How should I start, Cello + PO-12 + PO-20

Dear All,

I am new to sound and just started to learn cello 2 months ago. I would like to know how to to capture the sound of cello and mix with the Pocket Operators, for example, I would like to record 10 notes of the cello to “Machine A” and I can just press the keys of “Machine A” and I am not sure in “Machine A” can output the sound of the cello and POs.

Now I have a cello, PO-12, PO-20, a mac and a olympus.
It will be great if anyone can suggest what would be the machine A and what would be the logic to connect them.

Thank you!

Hi there,
That’s pretty awesome that you’re learning the cello!
To capture the sound of your cello your going to need a microphone of some kind. It could be a regular mic on a mic stand or else you could could get a pick-up mic which would clip on to your cello. So then this mic would plug in to your “machine A”.
As to what your “machine A” is, well it could be a looper pedal. In it’s simplest function, you tap the looper pedal with your foot to start recording and play a phrase on your cello, then tap the pedal again and the recording stops but the looper plays back what you recorded and loops it continuously (until you tell it to stop!).
There’s probably whole forums or sub forums on looper pedals and related techniques I’ve never owned one myself but for starters I know Boss make a range of them https://www.boss.info/us/categories/loop_station/ and also Electro-Harmonix have a bunch too http://www.ehx.com/browse/delay-loopers.
From there then you need to mix the signals from the cello/looper and your Pocket Operators together. Any simple mixer would work. You could have a search around this forum to see what mixers people are using in small setups.

Hope this helps you to get started.

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what exactly is the “olympus”?

“Machine A” could also simply be your mac you already have, with something like ableton intro.
For live/realtime looping of the cello, you’d need a simple audio interface though (some field recorders even have one built in). You probably want to sync the PO’s to the recorder. The PO’s can be synced to each other, and IIRC one could be synced by a played back audio sample of a recorded clock pulse in ableton (or whatever you use).

The PO’s could be set up to transmit both clock and audio over a stereo cable between them, and one ouputting the summed out. But you probably want to record each po in its own track, what would require at least a 3 or more inputs interface and 3 out (stereo+1 clock for above situation). For more hands-on, you’d want a midi controller, something like a korg nanopad or so…

Or for even more hand-on and less configuration hassle, but also less flexibility, you might prefer a stand alone looper solution altogether, as suggested by @cillianjohn

lovely project btw!

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There are two separate issues:

  • mixing sounds together
  • recording sounds

You’ve got three instruments: two POs, a cello. The POs have jack cables out; the cello could be recorder with a transducer pickup or a microphone. You need to mix that sound and get it into something. Options there are a) a small mixer or b) the something has at least 3 inputs. I’d consider the mixer, frankly.

Once you’ve mixed your sounds, you can record them on the something. A computer with an audio interface is a good simple bet here. It’d need to run some software.

Saying more is hard without asking a few more questions:

  • do you want to record all these things at once, or separately?
  • when you say “press the keys”, do you mean live - I am playing, I hit some keys, and it immediately comes out like a loop pedal - or: I can record all this stuff, and at some point in the future, play it all back together?
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This forum is lovely!!! I will go through the suggested machine and also need to figure out how to connect the cable.
I am wondering if I should avoid the laptop, if it would make it more complicated.

cillianjohn
Thank you, cello is quite difficult and I am still learning to read the notes. Will check what’s looper pedal.

@sakul
what exactly is the “olympus”?
It’s a sound recorder and I was wondering if it’s helpful for the cello sound.
Thank you!

@infovore
do you want to record all these things at once, or separately?

record the cello? separately, like I will have CDGA, 4 sounds in the Machine A and I can press the key for A or G…

when you say “press the keys”, do you mean live - I am playing, I hit some keys, and it immediately comes out like a loop pedal - or: I can record all this stuff, and at some point in the future, play it all back together?

could it be both live and pre-record? if live takes time, I could pre-record all the sounds I need in the Machine A
what’s the maximum of sound I can record? for example, there’s 16 notes I need, possible to have 16 keys to press?

Thank you guys!!!