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NGD - Moog Minitaur & KMI 12-Step

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by CGremlin, Apr 24, 2019.


  1. CGremlin

    CGremlin

    Nov 1, 2014
    Palm Bay, FL
    Hi all,

    For anyone out there that's a Neal Morse fan, I received a special package in the mail today - the actual Moog Minitaur and Keith McMillen Instruments 12-Step pedalboard that Randy George used on the Neal Morse Band albums "The Grand Experiment", "The Similitude of a Dream", and "The Great Adventure", and on the subsequent live tours. The Minitaur was damaged a few weeks ago during the European leg of the TGA tour, and Randy was going to put it up for sale at the merchandise table because there wasn't time to get it repaired, so he replaced it. I got wind of that, got in touch with him, and got him to part with the pedalboard too. Randy also threw in a flash drive with all three of his solo albums, and a signed poster. Fortunately, the damage to the Minitaur isn't serious, and I should be able to get that fixed up shortly.

    "It's just a busted synth and (working) pedalboard - BFD!" Yeah, I know, but I've been a huge Neal Morse fan for the last couple of decades, and a Randy fan since he started recording with Neal, so this was a really special thing for me, and Randy will always have my gratitude for parting with them. Since someone will ask - the extra item in the photo is the MIDI adapter for the pedalboard.

    randy_gear.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2019
  2. CGremlin

    CGremlin

    Nov 1, 2014
    Palm Bay, FL
    Minitaur's fixed now. Turns out there wasn't any actual damage. The unit had been knocked off its stand shortly before a performance in Cologne, Germany and started acting funky, so Randy replaced it right away. The problem was that the ribbon cable connecting the front panel and voice boards had been jarred loose. Reseating the cable fixed it, so I now have a fully functional Minitaur.
     
  3. Indiedog

    Indiedog

    Aug 23, 2012
    Tucson, AZ
    Very, very cool!
    KMI stuff is mighty cool. I like their approach. And how do you go wrong with a Moog Minitaur?

    Congrats!
     
    CGremlin likes this.
  4. Please post your experiences with the 12 step. I've been considering one of these for years, mainly to use for string pad type things and maybe as a trigger for samples if it is able to do that, but I dont understand all of the technical jargon on the web about these things. I'd love to know more.

    BnB
     
    CGremlin likes this.
  5. CGremlin

    CGremlin

    Nov 1, 2014
    Palm Bay, FL
    I might play with it a little bit this weekend just to get familiar with it and relate my experiences. I bought them both as collectibles, and both are autographed, so I'm trying to keep the wear and tear to a minimum. :) The other device in the photo is a special USB-to-DIN device so that the USB port on the 12 Step can connect to standard MIDI jacks, and is an additional $60, so bear that in mind when considering one.
     
    Indiedog and bound'n'blocked like this.
  6. Indiedog

    Indiedog

    Aug 23, 2012
    Tucson, AZ
    Yup, that little gizmo is essential for many of the KMI products. I have two.
     
    CGremlin likes this.
  7. CGremlin

    CGremlin

    Nov 1, 2014
    Palm Bay, FL
    Good good - just didn't want an additional $60 to jump out and surprise anyone. :thumbsup:
     
    Indiedog likes this.
  8. CGremlin

    CGremlin

    Nov 1, 2014
    Palm Bay, FL
    I played a little bit more with the 12 Step and the editor, and it's really remarkable how much you can do with this tiny little pedalboard. Each pedal can be programmed to trigger up to five notes by itself across two MIDI channels, send MIDI control messages, and a bunch of other stuff. Far, far more versatile than something like a Taurus, and it offers a lot of capability that would be very useful when performing live. The pedals can have their sensitivity adjusted globally, with the pressure on the top and bottom of each pedal individually controllable so you can do stuff like pitch bends on a single pedal. It takes a little bit of pressure to get them to trigger, so there shouldn't be too much to worry about if you accidentally brush a pedal with your foot. Just be sure that the board is on a hard surface when using it, since it's less than a half-inch thick (9mm, not counting the pedals) and is a little flexible as a result. It's sturdy, but also very light, so you might end up having to put some double-sided tape on the back when setting up for a show to keep it from wandering around.

    The only serious shortcoming that I've come across is that you can't retrieve the configuration that's currently stored in the unit, so it's pretty important to save your custom configurations in the editor on your computer in case you ever need to do a firmware update or something else that will revert the 12 Step back to its factory settings or otherwise delete what's currently in it. You can even do kind of esoteric stuff like remotely control the LEDs and display on the unit, but I think I'd rather have given up that functionality in exchange for being able to download and save the settings that were already in the device. I was limited in what I was willing to do with mine because I wanted to keep what Randy had programmed into the device and didn't have any way to retrieve it and save it on my computer. I also didn't want to risk damaging the autograph on it, so I didn't do a lot of stomping around on it.

    All in all, it's a very cool little board, and well worth the price they're asking.
     
    bound'n'blocked likes this.
  9. Thanks for the info. Sounds like an interesting unit.

    BnB
     
    CGremlin likes this.
  10. Seratone1

    Seratone1

    Jun 2, 2014
    Hi Folks - I just got a McMillen 12 Step delivered used - luckily I found out about the 'Expander' being required for h/w synths and my local music store had one. Hilarious that TalkBass seems to be only site talking about it.

    Right out of the box I could trigger single notes in MainStage on my Mac Air - but could NOT trigger a hardware synths using the expander. I was wondering if I'm missing something. I can see the expander lighting up when it receives the midi signal but it didn't trigger my Korg Micro-X. I tried other synths, and swapped the cables. No Love. I've gone to McMillen support - but they say I'm not going to hear back for 7 - 14days. Any idea's?
     
  11. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Apr 20, 2021

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