Team Spirit

Akai MPC Live and Force. TR8s pictured at the end for sampling purposes only.

For a long time, I’ve been working toward getting back to broadcasting lives sets. In my original rig from this, the equipment used was my modular, Octatrack and sometimes an Elektron Analog 4. While that rig worked, it had the limitation that it was less than intuitive to change songs from one to the next, so most of the broadcasts were done as one very long form piece (as long as an hour or more). In the next, overdue incarnation of R=C broadcasting, I want to break out of that mold and have the music over that time be made up of separate compositions pulled together in an improvised live set.

Because I’m rather pedantic about NOT wanting to use a laptop computer in this setup, I’ve been looking for hardware that could handle the task. To my surprise, this is harder than you think. Most samplers *still* max out at around a gig or so of available RAM, or have other limitations that make you still have to be memory conscious. In 2019, that just seems so crazy to me. I don’t understand why samplers don’t have 32gb of RAM (or more) and the ability to stream from disk as standard features.

Further frustrating me is that, apparently, no one *does this* except me, and all the hardware seems to be geared around holding a single project at a time, without any convenient way of switching or play listing projects (there are some exceptions to this, such as the Korg Kronos, but that is designed for a whole different type of gigging musician).

The team of gear I’ve finally settled on  is  The Akai MPC Live and Akai Force, with the Eurorack Satellite rig and Axe FX III (not pictured) also used.   My concept is that the MPC and Force will hande the songs, while I’ll use the modular for some improvised textures between the tracks.  There is the need, possibly, for a sample player / mangler of some sort that can stream very long samples directly from cards rather than loading them into RAM.   I don’t have a handle on what I’ll use there, yet (Elektron Octatrack, 1010 Music BitBox…a few options).

As far as content goes, I’ve already got 3 good tracks already written on the MPC Live and Force that I plan to use.  I’m not sure how well they make a set, but that will come with practice.   I don’t have a set date for when I’ll try to give the full set a go, but, of course, I’ll let all 5 of you who read my blog regularly know about it.

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