Live Act

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You need certain improvisation skills to handle unwanted events.Actually mostly anything can happen while doing a live act.

Preparation

First of all:electronic music is not rock music.You can't simply start to play.A good live act has an intro so people can get the feeling of you style.(An intro should not be very long, the dance floor may get empty  )It's good to start with a slowly built-up song.The time of the live act is important as well, you need to know what they want from you and knowing that you should decide how to join your songs to eachother.Maybe they want smaller breaks beetween the songs with ambience themes, maybe they want to dance whole night. - that's hard, because you need at least 2 sequencers.

Staff

Mostly 2-3 people is enough to perform live, since the machines help us big time.(Yeah Matrix stuff  )It's a must to schedule the songs so every staff member has work to do (filters,mastering,melodies,percussion,etc.).

Moving

When moving your equipment somewhere, the best to do is to put it in proper cases.The instruments originaly cases are not really protective so - if you got the money - buy flight-cases.if you don't have the money, buy light cases.

The stage

Good to have your intrument-stands set up before the gig so your instruments are in a comfortable hight and safely placed.It's essential to try the whole gig's setup in the practice room, so you get to know how much time you need to put your stuff together, and you also get to know some previously unnoticed bugs.Also if you like safety, you can stick your instruments on the stands with some sort of powerstrip glue - that wont leave marks on the instrument.

The Setup
 

When we are in the studio we can buy and use what we want, since there we can do anything.When doing a live act this is not so simple.Actually you have to buy the machines that are perfect for you.First of all a PC is not part of a gig.Of course it looks funny to click-click with the mouse,but the danger of freezing and the PC's sensitivity will not allow to use is as we want.||Of course there are artists who use laptops or ibooks but those are top brand and performance machines.||Anyway the instruments you might use are may not provide that technical quality, but they are better for a live act.


Live Synthetizers

Old analog synths can be the best on a live performance since every sound module has a control interface (this includes the keyboards, since racks are much harder to handle) so we can do anything with them.However and old synth is much more sensitive about those damages while moving it, and sometimes it simply cant remember the soundprograms.The virtual analog synths on the market are perfect for live acting.The best is the Clavia Nordlead 2 - of course - but the Waldorf Q and the XTk, the Access Virus, the Korg Prophecy and the Roland JP-8000 are suitable for a live performance.
The digital sample players are not good for live acting, not even if they have "live" control interfaces.They will always have the static noise.

Live Samplers

Samplers are used widely on gigs, so the manufacturers are creating these more simple and gig-friendly.The Ensoniq ASR-X - and its pro version - with the serious RAM, SCSI interface, ROM sounds, pads, built-in sequencer and the externally usable effects processor is the perfect weapon.

Live Effect Processors

Until now - above midi implementations -manufacturers did not care about effect processors for live.Luckily this seems to change: the Electrix's (www.electrixpro.com) WarpFactory (vocoder), FilterFactory (filterbank) and FXFactory (multieffects processor) are designed for live performances.There are a few other things on the market such as the Korg Kaoss pad - multieffect+sampler+touchpad - is perfect for using it live.

Hardver Sequencers

Unfortunately the market lacks in hardver sequencers.The basic and standard machine is the Akai MPC family.The Yamaha QY-700 and the Roland MC-80 are quite good as well.It's worth to take a look around and find some second hand machines since these older sequencers are fitty for a gig as well, but they are often used only as an expansion.

Controllers

Controllers would desire a complete article, that's why i'm only writing the basics.Masterkeyboards have a wide list to choose from.FATAR has the biggest possibilities, but it's worth to mention Quasimidi's Cyber Six which has a built in MIDI tr-drum programmer and the widely used Roland AX-1.

Preventing crashes

No matter how precisely we prepare our gig, there always can be crashes or bugs which can not be repaired fast.Even the most expensive machines are sensitive to hot, cold, or dense air.Againts these things we are not really able to defend ourselfes, since it's the gigs place and time that controls these factors.The only way to get some experience about these problems is to simulate our performance as many time we can, the same way we will perform it on stage.

Backing

If the crash happens we can't tell the audience that "sorry, our midi router forgot all the programs, you have to wait until we load it up again with sysex" - Thats why you should always bring a playback device with you:Cd player, Minidisc or HD recorder.the absolute solution is the HD recorder which is expensive, but can run parralel with the gog and can be mixed in when needed.

Programming

A good live act's base is the good and clear midi and synth programming.If you see the system of the sequencer and the synth memory, it's not only easyer to put your songs together, but when something changes, we have a concrete overview about what we're doing.

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