Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

Dealing with crap shoot keyboard at upcoming festival


Barryjam

Recommended Posts

I'm scheduled to play at a multi-band music festival in a couple of weeks with my horn band. (Sacramento Music Fest, in case any of you have played it).

 

In this band, I play classic Chicago, TOP, Steely Dan, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, etc. Think AP, Rhodes, Wurly, Clav, Organ--no fancy splits or layers. Two sets in different places within walking distance, told the festival provides "keyboard." No way to find out what keyboard, but since this used to be an only jazz festival, my guess is that it will be an 88 key with semblance of piano action, probably seated position on one tier stand. 15 min band change.

 

Since I cannot stomach playing organ lines on a piano action (and vice-versa), I'm planning on bringing NE4, VENT II and two tier stand. On the basis of KC reviews, I just bought and have rehearsed with Radial Duplex Stereo Direct Box (wonderful!), so I could switch out provided DI if they are only prepared for one keyboard. All I can comfortably carry by foot or on Rack&Roller dolly is double keyboard stand, NE4, (Vent, FC7 DI in pedal-board briefcase) cables. Guitar amps are provided, so I expect crappy keyboard amp or keys through monitor. Guitarists all bring their axes, drummer brings snare and cymbals, and FOH guys will probably be coping with insufficient number of mics.

 

What Gotchas should I anticipate? One I can think of is that I'm not allowed to re-position their keyboard onto my two tier stand, so I can only place organ to the side of the piano, hoping that there is space to do this. If I'm running out of time, I could cope with the stress of not finding patches but just playing AP instead of Rhodes and wurly. (I'm so spoiled by the CP4).

 

Of course, the other option is just playing organ on a non-clonewheel. I usually value tone and playing experience over setup ease, but maybe I should make an exception???

 

Thanks in advance.

Barry

 

Home: Steinway L, Montage 8

 

Gigs: Yamaha CP88, Crumar Mojo 61, A&H SQ5 mixer, ME1 IEM, MiPro 909 IEMs

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 16
  • Created
  • Last Reply
Maybe you can find a way to get a contact # or email for the sound company that will be working the fest so you can ask all these questions (what kind of keyboard will be provided?, can I move it?, amplification, d.i.'s, etc) of the right person. You want to be able to get all the sounds you need to sound your best, but you definitely need to take speed and simplicity of setup and breakdown into account. Anyway most of these sound companies will be pretty accommodating trying to make things easy for you if you get in touch.

Rich Forman

Yamaha MOXF8, Korg Kronos 2-61, Roland Fantom X7, Ferrofish B4000+ organ module, Roland VR-09, EV ZLX12P, K&M Spider Pro stand,

Yamaha S80, Korg Trinity Plus

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the band tunes down, make sure the keyboard has a transpose. Our band played a showcase using the gear from the host band; they tune down a half step but the keyboards had no transpose. I had to transpose on the fly - thank God my piano teachers made me learn scales and the I-II-IV-V system.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anyway most of these sound companies will be pretty accommodating trying to make things easy for you if you get in touch.

My experience as well. :thu:

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

- George Bernard Shaw

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If it was me, Id bring the NE4 and plan on using it exclusively. Maybe play the wurli patch on some of the parts you usually play AP, as the feel for the wurli isnt weighted by design.

If its a 73sw, it shouldnt be that much of a compromise. If its 61, transpose down an octave for the non--organ sounds. Set up a bank that has transposed and not transposed side by side, so you can push a button when you want to solo and need the higher octaves.

If you do this, you dont need any DI, and you could leave the vent at home2 less things to deal withor not.

Festivals are always dicey---and playing your own gear is important.

 

And I am interested to know how much better the vent sounds compared to the Leslie sim in the NE4I have the NE4, never tried the vent.

Good Luck!

 

Hammond B-2, Leslie 122, Hammond Sk1 73, Korg BX3 2001, Leslie 900, Motion Sound Pro 3, Polytone Taurus Elite, Roland RD300 old one, Roland VK7, Fender Rhodes Mark V with Roland JC90
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Agree with playing your gear. You'll have more than 15 minutes to set up.

 

What I don't understand is what are you playing with band #1, and then what are you playing with band #2?

 

If there's a keyboard there, you could set up your whole rig in that spot before going off to gig #1 with a different keyboard.

 

At a previous gig I played where we were only supposed to have 15 minutes, I set up my entire rig to the far side of the stage, and it stayed there while another band played their set. We actually had about 20 minutes to set up and I was ready to go.

 

I do agree it helps to call the sound company in advance, because they have maps of where everyone is setting up and how many cables (DI boxes) each person needs. Bring everything, set up the rig on the horn band stage, then go to gig #1.

Korg 01W/FD, Hammond XK-2, Neo Ventilator2, JBL Eon, Rhodes 88
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn't have bothered with the Radial DI myself - all sound companies should have plenty of DI boxes on hand, I'm sure they could have found another one.

 

What it's going to boil down to is where your band is in the line-up, and how long a set change is provided. Are they thinking of having a single setup of backlined instruments for all the bands, or are other bands allowed/expected to bring their own gear? I'm assuming the drummers will at least bring cymbals, sometimes snare & kick pedal (ours does).

 

You may want to set up your stuff backstage while the previous band is playing, so it can be carried out with everything set up on it. Maybe place it perpendicular to the existing stand, if that works for your playing the parts. Honestly, I can't see it as much of an issue for the stage crew to quickly lift their keyboard of the existing stand & put it on yours. I would not spring this on them right before play time though - do you get a sound or line check? That should give you a chance to talk to the right person.

