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Live Performance: Ambient Rig

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  • Live Performance: Ambient Rig

    OK so I'm going to this party at our local gallery this Saturday night... My fiance┬┤ has been showing her work in this gallery for the past 2 years so we're pretty much in with the owner and the girl who works there. Long story short, I've got an open invitation to play live at this venue. Any time they have an event, I can just schedule in advance and bring my "gear" down there and play a live ambient set! Exciting right? The only problem is...

    I have no gear!!! :rotf:

    I've never done live ambient before so hopefully I can call upon you guys to help me out. What kind of system do I need? I can pretty much visualize it in my head...laptop, midi controller, speakers...PA cabinet? Mixer?! That's where it gets fuzzy. I've performed live in other genres of music many times...but never like this. This would be months out (I've got to save money to buy some equipment) but with the album release coming NEXT WEEK I'm starting to think about it. :listening:

    Suggestions?
    Synphaera Records
    Space | Time | Matter

  • #2
    Depends on how you want to do it really.

    If your sounds are all produced by your laptop, then you might not need a mixer, but if you want to use other sources too, then you would at least need a small mixer.

    PA you can rent - always good to assume that you'll need a bigger PA than the one that you have in mind - you can run it at lower volumes and get much better quality of sound. It's never a good idea to run a PA with everything turned up to 11. If it's in a large space and there will be people there, then it's not likely that your sutdio amps and speakers will be up to it, so might be worth considering. If it's like other galleries I've seen, then you might want to get a good multiband graphic equalizer to EQ the room whether you use your studio speakers or a PA.

    Other than that - good luck with it!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by robojam View Post
      Depends on how you want to do it really.

      If your sounds are all produced by your laptop, then you might not need a mixer, but if you want to use other sources too, then you would at least need a small mixer.

      PA you can rent - always good to assume that you'll need a bigger PA than the one that you have in mind - you can run it at lower volumes and get much better quality of sound. It's never a good idea to run a PA with everything turned up to 11. If it's in a large space and there will be people there, then it's not likely that your sutdio amps and speakers will be up to it, so might be worth considering. If it's like other galleries I've seen, then you might want to get a good multiband graphic equalizer to EQ the room whether you use your studio speakers or a PA.

      Other than that - good luck with it!
      Thanks robojam!!!

      I hadn't even considered renting a PA...but that's a damn good idea for doing a couple shows. And you're right, I could just see how my powered monitors would do in that environment.

      I know I need a laptop...any self respecting electronic musician isn't going to stand behind a 27 inch iMac in front of a crowd of people!!! LOL!

      And the EQ I hadn't considered either...you are the man robojam!! Now you've got me thinking...

      Cheers!

      -S1gns
      Synphaera Records
      Space | Time | Matter

      Comment


      • #4
        I used to do all that kind of thing for a living (among other things) so I know quite a bit about putting PAs in different venues and how to get the best out of them.

        Just let me know if you have any questions and I'll do my best to answer them.

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        • #5
          Hi S1gns, I think robojam gave you some good tips there. Once you get the live setup done then you have to thing about how you want to mix your set, because if you want to go with stems which would mean a lot of tracks you might consider ableton live, otherwise with some simple dj software you are set. The mixer would be great if you want those stems to go out on different channels of your interface and mix with real faders and eq (if needed).
          https://soundcloud.com/trinxat

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          • #6
            Two thoughts:

            1. Unless you want to be just another guy checking his email, I'd try and integrate some kind of controller even just something like a launchpad to trigger different parts. Or investigate headware a la Daft Punk, Deadmaus etc.

            2. Don't forget the little things too. Decent leads with the right plugs to connect everything together, powerstrip with good noise surpression (they could you plug you in on the same phase as the bars fridge for example), DI box with ground lift in case of ground loop hum problems etc. I'll stop there as I'm sure Robojam can advise on that side of things much better than me.
            Latest release: never to be repeated

            Hearthis | Soundcloud

            Comment


            • #7
              this is a great thread...i've actually been thinkin bout the same thing, tho i never really thought bout usin my computer.but i would like to add some outside sound bites and i spose a laptop would b more reliable than a cd player w/ a timer...seriously, im just not swooft enuff fer computer music...ill have to see if there r any threads fer beginners in this field...good lukk on the show when it happens and try to record it so we all can hear it...
              https://soundcloud.com/sleep-data

