The MIDI Pile V 2.0 gets MIDI controlled Stereo INSERT FX routing…

…more progress on “groove tower,” aka The MIDI Pile. I guess we’re at V 2.0 now…

I’ve made a big of a breakthrough in my practice of hooking up groove gear to each other.

Watch it boot up:


System is several stereo channels all routed into MOTU m7s (midi-controlled) Stereo line mixer which is MIDI-controlled by Behringer BCF2000 (not pictured).

  • Drums (from ESX outputs 1/2)
  • Riffs (from ESX key, phrase, and slices parts routed out 3/4)
  • vocal rig ( TC VoiceSynth into EHX SuperEgo with Korg KP1 on insert.) allows me to sing synth lines, capture drones, etc
  • KP3 for “straight” stereo looping
  • Gibson EDP for “wild” looping (allows chop/copy/paste and change of loop length.

V1 overivew

On the the floor is a Axess FX1 to

  • change programs on my mixing block (choose what instrument I’m re-mixing)
  • send messages to EDP rack looper (record, overdub, multiply, reverse, half-speed, etc, etc)

V1 Focus on Mixer Block

Here’s the innovation: before signals are summed, they’re passed through a parallel matrix mixer that allows me to choose which instrument loops back to others for FX processing, (re-)sampling, etc.

Before hitting the Stereo Mixer, all stereo channels go THROUGH the Sound Sculpture Switchblade, which I (tediously) programmed to juggle insert FX/re-sample bus across the above stereo sources. I use the FX1 foot controller send Program Change messages to SwitchBlade, to either pass all unaffected, or choose 1 source (at a time) to route out to KP4 and send the effected mix to — a stereo mix to THAT paths normal “outputs” — a stereo mix to KP3 — a mono mix for EDP — a mono mix for the ESX sampling inputs ( to source new samples).

Half the Mixer’s sources are in the rack box. I wired the Drum and Riff and Vocal inputs to a patch panel. Total overkill. Put the KP3 and KP4 on a sliding rack tray. Totally Overweight. Mixing Block alone weighs over 70 pounds.  Guess i’m not playing out.

V1 - Mixing upskirt

Of course, patching this thing was a nightmare. Good thing I had a lot of Mogami patch cables patched in when I bought the SwitchBlade.

So, with a midi-controlled mixer/router, controlled via foot-controller commands,  I mix with my feet, choosing one source at a time to tweak and loop. now, ANY ONE sound-source can be subject to FX and re-sampling I can even have each sampler record each other, or even themselves (with a pass of effects, of course).

PRO TIP: All recording/looping devices must monitor wet-only to feedback and doubling-up of signal

Occasionally record jams into old Tascam 424 PortaStudio tape deck.


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