A MIDI controller based on a Hurdy-Gurdy.
Tools, predominantly noise producing. As used by me.
During which which I finally succeed in recreating the sound of a cheap children’s ‘mooing’ toy using hundreds of pounds worth of equipment.
On an interesting Sound On Sound podcast interviewing a developer of Yamaha’s FM synths they mentioned the FS1R module, one of which I bought around the turn of the century when they were going cheap having not proved popular. On that prompt I looked up what they were being sold for these days and after getting over the shock I dragged mine out for a noodle.
Backing comes courtesy of an Argon 8M and Arturia Microfreak (C’est chic).
Made up on the spot – hard to believe I know.
What I’d forgotten was that the FS1R has the elusive MIDI Mode 4 allowing each string to have its own channel meaning amongst other things better tracking and independent pitch bend. A bit like MIDI Polyphonic Expression does today and allowing you to play in a more guitar like manner. (I may go wild and do a video at some point that demonstrates that rather more obviously than the one here.)
Perhaps of note is that the Yamaha synthesizer and Roland GR33 I’m using to convert the signal from the hexaphonic pickup on the guitar to MIDI are twenty year old technology. (Hexaphonic means it picks up each of the six strings individually for later processing. Some very clever modern pedals and software can work out individual notes from a standard guitar output but there are still some things that can’t be deduced using that method).
The Cyclone II is of similar vintage with some modern accoutrements, most recently Wilkinson WLS130 locking saddles which are a great aid to tuning stability on an old fashioned Fender type of tremolo unit if you’re attempting extreme wobbles. It also has a LSR roller nut, Graphtec string tree and locking tuners I stuck on over a decade ago and can’t remember what they are.
The Cyclone shouldn’t be confused with the Squier reissue which has Stratocaster rather than Jaguar pickups and most importantly lacks the go faster stripes of the original.
As I wasn’t in the mood to do anything productive I knocked out a video for something I’ve bought recently that has proved useful and isn’t expensive. There’s also a wider version for acoustic guitars – the Wave 10.
I warmed up for the planned ludicrously complex pedalboard by wiring a small one tonight.
I used the power cables that came with the supply rather than make my own so it’s not as neat as could be and had to reverse the polarity for one pedal which has the handy side effect of saving the universe from alien foes.
It certainly seems capable of those classic 1970s rock guitar sounds. 1
- Your 70s may vary. ↩
A submission to the Chords Of Orion Ambient Guitar Highlights series of video compilations. Probably should have practised a bit more before recording but why break the habit of a lifetime.
Contains nudity from the ankle down.
And the YouTube spiel to save clicking through.
Having seen the call to guitars from Chords Of Orion I’ve knocked out a tune for #AmbientGuitarHighlights.
As the series I’m attempting to appear in has been quite generous in the application of the Ambient tag the fact that I’ve overplayed a bit will hopefully not be my undoing.
This was going to be backing for E-bow and what not but in the end I rather liked it as it stood. For anyone who follows Bill’s channel the choice of UD Stomp to base the sound around will come as no surprise but everything else was added on a whim.
It may all look a bit serious which is due to not being entirely decided on the structure of the tune before setting off and trying to remember when to wiggle the controller and volume pedals.
I’m going to claim the fluffs were in fact on purpose as they tended to produce the most interesting delay effects.
This was not the first take.
Lighting by Dunlop Power Brick and Orion Effekte Lemming & Oh!
Whilst having an effects sort out I put my 1986 line up back together (with the Moollon substituting for an Italian Crybaby that died long ago).
By the end of that year I’d decided it was far too much effort and didn’t use effects live again for two decades.