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Topic: Advice on playing live...

  1. #1

    Advice on playing live...

    I am new to gigastudio, but learning fast. I just returned from NAMM looking at digital grands to replace a kurzweil mark series that I used for a long time on stage. However, I just ordered the White Grand piano samples and would like to know how practical it would be to keep the kurzweil, set up a killer computer and play these samples live?

    Any advice is appreciated.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Dallas, Texas

    Re: Advice on playing live...

    Very easy.

    I suggest getting a 4-space rackmount case for your stage computer. There are system builders who supply them in those cases, and there are suppliers for them on the net--easy to find.

    This gives you a more robust case. It will be a little long for most racks, SKB, etc., but the longer footprint Anvils will contain one very easily, along with your audio interface and a small line mixer.

    I personally don\'t have mine racked in a case. I opted for an Anvil carrying case that it will fit into perfectly (rack handles down).

    I have my other components in an SKB rack, including the audio interface (Layla), a small mixer (Alesis Studio 12R--nice for the purpose), a DigiTech Studio 400 (for mic FX), and a wireless receiver in that case--along with the standard Furman power-strip/light.

    Everything is all pre-patched.

    When I get to the gig, I unpack the rackmount computer and put it on the floor. Then I place the SKB on its front right on top of the computer and pop off the back panel. I pull out the power cord to the wall, the parallel cable to the Layla, and the power-cords to the monitor and CPU, plug it all in, and boot up.

    I have found that it is actually faster to set up than my older multi-keyboard systems!! Once I\'m booted up, I open Giga or Reaktor, whichever I am using, and open my performance-files, and let them load while I gets me-self a drinky-poo.

    Once I\'m back from the bar, I get my setup confirmed in headphones, get sound-checked into the PA, and I\'m good to go. If it\'s a small room, and I\'m responsible for my own amplification, I have a couple of Mackie powered monitors (the ones that look like EONs, except sound 1000% better). Sometimes I\'ll carry one for a monitor if I\'m not sure how the PA situation will be.

    Other than that, I have a Logitech Marble Mouse (trackball) velcroed to the right hand side of my SL-880 controller, a standard keyboard velcroed to the area right of the controller\'s editing buttons, and a Knobby Controller which sits on the other side of the SL-880. This gives me 16 preset CC combinations--great for controlling my various Reaktor setups.

    If I am feeling REALLY adventurous, I take a MIDI-Merge box, and my WX-5 Wind Controller and PAD-5 lap-sized drum pad. Those can be really fun on more improvisational kinds of gigs.

    I use a VERY el-cheapo grande Kogi 15-inch flat panel display, which is held perfectly by a guitar amp stand.

    That\'s my live rig. I totally enjoy it, and despite the level of detail I went into here describing it, this thing sets up in a flash. It has never once given me a problem on stage. The only time it crashed was a case where I had damaged a disk-drive cable, and this was easily fixable. But I am totally rigorous about what goes on that machine--NOTHING except what is needed for its purpose.

    The best advice I can give is the \"second rack\" situation, where everything lives pre-patched except the cables from the computer to the Layla and the power/keyboard/trackball cables. THAT is the key timesaver on stage. If you are in a situation where you play TV appearances, large festival shows, etc., you really do need this level of pre-hookup consolidation to get on and off the stage fast. If I am fully loaded into the venue, I can get my setup onstage and be ready to play in ten-fifteen minutes.

  3. #3

    Re: Advice on playing live...


    Check out the Gig Rig from SKB.


    Plenty of room for everything you mentioned including the computer and it is on some REALLY good casters that will roll anywhere. I have the previous model (looks a little different) and I love it. Everything is all connected at all times. Just open the top and sides, plug it in and set up a couple of mics and you are ready to go. Best investment I ever made. It\'s so strong that I pile up 2 12\" speaker cabs on top of it AND my egg crate full of cables to roll it into the gig.

    -- Martin

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