8 thoughts on “Reel-To-Reel Jam Session

  1. i was happy to run across this a couple weeks ago.
    i’ve seen Ei Wada perform twice at Ars Electronica.
    he’s a very talented creator !!

  2. They are seem to be using the tape to trigger other sounds, but I don’t think the sounds we are hearing are coming directly from the tape.

    The reel speed doesn’t always track to the pitch of what we are hearing, but rather seems to open & close a filter.

    I’m not saying it isn’t cool, or that they aren’t doing something, and I won’t call B.S. just yet. There’s just more going on in what we’re hearing than what we’re seeing

    1. ya dude it’s obviously “faked” in a way. . .
      like they wired the knobs and flange’s up to Max/MSP or whatever
      but it is a nice performance !!!

  3. Stub, You are correct in that the tape “triggers” other tones. This is done using the Karplus-Strong method with the two Boss DD pedals. This is how you get two constant pitches throughout the song even though the tapes are speeding up and slowing down or are just quick blips from plucking the tape. The top left player is the high E and the bottom player is the low E. They never change the delay time on the pedals so the resonant note stays the same throughout the performance. Both players do change the feedback at certain times to change the sustain of the tones and the bottom player adjusts the delay level as well.

    The top left player is using an Electro-Harmonix vocoder pedal to get the formant changes at the beginning of the song when he is plucking the tape and playing the keyboard.

    The top right player has a longer delay on his sounds as heard at about 6-7 seconds in, no Karplus-Strong going on here. Obviously he is playing the melody on a synth so nothing to add to that since we’re on Synthtopia. He seems to use his tape deck while playing keyboard more for adding tape start and stop type sci-fi sounds often done in time with the synth so it makes the synth sound like it is being manipulated by a tape delay. At about 00:36 in he uses the monitor switch (tape or input) on the Pioneer to do the turntabalist “scratching” sounds. In this case switching to input cuts off the sound.

    The tapes have sustained tones recorded on them. I have no clue what the original pitch would be since there is never a moment when the tapes just play without manipulation of hands or motor stop start. This constant tone is what allows them to always get a pluck sound even after spinning the reels every which way but loose.

    Hope that helps to demystify it a bit. Of course I could be missing some bits but I don’t think fancy Max/MSP patches are needed here just some good old delay and a lot of tape “plucking” and “scratching”.

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