I spy with little eye …

Look at none other than the high priestess of all all things interconnected-Moog, Lisa Bella Donna–maybe the most analog person on the internet, using the recently-reviewed the Zoom LiveTrack L-12 in a pretty amazing set.

You know, sometimes people need some validation. It’s also funny how life converges if you let it.

Example: my first analog synth was a Minitaur. What I wanted was a Taurus 3, but I could not make that happen at the time. Today they are long gone, presumably in closets or buried in save-it-for-later-when-I-can-get-to-it collections. Anyway, years later I cross-graded to a Sirin, which was great, but the Minituar was such specific and wonderful little beast. So I was restless. And after a year of seeing the delightful-looking Grandmother out there, I took the plunge, finally renting one. Wow. Bought one almost immediately, and have really loved it since. But, save LBD’s PatchBook, I’ve been using it sans spaghetti cords.

A Bajook!

Then I saw this. Generally only slightly perturbed at the Grandmother’s manual (KB Mode in the VCA not 100% explained), Patch and Tweak with Moog has already, 39 pages in, cleared up some small bits and pieces regarding the Grandmother to an amazing extent, revealing the total the monster I knew it to be. [Book review forthcoming] It also, obviously, features Lisa.

So, as it happens when you let it, while I was cleaning up the studio last night, a bit thoughtlessly cueing up a random Lisa Bella Donna Youtube performance, what did I see pulling it all together!?!

This is all to say that using this mixer at home rehearsing solo, or with the band, or to record solo run-throughs for said band, or recording with your DAW [Ableton Live], AND playing live, from solo-acoustic to full band with click Moog etc., this mixer is the most flexible I have come across when usability and portability are key factors. A pleasure to use, really.

Besides, it’s nice to know you may be on the right track. Have a great day.

-jd

The mighty Zoom L-12! Thoughts below.

  1. All the Sub mixes.
    Send the drummer a click? Yes. Hear my vocals dry and in all their pitchy glory but with plenty of reverb out front? Yes (I guess.😬). 
  2. Save a bunch of mixes.
    I have a playing-solo mix, an in-the-studio mix, a playing-with-a -drummer-only mix … 
    If you use tracks or loops live you need to be looking at this mixer.
  3. It’s a really great DAW interface.
    Seriously. I was not expecting this. Real convenient. I actually just put my UA Apollo in the drawer/ to-maybe-sell pile. I use it with Ableton.
  4. Sounds great.
    It is very transparent, and it will only sound great IF you spend some time with it. And not even that much time. 
  5. It’s light.
    If you are a gig’ing pro or you rearrange your home set-up a lot (daily?), which should be everyone reading, this is huge. Real livable.
    Easy-to-manage wall wart. Etc.
  6. Bonus:
    Record every show and roll tape the next morning. How was the the gig really?
    Great for practice too. 8 gig cards hold a lot, and how many of those do you have sitting around? 
    **Also, you can go semi-old-school and occasionally step away from the DAW.**

I shopped around for a year. Real satisfied. Please ask questions etc. 

-jd

In getting these 35 songs out, or now 29 (if you consider dropping the 3’s), all of them need to be recorded. And, for me at least, all of them need to be played live as well. Everything is intertwined, but playing live is different from arranging and recording. If you try and make both versions at the same time, you’ll waste a good portion of your life otherwise better spent.

You also run the risk of getting into versioning hell, making so many multiples of a single songs that you enter an endless loop, never finishing any version of anything.

You are susceptible to the above when leaving the initial writing phase too quickly, not fully completing the first draft. (A huge issue when you have a lot of material to get out!)

Good morning!

So what can or can’t you do? Number 1 is eliminating all of your little unknown rules and stops; the do’s and don’t that you’ve allowed yourself. Who knows where they come from, but they are anti-art and must be eliminated ASAP.

One of my stops is a sort-of clash: overly-comparing my end product with styles I wish I more easily fell into vs. being an advocate of ‘you make what you make.’ My mind says, ‘this needs to fit x to get y.’ And I don’t even know what y is. But I’m also telling myself, ‘this is your own thing!’ I’m perfectly happy with my thing. I fact, I’m proud of it! But I like slotting in. Yikes, right? (And please, this is no sly self-compliment.)

Good news: I think I may have cracked the code on a couple of these stops: song structure and logo/ name. More on these next!

-jd

I get up super early. I never really know what to do with myself post-coffee. Happily, due to getting these songs out, I’m trying to plan a little more. Cutting out a lot of the farting around. So I’ve taken to some headphone jamming down in the studio.

The Creek!

I didn’t ever like to call it jamming, but Sebastian pulled me over the line. (This video, containing a lot of jamming, really changed the way I think about a lot of music.) Getting a jam out is an amazing way to start your day, and electronically, you can just throw on the headphones. No one’s the wiser.

Even if you do not yourself jam, you get it, yes? (It’s like a walk by the creek, which I also do in the am.) There is something to doing all of this when your world is not up. Breaking the silence with headphones.

So, en route to getting these 35 songs out, I plan to work them out with the morning jams. This means words done (night before), song ID’d and cued up on the system, and chords generally known. Day on has been a complete success.

More on how it goes later.

-jd