Music Technology Performance:

Task 1

For my music technology performance, I will be playing a cover of “99 Red Balloons” by German new-wave band Nena, with the instrumentation consisting of myself playing a guitar, which is the routed to be both a guitar and bass, Ben on an electric drum kit, and Richie singing and playing a MIDI keyboard.

Our performance will be accompanied by a projected video consisting of red balloons and war related imagery, which will work well, as the song lyrics are about red balloons being mistaken for enemy planes by a broken defense system.(video below:)

Task 2a:

My set up includes the following:

  • 1 Electric Guitar/1 Electric Bass Guitar (Signal flow will remain the same, except the octave above/below added will be raised or lowered depending on the input signal.)
  • 1 DI Box.
  • 1 Triangle “Buff” Pedal.
  • 1 Digi-Tech Whammy DT.
  • 2 9V DC Power Adapters.
  • 1 Guitar Amp.
  • 1 Bass Amp.
  • 5 ¼ inch unbalanced jack to jack cables.
  • 1 stereo spliter

Task 2b:

My signal flow will be as follows:

1

(NOTE: The reason the amplifiers and guitar say bass/guitar is that I could either play bass and raise the octave and send it to the guitar, or play the guitar and lower the octave for the bass.

I would also have to swap the Digi-Tech and the Killswitch around if this was the case, but the other core components would remain the same and the signal flow wouldnt be affected.)

My guitar/bass will be connected via the input on DI box via a ¼ inch unbalanced jack to jack, which then comes out the “link” and is split in two by the stereo splitter. This is then connected down one side of the flow chart to the Digi-tech Whammy DT via ¼ unbalanced jack, where the drop tuned side of the pedal is turned on, while the whammy side is not.

The Digi-tech is designed so that both sides of the pedal can be turned on or off or a single side turned off, with its circuitry being what’s called “True Bypass” which means it doesn’t loose any signal going through the pedal when its not in use; as if its not there.

I will also need a 9V Direct current adapter to power the Digi-tech, as it doesn’t run on batteries and needs to be plugged into the mains to work.

Next it comes out of the ¼ inch unbalanced output to go to the input on the bass Amp, with the Ampeg input being -15dB, if I chose to use my invader loaded strat, which is a pick up with a pretty hot signal output.

On the guitar side of the Flow Chart I have the other split output going via a ¼ to a Triangle “Buff” Pedal, which I intend to use as a “kill switch” type effect, allowing me to only play the bass in certain segments of the song.

This goes from the output of the pedal via ¼ unbalanced jack to jack to the input on the guitar amp. Though in order to make the bass and the guitar sound coherent, I will be limited to only play one note at a time.

Task 2c:

The way I listed above used all hardware to achieve the end goal, however this wasn’t the first method I had in mind when it came to setting up my rig. The first involved a slightly different set-up, listed below.

  • 1 Electric Guitar/1 Electric Bass Guitar (Signal flow will remain the same, except the octave above/below added will be raised or lowered depending on the input signal.)
  • 1 DI Box.
  • 1 Digi-Tech Whammy DT.
  • 1 9V DC Power adapter.
  • 1/4 inch Unbalanced Jack to Jack cable.
  • 1 XLR (Female) to Unbalanced Jack cable.
  • 1 Laptop/Mac running Pro Tools.
  • 1 iLok.
  • 1 Audio Interface.
  • 1 Guitar Amp.
  • 1 Bass Amp.

So my signal flow would look slightly different:

2

So this way we are using software instead of hardware to achieve the same goal, with the Guitar/Bass going through the Digi-Tech before it gets to the DI box, so the Guitar/Basses signal is already receiving an extra octave Up/Down.

At this point the signal from the DI is then send into a mono audio track in Pro Tools (Though any DAW can be used at this point.) with the incoming signal then being bussed to two separate auxiliary inputs, each panned hard left and right respectfully.

Once this is done, each bus is fitted with an EQ plug in, one with a High Pass Filter and one with a Low Pass Filter,  allowing the higher octave to be filtered off on the bass, and the lower octave on the guitar.

The outputs of the channel are then set to mono outputs 1 and 2, so they can then be send down 1/4 inch unbalanced jack  to jack cables to their respecting amplifiers.

Also the Kill switch pedal could be replaced by automating the volume in Pro Tools to cut out at pre-determined points, saving me from dancing over a pedal board.

Initially I thought this would be a good idea, as I would be utilizing both Hardware and Software, however once I found a DI box with a second output, It simplified the whole process.

It also meant that if something went wrong with my rig, It would be easier to work out what was causing the problem, while the PC/Mac it could be an internal fault which I wouldn’t know where to start. also If I couldn’t get one of the outputs to work I could plug an 1/4 inch unbalanced jack to jack into the second output on the DI and have it run into the respective amplifier, using the EQ settings on the amp to filter out the added octave.

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