Workshop 10 - Reinventing Electronic Guitars with Livid Instruments Feat. Peter Nyboer and Vance Galloway


Decibel Conference


Lesson Info

Workshop 10 - Reinventing Electronic Guitars with Livid Instruments Feat. Peter Nyboer and Vance Galloway

Thank you. Hear from limit instruments partner in the company since we founded on dh. So that's what this neat thing is here this is a controller, many controller designed for the guitar. And so one of the things I wanted to do is vance is a long history of doing weird stuff with guitars. And, you know, this is kind of a nice entryway into controlling that weird stuff. So I kind of wanted to form a workshop around that idea. And so instead of, you know, using the guitar for, you know, for that kind of thing or cords or carrying a melody or whatever I wanted to explore the idea of, you know, using it more is a as a polyphonic sound interactive sound source. Um so I wanted to show some different ways of approaching guitars, the sound source, some of the manipulations you could dio to design, you know, very different sounds, but you still have, you know, the advantage of the tactile control and some of the sonic character that you get from guitars on their capabilities. So I get one of th...

e things I wanted ask is like, how many people here play guitar cool, how many people have a guitar? All right that's cool is different kind of like whack a mole here. Um so yeah, I mean, you know, you have that guitar and a lot of people have guitars and not really using them and this is so this is another thing I kind of want to get people you know inspired like, hey, maybe I can use it I don't need to be, you know, licks pro I don't need to know lots of, you know, expert playability of the guitar and technique, but I can use some of the things I'm familiar with with electronic production to get some use out of it that's interesting. So historically, one of the one of the interesting things that happened to the guitar was obviously became electric but um we I had a whole history section, but I'm gonna have to abandon that, but robert fripp was a great in inventor and innovator with getting unusual sounds out of the guitar and a lot of that had do with just simple looping. So in this case I can have a guitar wing hooked up to go ahead and start some recording it's just that simple little repetition it's different than you know using a standard to delay you have it's something that's a lot longer and having a computer makes it a lot more malleable, so I have this kind of interesting texture that I've created and now I could just drag it from the looper and then maybe go on to the next one ing clear this one out and then start again and just start you know, iterating over that idea so that's just like a really simple example it's sort of like almost additive synthesis with some different guitar sounds, so I gotta switch that's and I'm going to advance explain one of his examples that he's got one of things I wanted tio tow mention before I jumped in new examples I was I've been a guitar player for a long time and why in the world would somebody want to bring a laptop up on stage or why in the world would you want to get all of this technology involved in your guitar rig? And I adopted the laptop over a decade ago with my with my guitar rig mainly because I got frustrated with with the limitations of regular guitar pedals and such things on dh the laptop offers me a huge couple huge advantages one of which is there are plug ins available on the laptop world that just aren't available as guitar pedals right now there's it's a wonderful world for guitar pedals right now lots of boutique dealers et cetera selling really cool stuff but most of them deal with fairly traditional guitar stuff various distortions, some delays things like that when you start trying to do things like say robert fripp was doing in the the seventies with really long loops, et cetera the looper petals generally don't really do the trick and because they don't have enough delay time or you can't layer multiple bloops you can't do a lot of spectral tricks with petals because they just don't exist you can't do a lot of aa lot of control of multiple parameters with guitar pedals like you can on on a laptop I can have twenty plug ins running and have one button that controls three parameters on each one of those twenty plug ins just aziza leah's ahs plugging in volume pedal on the laptop so that's ah that's one of my primary things that I love about about using using a laptop with with guitar is all the different different effects and then if you have a standard a traditional guitar rig there's no way to reroute things you'll have your distortion than your chorus and then your reverb or something like that if I want to flip those around and have my reverb first I need a really elaborate, fairly expensive, fairly heavy analog routing system in live unfortunately my laptop's not displayed right now but in in live aiken simply use auxiliary sins and send one effect into another and then use a preset and send, you know send five effects into the same river yeah, I'll be showing is like it's all very linear, you know, but it's very nice to feel like you know what? I just want to drop a filter in here where you know you don't have to plug and unplug things so yeah, I mean there's a lot of advantages to the computer obviously you all recognize that otherwise you wouldn't you know, being at an electronic music festival so so here's a here's a cool thing that vance has and I'll explain it um since you can't see it, I'm terribly sorry so you can see how it's really what you're hearing is very distanced from what he's playing but you're still getting a lot of the content and what he has is a little step sequence er you know familiar sort of electronic thing uh it's just pulling out different pieces of this buffer is just recording what he's playing and then reversing them, playing them a different pitches and running through the sequence in different ways. I'm not a tremendously musical example in that it's not in with a song but with a little bit of imagination. It's easy to see that you can time sync these right through here all these times six delays and everything going the computer so um here's some things that I want to show um this one is kind of interesting uh, if I can get, uh, turn my solo off and gets, um audio in yes, all those perper tronics take a toll