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WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

Reflection on first gig
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Play Out! Performance Modulars  
Author Reflection on first gig
mackster
So after several decades of playing other people's music as a dj, I finally took the plunge and did my first gig with the modular. The gig went well and I really enjoyed it, but definately learned some valuable lessons.

Essentially:

1. Get to the venue earlier than you think you need.
I gave myself 45 minutes to set up and sound check. Not enough time.

2. Check the soundsystem out before hand.
The soundsystem at the venue was faulty and although workable added a bit of un wanted stress setting up.

3. Have a beer.
I drove, so beers were not an option.

Other than that all was good and the wise words of Ross Lamond and others (practice, practice, practice + prepare,prepare,prepare) really helped.

Now to get ready for the next one!

Cheers
pulpum
well done smile Rockin' Banana!

BUT

mackster wrote:

I gave myself 45 minutes to set up and sound check. Not enough time.


it's really too long, you have to get everything done in 30', max... what take you so long ? hmmm.....
mackster
A lot of time went into setting up my effect pedals and trying to get their pa working. Next time I see a decent second hand pedal board I think I'll grab it, as cabling up half dozen pedals etc. was a complete ball ache. 30 minutes does seem tight, but it seems a good time to work for. Probably need to practice setting up more as well!
Any more input from other wigglers re an acceptable time to set up, or is the consensus 30 mins.
a100user
Depends where in the line up you are may determine your set-up time.

Ideally configure your rig to the point of: place it on table, power it (never expect the venue to supply more than one power socket), connect everything to your sub mixer (have a drawing of where it all goes or label cables), connect your mixer to PA and test everything working and then by the time you have done this check any VCO tuning. Practice to get this done in 20 mins and that gives you breathing space to sort out issues.

Always have spare: mains leads/fuses, spare audio cables, basic tools, gaffer tape etc.

As you've been advised, practice. Not just your set but everything to do with your set, including breaking it down afterwards as you may only get 10 mins for that.

Hope that helps
DickMarker
mackster wrote:
A lot of time went into setting up my effect pedals and trying to get their pa working. Next time I see a decent second hand pedal board I think I'll grab it, as cabling up half dozen pedals etc. was a complete ball ache. 30 minutes does seem tight, but it seems a good time to work for. Probably need to practice setting up more as well!
Any more input from other wigglers re an acceptable time to set up, or is the consensus 30 mins.


30 mins should be plenty for a sound check, provided you're quick at setting up (I always do as much setting up as is possible before the actual soundcheck) - however, if it takes ages because the venue's PA is shonky then that's on the soundguy who should have already had it primed and good to go, not you.
mackster
Cool - thanks for the feedback all it's appreciated. Rockin' Banana!
minimalist
I strongly recommend the use of a label maker for both ends of all cables, Velcro cable ties and a head torch.

Also, a written checklist can be a life saver.
mackster
Ok just played gig number two. Set up still took time, but faster than last time (still need that pedal board). Everything was going well, but then the bsp died halfway through the first track. It literally kept locking up and was unusable.

I was GUTTED.

I've put so much time into preparing for this performance and then to be let down by a piece of gear that's worked flawlessly at home...

The audience were cool tho', I improvised for about 30 minutes and they seemed to like it, but it was a fraction of what the performance should have been.

I now need to find something that will replace the bsp.
jenz
Do you have a recording of that gig? What kind of music? Beaty, ambient?
mackster
Hey Jenz, I do a mixture of electro/techno/ambient - there's some live stuff on my soundcloud from the gigs (and some dj mixes from my podcast). The links below.

I've been doing a lot of reflection about how to remove the complexity of the setup and will be changing the rig a bit in the New Year. Dropping the beat step/key step is the first step.

