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Emergency Equipment for Keyboard Players


alby

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What do people keep as extra's in their kit bags in case of emergencies?

 

I am talking about in particular equipment failures.

 

I just had a gig where my power supply (wall wart) to my Yamaha P90 would not power the keyboard.

 

It was 7:30 pm on a Friday night, and there was no place to find another power supply.

 

Luckly I found the place in the cord that had been cut through by the sustain pedal that had been in the bag with it and fixed it and the gig went on.

 

So I am going to carry another power supply with me from now on.

 

But how far do you go? Do you carry around a spare keyboard?

 

Regards

Alby

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Boy, it seems we've all been there at one time or another...... At my band's last club job, the OS on my K2600 lost all of my MIDI set-up data. I mean literally hours upon hours of programming work. The bad news was that I did not have my "everything back-up" disc; the good news was that I only lived approximately one-half hour from the gig, where I had the disc. Made it back to the club just in time to re-load my system, and then we started (on-time!) approximately five minutes later. Needless to say, I was just a little frazzled.... The back-up disc will forever remain in my briefcase where I have all of my spare wires, power supplies, etc.

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

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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I had a amplifier fail me on a trio job for a Christmas dinner about six years ago or so. This was in a big hotel and I was very embarrassed. I just moved my equipment to the side and played on a Yamaha upright for the remainder of the job.

 

When I got home I opened the amp (a QSC Powerlight 1.4) and saw that the output transistors were shattered. Of course the amp was not under warranty.

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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i carry an old yamaha cs2x as a spare board, its not good, its not good at all, but it has a few useful alsmost passable sounds on it, and midi out so i can use it as a controller for my racks if necessary.

 

I also carry spare leads, powersupply(s), pedal, DI box. All relatively inexpensive things that can keep the show going.

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Like Rob, I have a spare board, an Ensoniq SQ80, which has been acting as a controller for my laptop. I use 3 boards (aside from the laptop), so that shouldn't be an issue, but crazy things happen. My rack is controlled by the 3 boards, and should anything happen to a board, I have the option of swapping it out with the Ensoniq to control the module and the laptop. Thank God for switchable MIDI though boxes.

 

My survival kit - power supplies and power cords, 1/4" ends, solder iron and solder, plenty of tape (electrical and gaffer), cable ties, extra pedals, lots of cords (audio and MIDI), aspirin, extra velcro, backup disks of all my custom programs and setups for each board, DI boxes, bulbs for my rack lights, batteries (AA, AAA, 9v), a CD player and CD for the "you never know" moments, and audio adapters of nearly every imaginable configuration. Packs in a small backpack.

 

My laptop has an extra battery that I try to keep fully charged. If my laptop goes down (which thankfully it hasn't yet), I just mute that channel on my mixer and drive on. There are redundant sounds on my boards (not quite as good, but that's the trade-off), so I can live without it. I did for years. I would rather have B4 than the organ on my K2000, but it would do if needed, and not too badly. I would rather use the pads from Atmosphere than my WavestationSR sometimes, but I have a backup just in case.

 

One day I hope to use a lot more software, but will always have hardware backup. Thank goodness I have a truck.

 

Jay

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I saw Ian McLagan a few weeks ago and his "organ" died on him a few songs into the gig (actually it was something in his Leslie, but I'm not sure what. It was making sounds, but I guess not the ones he wanted). It did give him the opportunity to make a lot of jokes about how he's never had problems with his organ performing before, etc. ;)

 

I've never gigged publicly, but I have thought about it and what I would bring. My M-Audio Keystation 61es would be a good backup if any board fails and my laptop is okay. But I'm more concerned about the laptop not working properly for some reason (most likely due to operator error) so my main keyboard, the RS 4732 (equivalent of the CDP-100) has at least some sounds like piano I could use in a pinch. Fortunately, my sounds are just staples, piano, B3, some EPs, so I don't have to worry about MIDI programs, etc. What I'm trying to balance is KISS vs. backing up. It's be crazy to have a full dup of my entire rig unless I was touring behind Madonna or Michael Jackson or someone like that, ha ha. OTOH, I wouldn't want to be dead in the water at even the smallest of club gigs.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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Well this may not qualify an an equipment failure like were discussing. I was playing a gig many years ago and was playing at an old folks home and playing between a lowery organ and an older accoustic piano. When I was playing the piano, the bench collapsed (I only weighed 155 then) and I feel on my a$$. There wasn't another bench and at this point I had never played a gig standing. I finished it out standing after we all had a good laugh. If I play live,(which is rare these days) I always bring two boards, 1 power supply, and a surge protector just in case.

Begin the day with a friendly voice A companion, unobtrusive

- Rush

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My Electro just died right before a gig 200 miles away form home. Apparently it was a fuse problem! Thnnkfully i had a full back up in my Live (laptop) with all B4/rhodes/clav settings, so i run the laptop sounds (all the vintage instruments) from a keyboard they brought me and the rest form the Nord Lead 2. I always gig with Electro/Nrod Lead2/laptop, so i'm covered if anythign happens (that happens when you're away form home:()
Be grateful for what you've got - a Nord, a laptop and two hands
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I have two complete/duplicate keyboard rigs and one rig that is a compact/simplified version of the other two, but truthfully I don't take a complete backup rig to every gig. I'm sure if I was doing a serious gig or touring then I'd definitely have a backup rig with me, but my little local gigs aren't that critical.