on your volume. Uh, well, that's a terrible example, isn't it? This one I like because this one sort of disturbed turns the guitar into another instrument without, you know, completely recently, you know, basically re synthesize it and a sort of a percussive thing and that's created by doing what so here's all the different pieces going together and worked into the percussion and into different tracks. And what I have here is a vocoder so traditionally something that's used to process vocals I'm using to process this and just cross modulating it with some noise and another thing I did. As you can see, it is a really good friend for all of this type of production is using compression to really even out your signals and dynamic so effects down the chain don't really get to disrupted necessarily by the heart heart attack or maybe the softer sustained pieces that you're using. Um so the noise drums, you know again it's just modulating this with noise in a vocoder for a very simple light example um on then, of course, I threw some extra effects on the end just strangeness with the swirl effects on the granular stuff um this also has, like sort of a nice cynthia pad to it sounded again using some classic um guitar effects in it with using distortion and aunt modeling I can scroll over there you can see I have the aunt model in there, but I'm also again using a vocoder to try to strip out the original character of the guitar to some degree so I can recent the size it with additional harmonics on then you also hear a lot of modulation, which again is a synthesis trick used, you know, introduce modulation to give character and since we're sort of taking the character out of the guitar building to back up, we use these computer based effects of bella foes, which of course could be times sink to the rest of your project e I end up what's implied in peter's last section there and the way I usually think of, uh dealing with a guitar through effect. It's um is using the guitar as an oscillator so you can think of the guitar strings as just the oscillator portion of the synthesizer and then apply all of you are all of the filtering that you normally would on an analog sent to that signal so you might take the oscillator of the guitar at a distortion to it and then you've got a really driven kind of square wave oscillator that you've been start applying effects too doing things like vote coding on top of them or uh we're doing side chain compression to your to your kick drum et cetera. So this is this example here I think I can actually play it maybe if I just and again I have some control here I think this one uses this one I tried I want to get more of a percussion sound out of the guitar something that if it was being played on, you know, like a small percussion instrument influenced by that so when I turned to was a lot of gating and compression so the gates really kind of you can see the gates working there has really dropped the signal very quickly and that eventually then I feed it into something to give it a little more character again with the tubes um and then it goes into two uh, into a repeater yes, because it makes it more computer e um so you have that sort of glitch effect on but also was reminiscent of someone playing a percussive sound on by have a something from corpus which is a physical modeling effect where it's as if it's putting into some sort of big strange metal too creating a resonant resident chamber for the for the instrument and then finally adding more harmonics with the resonator so again it's just like great this sort of metallic percussive sound um so a zoo quick aside, one of my favorite tricks is I'm not all that enamored with many guitar with using the guitar to trigger synthesizers it's a you know, it's a fine thing to do but to me takes out a lot of the character of the guitar and a lot of the directness, which is one of the reasons I like to play guitar and corpus is particularly good unfortunately can't given example of it today but at processing guitar strings and when I'll frequently do is I've got a heck symphonic pick up on my guitar so I've got six separate outs on the guitar and I will run that into six different tracks and able to live and put six different copies of corpus on there and basically resonate each string through a single copy of corpus and setting them, you know, setting them differently so that they said they trigger differently to create a really, really strange, eerie metallic sound that I now wish to come up with a sorry, you know, uh like dancing about architecture is that right? So, yeah, let's, we want one of your examples you have that some of these nice spectral things again, this is something you're never going to get in a pedal? Yeah, just just another another example of something that simply doesn't exist in petals is spectral processing um and in this case see if it's just a little bit more volume what this particular plugin does is it average is the audio spectrum over some amount of time so I think it's a said about two and a half seconds so whatever I play you near little bit the dry and there just for a reference get smeared over time so if I play a single chord and just, you know, just a nice effects that you just are not going to get out of out of guitar pedals yeah or really even a synthesizer I mean, you know, you could do big pads and stuff like that, but there is still sort of like a a character to that that kind of connects you to the instrument so on this one here's a sort of ah really cheap example of doing, you know, again making a wash and all this is is a, um granular delay and a big river so big reverb is your friend everything sounds better with reverb, but when you're doing this kind of thing, you could just make everything reverb just has a really great theory wash effect um that you're not going to get in sort of that so this has a natural sort of sound even though completely made an artificial eyes there um, granular effects and uh and some freezing of mexico uh that exist to some degree there are few foot petals out there that do this sort of thing but the things that that available on the laptop or particularly nicer I like this like this particular freezer to create sin fish sounds so play any cord normally I control this booth got you're hearing some of the rattle of my string is not the same thing every time I play it unlike a mini synthesizer which will be so