Tripecac has always relied on keyboard workstations for 90% of its sounds. This lets me use MIDI, which enables me to easily fix mistakes. And I make lots of mistakes! Occasionally, I'll throw in guitar parts (which are harder to fix), but mostly what you hear is from a keyboard.
Most of the Tripecac sounds are from keyboard workstation. I started with an SY55 in 1990 and upgraded to a Triton a decade later. Maybe in 2010 I will switch to a new one? So far I doubt it, because I am still happy with my Triton.
- also called: SY55, sequencer
- note: see UNME - Yamaha SY55 for more info
I got this in 1990 and loved it. I used it until 1999. In the 2000s I've been using it mostly for practice and as a chain in my wah-wah pedal setup.
I was pretty happy with the instruments and effects, but wished the keyboard had more memory so I could create longer sounds. Also, the tiny LCD screen made it hard to clean up improvisations. Back then I didn't use any MIDI, and did all the editing on the keyboard itself.
- also called: Triton
- note: see UNME - Korg Triton for more info
In May 2000 I bought a Triton as a "modern" replacement for the SY55. My hope was to use the Triton's built-in sequencer (as I did with the SY55), and not have to be around computers when I was making music. Unfortunately, after I brought it home, I found out that the Triton's sequencer memory doesn't get saved internally; it needs to be saved to floppy or external SCSI disk. This was confusing and aggravating at first, because this meant that, despite being 10 years newer, the Triton was actually less convenient to use than the SY55.
Long story short... I ended up abandoning the Triton's sequencer and any hopes of making music without computers. It took me almost two years and lots of hours of research and testing, but eventually I settled on Cakewalk/Sonar. I now sequence my songs in Sonar, but use the Triton as my "master keyboard" (MIDI controller, sounds, and effects).
Guitar has never been my strong point. Fortunately, I don't use it very often in Tripecac. It's hard to edit the timing, for one thing. And I don't even bother trying to edit the pitch. Since I make lots of mistakes, guitar usually messes up a song. There are a few occasions where it sounds pretty cool (e.g., "Ford"), but I try to be very cautious about adding it.
- also called: electric guitar
- note: see UNME - Ibanez StageStar for more info
I bought this electric guitar in 2000, the same day I bought my Korg Triton. I've used it in several Tripecac songs since then. I'm still not very good at it, but it's very fun!
I hook it up to an amp simulator (Pod Pro), which lets me add reverb, delay, etc. I also have a wah-wah pedal, which can sound really cool (and really bad, depending on how lucky I am).
This came bundled with an acoustic guitar which I bought in 2008. The tuning's different, but other than that it's just like a mini-guitar. I like it! I've only used it on a couple Tripecac songs so far (e.g., "Baby Dew"), but plan to use it more often in the future.
I bought my girlfriend a violin for her birthday in 2007. It's very hard to play, but I gave it shot on "Januwindy". You can barely hear it. Be thankful!
Most of Tripecac's percussion sounds are from a keyboard. However, there are a few exceptions.
- also called: TR-505, drum machine
- note: see UNME - Roland TR-505 for more info
I bought this programmable drum machine in 1992 or so, and used it on most of the Tripecac albums from 1993 to 1999. I synced it to my Yamaha SY55 via MIDI.
I received a little wooden shaker from someone on a Canadian Rockies trip in 2001. You can hear it on a couple songs since then, including "Longarhythm".
Before I got the real shaker, I occasionally used other things that sounded like shakers. Interesting, huh?
- also called: vocal, vox, singing
I am horrible at singing! My usual approach is to kinda rap and chant with occasional attempts at melodic. Doubling up and throwing in lots of effects help a little, but mostly it's a matter of luck whether or not my vocals sabotage a song.
- also called: talk, chatter
There's not a whole lot of chatter on the Tripecac recordings. I used to be in the habit of recording my thoughts at the end of each album, but ever since I moved to the computer, I've gotten out of that habit.