I finally got my jam setup in order!
I’ve mostly used my Duo either standalone together with my son or connected to my DAW. But it has became clear to me that the DAW is really effective when it comes to killing the kind of creativity that these small gear gives. So, I wanted something standalone and “fairly static”. Because of that I’ve mounted the Duo together with some other small gear on what’s actually an IKEA metal shelf. Really good as it has lots of holes in it where I’ve used plastic strips to keep the gear in place, just as is common to do on guitar pedal boards.
To begin with, I clearly need a bigger table!
And i suppose some of you might be interested in how it’s all connected. Because I don’t have a “normal” mixer that’s of the right size, also I might want to record what I’m playing, and also for creative reasons I’m using my Zoom R16 digital porta studio instead. Along with that I’ve got an M-Audio Axiom 25 MIDI controller to get a normal keyboard (well honestly two octaves is not enough, but it’s OK). The Axiom is connected to my Roland JU-06’s MIDI In and is also controlling some parameters on it to make it easier to play.
The JU-06 is running the master clock in my setup and it connects from its MIDI Out/Thru to MIDI In on my beloved Dato Duo. To the Duo’s Sync Out I’ve connected my Pocket Operator PO-12 Drum machine. When I start the JU-06 sequencer, the Duo will start also, as intended. The PO-12 obviously only have sync in and because of that it doesn’t start automatically. Annoying fact: If I try to start the PO-12 after the JU-06 and the Duo, it always starts offbeat. It’s correct in tempo, but never sync with the other gear. Might be some delay from the clock being converted from MIDI to Sync going through the Duo? Anyone else having this problem? If I start the Po-12 first I can then start the other gear on beat, but I have to hit it by myself, no sync is helping me to get exactly on the beat.
Unfortunately, because the Dato cannot forward incoming MIDI data to its MIDI out, the Alesis SamplePad Pro aren’t connected to the MIDI chain. As it’s capable of handling more sounds than its number of physical pads I’ve got those sounds mapped to the small pads on the Axiom, but to be able to play them I have to unplug the Duo and plug in the SamplePad instead. (Duo firmware update please?)
That’s the MIDI part. Now the audio part:
As the Duo is “two channel mono” (it has a stereo out but sends the same signal on both channels) I’ve connected it with a cable with a mini tele stereo plug in one end and two separate fullsize mono tele in the other. In that way I can connect one channel directly to my mixer (Ch 1) and the other one through the distortion pedal, then to the mixer (Ch 2). In that way I get dry signal on channel one and wet on channel two and can blend them as I wish. The R16 doesn’t have any Aux sends or returns so this is a way around it. Also, I find it handy, still a bit limiting but in a quite creative way. The JU-06 has both line out and phones and I use both of those similar to the Duo connections. As the JU-06 has real stereo outs I’ve plugged the dry signal in at mixer channel 3-4 and the wet (going through a Zoom B2.1u bass effects pedal) to channel 5 (I’m quite certain the B2.1u has a stereo out, but I don’t have a cable for that right now so the wet signal is still in mono). Channel 8 is for drums. The PO-12 connects through Aux in on the SamplePad, I didn’t really feel the need for having them on separate channels.
So, guess that’s about it. Trying to find out where to put my Alesis QuadraVerb in the setup. Have to think about that a bit…