Tap-dancing, noise-rocking Donna Diane conjures lightning and thunder by layering her Kurt Ballou-designed Craftsman guitar over a Moog Minitaur bass synth.
So why would someone already singing and playing guitar look to further complicate things by adding bass-guitar duties to one’s feet? In short, when Donna Diane’s previous band’s demise was apparent, she started plotting how she could continue into greener pastures by performing solo while still representing full bass tones. The experiment went well enough that she recruited Smalkowski on drums.
The solution is in the above collage: Top photo is the brains of the operation—Moog Minitaur Analog Bass Synth—while the bottom photo shows the controller—Roland PK-5A MIDI Pedal—that is engaged by Diane tap dancing on the key levers. Some of the programming and modding she’s done to the units are adding in an octave-up coating and slowing the filter sweep that provides a fuller, thicker, constant roar. (Not pictured: She also built an on/off switcher that brings in/out the sustain circuit on the Minitaur.)
And as for simultaneously pulling off singing, playing guitar, and tapping out bass notes, Diane says “I’m sometimes a person that is very over analytical that gets in my own head a lot and overthink things a lot,” admits Diane. “This actually is good therapy for me because when you overload the system with so many tasks you have to let go and it becomes an out-of-body experience.”
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