The Beast. My rig, possibly of interest to you guys.

Hey,

Over the past year I have been constructing "the beast," which is a solo studio performance machine built out of hardware, iDevices and lots and lots of cables.

The current breakdown of the rig is as follows.
8 Ipads (9th coming on tuesday) 2 Ipods. Roland MX 1 mixer, TB-03, MC 303, Microkorg, Juno Alpha 1, multiple line 6 pod 2.0s, Midiverb 4, Digitech Studio Quad, 2 Kaoss Pad 3's, 2 KP mini 1s, 1 Kp mini 2, Kaossilator Pro +, Kaossilator, laptop running ableton, laptop for recording the output using Reason, a Korg volka keys, volca FM, Kastle micro modular, additional mixers, midi jank and a few other pieces of gear that swap in and out as needed.

But, I figure for you guys, the important part is the iOs stuff...
So.
Currently I have 2 I pad 4s, ones a dedicated effects processor running DJFX, the other is whatever I need it to be, Korg M1, K machine, lately Groovebox, Sektor, Mid Eastern Drummer, fugue machine, etc.
1 Ipad 3, (the one showing up this week is also an I3) in an Alesis io Dock 1(You can make it work, but you need the adaptor slide and you have to shove it in there real good in order for it to connect, but it does work.) Currently this one is running figure, and since the io dock can submix from another source, it's also taking audio from one of the other pads. In the past I used this for live looping with loopy, but have recently switched over to doing midi looping in ableton which seems a bit less problematic.
1 Ipad 2, also running figure (this one just does the bass, the other just the leads).
3 Ipad 1s, 1 is a dedicated controller, and I am bouncing between touchable, lemur, thumbjam and sound prism.
The other two are sound sources, they both run atmospheric samples, on random through the music player, magellan synth and the project M visualizer overtop both of those, because it looks cool and doesn't interfere with playback.

Currently other than the one in the iDock everything is running on wireless midi, though I'm working on getting bluetooth up and running via Apollo and of course ableton link. Though truth be told, I don't have many latency or timing issues come up. Once in a blue moon there will be a weird glitch, but it's not that big a deal.

Obviously this rig is not built to go on the road. I have two of my own bands I tour with every year, and myriad other projects I guest with, so this is an inside pet.

I've attached a picture of the beast, if anyone is curious I also have routing diagrams and other stuff drawn up.

If you want to hear how it sounds, this is a record I just made available to my patreon people.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/3zo131vvna6xcnt/30 Hopeful Machines - Seres Anteriormente Existentes.zip?dl=0

And if you want to watch it in action, I do performances most nights which can be viewed and are archived on my facebook page.
https://www.facebook.com/Stevenlikeness

*I wasn't sure which directory this post should go in, if this is the wrong one, I will be happy to delete it.

Thanks!
-Steven
www.egolikeness.com
www.stoneburnerband.com

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Comments

  • Since everyone asks.
    I'm a painter by trade, so, you know, visual guy.
    Since the rig is built for live streaming performances, it's as much a set as anything else.
    So, the lenses, lighting, bones etc... are all there because they look cool and serve no other purpose.

  • Holy wow! I would love to see the wiring diagrams, nerd that I am.

  • DCJDCJ
    edited January 2018

    I want to know
    A. where’s the ignition and where do you sit (this is a spaceship, right?)
    B. does all that spyglass help you see what you need to do before you do it?

  • Ask and ye shall receive...

    This is actually from last week and some of the routing has changed since then.

    The beast Exploded diagram, as of 1/22/18
    Colour key.
    Bright Red pod 2.0
    Dark Red Kaoss Pad
    Cyan Mixer
    *Cyan circles denote where X device goes to one of the mixers.
    Dark Grey, Hardware
    Dark Blue iDevice
    Light purple Midi controller
    Yellow/Green Kaossilator
    Orange Misc FX

    External rack 1.
    1. Pod pro and Midiverb 4. The midiverb just runs tempo synced delay as a send from the mackey. The pod pro isn't doing anything at the moment, it's available in the patch bay, but I mostly use it for recording guitars.

    1. Mackey 12 channel mixer, it's taking 3 lines from the beast, the output from the MX 1 (28), the output from the alesis mixer (12) and the output from the MX 1 send 2 routed through a KP 3+ (20).

    It sends USB out to the recording computer, audio out to my monitors, and audio out to the headphone amp which splits it to the line going to the camera and my headphones.

