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Topic: Advice on playing live...

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  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.

    John

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Sep 1999
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    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...

    Bruce,

    Check out the Gig Rig from SKB.

    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/sid=040122102547205245014238723836/g=home/search/detail/base_pid/544721/

    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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