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Spicing up laptop performance.

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Spicing up laptop performance.

Postby Arpangel » Thu Aug 06, 2020 11:48 am

I want to try and give a few live performances of one of my albums when things settle down, trouble is it was all done on a computer, with no hardware, mouse only controlling a traditional on-screen keyboard.
As I think laptop performances can be pretty boring and uninteresting for an audience, I’d like somehow to make it more visual, and animated, I thought I could replace the mouse and on-screen keyboard with a hardware option that behaved in the same way, an essential would be the ability to make wide sweeping glissandos of either discreet notes, or in portamento mode as required. I need an open ended range too, at least 8 octaves.
I’ll be controlling Reaktor, using my recently acquired BCF2000 (thanks Mr Kwackman! :thumbup: ) and I’m thinking of either a ribbon controller, but that would have to be ale to play discreet notes as well, or something like a Roli Seeboard, but that’s expensive.
I’m not sure, any suggestions welcome.
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Re: Spicing up laptop performance.

Postby ManFromGlass » Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:40 pm

For gear? Anything big with blinky lights, even if they do nothing. You, on the other, will need a choreographer for some serious dance moves because that’s what makes live music memorable!

:D
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Re: Spicing up laptop performance.

Postby CS70 » Thu Aug 06, 2020 2:32 pm

Dance, yes.

Or follow this thread
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Re: Spicing up laptop performance.

Postby Arpangel » Thu Aug 06, 2020 2:33 pm

ManFromGlass wrote:For gear? Anything big with blinky lights, even if they do nothing. You, on the other, will need a choreographer for some serious dance moves because that’s what makes live music memorable!

:D

Once you start getting into lights and dance etc, you open up a whole giant can of worms of biblical proportions, so much, has been done so well, in those mediums, competition is pointless, that’s why I’ve always avoided them.
Who has ever done anything worthwhile on stage across disciplines? OK, Busby Berkleley, still a hard act to follow, Laurie Anderson.......may be? Stars Of The Lid, definitely, and I’m not even going to attempt anything.
I’m confident about the music, I just need a visual angle, the more minimalist the better I think.
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Re: Spicing up laptop performance.

Postby ManFromGlass » Fri Aug 07, 2020 11:59 am

Hmmm, well giant mouse head is taken. Motorcycle helmets, taken. Weird puffy hip hop pants, taken. Same for spandex, leather, blue jeans, lumberjack shirts, tattoos, piercings, no hair, big hair, glitter glasses. Full on robot costumes, super hero and Japanese comic book characters.
It’s going to be tough to find the right thing!
Perhaps start simple - what’s your favourite colour?
:D
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Re: Spicing up laptop performance.

Postby Arpangel » Fri Aug 07, 2020 12:12 pm

ManFromGlass wrote:Hmmm, well giant mouse head is taken. Motorcycle helmets, taken. Weird puffy hip hop pants, taken. Same for spandex, leather, blue jeans, lumberjack shirts, tattoos, piercings, no hair, big hair, glitter glasses. Full on robot costumes, super hero and Japanese comic book characters.
It’s going to be tough to find the right thing!
Perhaps start simple - what’s your favourite colour?
:D

:D :D :D :D :D

Damn! I’ve just bought a rather fetching red patchwork lumberjack shirt!
Just a question, when does a performance stop being a performance? Someone sitting at a desk moving a mouse connected to a laptop isn’t something I’d like to watch for an hour, the ensuing music may as well be coming from i Tunes.
I think the way forward is an external controller, and the laptop is back-stage.
I can remember seeing a large thing that looked like a cello or double bass, but was an electronic controller, or something like David Vorhaus's Kaleidophon would be good. I could familiarise myself with it, and I wouldn’t need to look at the laptop.
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Re: Spicing up laptop performance.

Postby BJG145 » Fri Aug 07, 2020 12:36 pm

Arpangel wrote:I’m thinking of either a ribbon controller, but that would have to be ale to play discreet notes as well, or something like a Roli Seeboard, but that’s expensive. I’m not sure, any suggestions welcome.

