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Thread: Advice needed with live electronic set/setup

  1. #11
    My advice would be to simplify (for now).
    Because as a new electronic act you will be happy to get gigs at all, you can't necessarily control the stage layout or the sound system.

    Work out a nice compact arrangement of your most important gear (computer, synths, drum computer etc), make sure you do not absolutely need a ton of space because you may not have that space.

    As a beginner you need to be able to get on stage and set up in a very short amount of time, and everything obviously has to work. That's the important thing, that you get up there and perform successfully.

    So yea, the minimum setup.. which is, your sound sources, a mixer, headphones (always have them, because even if you have a monitor you will need headphones to test things and solve problems).

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by light-o-matic View Post
    My advice would be to simplify (for now).
    Because as a new electronic act you will be happy to get gigs at all, you can't necessarily control the stage layout or the sound system.
    I was somewhat aware of this.. but the solution to simplify is a point taken. Although I think it's better to have a stage map ready than not have one... asking for a monitor could be too much but it doesn't hurt to ask does it?

    Work out a nice compact arrangement of your most important gear (computer, synths, drum computer etc), make sure you do not absolutely need a ton of space because you may not have that space.
    I think the gear takes about the same footprint as an average DJ setup but usually DJs are located in a booth of some sort or the side of the stage (another thing is if there is no stage.. I could play from a medium-size booth I guess but it takes away the live element)

    As a beginner you need to be able to get on stage and set up in a very short amount of time, and everything obviously has to work. That's the important thing, that you get up there and perform successfully.
    I've seen live bands (also ones starting out) and solo acts do their soundcheck during the quiet hours. Then again I've been given once or twice less than 15mins to pack my gear as a DJ (not with a PA though).. I'm kind of used to a quick setup with my DJ gear and sound even if there's no hurry but I'm unsure how long the soundcheck would take with the live setup (the cabling isn't much else than a mic cable and a couple of 1/4"s/RCAs with two MIDI cables)

    I'd estimate with a PA it takes about 20-30min to set up the sound and another 20min to set up the rig plus hauling and soundcheck.. I haven't been in the professional show business much so I can't tell if it's a long or short time (I've been a roadie and a sound guy so I should know but I don't because we never had to work with other acts on the same stage)

    So yea, the minimum setup.. which is, your sound sources, a mixer, headphones (always have them, because even if you have a monitor you will need headphones to test things and solve problems).
    Yeah I was thinking about the headphones the other day.. but my smaller mixer has no solo ch or PFL.

  3. #13
    I recorded another demo, this time with solo/melody parts.

    Dropbox link

    I then burnt it on a CD along with the clip I posted previously and handed it out to a local venue with a business card including contact info etc during the quiet hours.

    I'm also open to feedback&suggestions!

    EDIT: it's basically a medley of 4 songs, two original tracks and two covers. The first clip is a cover too.. for those interested it's "I feel love" by Donna Summer, the 2nd clip has my DAWless versions of "Temptation" and "Get on down" as well as cover versions of "Autobahn" by Kraftwerk and "Beat it" by Michael Jackson.

    EDIT 2: like I said these are raw (not multitracked) takes.. I actually forgot to turn up the input trims during the recording of the 2nd clip but normalized it to 0dB in post.. dunno if it adds up as noise, I haven't checked them with monitors so the levels&EQ etc could be all over the place. Maybe next time ask (or pay) someone to do it..

    EDIT 3: I guess it's like low-budget disco (someone said this about house music).. also very hard not to go techno with the Roland TB-03, sort of like a weird mix of pop and electronic dance music but I guess the cover thing sells better and appeals to a wider audience.. at first I rehearsed the main riff in "Beat it" with an electric guitar; it would've been a lot "beefier", more like rock (now it's got the cheesy sax synth sound) but left it out due to the keyboard being the main instrument since it has a wider range of sounds than a guitar.

    EDIT 4: now that I ID'd the songs how is the legal side in distributing a CD (for promotional use only) or posting it here altogether? In my defence I have bought copies of sheet music for everything except the Kraftwerk tune (it's not very accurate though)

    EDIT 5: I was also thinking of recording video (my smartphone doesn't support external audio though and I don't have a camera) but Youtube could require a synchronization license and I don't know how to approach venues with a video.. I think it's mostly to get an idea of how you look while you play (you can hear I play the keyboard with my right hand only because I'm used to muting/unmuting drum tracks with my left, hence the melody has no bass notes). A big goal (and a way to avoid the sync license) would be to play only original tracks but I don't have enough material for a full 45min set (I never even put out an album, only EPs and singles)

  4. #14
    Here's one more live take, with guitar parts & vocoder.

    Dropbox link

    I was really nervous so I forgot to bring in the hi-hats&snare but all in all it's pretty much the best I can do (being a one-man band)

    EDIT : for those interested it's a cover version of "Funkytown" by Lipps Inc.

    EDIT 2 : one thing I'd like to get rid of is guitar hum.. I don't know if it's even possible with my Telecaster using single coil pickups.

  5. #15
    Sketched a new flyer (I took the photo using a timer on my new smartphone) while practicing..



    Also reworked the setlist with a new song and some previous ones.

  6. #16
    To celebrate my 15th year as an EDM producer I recorded a short video of a cover song.

    YouTube link

    I missed a couple of notes here and there, the guitar parts could be an octave higher, the sub bass is in C when it should be in A etc.. but all in all I considered it a successful take.

    The audio and video are out of sync too by a couple of frames as I had to manually sync them (my smartphone doesn't record external audio so I had to record the audio and video separately)

  7. #17

  8. #18
    I went ahead and bought a guitar pedal.. a digital delay to be precise. I needed a new guitar cable but the shipping costs were 3-4x the price of the cable so for 30 I considered it a steal.

    It motivates and inspires me to practice more, also I think it disguises some of the mistakes a bit by filling the gaps.

    Next up I'll probably add an overdrive/fuzz pedal.

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