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 Forum index » Discussion » Introduce Yourself
Timothy Tap Dancing
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timothytapdancing



Joined: Jun 30, 2007
Posts: 2
Location: Philadelphia

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 6:20 pm    Post subject: Timothy Tap Dancing
Subject description: Introduction
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Hello,

Just wanted to introduce myself. My name is Timothy. I'm a professional tap dancer and Philadelphia native. As a dancer, I'm not sure if what I do is too out there to fit in with the electro-music scene, but I guess I'll see what you all think.

I wanted to invite everyone to check out my web site which features a weekly web tap show. One episode features my electronic tap shoe design. Each tap has a pick-up attached to it, which connects to a synthesizer, and turns the taps into unique drum sounds. You may notice my interpretation of a Max Roach Drum solo and even some traditional Tabla. Permanent link to my Electronic Tap Solo:
http://timothytapdancing.googlepages.com/episode1%3Aelectronictapsolo

Another episode features a Robert Johnson song. It focuses on the simultaneous performance of guitar riffs, vocals, and electronic taps. It is a polyrhythmic solo. You'll notice the plastic mat which mutes out the acoustic sounds of the tap and concentrates attention on the synthesized drums. Permanent link:
http://timothytapdancing.googlepages.com/episode2%3Aloveinvain

Finally, here are a couple episodes of more traditional tap dancing but with some nifty video effects. This piece is in honor of Mozart's 250th, featuring some Philly, LaVaughn-Robinson-style, low fast, paddle and roll hoofing. It also utilizes a pretty cool split-screen video effect, that'll make you wonder how the two parts stay in sync. I tap out both the melody and bass lines of the song. Permanent link to the Mozart episode:
http://timothytapdancing.googlepages.com/episode5%3Amozart%27srondoallaturca

And in this episode, I recreated a classic Bill Bojangles Robinson tap solo from _The Littlest Rebel_ (1935), to "Turkey in the Straw", in honor of National Tap Dance Day (May 25th, Bojangles birthday). Permanent link:
http://timothytapdancing.googlepages.com/episode12%3Abojanglesandme%28widescreen%29

Timothy Tap Dancing
A weekly web tap show.
http://timothytapdancing.googlepages.com/

Let me know what you think.

Tim
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EdisonRex
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Joined: Mar 07, 2007
Posts: 4529
Location: London, UK
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 1:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

welcome Timothy Tap Dancing!

That's pretty cool. The first video I think I like the most (it is long though), it seems to show off the tap controllers the best. What are they? Piezo transducers to a drum pickup? Can you get velocity info from them?

The second one with the Robert Johnson is interesting, too bad I can't hear any of your vocals, the guitar is kind of loud. How are you recording this, is it just a microphone in front of the amp?

It certainly fits into the experimental aspect of electro-music.com. Does anybody else you know do electro-tap? How did you come by the idea?

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timothytapdancing



Joined: Jun 30, 2007
Posts: 2
Location: Philadelphia

PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi EdisonRex,

Yes, piezos. They are touch sensitive, but they're so hot I don't get the dynamic control I'd like. Also as an acoustic tap dancer I use the edges of the tap for control and slight pitch variation. These feel more sensitive only on the piezo. Anyone know if it's possible to get a piezo transducer that's larger, ideally the size and shape of the tap? Or some piezo electric material that comes in sheets that could be cut to any shape? Also, I noticed on some stages I get buzz from the lights. Anyone know where to get better grounded piezo transducers?

Sorry for the length of the video, sometimes I let improv solos get away from me. Sorry for the audio mix on the Robert Johnson. Don't think you were missing that much from the vocals, though Smile I was kinda doing everything myself, so I was flying a bit blind on the monitoring. Don't have great equipment either. The guitar and tap went from the amp to a mic to the camera. The vocals were non sync to a computer. I probably should have just had the computer next to me, and worn my big Sennheisers to monitor--they sound great, but might not look so cool.

The idea is from the movie Tap. It wasn't real in the film, but there was a guy Alfred Desio who really did do electro-tap. I wonder what his rig was. Supposedly he had a whole wall of electronics involved. The idea for me is mainly that tap is so limited in pitch range. I think, Desio attempted more pitched things, but actual scale ptiches don't make sense to me. I'm more pushing tap into the realm of the drum kit.

Thanks for check out my stuff.

Tim
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EdisonRex
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I think it's wonderful, the whole concept is actually something that makes a ton of sense if looking at it from a tap dancer's point of view. I'm not a tap dancer but I do know a few in my travels.

Buzz unfortunately is because you're running high impedance unbalanced line from your shoes to whatever is doing the sensing. Pop into one of the forums like DIY and explain your rig, maybe the folks there can give you a hand. There's other ways to do it instead of piezos - perhaps motion detecting sensors, or resistive rubber material, up between the taps and the sole of the shoe. Piezos are very hot, voltage wise. Might be a way to make a balanced line version. You should actually be able to isolate them altogether.

Well it's interesting stuff. I love seeing people do other non "standard" things with electronics. Good luck and I hope you stick around.

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


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mosc
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Joined: Jan 31, 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

welcome

Great to have you here. I really enjoyed your videos. I must say the Mozart is my favorite.

Keep working on those tap shoe sensors. That holds a lot of promise I think.

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seraph
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Joined: Jun 21, 2003
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Location: Firenze, Italy
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
I must say the Mozart is my favorite.

Mine too Very Happy great stuff Exclamation welcome to electro-music.com

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bernat



Joined: May 18, 2007
Posts: 94
Location: Columbus, OH

PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

very cool! i would love to see your stuff live sometime. do you perform outside of philadelphia (e.g. columbus, ohio?)
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