At the top end there's the Haken Continuum and Roli Seaboard. Coming down from there, various Kurzweil keyboards have ribbons built-in or an input to add one as an accessory...

https://youtu.be/crUjZ_Tv7UY?t=63
https://reverb.com/item/17259232-kurzwe ... controller

Kurzweil also built a standalone MIDI controller to use with them called the "Expressionmate". Quite rare now, though here's one on Reverb. (I'd like to try that.)

There's the Continuumini, the Haken Continuum's baby brother, then coming further down, there's the Eowave Ribbon 2 which can be used as a simple synth, CV controller, or MIDI over USB. I just sold one of those; I didn't really like the feel or aesthetics.

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/eowave-ribbon-2

There's also a CV Ribbon controller by Doepfer...

https://www.juno.co.uk/products/doepfer ... 755442-01/

Other dedicated ribbon synths include the Eowave Persephone and Hard Mod, and a handful of synths like the Hydrasynth have them built in.

There are also alternative controllers that allow you to play or slide notes such as the Linnstrument, Madrona Soundplane, and Erae Touch...

Image

(That's due to launch on Kickstarter next month.)

https://www.embodme.com/
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Re: Spicing up laptop performance.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Aug 07, 2020 12:42 pm

There's a Haken Continuum mini in the readers ads at the moment....
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Re: Spicing up laptop performance.

Postby CS70 » Fri Aug 07, 2020 6:52 pm

Arpangel wrote:Damn! I’ve just bought a rather fetching red patchwork lumberjack shirt!

Lumberjack works, but you could always go full Rockets..

Image

Ok, ok... :D
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Re: Spicing up laptop performance.

Postby The Elf » Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:31 pm

Arpangel wrote:or something like a Roli Seeboard...
I was a huge fan of the Roli Seaboard. I have a Seaboard 25 that I love, and wanted a Seaboard 49...

The first Seaboard 49 I received was faulty. After some lengthy back/forth communication over their ticketing system a replacement device was sent. This second device has essentially the same fault.

I'm currently trying to organise a return/refund, but Roli are not answering my ticket. Over a month has passed since I reported the second device as faulty. Suffice it say that I've begun an alternative approach to recovering my money.

Buyer beware.
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Re: Spicing up laptop performance.

Postby Eddy Deegan » Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:32 am

When it comes to this sort of thing a Laser Harp has, in my humble opinion, yet to be bettered :D
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Re: Spicing up laptop performance.

Postby Stratman57 » Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:50 am

How about getting a guitar. Way more sexy than a keyboard, or even a keytar.

Get a copy of JamOrigin's MIDIguitar two, and then you're good to go.

Add in a Boss synth pedal, and an EHX Mel9 pedal, then you're into prog rock heaven.

You may need to jump up and down a bit and put your foot on the monitor, but definitely better than performing with a laptop and mouse, unless it's Micky, then you'd have a great future on Disney +.

Regards, Simon.
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Re: Spicing up laptop performance.

Postby ManFromGlass » Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:49 pm

A self contained WiFi powered bodysuit with 2 keyboards, percussion pads and knobs painted on it?
And
They all work In real time!
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Re: Spicing up laptop performance.

Postby Arpangel » Sat Aug 08, 2020 5:52 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:There's a Haken Continuum mini in the readers ads at the moment....

Thanks Hugh, yes, saw that, it hasn’t got the ability to play discreet notes though, I’m thinking something like the Analogue Systems French Connection may be worth checking out. It’s really difficult trying to replicate what I did with the mouse and on-screen keyboard I could move so fast it sounded like portamento, but when I played slow, I got discreet notes.
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Re: Spicing up laptop performance.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Aug 08, 2020 6:09 pm

Arpangel wrote:....it hasn’t got the ability to play discreet notes though...

I've seen videos where the performer was playing discrete notes on it... Probably takes some practice, but in essence it's no different from playing any fretless keyboard like a violin or cello.
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