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My first tour: Advice?


Aidan

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Next month I'll be embarking on my first ever real tour (whoop) a week in Germany with the Rebecca Downes Band.

 

We're going by van and taking instruments and guitar amps PA will be provided at all the venues. The sonic requirements are not too wide...mainly piano and Hammond, with the odd bit of Rhodes and Wurli. So I'm taking the CP4, SK1, K&M 18800 stand and bench.

 

Also on my pack list:

 

* My JDI Duplex DI just in case.

* 4 x jack cables (running each board in mono, so a couple of spares.

* Spare power brick and figure-of-eight cable for Hammond.

* Spare sustain pedal which can either sub on the CP4 for sustain or as Leslie switch on the Hammond.

* Spare IEC power cable.

 

Should either board go down, I'd just about be able to get through the gig on one, if need be.

 

Anything else I should be considering? General tips? Let's hear it from all you seasoned road warriors!

 

 

 

 

Studio: Yamaha P515 | Yamaha Tyros 5 | Yamaha HX1 | Moog Sub 37

Road: Yamaha YC88 | Nord Electro 5D

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If your stuff is riding in a van with all the other band gear, I'd just be sure your keyboard cases give adequate protection.

 

I'm the biggest advocator of soft cases around, being 64, but only when I'm handling my stuff and it's going in my vehicle.

 

I have an old custom A&S hard case for the S90. It's a bit oversized, but not a ridiculous fit for the CP4. Maybe a half dozen times when I've had a cartage company swing by the house for a higher profile gig, since I've owned the CP4, I've certainly used it.

 

Even if you have to borrow/rent something for either or both keyboards just for this tour, I think it would be worth it.

 

I've found out that sh*t just happens in vans and when your stuff is generally going with "all the other gear".

 

Best with it all Aidan.

https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D

Yamaha AvantGrand N3X, P-515

 

 

 

 

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Nice one Aidan!

 

Although we don't tour internationally, we do travel a bit (have a 6500km round trip coming up next month).

 

I take all the spares you've mentioned, plus:

- alcohol based hand sanitiser

- spare "kettle cords" or "jug plugs" - not sure if that's Aussie lingo or not so forgive me if it makes no sense.

- plenty of gaffer tape

- basic tools - screwdrivers, spanners.

- blu-tac - think that's an Aussie brand. It's a putty-like substance which is good for pinning down keyboards on stands and pedals on stages. 100% removable and reusable.

- paper versions of charts and set lists in case my tablets fail

- spare power boards and extension leads

- spare SD card with my Korg patches on it

- my rack has two mixers in it, one is purely a spare

- a bottle of single malt scotch whisky

 

Might be some other things I've forgotten. I used to take a spare keyboard but never needed it. After reading a lot of wisdom on here these days I just figure if one 'board goes down I'll make it work with the others, similar to yourself.

 

None of the above might be of much use to you - but there it is for what it's worth.

 

Have a great tour mate!

 

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Do your best to get plenty of rest and don't get sick. Limit contact with the dude coughing, take the hand sanitizer tip seriously.

 

The recurring tale from bus / van-based tours with my peeps:

 

"I got a cold, never could shake it, never got enough rest, made me always on the edge of being annoyed/miserable, but the gigs were mostly fun."

 

Most recent tour I did was fly dates, and I took this to heart - got to bed on time, woke up early, ate well and stayed hydrated, exercised when the schedule allowed it.

 

And bring ear plugs if case you end up sharing a hotel room with someone who snores louder than you do.

 

 

..
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Nice one Aidan!

 

Although we don't tour internationally, we do travel a bit (have a 6500km round trip coming up next month.

 

That's a long drive even for an Aussie, where are you going, Adelaide, Perth, Cairns and back to Adelaide?

MainStage 3 | Axiom 61 2nd Gen | Pianoteq | B5 | XK3c | EV ZLX 12P

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Drink lots of beer. Nectar of the gods, and not available anywhere outside Germany. Really. They export swill and laugh their asses off at the rest of the world. No hangovers.

 

Get that van up to 100 mph on the Autobahn, just so you can say you did it. Watch out for the lorries however - those things are immense.

 

 

 

 

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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If you play in Munich and have some time, go to the Hofbrauhaus, get one of those big mugs of beer and sway to the oom pah pah band. The beer is some of the best in the world!

