Thinking of doing something crazy.

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by StJohn, Jan 18, 2017.

  1. StJohn

    StJohn Country Gent

    Jun 5, 2008
    North Louisiana
    So some of you may know, I've been in an acoustic trio, till we lost 250 lbs of bad weight, and became a duo. This is a great situation, and we have a lot of fun. I've been thinking of ways to make it better, and also, my buddy travels some, so there may be times where it's just me. I've always been one of those true "live" guys, ie, no loopers, harmonizers and all that.

    Well, that changed when the wife and I started Cruising, and every Cruise usually has a solo acoustic artist. Most have used loopers and harmonizers to really fill things out, and on the last one, a guy was using loopers to lay down some percussion. Then I saw all these cool videos of the Beat Buddy, and started to learn what all you could do with it. This all leads me to...

    thinking of doing something crazy: integrating a MIDI setup utilizing the beat buddy, and a T4 Ditto looper. In addition, I'd throw a harmonizer in there so that basically, with me playing guitar and singing, it could sound like a one man band, or a two man band if it's the duo. Am I freakin stupid or could this actually work and not sound totally fake?!?
    Strummer George likes this.
  2. StJohn

    StJohn Country Gent

    Jun 5, 2008
    North Louisiana
  3. Wozob

    Wozob Country Gent

    Jul 6, 2014
    The Netherlands
    Don't think, do!
    Strummer George likes this.
  4. Strummer George

    Strummer George Gretschie

    Dec 31, 2016
    West Coast
    I hardly know what you are talking about, but, with all your knowledge and experience I would say you were on to something that might be BIG! :)
  5. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Gretschified

    Oct 18, 2015
    I totally understand you , friend. These are really great options for making everything sound bigger and greater.
    I `ve been wowed by performers going that path.

    But I always thought: What would be if the electricity goes down?
    No soloentertainer could do his performance without midifiles anymore today.....Give him a piano and he would fail bitterly.

    In one of our projects we used a Digitech Vocalist for beefing up the backing vocals, but if this unit would went down there would have been always a second human being singing a harmony voice.
    So I am very split-decision on this theme.
    Compared to the "professionals" this is a very, very little cheating on "our level":
    Bands like Def Leppard used this harmoniser units since years and there a for sure lots of "performers" going the full -playback-route.
    Of couse it is still entertaining. And it is legitimate to go that route for the sake of entertainment.
    As an artist and musician I have a problem with it.
  6. S. Rock

    S. Rock Friend of Fred

    Mark, you're gonna sing ? :eek: :D just teasing.

    sure, go for it. however, remember that too much could be too much. in other words, keep things as simple as possible.
    StJohn likes this.
  7. blc45

    blc45 Country Gent

    Aug 23, 2011
    Coming from a background of all live musicians and singers Its not my cup of tea.
    Strummer George likes this.
  8. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Apr 5, 2014
    If you're confident in your abilities to run all that and perform at the same time, then why not? If a venue is only going to pay for a solo act no matter what, then you're not putting anyone out of work and you are actually working a lot harder than if you were just standing there with the guitar and singing.... which you could do in the event of a catastrophic power failure.
    Strummer George likes this.
  9. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    As with most things, it's all about the execution. I've heard it done well (White Horse); ok (Loop Station) and terribly (no names).
    Strummer George likes this.
  10. wabash slim

    wabash slim I Bleed Orange

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    Try it and find out.

    It's probably not the craziest thing you've ever done.
  11. LongJohn

    LongJohn Synchromatic

    Apr 22, 2016
    Queens, NY
    Have you seen any of the videos for the Digitech Trio+ ? That and a Harmonizer would be all you and full stage at that.
  12. Gretschmen65

    Gretschmen65 Country Gent

    May 20, 2016
    QLD Australia
    I've been down this exact route.
    Eventually got rid of all the other band members and had no trouble getting and playing the gigs.
    BUT, they were the lonliest gigs I ever played.
    I love and missed the interaction between musicians on stage and the flexibility and fun of a group.
    The harmonizer stays however no matter what.
    Rob Williams likes this.
  13. Rob Williams

    Rob Williams Country Gent

    Jul 5, 2014
    SE QLD
    Most of what I enjoy about gigging is that 'mid-song' interaction and the live, organic way the music develops. That's why I couldn't do solo stuff (that, and I'm not that talented). We even recorded our EP live to try and capture our sound best.
  14. Floo

    Floo Country Gent

    Dec 16, 2012
    Elmshorn, Germany
    It's all about what you want to do. When playing with my acoustic band (vocals, guitar, cajon), I now use a delay and chorus, but very subtly. Just enough to thicken the sound a bit or to give a hint of 12-string. Playing acoustic and using loads of effects is just not my cup of tea, but it can be interesting to have a looper and stuff, see KT Tunstall's "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree".
  15. Aymara

    Aymara Friend of Fred

    Jul 6, 2013
    Instead of loopers I would use a notebook with Reaper ;)

    If keyboarders can use sequencers on stage, why shouldn't an acoustic duo use rhythm and percussion tracks?
  16. StJohn

    StJohn Country Gent

    Jun 5, 2008
    North Louisiana
    I used to hate the stuff, man....I mean HATE the stuff. It all just seemed fake. That all changed when I saw these guys on the cruise boats using them right. I've been using a small ditto looper for awhile now. A perfect example is "Wish You Were Here." I "record" the first run through of the main theme, then click the looper on, and I play over the 2nd time with the lead guitar parts-and the same loop works over both the solo and the outro. You can totally pull that song off now with one guitar. With looping, you can just cover most the bases with a single guitar. I would greatly prefer playing with another guitarist, but the well is running dry in my area. As for the vocal harmonizer, a little goes a long way, and I'm still not sure I want to incorporate it, but again, these cruise ship guys pulled it off great and it sounded really good. I think the Beat Buddy will benefit both the duo and me solo if I chose to do it....I was on the fence a LONG time about that one, but I've seen enough video performances of it now to be convinced it can be a good thing.
  17. flyneye

    flyneye Electromatic

    Sep 18, 2016
    Middle of Nowhere
    Nice to have computers in the MIDI chain now. I used to chain a Jam Man and a drum machine,drum rackmount, MIDIgator realtime control pedal and a guitar synth all for realtime control, channel changes,etc. Throw in a keyboard just to change songs amongst the lot WOTTA FREAKING NIGHTMARE.
    Home computers and internet were new and not powerful and generally didn't work anyway. Just be glad you can offload most problems to a laptop now.

    It's no surprise that I just go guitar into amp nowadays, life is short and I qualify for AARP now.
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