If you are interested in playing a guitar through a laptop this is a great series from modern guitarist/polymath Christopher Willits. I embedded Episode 2 because 1 is basic nuts and bolts about getting your sound into the computer—essential if you are just starting, but 2 might be of interest to more advanced players as well.
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In November of 2011 Adrian Belew performed and spoke at the Chicago Humanities Festival series on the history and future of guitar sound. Great stuff here including midi instrumentation, layering and combining effects such as echo lengths with pitch shifts, loop pedals, compound rhythm structures, and time signatures. For the few that don’t know, Adrian’s career spans from the 70s to present day and includes collaboration with the Talking Heads, David Bowie, Frank Zappa and Nine Inch Nails in addition to his solo work.
To quote Elliot Sharp: “Roger Kleier’s guitars burn up a huge vocabulary of pungent timbres and compositional attacks. It’s all there: from Beefheartian slide and fuzzed psychedelic leads to percussive soundspaces and orchestral feedback.”
I was lucky enough to have Roger’s help in preparing my piece on extended guitar techniques for Premier Guitar. Here is some video shot at Roger’s apartment in Manhattan’s East Village. Kleier expounds on some classic preparations and other inventive methods for extending the guitar’s range of tones and textures.
Former Guitar Player Magazine editor Joe Gore (to whom I owe my role as GP Consulting Editor) gives a great demo of the looping process. He also shows one possible method of combining guitar, laptop, software, and external hardware in this informative video. Here he uses a MacBook Pro laptop, Apple’s MainStage software, Native Instruments and SoundToys plug-ins, a Boomerang III looper and Side Car, a Keith McMillen SoftStep MIDI control pedal, and a James Trussart Steelcaster. Be sure to check out his sites: tonefiend.com and mental99.com
Here is an article I wrote for Electronic Musician in 2011. I welcome comments from the guitarmoderne.com community. Do you use a laptop in live performance?