 

http://blog.ryanair.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Hofbrauhaus-Munich.jpg

Some music I've recorded and played over the years with a few different bands

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Earbuds and download a white-noise app.

 

Good pillow or substitute for the drive.

 

Bring a bathing suit; a hot tub or swim undoes a whole bunch of travel dust.

 

Ditto gym clothes.

 

An app that lets you text and call over wifi, such as What's App, so you don't pay roaming when using your phone.

 

The number of local (to your destination) music stores or rental companies so you can replace a dead board in an instant.

 

Be sure to get outside and see the sites and breathe the air.

 

It's fun. Enjoy.

"Ghost of Christmas Present" released 12.2.22 * (Not the jolly kind of Christmas song.)

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OT now (it's what I do :laugh:)

 

in response to the previous 2 posts about beer , I must state that England also brews some of the best beer in the world, although mostly different styles from what is brewed In Germany. I'm sure Aidan is already aware of this. Although raised in the USA, I was born in Nurnberg, Germany, so coming from me this is quite the compliment. :cheers:

:nopity:
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That's a long drive even for an Aussie, where are you going, Adelaide, Perth, Cairns and back to Adelaide?

You're not too far off, Mark!

 

Adelaide, Perth, Mandurah, Bunbury, Albany, Perth, Adelaide.

 

 

Don't forget to carefully select the brick to place on accelerator when you traverse the Nullarbor before you leave. All the suitable rocks on the side of the road are long gone.

MainStage 3 | Axiom 61 2nd Gen | Pianoteq | B5 | XK3c | EV ZLX 12P

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Do your best to get plenty of rest and don't get sick. Limit contact with the dude coughing, take the hand sanitizer tip seriously.

 

Can't stress that enough. If you get sick, you won't be able to shake it. And try to eat well too, don't go for the dirty burger just because it's there. It's not as hard as it sounds, one of my overriding memories of touring central Europe is how good the service station food is compared to in the UK.

 

Other than that, enjoy yourself! I personally love touring because you see a different side of a place from when you go as a tourist. Get out of that bus/hotel/cramped sleeping bag and see some of wherever you are! Doesn't matter if it's the Westphalian equivalent of Swindon, there'll still be value in absorbing some of it. See the sights, try the beer(s), chat to the people running the venues. Have a blast.

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Retreading a bit of what others have shared, with my own personal experiences. Flight cases are a must when touring and everyone's equipment is traveling together. No matter how careful you think you can be, things happen and protecting the gear is so important.

 

I also recommend having redundancy in some way - which if you are touring with a couple of boards you should be ok. But think about whether it might make sense to have a spare Hammond or maybe a small light board like a VR-09 just to cover you if something fails on the road.

 

Another thing - if you're depending on venue-provided PA, you never know what you're going to get and I found this most vexing with monitors. Some places had a nice PA, but maybe not enough wedges or mixes for all the band. You might want to think about having a keyboard amp or small powered speaker available as backup, perhaps a QSC K10/K8 (or use IEMs), because not being able to hear yourself really sucks. I mean really. Probably the biggest buzz kill at a live gig.

 

Stay hydrated. Have fun. Consider taking things to keep you busy when you're not playing music. In the band I toured with for years back in the '90s, we had a bike rack built into our bus and several members took mountain bikes to go exploring in between shows. We also played a lot of hacky sack to kill time. Read books, go outside, avoid being a hermit in the band bus or hotel room.

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Break a finger.... er leg.

 

We use "break a finger" around here too.

"It is a danger to create something and risk rejection. It is a greater danger to create nothing and allow mediocrity to rule."

"You owe it to us all to get on with what you're good at." W.H. Auden

 

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Thanks for all the input guys. Just to say:

 

* Condoms nah, very happily married, not interested.

* Beer just before a tour of Germany with a blues band may not be exactly the best time to decide to give up drinking nevertheless, that's what I did about three weeks ago and I feel a lot better for it.

 

Good call on the expression pedal, though ordered a spare FC7 (along with an FC3 sustain) can't believe how expensive both of those products have got over here!

Studio: Yamaha P515 | Yamaha Tyros 5 | Yamaha HX1 | Moog Sub 37

Road: Yamaha YC88 | Nord Electro 5D

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