    The Left wing of the beast
    3. TB -03 runs to Mini KP (18) to channel 1 on the MX 1.
    4. Alias 8, midi control to ableton. Most knobs control aspects of arpeggiation on the TB -03 and MC 303. Faders control levels of some of the drums, one fader and knob controls over all key and scale of the song which can be changed on the fly and effects all the midi as well as the pitch correctors that the tracked random vocals go through.

    1. Volca Keys submixes with the Volca Bass (7) and goes into input one on the alesis multimix (12)

    2. Kaoss Pad 3 effects for (33)

    3. Volca FM see (5)

    4. Ipad 4th Gen currently running effects processors for loopy on (31)

    5. Kastle micro modular, which takes CV gate in from the TB 03 (3) and sends audio to the microphone input of the Kaossilator pro (25) which is vocoded. Because I can.

    6. iPod touch 4th gen? Running thumbjam because the strings are lovely. It also doubles as a random atmospheric noise generator. Audio out goes into the line in on the Kaossilator Pro (25) as a submix. See (25) for more routing.

    7. Digitech Studio Quad as a send of 12, it's running a really fucked up reverb for crazy atmospheric effects.

    12 Alesis multimix 3 blown channels, sends audio to the Mackey. (2)

    1. Microkorg audio out to KP mini (34) and out to (12).

    2. Ipad first gen running amplitube. See (27)

    3. MC 303 (usually bass) to KP mini 2 (19) to Alesis nano compressor (22) then out to channel 2 on the MX-1

    4. Kaossilator mini, outputs go wherever makes sense as needed.

    5. Ipod touch 4th gen running dialog samples, output to (21) line mixer to MX 1 channel 5/6.

    6. Mini Kaoss pad for (3)

    7. Mini KP2 for (15)

    8. MX1 Send 2 KP 3+

    9. Line Mixer to channel 5/6 on MX-1

    10. Alesis nano compressor for (15)

    11. Berringer headphone amp.

    12. Ipad 1st gen running thumbjam no audio, midi out to whatever makes sense.

    13. Kaossilator pro, audio out to Alesis air FX (32) then to channels 2/3 on Alesis multimix (12)

    14. Boss VF-1 FX rack on audio send 1 from the MX-1. It's just a delay line, which allows me to put delay on more channels on the MX-1.

    15. iPad 1st Gen running iKaossilator audio to pod 2.0 (35) which throws distortion on it and then goes to amplitube on (14) and to line mixer (21) and into 5/6 on the MX 1. Ends up sounding like a distorted sitar with a shit ton of reverb on it.

    16. MX-1 Performance Mixer, output goes to the Mackey (2). In addition to mixing any outboard gear, it's also supplying the output from Ableton which is a bunch of drum channels and random vocals.

    17. Pod XT Live running midi to the pod 2.0 (35) so I can use the wah pedal on the sitar from (27) I recognize this is a bass ackwards way to do this, but it's convenient for a number of reasons.

    18. Logidy 3 button midi pedal. Controls various aspects of ableton recording and looping in loopy on (31).

    Beast right wing

    1. Ipad 3rd gen running loopy. Audio goes from there to an effects processor on (8) and then to 3/4 on the MX 1.

    2. Alesis air fx from the Kaossilator pro (25)

    3. Ipad 4th gen running Figure. Audio goes to Kp3 (6) and into the MX-1 digital channel post ad converter 7/8

    4. Mini KP for Microkorg (13)

    5. Pod 2.0 for iKaossilator from 27.

    6. Pod 2.0 available at the patch bay for more noise.

    Midi:
    All of the idevices use wireless midi (thank you universe for providing that)

    All the hardware synths and hardware effects racks take their midi from a 4in/4out augmented by a shit ton of custom cabling I had to make.

    Power runs from one port on a furman, and splits from there.

    You will note that the effects processors for the wing devices are on the opposite side from what they are processing. Which makes it easier to control with the other hand. And since they are all touch based, it cuts down on arm fatigue.

    All the tactile midi input devices are centered around my left hand if possible.

    There's also a M-Audio Axiom back behind the other controllers if I need an actual keyboard.

    Satellite gear.
    Juno Alpha 1.
    Roland R-70 drum machine.
    Mirage.
    Kirzwiel SP-88x which lives on the otherside of the room for Donna to play.
    Full sized gauntlet cabinet because it's awesome.
    Also launchpad 1st gen. Which right now is just acting like a spectrum analyzer because it looks cool.

  • @DCJ

    Here's my view.
    I actually tried to do a broadcast with my phone strapped to my forehead, but it was stupid uncomfortable and didn't really give the impression I was going for.

