Tell me about Frippertronics

studio

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I know there are countless videos and discussions of the performance rig known as Frippertronics, but I want to hear your stories on how recordings of that seemingly ever evolving
box of gadgetry has made you feel over the years.

What makes it such an emotive and expressional instrument in it's own right and in the hands of
mastery and innovation?

It is eerie and beautiful at the same time. IMO.

What are your thoughts on recordings rather than if you've ever seen Fripp live? Thanks.
 

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I know there are countless videos and discussions of the performance rig known as Frippertronics, but I want to hear your stories on how recordings of that seemingly ever evolving
box of gadgetry has made you feel over the years.

What makes it such an emotive and expressional instrument in it's own right and in the hands of
mastery and innovation?

It is eerie and beautiful at the same time. IMO.

What are your thoughts on recordings rather than if you've ever seen Fripp live? Thanks.
I saw RF in Vancouver once it was a solo concert with him and the friptronics racks , he had a custom pedal board made by Pete Cornish , and at that time he used some revox B or A 77 tape machines to run loops and as well a number of devices in the rack, like ursula major space stations , eventide delays, deep midi controllers etc.
I am quite sure he evolved the gear to more modern units like the eventide 9000, and Fx units , on KC's last tour he had 2 racks facing away from the audience in an L shape , so i wasnt able to see it close up

I do know he used the revox units one to record and play back then the tape machine was placed several feet away to play a set delay .

He did talk about a version of 21st century schitzoid man sung by Brian ferry that he has in his demo tape collection that no one will ever hear.
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I did alot of this type of experimentation when i was younger in the studio and got some fine results
I have a cassette somewhere in my archives of tape manipulations using several cassettes an 8 track RTR and my 4 track all at the same time .

one thing i toyed with was 10 steno cassette players ( you know the ones with the off/on switch on the cheap microphones) each with a different recording and an off/on control made out of a calculator keyboard this created a type of cheesy mellotron very lofi.
 
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studio

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I saw RF in Vancouver once it was a solo concert with him and the friptronics racks , he had a custom pedal board made by Pete Cornish , and at that time he used some revox B or A 77 tape machines to run loops and as well a number of devices in the rack, like ursula major space stations , eventide delays, deep midi controllers etc.
I am quite sure he evolved the gear to more modern units like the eventide 9000, and Fx units , on KC's last tour he had 2 racks facing away from the audience in an L shape , so i wasnt able to see it close up

I do know he used the revox units one to record and play back then the tape machine was placed several feet away to play a set delay .

He did talk about a version of 21st century schitzoid man sung by Brian ferry that he has in his demo tape collection that no one will ever hear.
View attachment 985906

View attachment 985907

View attachment 985908

I did alot of this type of experimentation when i was younger in the studio and got some fine results
I have a cassette somewhere in my archives of tape manipulations using several cassettes an 8 track RTR and my 4 track all at the same time .

one thing i toyed with was 10 steno cassette players ( you know the ones with the off/on switch on the cheap microphones) each with a different recording and an off/on control made out of a calculator keyboard this created a type of cheesy mellotron very lofi.
In your experience, did your signal record at a usable fidelity or was that not an issue and the music art was the important thing?
 

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In your experience, did your signal record at a usable fidelity or was that not an issue and the music art was the important thing?
to answer the question it was to see if it could be done, to force me to think outside the polytetrahedron
to allow me to know what an outcome would be if I chose that direction , Anyone can mic a cab or a piano , but what would it sound like if you lit that piano on fire and played it till it died ? LOL.. just joking

Or recorded a photocpier machine or an industrial printer the took a slice of that recording and samples & scaled it up a keyboard?

with the revox units most definately usable to a high degree , I still have a PR99 in the studio ( upgrade from the A or B 77's) the Tascam 88 most definately, Tascam 3440 as well. the steno cassettes were pure cheese but thats what i was after I could sample those and play them back on the ensonique Mirage ( an 8 bit sampler) rack mount.
i would make my own samples like: take a styrofoam cup push a straw through it and get the cup to squeek then layer a track of blowinhg across a pop bottle , scaling it to 2 octaves on the keyboard, very cool sound when blended into a track extremely , just not front and center ,lol

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same with the tape tricks in a mix cool.
Alone there are some limitations but with todays toys you could make that rock.

It seems a lost creative art to be able to step beyond the filtered over compressed, over EQ 'd sounds and create something original to break from convention and use a childs imagination, to hear with new ears .
It appears that the recording process is hung up on sampling fequencies like 192KHZ when infact the finished product is squished down to 44.1 or 48 KHZ for internet play or CD
for my kids 4 th birthday I bought them a cheap camera and 1/2 dozen rolls of film , wow what a perspective to see the world through the eyes of a child , mind blowing seriously.

all things are possible in the land of make believe, adults loose that edge
 
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Bob Womack

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I studied electronic music and electronic music composition, which involved both musique concrete' (music made with found sounds) and purely synthesized sounds. One of the principles my professor taught was to use sound quality limitations as part of the sound, rather than avoiding a limited quality source or process. Part of the reason I went into the field was the work of Fripp and Eno.

