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Triggering live samples, Geddy Lee style

Discussion in 'Accessories [BG]' started by Naggon, Feb 4, 2019.

  1. Naggon


    Nov 8, 2006
    Vancouver, BC
    Hey folks,
    I'm trying to figure out what equipment I need to trigger samples in a live setting using a midi foot controller while I'm playing bass, much like what Geddy and Rush do.

    I have midi foot controllers (Roland PK-5 and Digital Music 'Ground Control') but I'm not sure what's best for the actual midi-brain. From the research I've done, it seems to be either super old school rack mount gear that's heavy, expensive, and needs floppy disks to load audio (I haven't had a floppy drive for well over a decade!) OR it's this super complex modern stuff with way too many features that's designed for DJ's or electronic music artists. All I want to do is trigger backing tracks at certain moments in the songs! Seems like there should be a simple piece of equipment to do this, right...?

    Assistance is greatly appreciated!

    PS. I've tried using a simple looper pedal (DigiTech Jamman) which ALMOST does the trick, but the trouble is that all the samples automatically loop and repeat, and you have to hit the pedal twice at just the right time in order to stop it. This makes it really hard to trigger one sample, then trigger the next one, not to mention scrolling through the damn interface to get to the next sample while I'm already playing bass and singing!
  2. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    Look for an old 360 Systems Instant Replay that’s being sold (or thrown out) by a radio station. Basically allows you to create a library of samples and trigger one-shot playback on the fly.
  3. I have worked full time in radio for nearly 35 years, and have literally never seen one or even heard of one of those before! Looks like some type of digital cart machine or something. Pretty cool.

  4. MartinB


    Jun 7, 2017
    Birmingham, UK
    If you don't need more than 8 samples (or 30MB) per song, have a look at the Akai MPX8.
    It's cheaply-built, finicky about sample formats, and takes far too long to load when switching between sample sets. But, if you don't want to spend a lot, it should do the job. It loads audio from an SD card, has MIDI-in so that you can trigger it from your existing foot controllers, and can play back samples as one-shot, looped, or held.
  5. 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.

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