A six Channel, six speaker, sound performance (obviously mixed down to stereo for mp3) drum machine orchestra by David Chandler (Aka Solenoid) performed at Holocene as part of the "Sixes" event June 24, 2010. mp3 here
ADR podcast XML link here
Sean Byrne (Bugskull) - Roland R8 - one channel
Eric Mast (E*Rock) - Machinedrum - one channel
Rafael Fauria (Miracles Club) - Roland TR909 - one channel for bass drum and a 2nd channel for everything else
Carlo Pearson (Senor Frio) - Monomachine - one channel
Jesse Johnson (Gulls) - Roland TR606 - one channel
Paul Dickow (Strategy)- Roland TR727 (the 'latin' drum machine) - one channel
"I'm going to keep the mix dry, cuz I think it sounds more hardcore that way (also, I want to focus on EQ'ing and use the reverb of the room)"
Technical (clock timing):
I'll have a RY30 as master clock, with midi out going to a Yamaha MJC8 (8-in/out midi router). One channel will have my xBase09 doing DIN-sync translation for Jesse's tr606 (and if Raf wants for the 909). The rest of you will get midi clock from this router. For a backup, I'll have a Kawai R100, which has sync and midi out.
(Movement 1) "keep it simple"
120bpm... 4/4 (working in a loop of 1, 2, or 4 bars)
All start with relative silence and bring in with the utmost restraint just single hits per bar and gradually add more as the collective rhythm/momentum forms. I'd like to reserve Raf's bass drum as the core bass drum, perhaps even start with a single bass drum hit on "one" and build the mix from there. the idea here is to work out bugs in timing and to warm up. Also, for everyone to get a feel for the way I'll be editing and how you'll hear your sound(s) in the 6-way speaker system.
(Movement 2) "3/4 vs 4/4"
steady 130 bpm throughout
You each start with minimal rhythms (1 or 2 sounds in a simple beat), but --
a) Half of you will work in 3/4 (12 steps per the time 16 steps would have occured)
b) Half of you work in 4/4 (again) I'll mix the overall momentum between the two halves, thus shifting the sense of timing around. I'd prefer the 909, 606, and 727 do real 12-notes-per-bar Scale (let me know if you don't know how to set this up -- I'd like to check it during sound check, btw). So for those drum machines, could those guys (Jesse, Raf, Paul) please make blank, scaled patterns of "12th note as Last Note" in advance? Also, Eric, could you please turn on and off hits on your Machinedrum at the "66%" shuffle value (on those even notes only), so that it plays in and out of both the straight-beat and 3/4 swing beat groups...?
Maybe Sean could prepare a pattern with 4/4 bass drums for me to move against Raf's 909 3/4 bass drum?
(Movement 3) "slow beat to fast beat"
start at 90 bpm and I'll ramp up to 130-140 bpm, that means hiphop/dub pace, going up to a fast dance tempo 4/4 again, but odd numbers of bars are okay.
Here you can start with more notes, so that things don't nec have to build super minimally, however, as I speed up the clock, it might be good to strip things down, or back off to minimal blurts/rolls of hits punctuated with areas of silence. Somewhere in here, toward the end, I'll pull out a whistle and make you all stand up holding your drum machines and march (try to look at each other and move left/right legs in sync ;) ). It will take just a moment, and I'll announce the 'drum corps' on a mic and then whistle again for you to sit down. Time Magazine and Guinness World Records will all take our photos while marching (just kidding).
(Movement 4) "free jam"
If things have been short/succinct/on-schedule and the audience is really into what we've done, we'll just do a brief FREE JAM, no rules, just start with a blank pattern in any time sig and length! We'll try to end it with the sound being as dense as possible.
5 min max!