 

I've never had a keyboard absolutely die on me on stage so the main thing I have to watch for is leaving a crucial power supply at home. That happened once and it cost me a (minor) gig many years ago. I had to chalk that one up to experience and just try to be very aware of what I'm doing when I prep for a gig.

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My gig bag includes my notebook of songs, tools like screwdrivers and pliers, electrical tape, cable ties, aspirin, batteries, rolaids,a flashlight, electrical wire, contact cleaner, and other smaller items for appearance sake--comb, breathspray, etc. In one of my gear boxes I bring several extra extension cords, several outlet strips, extra volume pedal, extra cords, Hammond oil and adapters.

 

My Hammond has gone out on me twice in a gig. Once the Leslie cable came undone in a middle of song--I just finished the song with the organ settings on my Casio WK3700 and then fixed the cable between songs. The second time was the beginning of various fixes to the Hammond and Leslie---it didn't die totally, but it lost volume significantly. I ended up replacing the innards of the leslie cable, cleaning up the preamp, changing out a tube and tube socket and partially rebuilding the Leslie pre-amp. Now I have more volume than ever.

 

The aforementioned Casio covers for the Hammond in a pinch. I do plan though to save $$$ over the next year to buy a clone to bring along as a backup. When you play a 50 year old instrument, back-up is mandatory.

 

BD

1956 Hammond C3 with Leslie 122, Roland V-Combo, Trek II Preamp, Peavey KB 100, 1976 Natural Maple Rickenbacker 4001S bass

And yes folks, I do gig with a Casio WK 3700...So there!

 

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The most essential emergency equipment is definitely cables (audio, MIDI), power cord and back-up media.

 

When I carried a MIDI-rig, it was great during that time and I cannot recall any problems.

 

Nowadays, I would use 2 boards max. Less hassles across the board. ;):cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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My "extra stuff bag" has power cables, extension cords, power strips, audio and midi cables, a small toolkit, velcro, duct tape, sustain and expression pedals, a Motion-Sound control pedal, a flashlight, and a partridge in a pear tree. I keep meaning to get wall-wart replacements for that bag, but I haven't done it yet.

 

I typically don't end up needing any of that stuff, unless I don't have the bag with me. Then I need it bad. :D

 

--Dave

Make my funk the P-funk.

I wants to get funked up.

 

My Funk/Jam originals project: http://www.thefunkery.com/

 

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I use 2 KC 350's so I always have a backup amp in Mono if one fails. For my RD300SX, the first thing I ordered was an extra walwart which is in my keyboard case. Extra cords for everything, AC, audio, midi, and lamps for stand lights. For my Vk8M and Motif ES Rack, I have no backups, but it isn't a gig killer if one goes down. In all the years I have played, I have never had a failure that kept me from playing.
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I've got spare power cords, a spare power strip, soldering iron, multimeter, cables, footswitch in case the Motion Sound switch fails. One night I had just gotten to my organ solo on a tune when the volume pedal for my Hammond XB-2 failed, bringing the volume to full low. In between songs I disconnected the proprietary pedal and connected an in-line volume pedal. Got me through the night and several more nights until I could get the Hammond pedal replaced.

 

I also found the value of keeping superglue on hand when something fell on my piano keyboard and broke a couple keys. I was able to do a quick repair job that got me through the next few weeks until the replacements got there.

 

Everyone in my band has some form of emergency kit, because things can and do break.

"In the beginning, Adam had the blues, 'cause he was lonesome.

So God helped him and created woman.

 

Now everybody's got the blues."

 

Willie Dixon

 

 

 

 

 

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I have never brought any kind of back up. All my gigs were played on one board. Sy35, Sy99, Triton, Xp30, or Triton extreme thru the last 10 yrs. Of course we are talking about very few shows overall. I have a gig in Dec that is surely jinxed now.
Jupiter 50; Triton Extreme; Ultranova
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My emergency kit also contains some hearing protection for those unexpectedly loud gigs. (I know I should be wearing them all the time - but I just find I don't). I carry an old Emu vintage keys module in case the Kurz PC2R goes down. I plan to add a second board for important or long distance gigs in case the XK-3 goes down. I carry a spare battery for pedals and of course the usual leads which are the most likely things to fail. I once forgot to bring a power lead and now I just leave it connected to the power board which never leaves my rack case.

John

I like to move it, move it (except The Wurly which can be a bit temperamental and the 122 for obvious reasons)
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After having my VK7 crap out on a gig and it was my only keyboard at the time, I resolved to be prepared from then on. I now have an XK3 and Nord Electro 61 and run them both through leslie 21 system, top and bottom. Since the amp is essentially two stand alone units, I'm covered in a pinch. The keyboards cover each other, although if the Nord went I'd be out piano and clav sounds but I could still get through the gig. Of course spare power cords and cables still go in the tool box along with batteries for the boards and fuses. Sure is a long way from the days when extra tubes, some wire and a soldering kit could keep the B 3 working except under the direst circumstances.
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