Just prior to going on stage to perform back in November our Lead Guitarist Dave received a telephone call notifying him that his Grandson had wiped out in a motocross event and had broken something, possibly his hip.  The lad is 10.  Yikes!

Fortunately it turned out to not be super bad.  A break of the femur but at his age he’ll heal well and reasonably quickly.  Dave took the opportunity to write a song about the incident called Little Boys and Broken Bones.  All the members of our band contributed portions and we mixed a version of the song to accompany a slideshow Dave created.  The compilation was presented to his Grandson on Christmas day.

Santa showed up about a month early for me though.  After a lifetime of lusting after Moog (pronounced correctly the name rhymes with vogue) synthesizers I purchased a brand new Moog Sub 37 from Long & McQuade on Steeles in North York.  Incidentally, great store with a friendly, helpful staff.

The Sub 37 is Moog’s new throwback to the days of analog sounds and twiddly knobs.  While the Sub Phatty line gave back the thick analog sound from the early days of synthesis, the Sub 37 expands on that by giving the artist faster access to the synthesizers controls.  I’ve spent the past few weeks playing with the Sub 37 and finding its place in my setup.

The most important aspect of my kit is that the studio setup and the stage setup be the same, but different.  That is to say I want control over the system through my computer when I’m in the studio but I want the devices themselves to be functional without a computer.  I don’t want a PC on stage with me.

The 3 devices I want in the mix are my Yamaha Motif XF6, my Moog Sub 37 and my Roland PAD-80.  I also like to throw an iPad into the mix now and then.  I love Moog’s Animoog software for the iPad plus I use the DM1 drum machine. I want the clock on the Motif to run the show.  I also want the PAD-80 to trigger sounds in the Motif.

Here’s what I did;  PAD-80 MIDI Out to Motif MIDI In.  Motif MIDI Out to Sub 37 MIDI In.  Sub 37 MIDI Out to USB/MIDI adapter which is connected to the iPad via the Camera Connection Kit.

The Motif is configured to send it’s clock while the Sub 37 is set to receive an external clock signal when the Sync button in the Arpeggiator is depressed.  I also set whichever iPad app I’m using to receive the clock and everything syncs up nicely.  It’s great for running arpeggiated performances on the Motif and having instant drum tracks playing on the iPad.

I’ve only had the Sub 37 for a few weeks but every time I use it I discover incredible features that produce absolutely remarkable sounds.  I’m not surprised though;  It’s a Moog and I expected no less.

So back to Dave’s song…  We all recorded tracks for the song at my studio, first the drums, bass and some rhythm guitar.  A few days later we added more guitar, solos and vocals.  Dave and I worked on the production together and I handled the mix down.

At some point during this process I sat down with the score  to work out a little something on the Sub 37.  What ended up happening was a new song based on the original’s note structure.  With my proggy tendencies I ended up with a track which had an ELP flavour to it.

So, here for your enjoyment is the original Coming of Age version of Little Boys and Broken Bones followed by the Lower West Side Studio re-imagining of the same song.

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