November 16, 2008

Being a synth guy and the wall of gear

While I was rehearsing with my band yesterday it occurred to me that guitar players tend to carry one guitar around and use pedals to change their sound.

And also, 'synth guys' always have a wall of gear - several midi controllers, a laptop, sustain pedals, possibly more... not to mention amps, and a mic/mic-stand if you're singing.

Here's the problem:
The wall of gear isn't exactly conducive to an awesome stage show.
Well, I'm one of those 'synth guys' these days (recently converted from guitarist), and I sorely regret the loss of mobility. And then I got to thinking: There must be some way to change patches using a foot pedal, just like the guitar.

That's when I came across this:
Roland FC-300
Aye, the Roland FC-300. It sounds like a the name of a spaceship from startrek, or some infomercial ripoff, but from what I gather it's a decent piece of gear. But for $350, is it really worth it? I'm not so sure. So I continued my quest... leading me to the much friendlier Rolls MP128.

I'm still not exactly sure how to get these things to do what I want, but I'll probably write up another post when I actually get one.

Here's how I would guess you do it:
  1. Hook up your keyboard to the midi in of the sound module/laptop, as you would expect.

  2. Then Hook up the pedal board to either
    A) The Midi In on your keyboard
    B) Another Midi In on your sound module/laptop (if it has one)

  3. Then you can change patches using the pedal board and have them go into action for input via the keyboard in real time
Step 3 is my personal goal here. Maybe I'm totally wrong about all this, though. If I am, somebody stop me before I drop $130 on the Rolls MP128!

© 2008 Jim Robert