Here's an example from their album Evening Star (1975) that was my intro into their world:

There is a relaxed, meditative mood that this sort of music is able to put me into that only this sort of music can accomplish.

All of this contributed in many ways to my career as a sound designer for film and video.

Bob
 

omahaaudio

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I know there are countless videos and discussions of the performance rig known as Frippertronics, but I want to hear your stories on how recordings of that seemingly ever evolvingcbox of gadgetry has made you feel over the years.
Bored.
 

klasaine

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I personally never had any interest in doing it but I love the way RF utilized and employed his "Frippertronics". I've seen King Crimson many times over the decades and it has always been a great show. On record, for me, it's equally as engaging. He plays the technology like an instrument, which of course is what one should do. The tech becomes invisible in the hands of an artist. The records he made with Daryl Hall and Andy Summers are very cool - and very different than his KC output. His playing on David Bowie's "Scary Monsters" is mind blowing. Same for the Talking Heads, "Fear of Music".
*I'm also into Brian Eno and his sonic thing.
 
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studio

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I personally never had any interest in doing it but I love the way RF utilized and employed his "Frippertronics". I've seen King Crimson many times over the decades and it has always been a great show. I'm also into Brian Eno and his sonic thing.
Same question Kenny,
Is there a difference between a recorded session of Frippertronics and a live performance?

Is it the man behind the machine that counts?
 

klasaine

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Same question Kenny,
Is there a difference between a recorded session of Frippertronics and a live performance?

Is it the man behind the machine that counts?
*I added to my previous post.

A difference for me, emotionally - ? No.
Live vs. Studio is inherently different in general, but he's able to accomplish 'live' (At least how I hear it) what he gets in the studio. That's part of genius and artistry of Fripp.
 

Digital Larry

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I wasn't specifically trying to channel RF, but last night I decided to try out the "aging" feature on my Pigtronix Infinity. This fades the loop as long as you are in overdub mode, but keeps it when you switch to playback. I fed that from the looper built into my Headrush MX-5, which I hadn't previously tried. That also has a feedback setting.

This is a whole different thing than I usually use the looper for, which is just to grab ideas. Within a few minutes there was so much going on I didn't know what to think.

I programmed some funk drum patterns into the Beatstep Pro and played it through Addictive Drums in Ableton Live. The Pigtronix looper stays tightly locked to this which is great. However the Headrush loops doesn't or at least wasn't sync'ed to anything, which creates another level of possible chaos.

Couple of points:
a) Stay on one scale, unless you are very clever and can anticipate how to build up evolving harmonies. I am not that clever.
b) Don't hit any bad notes - as you know, they will come back to haunt you... haunt you... haunt you...

I also looked for the "aging" feature on my Boss RC-5 but it's only available as a MIDI controlled parameter as far as I can tell.
 

studio

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*I added to my previous post.

A difference for me, emotionally - ? No.
Live vs. Studio is inherently different in general, but he's able to accomplish 'live' (At least how I hear it) what he gets in the studio. That's part of genius and artistry of Fripp.
Great!
Fripp has this thing going on where he's highly admired but never duplicated. No matter how hard we try, or how many fripper style pedals..... it's his own game.

I've noticed his recordings though don't seem to be performances but rather separate tracks. At least that's what I hear. But he still manages to keep the vibe going!
That is an incredible accomplishment.

I like this commentary:
 

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I know there are countless videos and discussions of the performance rig known as Frippertronics, but I want to hear your stories on how recordings of that seemingly ever evolving
box of gadgetry has made you feel over the years.

What makes it such an emotive and expressional instrument in it's own right and in the hands of
mastery and innovation?

It is eerie and beautiful at the same time. IMO.

What are your thoughts on recordings rather than if you've ever seen Fripp live? Thanks.
sort of on the same topic ,
did you ever get into the principle of Eno's oblique statagy cards , not the actual cards but the idea behind them ?

you can make your own cards and follow on that idea ,
like if you get stuck with zero motivation,
pull a card from the deck that might say;
" do this track with out drums"
or another that might state;
" incorporate an unfamiliar instrument"
or;
" only play the lower half of the keyboard"
just to give you a nudge in a different direction and break up that overly utilized recording formulas

Mutt Lang had Def Lepard record each note of a chord separately then mixed the notes in during a mix during Hysteria
great sound breaks up the mundane
 

Ed Driscoll

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Here's a demo on the basics of Frippertronics:



The same guy as above, but recreating Fripp's technology from back in the day with two reel-to-reel recorders instead of a DDL box:



Here's the man himself in action in 1979, I believe on the Midnight Special. I'd love to see his introduction, considering he thanks Rick James before zooming off into a very different super-freak experience:

 
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