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Hey...thanks for sharing, JKN. Really detailed info there.
Oh! You wanted more than that. ;-)
It depends on what you're performing and how you play. I've never done a "solo" gig... both of my "ambient" gigs have been with one or two other people. To play truly live solo - I'd have to really strip down and play minimal - or build up very lengthy loops (which would actually require me to buy loopers and learn how to use them...) - or use some sort of karaoke backing system. (note - I've played a ridiculous number of gigs in rock / pop / cover / whatever bands - from when I was 15 to about 28 and then I "retired").
So my rigs for my only two ambient gigs (easy for me to describe since there are only two!).
Live at the Miramar - 2001 - in Milwaukee...
Pic at left shows John SH (Vir Unis) at his rig - my gear is in front of him on the floor. I have with me a Juno 106 on the bottom, a Korg SDD-1200 dual delay rack with a Boss ME-8B bass multi-effects on top of it. A microphone for my trumpet, and a Mackie mixer. Out of photo is my Ampeg bass stack and my bass.
John was doing the drum loops coming out of Sonic Foundry Acid (now Sony) - 6 loops per track feeding to a mixer so he could fade in and out of drum tracks easily through the mixer instead of the mouse. All loops created by either him or me. He was also playing synth - which I think was a Korg Z1? something...
Below is a rehearsal shot of me at John SH's house and some other shots of the stage. Note - most of the gear is Spacecraft / Gile Reeve on the stage - and James Johnson / Ma Ja Le on the floor on left. I'm on the right in front of the stage. John SH is on the left in both shots.
Ok - My other gig was in 2003 with James Johnson and John SH (Vir Unis) at WNUR radio Evanston / Northwestern Univ. (which is north Chicago) - for about 4 hours midnight-ish to 4 am.
I kept it very very simple... taking only my bass, Korg SDD-1200 dual delay rack, Alesis Wedge cheap reverb, Boss ME-8B bass multi with an exp pedal on it... and my mixer. Ran a line from my mixer to James' mixer - who then ran a line to the radio station. Some pics for the humor of it... bear in mind - these are between midnight and 4 am - and yeah - it's late!
Pics: Me looking very red faced late at night, and wow, overweight! Clockwise: Me dialing in the delay. James Johson with headphones and me looking tired. James jammin'. Me flipping my hipshot - dropping tuning from E to D.
General quick tips from our chat conversation about this topic:
Always have XLR, 1/4" and RCA cables to run from your mixer to the house ... depending on what they use - you'll be covered that way. Ground issues cause 'hum" - sometimes horrendous hum. That gig at the Miramar in 2001 ... wow. I had to ground lift my bass amp... and then couldn't mic it because of feedback. Ended up having to use a direct box (which I didn't own one but the house sound guy did...). Definitely a different sound from my bass than planned - but oh well - you do what works!)
You need ground lifts (converts three prong grounded plugs to two prong ungrounded plugs). Live venues have notorious grounding issues - and laptops and certain gear cause issues.
Take extra extension cords for power... heavier duty ones. The power is never where you really need it. Take extra power strips.
Take a flashlight... something small is very handy.
Make sure you have all your gear... the power cables needed, 1/4" cables, whatever you use - take spares if possible.
Need something to haul it all in... a Rubbermaid tub - or similar can be very helpful - especially ones with handles - and they're semi-durable.
A thought a occured to me... this would be a fantastic topic for "things to remember" before a gig or something in our "how to / tutorial" section! (not that we have that section yet! but it's coming!)
Everyone add your thoughts! What do you need to remember before a gig - how do you prepare for a gig? etc.
...and if you're anywhere near Portland, OR - hire I've Lost!
sorry, way too many typos...
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