Ahoi! It's been a long time
I've been super busy this year with my animation work, so I've had little time to jam and do music stuff. But I havn't been totally gone. In the little extra time I had I was working on this setup here:
It's based on an old Reaktor ensemble called "BeatLookup" by Chris List, who in turn based it on Tim Exile's "Beatmasher Micro" promotional ensemble he released way back. For years I used it as a mashup DJing setup, but kinda forgot about if after I stopped DJing and moved away from the PC as a music tool.
KP3+ (master clock+FX), OTO buiscuit (FX), Reaktor (loops+FX), MicroKorg+Keystep (bass)
This setup really lends itself well to fast breaks, but works also great with breakbeat, hip hop and pretty much anything else if you prepare the loops properly. Personally I like to load it full of amen breaks, slap on a load of distortion and go wild - but it gets a bit boring/samey after a while so I'm trying to combine it with something more melodic.
Basslines with synths go very well of course. The Keystep is really a perfect complement to the setup as it's really easy and quick to make a bassline or acid lick on the fly - with the KARP Odyssey for example it sounds fantastic. Sadly it's super awkward to change patch on the Odyssey quickly, thusly not resolving the "sameyness" issue. With the MicroKorg it's easier for patch switching, but worse for parameter tweaking. Volca Keys can put out some nice bass as well (especially in Poly Ring mode) but again no quick patch switching. Volca Bass is OK, but again limited sound options and a 16 step loop at 180bpm is fucking annoying. Volca FM could be great, but I just can't wrap my head around FM in a way that would let me manipulate the sound in a predictable/controllable/consistant way.
But there's another problem - the loop mashing takes a lot of non-stop attention if you wanna keep it interesting. Quite difficult to do the bass/melody and synth tweaking at the same time as the beats.
My conclusion so far is to combine it with another live musician - a metal guitarist or bassist for example would be awesome. Not just musically but also from a performance standpoint. I want people to rock out hard, go proper apeshit.
So far my thoughts. Would love to hear suggestions for an interesting accompaniment for the setup - I'm sure plenty of you guys/girls/other have experience with distorted, fast drums and what to combine them with...