i saw a really cool inspirational gear setup- kinda hobbled/ghetto but still nifty.
they had 5 tap lights set up as on/off switches for 5 channels of a MIDI controller. they had the midi output running to a mac laptop which was fed through one of the channels on the mixer- this way they could have 2 drumloops, two percussions, and a voice sample all triggerable by thwacking a light with your hand.
nifty. (if you're really interested in how i'm planning on putting this together and aren't familiar with MIDI read this first. i had to.)
of course, as soon as i got to work i went to scouring ebay for gear to replicate their setup. according to the document above, at the minimum i'd need a controller to send the trigger signals, and some kind of device to be activated by the controller. i've found an abundance of cheap MIDI foot-pedal clusters that will basically function the same as the tap lights, only not so ghetto.
the other problem was finding a sound module versatile enough to do what i want while still remaining compact. drum machines are out, because i need more than just drums... so the answer here appears to be an inexpensive sampler like the BOSS SP-202. this has a 4mb stick of flash memory and can hold 8 different samples/loops... and i found one on ebay for $100. excellent. =)
the only problem w/ *that* sampler is that the effects on it aren't so hot... however, since the point of this exercise is to make ghetto live PA equipment that's fun to use, i think an Alesis AirFX will round out the equation nicely, with the AirFX on the left since i'm right-handed (& it doesn't seem like an instrument that requires a *ton* of accuracy), the sampler in the center, and then the foot-pedal MIDI controller on the left.
the sampler i'm planning on using has a BPM readout and a pitch shifter built in so it will be usable to beatmatch, but i'll probably buy a cheap BPM counter and tack it on whatever i rig all this into so i can read the signal that's currently coming out of the mixer and pre-match the gear to it before i mix in.
i probably won't finish this until i move into my next place (which is Ras-Sol's house in downtown SJ), but if any of you want to play after i get it done just give me a call and we'll jam and smoke bowls and what-not. =)
ok, back to work.