    But to answer your question in a round about way. I actually researched air plane cockpits to work out the ergonomics of the whole thing. Though of course I play that up a bit with the multiple monitors showing a starfield, but again: art guy. So...

  • Good stuff! Thanks for sharing.

    You will note that the effects processors for the wing devices are on the opposite side from what they are processing. Which makes it easier to control with the other hand.

    Seems a particularly good idea. If expensive, cable wise. :)

  • Seems a particularly good idea. If expensive, cable wise. :)

    It’s not that far apart. And I’ve made little ghetto patchbays out of female/female connectors. Which helps when I need to reroute.

  • Where do you put your coffee?

    :wink:

    Amazing setup! Thank you for sharing it.

  • @gusgranite said:

    DRINKS ONLY ON THE FLOOR!
    Big pile of candy on the rack in the center though, I’m not a savage.

  • @Ego_Likeness said:
    @DCJ

    Here's my view.
    I actually tried to do a broadcast with my phone strapped to my forehead, but it was stupid uncomfortable and didn't really give the impression I was going for.

    But to answer your question in a round about way. I actually researched air plane cockpits to work out the ergonomics of the whole thing. Though of course I play that up a bit with the multiple monitors showing a starfield, but again: art guy. So...

    :o

    Amazing and insane.

  • I musn't be designed in the shape of other humans, that is the least ergonomic set up i could probably ever imagine.
    While performing i tend to be touching stuff, having it mostly up in the air would be extremely tiresome.

  • Nice one, that looks like something that could be the cause (or result) of my divorce.

  • looks like time maschine from 80´s scifi movie :-)

    insane thing (in good way), al thumbs up, even on legs :-)

  • I'm thinking it's "bigger on the inside." Would love to see your art, btw.

  • edited January 2018

    Of all the "post your studio setup" on all the forums I have visited this is probably my favourite one yet. Thanks for sharing!

    Edit: I just noticed you are using iPad 1 for touchable and lemur, these devices are almost free buying used. How is the performance? I'm basically wondering can you run latest versions of these two apps on them?

  • Thanks rs2000. Artwork is very evocative, good stuff.

  • encenc
    edited January 2018

    Far out B)
    https://goo.gl/images/ag942R

    Do you have a YouTube channel where it can be seen in use ?

  • @Samplemunch Look at the the picture I posted from "my view." Everything I interact with often, all the controllers are directly in front of me. Anything that's higher than my shoulder is something I don't use often enough to waste the lower space on it. For instance, the microkorg uptop is just a sound module, I have it up there so I can easily change the patches and dick with the mod wheel if need be, but otherwise I don't interact with it.

  • @BlueGreenSpiral It's fine for all of those. It runs the most recent version of Touchable, and the last version of Lemur and the others just fine.
    They also run Nanostudio and a few others with no fuss.

  • @TheVimFuego My wife and I are both full time artist/musicians/authors. So this kind of thing comes with the territory. Also, she knew what she was getting into when we got married. And we don't and won't have kids, we've basically built our lives so we can do what we do.

  • @Ego_Likeness Thanks for getting back to me, I had imagined that these models would be totally obsolete by now!

    I use touchable often and lemur occasionally so having a dedicated device for them will be very useful :)

  • How I imagine you

  • More or less. But with cooler hair.

  • @Ego_Likeness said:
    @TheVimFuego My wife and I are both full time artist/musicians/authors. So this kind of thing comes with the territory. Also, she knew what she was getting into when we got married. And we don't and won't have kids, we've basically built our lives so we can do what we do.

    Sounds like a very solid plan! I did mention to my wife that I had my eye on a couple of thousand $s worth of guitar the other day and she didn’t object so I have no complaints in the partner department.

    I had a pile of hardware tech in the UK that got sold to help finance the move to Australia (nothing on your scale though), I miss the immediacy of having physical controls and patch cables.

  • Great Crikes man!

    (Amazing)

  • @TheVimFuego
    you will be most welcome down under :)
    Where are you planning on residing?

  • Hope you have a secret button that folds it all up into a handy wheeled suitcase for when you have to go to a gig.

    Mind you, these days you probably get a better audience on line.

  • If I had that I don't think I'd ever leave that room :)

  • @Mayo said:
    @TheVimFuego
    you will be most welcome down under :)
    Where are you planning on residing?

    Thank you, I do feel welcome here.

    I am halfway between Brisbane and the Gold Coast inland on acreage and have been here with my Aussie born wife for the last 10 years or so.

    I have plans to rebuild my tangible music tech wonderland but it will have to wait until trivial annoyances such as my first born are taken care of.

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