KLIKTRAK : TECH ARCHIVE : 1996 - 1999
- TECH is a page designed to provide information regarding the specific
electronic equipment and instrumentation, that KLIKTRAK uses, as well as how the
instrumentation is implemented and structured, both in KLIKTRAK`s home STUDIO
and LIVE performances.
This page however, is not supposed to be a definitive guide about the particular instruments, or to be a pretentious analysis of electronic musicianship. But it is merely here as an information resource, based on the knowledge and experience KLIKTRAK has gained from working in the medium of electronic music.
The primary aim is to provide a resource for local South African electronic musicians, who may not have ready access to adequate information regarding electronic instrumentation, and its implementation into a structured setup - in order to help the development and evolution, of local South African electronic music (as a recognisable genre -locally and internationally) and electronic musicianship in general.
Hopefully international visitors to this site will find it informative, and interesting, and will also excuse any inaccuracies, please remember my opinion and interpretations are based on my experiences in this unique social environment of South Africa.
KLIKTRAK : STUDIO TECH
The following is a brief outline, and explanation of the structure of the electronic instrumentation as implemented in the studio setup of KLIKTRAK. The most critical aspect of the studio and LIVE setup of electronic instrumentation as utilised by KLIKTRAK, is outlined in the diagram : MIDI / DIN-SYNC CONFIGURATION below. The MIDI / DIN-SYNC configuration is so important, because it is the vital link in synchronising all of the instrumentation together.
In this way the instrumentation in KLIKTRAK`s studio and LIVE setup, are synchronised together to allow for a full utilisation of available instrumentation resources. This also allows for KLIKTRAK to implement the preferred method of recording of his trax - fully LIVE recording, without multitracking.
KLIKTRAK : LIVE TECH
The setup used by KLIKTRAK in LIVE performance, is in essence the same as in the studio setup, with the core feature being the MIDI / DIN-SYNC configuration (diagram below). It is this feature of being able to synchronise MIDI and DIN-SYNC, digital and analogue instrumentation that allows for KLIKTRAK to perform his own innovative style of electronic music totally LIVE - the definitve characteristic of which is that the musical output and arrangment of each track in a set, occurs in real-time, with only the sequencers holding pre-programmed musical information.
KLIKTRAK does not mime, or playback from pre-recorded sources such as DAT or CD, or use fully sequenced tracks (composed and arranged), when performing LIVE. The sequencers (internal and MIDI) are only programmed with musical “elements” or parts, that are then looped and are brought into the mix to form a track (arrangement), by using the MUTE/PLAY function of the sequencer, and the controls of the mixer. In essence it is this real-time arranging of the music, that constitutes KLIKTRAK`s LIVE performances.
Apart from the real-time arranging of tracks, the other major element of a LIVE performance by KLIKTRAK, is the totally “hands on” approach employed. With the real-time arranging of tracks, it follows that real-time LIVE control of the effects processing, EQ and other production values via the mixing desk, is necessary. So that when KLIKTRAK is performing his music LIVE, a totally focused, concentrated working of all control and production elements is involved, in order to produce a quality output of original electronic music. This all allows for a unique response to the audience and ambience of any specific event, which all enhance the dedicated professional and innovative LIVE performance of electronic music by KLIKTRAK.
KLIKTRAK : MIDI/DIN-SYNC
The two formats of MIDI and DIN-SYNC, are not compatible and therefore require either a source for generating both formats, or a conversion from one format to the other (ie. to split the synchronisation signal ). In the case of the KLIKTRAK setup, the former scenario of having one source generating both the MIDI and DIN-SYNC formats is utilised. [CURRENTLY KLIKTRAK USES A KORG KMS-30 MIDI/DIN-SYNC CONVERTER UNIT]
The ROLAND TR-707, and TR-727 drum machines have input-output din plug connectors which allow for both the MIDI and DIN-SYNC formats. The TR-727 is used in the setup as a master tempo controller, which sends a MIDI tempo control signal to the sequencer, and a DIN-SYNC control signal to a DIN-SYNC signal splitter, which in turn controls all of the DIN-SYNC format instrumentation.
The DIN-SYNC format is a control signal format which was used by ROLAND (KORG also had its own DIN-SYNC format) in the early 1980`s, to allow for various instrumentation to be synchronised together into a unified setup - a precursor to the now standard MIDI format. As opposed to sending complete and complex musical data (as with MIDI), the DIN-SYNC control signal consisted of voltage pulses being sent via a din cable, from master to slave unit. The voltage pulses were sent at a rate of 24 per quarter note, which allowed for the synchronisation of the tempo.
This means that the instrumentation using the DIN-SYNC format, have to be programmed internally, using the built-in interfaces and sequencers of each instrumentation unit. These programmed sequences of music are then “played back” independently (by each internal sequencer) and synchronised in tempo with the master unit sending the DIN-SYNC control signal. The master unit sending the DIN-SYNC control signal, is used to start and stop the “playback” from each unit being synchronised, via the DIN-SYNC signal.
The ROLAND TR-727 drum machine in this instance fullfills the function of being the master DIN-SYNC control unit. Because there is no DIN-SYNC thru (as is the case with MIDI), a DIN-SYNC signal splitter is used to create enough signal sources to control all the instrumentation being “slaved” or controlled with the DIN-SYNC format.
The TR-727 also sends via its MIDI out din connector, a MIDI tempo control signal, which only sends tempo (bpm) data to the MIDI sequencer. The MIDI sequencer in turn sends full MIDI data to each of the MIDI instruments, which controls all aspects of each MIDI instruments “playback”, and musical output.
In this way the instrumentation in KLIKTRAK`s studio and LIVE setup, are synchronised together to allow for a full utilisation of available instrumentation resources.
MIDI/DINSYNC CONFIGURATION DIAGRAM : CLICK TO ENLARGE :