 

[edit - do they have a stage plot & equipment/input list from your band? If not, maybe shoot them one. It wouldn't be very cool to set up your extra keyboard then get told "sorry, not enough inputs"...]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

You may want to set up your stuff backstage while the previous band is playing, so it can be carried out with everything set up on it.

 

+1 on getting in touch with the backline firm. They're - usually - very accommodating and professional, but I always want an email confirmation of what they'll have on location, just to be sure. If you do get hold of them, ask them about rolling risers. If that's an option you can try to set your rig up backstage and just roll it out. In my experience rolling is fine but if you set it up backstage and somebody helps you carry it on stage you'll have to check every single connection. I prefer to keep the rig simple and set it up by myself.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for replies. Sorry if I was unclear...

 

Same band, two different stages, 2 hours between sets. So could be different keyboards at each stage. Cannot have anything pre-setup at a different location. Setup, play, teardown, bring it to the next stage, rinse and repeat.

 

I'll ask my bandleader about sound contact. Lot of funky playing locations so unlikely to have anything resembling a back stage. I can premix two keyboards into one mono send with the Radial DI, which safeguards against "not enough inputs."

 

I'm thinking that my muscle memory of AP would translate better to virtually any larger "semi-weighted" piano action than to the NE. But I'll practice a bit just on the NE.

 

 

 

Barry

 

Home: Steinway L, Montage 8

 

Gigs: Yamaha CP88, Crumar Mojo 61, A&H SQ5 mixer, ME1 IEM, MiPro 909 IEMs

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

And I am interested to know how much better the vent sounds compared to the Leslie sim in the NE4I have the NE4, never tried the vent.

Good Luck!

 

How much better? Subjective. I always thought the NE4 sim was pretty darn good. I think the overdrive in the Vent is quite better than the NE4, adding thickness and less shrillness in high octive. Like so many have posted regarding a variety of clones, they think they no longer need a Vent until they try one with their latest and greatest clone. Then they go back to Vent.

 

Mine is prewired in a pedal board/briefcase, next to FC7s and sustain pedal. So I'm bringing it anyway, and there is 30 seconds of additional setup time.

Barry

 

Home: Steinway L, Montage 8

 

Gigs: Yamaha CP88, Crumar Mojo 61, A&H SQ5 mixer, ME1 IEM, MiPro 909 IEMs

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If it was me, Id bring the NE4 and plan on using it exclusively.

 

Yes, this would be my recommendation too. Do all the patch preparation at home, and feel confident that you're familiar with the board's layout and sound.

 

In addition, I would also suggest bringing a MIDI cable with you too. This way, if an 88-key stage piano with semi-decent action is provided, you can easily MIDI it up to the NE4 for a more piano-like experience.

 

Cheers,

James

x

Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Put Electro on an X stand over the weighted 88... MIDI their kb to Electro... unplug the output & plug into Electro... good to go in 2 minutes.

 

No splits, but all the sounds you know plus weghted/organ action as desired.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Few musings having done this many times...

 

I normally get stuff set on my own stand(s) side stage as much as possible - and all it takes is a couple of jack leads from their DIs and the same for power. The sound guys should have a basic mix set up for their inputs for keys monitors...

 

If you're not getting a sound check on the second stage then plug and play is all you're gonna get anyway - might as well take your own gear. If it is "walking" distance - meaning a mile...I walked around 7 mins today from the parking bay to the gig - maybe 50kg on me. Didn't enjoy that... But I know what I'm getting at the end!

 

Normally I can get a golf buggy or some local help if I ask in advance and ask nicely when I'm there.

 

Just ask the organiser what is provided. I mean, I'll play on anything but won't enjoy it so much... Advance is the key. Get there early. Duplicate stuff (stands/pedals/cables). Leave them in situ as much as you can or dare.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went on the web site and see what is happening now. You must be in the band "Chicago The Tribute" which is the same type of band I'm in. You have to walk a couple blocks to the next venue. The rest of your band will have to do the same thing. At each stage they'll have to sound check everyone which will take more than 15 minutes.

 

I have a Rock N' Roller Multi Cart model R12. I leave the sides down and just pile my stuff on it. Can go over grass and bumps.

https://rocknrollercart.com/collections/multi-carts

Here's the Amazon link.

https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roller-Multi-Cart-Model-R12/dp/B003AYLJXU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1494415271&sr=8-1&keywords=rock+%27+roller+multicart+r12

 

I leave it shown as the main picture with the sides folded down. 2 keyboards in cases, JBL Eon, stand, gig bag. It's another piece of gear to bring to the gig but that's how I haul all my stuff around from the car to the stage. It's very easy to push this cart a couple blocks.

Korg 01W/FD, Hammond XK-2, Neo Ventilator2, JBL Eon, Rhodes 88
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I'll be there too! Sounds like its going to be difficult, concerning parking and getting to/from the car! I'm told we cant drive to the stages? (have never played this festival)

 

We play 2 times on Sat, and once on Sun, and I have to use my own gear/sounds so I'll also be using my RR cart. It'll be kind of funny seeing these random musicians walking around old Sac, pushing carts of gear!

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm in On Air, not Chicago the Tribute. Two sets on Fri and again on Sat. We do Chicago, TOP, Doobie horn songs, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, and smattering of other horn classics (Vehicle, Would I lie to You, Goodbye, Zoot Suit Riot, Let it Roll, etc. Its fun.

 

"random musicians walking around old Sac, pushing carts of gear" sounds close to homelessness.

 

 

 

Barry

 

Home: Steinway L, Montage 8

 

Gigs: Yamaha CP88, Crumar Mojo 61, A&H SQ5 mixer, ME1 IEM, MiPro 909 IEMs

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...