Prog Rock

OK, I admit it, you will only find out some way down the line anyway – I like Prog Rock! Genesis, Yes, Camel, Rush, Pink Floyd…. all of those bands, Galahad, Karnataka… I could go on and on (and according to Mrs Saberhagen I do).

Playing that kind of music (because we all try to emulate our heroes) is a challenge, many many years ago I was lucky/unlucky enough to have a place in a band where I played a double neck guitar (12 and 4) and a set of bass pedals at the same time (stress) as I was in charge of the ‘low end’ filling in with pretty arpeggios whilst the hero guitarist played solos over suspended root notes and lush keyboard pads. I LOVED it.

But, that equipment was sold long ago (except for the guitar which I made when I was 17 and although I still have it – it is an embarrassment)

So, you can imagine, if I am to do that again (and why not) I will need the kit.

First a set of bass pedals. Now, back in the day these were always very expensive and massively unreliable Moog Taurus. Since then I have owned Roland PK-5 midi pedals but never played them live (and didn’t actually think that they are not a good solution, being midi only you need a separate keyboard or module, never sounded right.) Only option – make something 🙂

I roughed out a design where the centrepiece would be a Moog Minitaur module (Ooooooh), analogue gorgeous sounds!! Triggered by a set of Fatar pedals (available from Synth geek supplies as a barebones chassis) and using a midi module that I would need to build myself (details are online, lots of different ways, mine was based on a modular synth rack midi system, small, quite cheap and so far rock-solid reliable). To make it look old school I butchered an old aluminium Panasonic TV stand for the outrigger feet and built a plywood box to hold all of the components together, it could be from the 1970’s…. Here are some images, whenever I play them out they get a great reaction, most younger musicians have never seen anything like it. they sound like thunder, the end of the world, internal organs feel massaged in the presence of bass pedals 🙂

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