Tag Archives: Bass

Programming a Behringer FCB1010

In the past several months we’ve been revamping our show to make the electronics much more ‘live’ – meaning being able to trigger sections, grooves in response to the crowd energy.  What we’re going for is to almost be DJ’s with live instruments and grooves.  So far a crucial player in this has been the FCB1010 Pedal.  This pedal is not too expensive, a little less than $200.00, it’s stable and sturdy and for a bass player who can’t easily take his hands off the instrument to hit a button, indispensible.

Now, the one downside to this pedal is that it’s a huge pain in the ass to program.  The manual, should be tossed immediately – pretty useless.  If you get one of these bad boys, get online and start reading.  I found this link to get the pedal to send basic commands to Ableton Live.  This was a start, but it really only dealt with midi CC commands.   These are great to trigger clips in session view but don’t work for turning on and off effects and instruments in Live.  To do this you need to send actual midi notes.  To to this is the same process except subsitute button 10 for button 6.

After spending a couple of hours of programming the pedal manually like this, someone at Dubspot hipped me to this piece of software.

This turned out to be the best $20 I’ve spent in a long time.  After a few hours of tweaking to get the pedal to work it completely simpified the process.  I’ll post more about it as I get deeper into it, but if you’re serious about using this pedal with Ableton Live, just skip the manual programming part and go right to it.  It will save you a lot of time.

In the meantime, I’ll also be checking out this baby Loudon Stearns, Berklee’s Ableton guru, raves about it.

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“Toasty Tunes” at The Porch

We’ll be guest DJing at the Art For Progress event “Toasty Tunes” this Thurs, July 9th at The Porch (115 Avenue C btwn 7th and 8th). “Toasty Tunes” is hosted by Art For Progress and the Liquid Sound Lounge every other Thursday night and the other DJs that night will be DJ Jeannie Hopper and DJ Gatto.  The event runs from 9-2 and we’ll be spinning around 12.

Radio Crystal Blue

We will have a song played on Radio Crystal Blue this Sunday on the Novus Ordo show which runs from 5:30 – 6:45 EST on the Live 365 Network of internet radio.  To tune in go to Radio Crystal Blue’s site or the Live 365 site. This show will also be rebroadcast by Radio Bracknell, an internet station in the UK on Saturday, May 2, at 1pm EST, and then Tuesday, May 5, at 7pm EST.  The archived show can also be heard at http://cblue.lunarpages.com.

Radio Crystal Blue is a very cool internet station here in NYC that focuses on up and coming indie artists as well as nationally touring acts.  Definitely support them and freeform internet radio.

The Gowanus

Here’s a pic from outside our studio on the Gowanus Canal.  It was taken on Tuesday, April 21, 2009.  It had been raining and the waters of Brooklyn flowing into the Canal gave it that beautiful sheen.  As nasty and polluted as it gets, I still love Gowanus… gowanus

Welcome Brian!

Brian Douglas has joined us as Comandante Zero’s official ‘Communications Manager.’

When Ken and I began the ‘Indie Way’ project,  the idea was fundamentally to figure out new ways in which an indie band could survive in an era when the old models of the music biz were collapsing.  The traditional route for a band went something like this – write songs, play gigs, gain a couple of fans, get a manager, get a lawyer and get picked up by a record company.  The record company would then give the band, their manager and lawyer some $$ to do a record, to live on (all recoupable against future sales) and then they would hire a PR agent, booking agent and get their songs placed with a publisher.

Fastforward to 2009.  The model is broken.  The failing record companies aren’t picking up many bands, and when they do, they often expect them to come to them with a finished record and an established fan base.  (the question remains – why should they get such a high percentage of the artist’s royalties if they are no longer putting in such high initial investments, but that’s another  post)

The death of the record companies doesn’t make us sad in the least – it’s a really exciting time.  Essentially, with the web, a band has the ability to communicate it’s music, videos and other content to the entire world.  Whereas, the day of the rock stars may be over, a new era may be emerging in which a middle class of bands emerges.  These are musicians who can support themselves as artists, not with private jets, and mansions, but enough to be able to simply continue making their art and not be destitute.  These artists essentially will be supported by their network of fans who can now be spread throughout the world but tied together through the internet.

Basically, we believe that bands of the future are going to have as a key member of their team a person who is in charge of their online content, overseeing it and making sure it presents a coherent image to the world.  However, as it becomes more important for bands to constantly release content besides music (i.e. videos, interviews, blogs, tweets) this person will act as a producer as well – documenting shows, producing videos and other material to transmit to the world.  Currently, this job does not even have a title, and often is given to multiple people, but we believe that more and more, bands will take on this person as one of the first members of their team.

We’ve worked with Brian for a couple of years now.  He designed our great ‘Indie Way’ website.  So were really excited that Brian’s agreed to work with us and we’re sure he’ll be one of the first of the many ‘Communications Managers’ that will arise in the music biz (or whatever other title someone thinks up in the future)

Official Recording dates

So we’ve locked in June 15th – June 19th as the dates when we’ll be recording the rhythm section tracks.  We’ll be recording at Vacation Island Studios in Williamsburg.  Until then,  we’re prepping tracks for those days in the studio.  It will be intense – we’re looking to lay 12 tracks in 5 days – mostly live.  Afterwards, we’ll spend a good part of June and July building the electronics over it. I’m really psyched for this whole process.  Right now we’re also listening to music.  I’ve been going through lists of the best dance tracks of all time.  Usually they all contain the same 3 producers and artists somewhere:- Giorgio Moroder w/Donna Summers, Quincy Jones w/Michael Jackson and Nile Rodgers w/Chic.  There’s something to it – when we DJ, if we bust out a track from one of these teams, it’s inevitably a floor filler.  Here’s a pic from our show @ Pianos in December taken by Carly Sioux

Comandante Zero

Comandante Zero

‘Clash Of The Artists’ Voting

So voting for the  Art For Progress ‘Clash of the Artists’ competition going to end in 3 days.  We’re in second place right now.  Please help us get first – please go to http://www.artforprogress.org/clash2009/contest_PARTICIPANTSPAGE.php?catID=3&x=35&y=14 and vote for us.