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playing with sequence or pre-recorded material


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Hi all,


We are currently working on our new album in the studio and are coming up with some very interesting drum/percussion sounds that we would like to be able to perform live as well. We are planning on playing along with a sequencer or pre-recorded parts and I was wondering if any of you had some experience with or ideas about the following:


we would prefer not to bring a rack of keyboard/sampler modules with us for every show. as a result, I wanted to see what everyone thought was the best approach for playing live with the pre-recorded parts. I assume a cd player with (for example) music on the right channel and a click in the left channel would be too problematic (skip etc due to vibration). I was also thinking about a DAT machine but if we wanted to change the set list on the fly, it would take some time to find a specific song on DAT tape. I thought about a minidisc player or possibly a "portasudio" (i.e. Roland VS840) with parts on various channels.


Does anyone have any recommendations or experience in this area - what would be a good (cost effective) solution. Are the headphone out's of the various portastudios or DAT/Minidisc players hot enough to deliver the volume necessary for a drummer or would I need to get a small headphone amp as well? I don't imagine we would need to have stereo output but if the cost were right I would certainly entertain the idea.


Thanks for the tips,



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You should be able to index the DAT so that it will pull any tune in seconds. It's not as fast as a CD ... but hey ... it won't skip like a CD.


The cool thing about CDs is (if you can get it not to skip) you'll never have a problem finding a spare player if yours dies in concert. If the DAT machine dies ... you are STUCK!!


You could probably find a rack mount CD player that could be shock mounted. Plus get one that will buffer the music by 10 or 12 seconds. If there is a slight bump it won't be enough to throw everything off. I know I've had a lot of problems with CD players skipping when I play to tracks during my clinics. A DAT is the way to go in my opinion; but I would invest in a back up machine, just in case.


Good Luck!





Bart Elliott


Drummer Cafe - community drum & percussion forum
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Everything I've tried has failed at one point or another. Cd's worked great at rehearsal, but up on a hollow stage with bass bins they skipped. Dat machine was too flakey in different humidity & temperature (as was DA-88/ADAT). MiniDisk skipped also. Try a prtable MP3 player - no moving parts. Whatever you do, have a backup copy and another format waiting in the wings as it WILL fail eventually. Gigging is hard on gear.
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