to me it adds some extra personality toe it's going on and then you can do some fun things in live like grab a particular chord um I've got just a side chain compressor dialed in here and a straight for four kick from me you can use you know other audio is your modulation and if we want to make it released contemporary you can bring into the story because it wouldn't be two thousand fifteen with outside chain compression really so true but I wouldn't be playing in forty bpm either uh here's another again another example of a percussion type instrument again using the vocoder to sort of like strip it out and create this really sort of unworldly oscillations um here's another another good trick is as granule ation so some of the some of the guitar artists out there doing really unusual laptop manipulations of guitar live christopher well it's in crystal offend christian fen is they do a lot of some bits and pieces of stuff that we are you know, demonstrating here one of them is granule ation and uh this one hopefully and get it working very temperamental might work better with my prerecorded loop it it's not working is it smacks her live patch that I grabbed and have no idea how it works we're not gonna work no it's not gonna work okay quick example of using using many control in a in a unique way to just get more out of and existing effect this is I've got here very simple the standard on able to live uh filter delay I say I have the standard able to live filter delay oh yeah well that's what it says I have todo o this well he sort of that you this example is again using a looper to sort of create a texture so I'll go ahead and play the existing loop I haven't here um assuming there is one and there we go so this is the looper has some nice uh speed controls in it and things like that so you can really kind of tweak out the audio when you record it and then introduce another way so again, you know it's not this is not a guitar solo we're hearing is just sort of an atmospheric elektronik sound and you did you get yours okay call back to a quick example of using some of the the capabilities that using midi to control your plugging effects can give you super simple example this is just a regular old filter delay enable to live that I wanted it to become a freezer delay where I just hit a pedal and it just repeats the same thing for of an infinite amount of time but ideally polly rhythmically so all I've done is I've taken the delay and I assigned this uh this this foot switch here this button here tio to make the feedback and infinite amount and then as soon as I'm turning the feedback up to an infinite amount I turned the input off and I can change the you know, change the delay time but on the left and the right I can see my mouse there and the point there being with a little creative with a little creative midi mapping just inverting inverting the minimum and maximum midi signals and some very basic stuff like that you can get a lot more out of various effects than then would appear it in that first looking at them so yeah, I think that way I know we've run through a wall because we kind of crushed there are examples um so the I guess yeah the really the this in summary the things to use you know are well delays and rivers are great for you know, extending the sustained extending to sound sometimes you want to you know make something more percussive you have to get your gates involved you can't just set you know you're a dsr to whatever you want it to be you have to get creative with those dynamics processors um and then as far as like chopping things up again like beat repeat delays some of the steps sequences you get in max for live um are really fantastic for chopping things up for building up textures you could do simple things with bloopers on dh just building up harmonics bloopers and delays on then then there's all the guitar character effects that you start to get more familiar with with your distortion and you're amped which one is that that with your distortions and your amp modeling type effects with those kind of do is sort of bring it closer is it the size or by again squashing the dynamics making things a little bit more square way of adding a lot of harmonics on then you taking to task with filters and filters and you know standard things like a phaser and comb filtering flan jer and auto auto was another good one for that to follow your dynamics when you at the beginning um and then I have another kind of cool example again because modulation is so so key to these things I tripped up in design in a bit wig um I don't have enemies really familiar with that but it's a very interesting ah new sort of dog and production environment and one of the really, really cool things I love about it is that modulation is you know, extremely easy with it. So and in this case I just put all of my effects in an l a faux modulator container so you can see here I have a telephone modulator at the beginning and then I dump all the effects into it the way it's kind of funny because it changes your relationship because I'm starting to play stuff I have things so delayed I have a very long lfo that sort of fades in my my initial signal you can see that here on the paths tool you can see how that the amplitude nam is movie with that elbow and that's kind of creating the fate in and then after that I just start throwing in effects you know, I want to add a little bit of distortion and I use a bit reducer uh one add some harmonic so I added a resonator bank and then of course you've got every e doing anything that's just yeah that's just uh so does anybody have any questions at this point? Because we're about a few minutes left right here, lleyton see? Well, one of the things one of things you can do is, you know, focus on pads in washington you don't care about layton see you know that's not that's not actually just just comedy, you know, even when I'm I do live engineering, you know, a zip front house engineers a za living and I have to deal with that. You know, I have to deal with that in regular mixing boards, digital mixing boards now too and basically things that things that affect your dry signal like compression and things like that that's what you really need to try to get your late and see down on delays and river bs it's usually okay to end up having a little bit of late and see on those things I tend to run parallel lines so that one of my signals