I have recently realized what an excellent set of percussion instruments are available with the standard K5 library but cannot find any midi files that demonstrate the capabilities to full extent. I am not a percussionist but realize that with ~40 articulations for Congas alone there is huge potential for realistic percussion instruments performances if someone with the appropriate knowledge is able to capture some midi performances. A friend advised me to invest in a pad controller (e.g. Korg nanoPad, all the way up to the bigger units like Korg’s padKontrol or the equivalent Akai ones, or NI’s Maschine) as you’ll find percussion is much more playable fromaa pad controller compared to a keyboard.
(With a keyboard you are always waiting for the key to rebound before you can strike it again, which isn’t authentic to how percussion normally works. With a pad controller, it’s more “true to life.”)
You will still spend a little time mapping the pad controller.
Also here are some everyday objects used by musicians.
1) Striking a propane tank. (make SURE that it is empty first)
2) Striking brake drums (not while they are on the car)
3) Samples taken while striking a large stainless steel salad bowl.
4) Striking a brass flywheel from a tape recorder.
5) The sound of a basketball hitting the floor in a gym. This is sampled tuned and triggered.
Here are a few that I know are cool but never used.
1) The bell housing from an engine/transmission. Many are aluminum and ring real loud.
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People used to say that they’re expensive but actually they’re not – pretty much competitive with any supplier and often beat them price-wise. The main thing is they pretty much always have it, whether it’s latches and catches, sliding door gear for apartments, shelf supports, abrasives, wood veneers, corner braces, egdebanding, cabinet hinges. etc. They also have great customer service! Attentive and friendly.
Years back I was in a band with no budget. For lights we went to a wholesaler and bought 24 reclaimed recessed ceiling cans for a few bucks a piece. We used conduit clamps on the front of them for gel holders and ladder hangers put together to hang them from a truss made of old TV tower. We used lamp cord and cheap plugs to wire them to a homemade box full of stomp switches. It was done very cheaply and when all said and done, didn’t look that bad with the lights out in a dirty bar. When we made a little money we bought a small light board and dimmer packs and then eventually bought a bunch of chrome PAR 56’s on aluminum tripods.
The first thing to realize when you step into the world of lighting effects is that traditionally, light are going to be your absolute largest power draw- way bigger than your PA, your stage amps, and anything else you can throw up there. In fact, stage lights will draw so much current that most bars won’t be able to support much lighting (if at all). Expect to flip a few breakers.
That said, technology is finally starting to catch up. High efficiency, low wattage bulbs are finally starting to infiltrate (albeit slowly), and LED cans are slowly starting to come up to spec with PAR cans, and with far less power consumption. Unfortunately, the price is often prohibitive.
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