Makrotulpa rising

More additions to the Makrotulpa set – all live improvisations with the Nord Modular – most of them direct – some of them tinkered with slightly.

There have been a couple of additions to the setup.

usb hub

A powered USB hub which allows me to add multiple controllers – so if I want either the Akai LPK25 or Graphite 49 MIDI controller keyboards or the NanoKontrol it works for them. This occasionally has the effect of confusing the Nord Modular software though hopefully leaving the editor USB connected to the same USB slot will solve this problem.

**ADDENDUM** the Nord Modular is such a fussy pain – seems if I use the powered hub it keeps forgetting the order of the drivers which makes the editor software lock up.  So back to the trusty unpowered 4x.  I’ll keep the Nano-Kontrol – will have to patch in the Graphite in the rear of the NM if I need to tinkle ivory.


I recently replaced the Phonic mixer with a Peavey PV6. The main impetus was a horrid ground loop that crept into the recordings which I narrowed down to the Phonic. There is still buzz with the PV6 but it is much quieter. It also runs as a USB interface which means I can use it with the tablet and liberate the UCA202 for use with the iPad as originally planned. There is a slight negative – as with many USB interfaces it adds a high pitch whine into the proceedings. This is not something that can be EQ out as the send goes direct. It’s easy to remove in recording situations with a Noise reduction tool however I may have to suck it up for live performances if I use the tablet for processing, sampling or looping – something it can definately do.

ableton tablet

The final surprising thing is that Ableton Live 9 (and Max For Live) work on tablet. Quite well even. Certainly can’t run a lot of VSTs but it seems comparable to Audiomulch and Bidule in capability with a slightly more touch friendly interface. Then again – the AM’s Metasurface is a bundle of fun on a touch pad. I’m probably going to use Max for Live for MIDI processing mostly. So far pretty happy with the tablet though Windows 8 is something of a pain to use. It’s not that much different to OSX except for things randomly not working, drivers shutting down, touch refusing to recognise occasionally etc… Have to say I get many issues with and lockups on Mountain Lion anyway so no Mac VS PC arguments please – OS’s basically suck but we need them!

Looks like Makrotulpa has a live debut on the Winter Solstice weekend… more info when I have it to hand.


2 thoughts on “Makrotulpa rising”

  1. Too bad on the usb hub thing.. I suspect you have only one usb port available on the tablet? That’s a shame. The divide between usb midi vs 5-pin midi seems to be growing and mostly in the modern, and mass produced controllers. I’d just like the industry to settle on one standard or the other.

    1. Yeah. I feel like it is a smackdown for being too ambitious 😉 The setup as it is is fine and I just need to focus on it. I prefer the 5-pin MIDI which I can at least understand the schematics of and could potentially replace if they become faulty.

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