Cheers
BaloErets
Really feel for you Mackster. I've had live gigs go shoddy due to a piece of gear acting up, and i know it can be heartbreaking. Especially if you had taken the time and effort to practice and blow people's minds with your set wink

With that said; There will be 100's of more sets and they keep getting more awesome once you get your gear stable, and the setup becomes more and more 2nd nature. Keep the chin and spirits up, and you'll walk away feeling like a legend! smile
calaveras
I've always preferred to show up as early as possible. Get set up as much as is feasible. Sound check, then take off to smoke a joint or just explore the neighborhood. I think it's important to get out of the 'logical mr.fix it mindframe' and allow my psyche to relax and get more intuitive.

Sound check is also not just about getting your sound straight.
You gotta check the power for good ground. Make sure the mic stand wont fall down. All that stupid mundane stuff.

You should be able to just walk on the stage and hit go.

I also always carry a minimum of cable adapters. XLR to 1/4", 1/4" to RCA, stereo to mono 1/4" etc. Mic clip, pics, ear plugs etc.

I've also got a few fresh 9v and AA batts. A universal wall wart (6-12v) and a bunch of velcro, gaffer tape, zip ties, fuses. I usually carry a leatherman on my hip, and small tool box in my car.

I always bring a powerstrip and at least a 20 foot extension cord. With the ground plug!
fivepawnopaw
I used to play a large guitar rig setup (two amps, two pedal boards, two guitars for different tunings, ebow, other random stuff), so setting up and clearing is something I've got down. This practice is just as important as the set itself. Especially if anyone is playing after you, they'll remember you taking too long and might not want to play with you again. Harsh, but there are some bands in town here that have these reputations and are a running joke within the music scene.

The suitcase approach works great for me. Buy a couple of big suitcases from a thrift store, have it mostly ready and tidy inside, pull it out quick to set up. After the set, you can sort of haphazardly toss it back in to get off quickly. (This is obviously an approach if you don't have the cash to buy pedal boards and other tied/velcro'd down stuff in pro boxes.)

My mixer, mooger fooger, and el capistan fit in one. All pre set up, and I just run the cables to my modular. At first I was freaked out if that gear just bounced around, but fixed that by adding a small pillow inside.
calaveras
My tactics for tearing down is two stage.
Get all my crap off the stage so the next guy can set up.
Then I neatly put away cables, pack stuff up correctly.
I can't believe people who just stand their packing stuff up on stage.
When I was a bass player in a few bands it was like this;
trip one bass head and bass
trip two pedal board and bass cab.
trip three gear box and 2nd cab.
I can get all my stuff off in less than 5 minutes.
fivepawnopaw
We had it pretty easy with our guitar/bass setups.
Modular is a whole other beast, with its tentacles, and needy tending to.
mackster
Thanks fellow wigglers - I REALLY appreciate the comments and support (and fivepawnopaw i like the suitcase idea for the pedals- searching...)

Calaveras is spot on that there's a need for a mental shift between setting up and playing and I thought I'd found that at the last gig, but I wasn't expecting to lose my main sequencer. What saved me then was my iPod with a collage of sounds and speech that was supposed to be background through the set. Turning that up and improvising got me through the set. I will always have that iPod when I perform!

I've got 2 gigs so far next year and so will be practicing setting up/tearing down/playing and refining my set and yes BaloErets; getting that gear stable! Also I need to get into the mindset that something will always go wrong, but I need to make the most of the opportunity.

Onwards!

Rockin' Banana!
calaveras
thanks, It was a bit of wisdom handed to me by a guitarist that used to be in a band with. He'd insist that we get set up early so we could have everything ready to go when it was time to play.
I was a lot younger then so I'd be all mad about showing up early and waiting forever. Harumph!
His motivation was that he liked to get one-whole-joint-to-his-head stoned before we played. And you don't want to be figuring out your pedals stoned.
Which he was kind of right about.
I kind of adapted it to not necessarily revolve around pot.

I have to say, I've had some gear issues during my electronic performances and it could really be a derailment. Once my Xoxbox and Drum machine just stopped behaving. So Instead I just tweaked the Roland Sh09 and worked the Moog MP201 into freakout territory. Not my ordinary stuff at all, but it filled the place with sounds!
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