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live performance in mixed setting


JES

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Hi All,

 

This grew out of another thread I just posted, but I thought it might deserve its own space.

 

How many of you perform loop-based music in live settings? What do you use: computers? Studio in a box thingies? Keyboards? A mixture? What parts are controlled "live" and what parts do you sequence?

 

Also, does anyone perform this kind of stuff in a "mixed" setting with non-synth instruments (live drummers, guitar, bass, etc.)? What do you use and how do you use it?

 

Thanks a bunch. If this has been already done to death, I'd be so grateful if you'd point me to the threads where this stuff is talked about.

 

Best,

--JES

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At first I thought your question was about audiences comprising both men and women. I think that's great! :D

 

I haven't done the kind of combo playing you're talking about, but the new band might give it a try. I've seen and heard some really well done performances of this type, and also some that I found tedious.

 

I like it when the electronic parts still require obvious hands-on involvement. The synthesists are busy tweaking knobs, dialing in sequence steps, fading things up and down on a mixer, using a slider box to tweak softsynth parameters, waving their hands in front of the Theremin, etc.

 

I also like it when some of the instruments are obviously played in the regular manner: guitar and drums are especially cool to see onstage along with the synths.

 

I'm really bored by someone walking onstage to just push the Start button, even if they play additional keyboard parts along with it. Seems to much like karaoke to me.

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Hi JES, I read your other thread too, and this is something I'm in a quandry about. My first impulse is to say Ableton Live and I'm going to get it next month when version 1.5 is released. I think it would be a perfect compliment to Reason/Recycle. But I'm still not sure how I'll use it. Ableton Live can keep you VERY busy there at your computer, busier than an audience could ever imagine, nor care about! Therefore, I think a live application of the program might consist of hooking up a projector to my S-video port so I could put my tweaking on a big screen. But then, holy saint pete, we're doing PowerPoint in a club! So maybe set up something fairly hands off, and with your idle hands do something charismatic! In leu of a great singer or whatever, at least do something like what those Matmos boys do. They are the guys who put together the beautiful organic beds upon which Bjork does her thing. In their shows with Bjork, as well as by themselves, Matmos do things like attach midi triggers to their heads and then give each other dope slaps!

 

And don't discount the Roland sp-808. Despite all the mayhem on stage, NIN still use it to great effect, granted it is mounted on a huge black swinging hydraulic arm. That d-beam still manages to inspire awe. At least for those few moments when your eyes drift away from Trent Reznor. But NIN isn't my bag anyway. I am currently looooving Zero 7. They are a great case study on how the Rhodes can be a perfect bridge between electronic and acoustic material.

 

Personally, I will let my laptop do MUCH of what it is capable of, and what MY AUDIENCE KNOWS it is capable of, and instead I'll croon into my vintage Unidyne mic, play some guitar, and maybe wear a funny suit.

 

Steve F

If wishes were omelettes we would all be filled with cheese, AND HAM.
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Hey Bassguy and Steve,

 

Thanks for your replies. You both make it sound like the bottom line is the performance. Which is, I guess, what it always is. That's why the theremin is such a great instrument -- I remember the first time I saw someone use a Korg kaoss pad too -- people look like wizards when they play the things.

 

It's hard for an audience to get into someone turning knobs and moving sliders, because they probably can't even see it most of the time (hence the powerpoint solution!) but the karaoke effect is dangerous too. Hmmm. Will have to think more about it.

 

Best,

--JES

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