maybe your audio interface may have ah direct throughput and I will tend to mix in a little bit of that and that gives me some of the immediacy and then my delays and river bs they could be a few milliseconds behind, but in general finding the right audio interface some of them are you know some of them are faster than others. Some of your plug ins go through every one of your plug ins and see how much latent see entered it introduced in live in logic on dh two to a different degree and pro tools your longest late and see plug in is the one that's going to determine what the overall leighton c is so you may find a lot of people are for example, using up the multi band compressor and able to live huge late and see on that thing, I basically just ditch any of them that give me enormous leighton see also turning off in some programs turning off of the latent sea compensation if you're playing live leighton see conversation doesn't really help you any way because what that does is it takes a on audio track that's playing back and essentially moves that in time to take care of the latent see of the plug in right? So it basically plays that track back a little bit early if the plug ins that it's running through take a long time well, if you're playing live that's not gonna matter anyway so turn that shit off and then the application will just say okay, I just got to get these these bits in and out as quickly as I can those are the and hit the most powerful laptop you possibly can with the other, but pain and money. E yeah, I mean, yeah, I mean, there is a certain because it's like, you know, some of this is great for playing live, but I also kind of want to introduce, like, you know, just sort of bedroom manipulation of these things studio manipulation so it's kind of like it's sound design and sounds culture so, you know, if you have a few milliseconds of late and see whatever you're just going to design these things and then bring them in and fit them into your production in the larger in a larger context give a few of those things, too. Like all the my distortion in compression stuff is in this process, it comes before my laptop, so I just offload that, then I don't have to even deal with late and see its that's involved in those particular plug. And then I do all my weirdo stuff in the in the laptop. Did you have a, uh oh, yeah. Okay for me. This ok. So one of the reasons I brought this guitar is not only because I took it on a plane, but I had this guitar. This is my first guitar when I was, like, twelve, and and it was, and I guess that would have been, like, nineteen, eighty five or something. Date myself. It was a bargain guitar at that time. Um, so, you know, I wanted to use just like, you know, off the shelf, kind of cheap guitar to create, you know, sort of richer experiences are richer designs out of that, uh, this sort of illustrate? Yeah. You don't need the latest and greatest like he's got this bad ass thing that has the hex pickups and he could tell you. I mean, do we have another half an hour? He could tell you all about pickups. Yeah, he used them a lot. This this is one of the hex pickups. Is that right? For the role in system? Yeah. What? I'm, uh, basically, I would say, since we have to wrap up, you don't need them to do this. Great, you know, to do all this fun stuff, but I tend to use them a lot because of the a few of the advantages that hex pickups give me being able to pit shift each string individually, being able to add distortion, teach string individually on dh. This is becoming more and more possible through a laptop. Because there are now several companies that are coming out with hex pickups like this little one that roland puts out is by far the most popular of them out there. It also sounds like dog do for regular guitar sounds, and there are some people coming out with much better sounding tax pickups. You then need some way to get six channels of audio into the into the laptop. Almost any interface will do that now, so I'm starting to do more and more of that inside a live environment it was still pretty difficult cause you use up six times the processing power as well, but that's now becoming really viable just in the last couple years I have talk ad nauseum about after that my interface for this is the eirik hds just like a one hundred dollars component um, you know, just basically turns my guitar cable into a usb thing there are a lot of us be guitar cables and really cheap ones, and I had, you know, like I've had terrible experiences with those um this one, it has been quite rock solid for me I can't really speak to its ultimate fidelity or whatever, but it's been great and reliable it's also cool because it integrates with the iphone s so you can actually experiment with traditional, you know, sort of traditional guitar effects just on an iphone is a really nice, cheap gateway for doing that on day these things these guitar wings also integrate just wirelessly with the iphone, which is also cool, so I'm not I'm not supporting my guitar wing today because he was going to show it off, but I love that thing because one of the great things about playing guitars vis a reality, the physicality of playing the guitar and that integrates really nicely with the viscera ality of playing guitar. You can literally tilt it. Can you know you're really something there's contact that's going on and that's. Why? I like having this thing in my hand rather than playing the synthesizer personally. It's. Also nice, like just from, like a neatness standpoint. I mean, there are, obviously there are definitely advantages to having stuff on the radio for your feet, but from just like a bedroom neatness, like I saved, you know, ten, square feet of room by, you know, using this to turn effects on and off over, you know, a paddle board or multiple effects, which is, you know, tidiness, that's very important for some people. E, I think we got to wrap up. Yeah, all right, so, thank you very much for attending. You know, you're

Class Description

The Decibel Conference is three days of panels, workshops and other events that runs in parallel to the Decibel Festival. Now on its 12th year, Decibel is one of the nation's longest-running and most respected electronic music festivals, and CreativeLive is proud to partner with Decibel to produce the 2015 Conference. For details on the schedule and content, please visit the official Conference page.