At last, I finally got around to finishing the new yobstick. It’s quite a departure from previous efforts – lots of natural wood and more emphasis on playability instead of durability. I’ve only played it for a short time tonight, but it feels great and sounds lovely (far better than a stick with a welly at one end and a load of bottle tops at the other should do!)
I’ll stick some audio clips up once I’ve worked out how to mic the damn thing up. Imagine a drum kit that moves… I may need to get contact mics for it to work, but it is in effect three linked sound sources, so a single mic won’t do it justice, and certainly wouldn’t make it easy to be heard over electric instruments.
This picture of it makes it look somewhat scrawny, but looks aren’t everything. I’ve set out the process I used to put it together over on the Deserters’ page, under Instrumentography, so you can get a flavour for what is required to build one, and find out really interesting facts like “who makes the best bottletops for a yobstick?”
I’ve also been experimenting with some software called “SooperLooper”, which turns a standard Linux PC into a long controllable delay loop. I’ve worked out how to get some control over it with my guitar effects pedal, to the extent of being able to play a series of chords, then bass, then solo over the top. Once I’m more familiar with it I’m hoping to be able to set up a rhythm with the yobstick and guitar, then play theremin over the top. Early days, but if I can get it working together and hit the timing spot on, then it could sound pretty good.