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Trinxat View Post
                Hi S1gns, I think robojam gave you some good tips there. Once you get the live setup done then you have to thing about how you want to mix your set, because if you want to go with stems which would mean a lot of tracks you might consider ableton live, otherwise with some simple dj software you are set. The mixer would be great if you want those stems to go out on different channels of your interface and mix with real faders and eq (if needed).
                Before you mentioned this, I hadn't even considered stems. I actually am super intrigued and am wondering how I could do something like this. How cool would that be to have 8 channels all connected to 8 faders and manually bringing each one up or down at will PLUS using softsynths performed live for added elements?! WOW. I'd need a better interface. And a mixer. But wow you've got me thinking now...I might not even need live (although it would help...) I could perform live in pro tools! Holy $%(!!! :hypnotized:

                Thanks so much for the suggestions!!!
                Synphaera Records
                Space | Time | Matter

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by GaryG View Post
                  Two thoughts:

                  1. Unless you want to be just another guy checking his email, I'd try and integrate some kind of controller even just something like a launchpad to trigger different parts. Or investigate headware a la Daft Punk, Deadmaus etc.

                  2. Don't forget the little things too. Decent leads with the right plugs to connect everything together, powerstrip with good noise surpression (they could you plug you in on the same phase as the bars fridge for example), DI box with ground lift in case of ground loop hum problems etc. I'll stop there as I'm sure Robojam can advise on that side of things much better than me.
                  Two thoughts well taken. I agree...not just another guy checking his email but that's hilarious!!! Controller I've already planned on. I want people to "witness" this live performance when it happens. Not just providing background music for talking about the weather. My music is engaging therefore I my live show should be equally as such!

                  Thank you Gary!!! Duly noted.
                  Synphaera Records
                  Space | Time | Matter

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ARshawn View Post
                    this is a great thread...i've actually been thinkin bout the same thing, tho i never really thought bout usin my computer.but i would like to add some outside sound bites and i spose a laptop would b more reliable than a cd player w/ a timer...seriously, im just not swooft enuff fer computer music...ill have to see if there r any threads fer beginners in this field...good lukk on the show when it happens and try to record it so we all can hear it...
                    Will do Shawn!!! Like I said, this is still a ways off...but hopefully not. If I can get everything together music wise, gather all the necessary equipment, and then book something we could be talking a matter of 3/4 months rather than a couple years down the line. Realistically all the shows I do won't be paid, so if I invest in a live rig I've got to be fully prepared for the cost of all of it. (the laptop included!!!) :razz:

                    But that's why I started this thread though!!! I'm thinking about it.

                    Cheers!
                    Synphaera Records
                    Space | Time | Matter

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Have you thought about visuals? Even just a slowly changing slideshow of nature scenes - I think your music goes well with natural scenes. Or...you could simply project your album cover on the wall...a little self-serving, but you ARE trying to promote it after all...

                      I imagine you could rent a video projector that would connect to a laptop.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ho66it View Post
                        Have you thought about visuals? Even just a slowly changing slideshow of nature scenes - I think your music goes well with natural scenes. Or...you could simply project your album cover on the wall...a little self-serving, but you ARE trying to promote it after all...

                        I imagine you could rent a video projector that would connect to a laptop.
                        The only problem with visuals is that this is a gallery so likely to be well lit. Perhaps the emphasis on visuals should be minimized anyway if the visual aspect of the exhibition is the artwork.

                        Good points, but I'm just trying to think bigger picture and coordinating all the various media the right way.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by robojam View Post
                          The only problem with visuals is that this is a gallery so likely to be well lit. Perhaps the emphasis on visuals should be minimized anyway if the visual aspect of the exhibition is the artwork.

                          Good points, but I'm just trying to think bigger picture and coordinating all the various media the right way.

                          Agreed. I think in this particular case the visuals will be hanging up on the walls. You could double check with your fianc├ę and the gallery if you're not sure.

                          But otherwise, visuals are a good idea. Nature scenes, etc. as ho66it suggested. This would lead to another discussion... i.e. just what kind of gear is needed to pull this off. What kind of projector (and also how powerful) might be best, etc., etc. I'm sure a lot of us on here would be interested in learning more.
                          My Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/sequent7

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                          • #14
                            Im bad I know.. but
                            http://vidvox.net :D

                            For windows users you could use this free plugin + sound flower for visuals in live shows.
                            http://www.rabidhamster.org/R4/main.php

                            It comes as a standalone program which reacts to audio input. So you could use soundflower to re-route your audio output from your DAW into this!
                            Last edited by V0RT3X; 01-18-2013, 02:32 PM.
                            -=| (Youtube)|(Bandcamp)|(Ambient Online Forums)|=-

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                            • #15
                              aw, all this gear, all the headaches....I say you just do it old school, like in the movies.

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