performance from ProTools to wav file for me the other night, so as soon as I bless it, I'll post it here, maybe get it played on radio.electro-music.com.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hey, Beth, just got off the phone with my daughter Sierra, and she has very tentatively agreed to write something and come perform with me at EM2010. I hope she does -- I'm sure you two will hit it off.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:25 pm    Post subject: Re: How do you do it? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kurt Michaels wrote:
[
You know Laura...just keep it simple. There's plenty if interesting real time layering that you can do with the Boss RC-20 and it will work with whatever sounds you are playing into it. Boss makes great stuff for cheap that can get you up and running quickly!


I think you're ON to something!!

I dug out my son's Jam-Man Digitech looping pedal that he doesn't like & wants to sell. I guess he wanted to record regular old Rock basslines & stuff & didn't like it for that.

Well I recorded a few pads & drone=type sounds, layered some accents, fooled around with the frequency & a few other knobs on the Micron.... I couldn't believe it!! That thing managed to record an entire song! I don't know about the precision timing you'd need for Rock or Trance, but for spacey music, that thing is the best!!!

Hmm, maybe I don't need any new gadgets after all...

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Very cool Laura...Looking forward to hearing what you come up with!
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kkissinger



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 5:26 am    Post subject: Re: How do you do it? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

laura woodswalker wrote:
Well I recorded a few pads & drone=type sounds, layered some accents, fooled around with the frequency & a few other knobs on the Micron.... I couldn't believe it!! That thing managed to record an entire song! I don't know about the precision timing you'd need for Rock or Trance, but for spacey music, that thing is the best!!!

Hmm, maybe I don't need any new gadgets after all...


That's great, Laura! Look forward to hearing some of your creations.

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kkissinger



Joined: Mar 28, 2006
Posts: 1214
Location: Kansas City, Mo USA
Audio files: 29

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:08 am    Post subject: Can't find my USB to Audio interface Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi.

Even though Paul returned my USB to Audio interface (which we used for the stream) I have not been able to find it!

Fortunately, it is not horrifically expensive and it is easily replaced. However, I've been tearing my hair out trying to find it.

Anyway, if you ended up with the interface, just let me know. You can just return it to me at a future festival or whatever we can work out.

Also, if you are missing an orange extension cord, then I have it. It has a tag on it but I can't remember the lettering -- I'll check it later.

Everything else made it home ok, including my Paia M/S microphone. We used this mic for the stream. Paul said that he really liked it. I thought it was kind of neat that, for a festival that features a lot of DIY projects, that the streaming mic was itself a DIY (kit) project. The issue was that the only remaining strips on the streaming mixer lacked mic-preamps. The PAIA m/s mic has built-in preamps and delivers a balanced, line-level signal -- and in stereo, too! We just plugged the mic into the board and that was that. Smile

p.s. -- this is the interface: http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/Behringer-UCONTROL-UCA202-USBAudio-Interface?sku=702540

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EdisonRex
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Joined: Mar 07, 2007
Posts: 4524
Location: London, UK
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Can't find my USB to Audio interface Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

kkissinger wrote:
Hi.

Even though Paul returned my USB to Audio interface (which we used for the stream) I have not been able to find it!

Fortunately, it is not horrifically expensive and it is easily replaced. However, I've been tearing my hair out trying to find it.

Anyway, if you ended up with the interface, just let me know. You can just return it to me at a future festival or whatever we can work out.

Also, if you are missing an orange extension cord, then I have it. It has a tag on it but I can't remember the lettering -- I'll check it later.

Everything else made it home ok, including my Paia M/S microphone. We used this mic for the stream. Paul said that he really liked it. I thought it was kind of neat that, for a festival that features a lot of DIY projects, that the streaming mic was itself a DIY (kit) project. The issue was that the only remaining strips on the streaming mixer lacked mic-preamps. The PAIA m/s mic has built-in preamps and delivers a balanced, line-level signal -- and in stereo, too! We just plugged the mic into the board and that was that. Smile

p.s. -- this is the interface: http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/Behringer-UCONTROL-UCA202-USBAudio-Interface?sku=702540


Check with Howard, I think he has your interface. I remember going back through the cleanup when we were striking the table and it turned up.

The mic was great, and it helped the interviews too, they sounded like we were sitting next to each other (as was the case) instead of a single mono mic signal.

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Garret: It's so retro.
EGM: What does retro mean to you?
Parker: Like, old and outdated.


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