Like some of the trolls in the YouTube comments, I find Methenys music somewhat dull and middle of the road. Believe me Ive tried to enjoy, however he just keeps cropping up as a modern and innovative user/abuser of technology. He always seems to take it just a little bit further than others, and gets it working so smoothly and glitch-free. I for one would like to read a detailed tech break-down of his gear in these pieces.
I can only guess at the latency issues he´s dealing with here, not only transferring guitar notes to triggers, but mechanical accuracy, and indeed the amount of time a mechanical object, like a beater takes to hit its target.
Quite astounding. when you imagine that a real-life musician routinely uses his skill at interpreting music heard to correctly pre-cog actions needed to be on time and in synch.
I can only assume that there is some form of quantising going on here, like a master clock that forces the mechanics to hit precisely on 32nds or 64ths, although I can clearly hear some instruments which arnt. Like when he plays one off percussion hits from the strings, they are.. er "Jazzy" in their timing and not beat accurate, however in musical instrumentation that is looped does indeed to be spot on.
It reminds me of how I used to use the good old GR-30 guitar synth and its excellent built in arpegiation (DAMN tried spelling that 20 times...). I would set almost all patches to have some form of arp, if simple, so that when I played regularly, the notes would force to the midi clock I was feeding it. I miss this feature on the GR-55, infact after my GR30 went wrong, (the cat peed on it) I acquired a GR33 which I believe had the same arp. However I didn't get on with it, having worked for so many years on the patches on the 30, I couldnt bare going bak to scratch on the 33, it being filled with boring swishes and swirls and ambient pads...
I guess its a simple fix to go from midi notes forced to beats to midi triggering mechanical devices using solenoids and motors?