MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index
 FAQ & Terms of UseFAQ & Terms Of Use   Wiggler RadioMW Radio   Muff Wiggler TwitterTwitter   Support the site @ PatreonPatreon 
 SearchSearch   RegisterSign up   Log inLog in 
WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

Help! I accidentally got a gig and I am freaking out
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Play Out! Performance Modulars  
Author Help! I accidentally got a gig and I am freaking out
magnetsandlasers
I foolishly allowed myself to get talked into playing an hour long set in front of people who are going to have no idea what I’m doing. The thing is, I also have no idea what I’m doing playing live. I play in my living room, by myself. I am terrified, and everything I’ve been working on this afternoon is garbage. Is this normal? If you have advice, I’m all ears but mostly I just want people to tell me that I will survive. Maybe some first-gig horror stories. Some moral support, maybe?

Also, it literally pays cash so I figure I ought to do it. My YT Page below has examples of the kind of stuff I’m into. I mean, I can listen to one of my patches for an hour, but will the general public even know what’s going on? Maybe make it a kid-friendly thing where the wee bairns can come up and look over my shoulder? I’m booked as WOKE-ASS MESSIAH but probably won’t mention that LOL.

You guys, it’s for TinyFest NW, a festival for tiny homes enthusiasts at the county fairgrounds? What have I done? Dead Banana

lisa
There is a saying in swedish that translates to something like ”how does it matter in a hundred years?” You’ll be long gone then, nothing you do now will change that. Do you know what I’m saying? thumbs up
Koekepan
Hi! And welcome to the world of live performance. It is not a horrible form of self-torture, and you will survive, and you'll find that audiences will forgive a lot.

Let me see if I can give you a little survival guide.

First: put a clock in/on/around your modular, so that you have an idea of the progress of time. This is useful.

Second: take a deep breath, and plan, and rehearse. Figure out a plan, and rehearse it, as much as time allows. Even if your plan is: lay down a triphop beat and see what sounds like a good idea then, at least decide what to do first. Set up that beat, and do it again, then again then again. It gives you a solid start. And even if you just twiddle a filter for thirty seconds, it gives you an excuse to take a breath and plan your next move.

Third: plan your setup. Do you need electric lines? How many? Do you have a powerstrip? Should you bring a set of speakers, or will some be provided? Do you have a mixer for your rig, will you need one, will one be provided? Pack extras of everything that you can need, including patch cables and your favourite libation. Unpack everything and set it up. How long did it take? Pack it up again. Then unpack it. I recommend some nice plastic totes and a dolly - all available from Home Depot, or Fred Meyers, or similar. Grab a couple of bungee lines to strap it all together.

Fourth: Show up early. No, very early. You think you're early, but you're not. Show up earlier than that. Why? So that you have time for setup, line checks, and catastrophe mitigation, time for accidents and traffic jams, time for questions and answers from the curious.

Fifth: be prepared for talking to new fans. Bring along a couple of sharpies to sign things. For that matter, bring along some albums to sign. Bring along business cards if you have them - and if not, get them! They're cheap, and still valuable to potential fans if all they have is your bandcamp address.

Sixth: pace yourself. It's an hour. You don't have to come right out of the gate blasting out a wall of sound. Take a deep breath, and start with a basic patch - a kick drum or whatever, and build on that. Then even if things go a little pear-shaped, you don't have everything going all at once.

Seventh: Give some thought to stage presence. You don't have to go nuts, but how about a shiny silver jacket? Your favourite distressed cyberpunk hoodie? You don't need lights and fog machines and strippers in spandex and lace, but if you can swing that - why not? It helps to prepare the audience for what they're about it hear. It's part of the package.

Eighth: if you're up for it, why not have a little show-and-tell before, or after the music? It can amuse the kids of all ages.

I'll probably think of more, but these tips should get you on the right track. I won't be able to make it to Eugene this weekend, but I wish I could!

EDIT: Oh, one of my favourite tips, but this is less relevant to the modular guys, is to strap up the wires for each device with a strip of masking tape, and write what the cables are for on the masking tape. It really speeds setup.
magnetsandlasers
lisa wrote:
Do you know what I’m saying? thumbs up


I do, and I appreciate it a lot! This is fun! Thank you
magnetsandlasers
Koekepan wrote:
Hi! And welcome to the world of live performance


Thank you for the thoughtful and comprehensive response! There was a good mix of “OK I’m on the right track” and “oh shit, I better get on that” lol

The patch I’m preparing is pretty sweet, and in its third iteration now. I just got the call this afternoon and the thing is tomorrow, so I suppose it’s maybe a blessing that it will be over so quick, haha. I actually have something else on the calendar in Cave Junction at the end of October. I was getting ready to start worrying about it next week but if this goes well I’ll have a good idea of what to expect, and maybe not stress it too much. Thanks again! Guinness ftw!
Koekepan
magnetsandlasers wrote:

Thank you for the thoughtful and comprehensive response! There was a good mix of “OK I’m on the right track” and “oh shit, I better get on that” lol


You're very welcome. In another life, I'm in the "honor student" programme of masterclass.com, so I spend quite a bit of time advising and assisting folks. I've figured out the gigging electronic musician's survival guide to a reasonable extent.

magnetsandlasers wrote:
The patch I’m preparing is pretty sweet, and in its third iteration now. I just got the call this afternoon and the thing is tomorrow, so I suppose it’s maybe a blessing that it will be over so quick, haha. I actually have something else on the calendar in Cave Junction at the end of October. I was getting ready to start worrying about it next week but if this goes well I’ll have a good idea of what to expect, and maybe not stress it too much. Thanks again! Guinness ftw!


Another couple of ideas:

First, if you have any way of, or experience at building a patch from the ground up before your audience's very eyes, you may find that after some patchy happiness you can turn it down, and say to the audience: "Hey guys, glad you liked that, now watch me do a different one. See if you can tell how I do it! Don't be afraid to crowd around, just mind the electricity."

Second, having more warning for the gig in Cave Junction gives you more time to figure out deeper plans, and take it up a notch. Then rehearse, rehearse, rehearse until it's smooth and natural.

If you're going to do more live gigs, I recommend seeing if you can get a solid sequencer for the job, like a Social Entropy Engine, or a Squarp Pyramid, or even a Cirklon. Depending on your style, even a Novation Circuit or an Electribe could be good. A good performance sequencer can really raise your game.
matthewjuran
Don’t cause hearing damage and be sure the venue is responsible with their space. Try to be good but if people aren’t hurt physically then you’re fine and the time was worth it.

Perhaps involve a lawyer to help you consider possible liability.

What’s the sound system? You should do a sound check. Be educated on electricity safety. Be confident because we like anything you could do.
magnetsandlasers
Well, I survived! I had a great experience for what it was. It was a pedal powered stage, so my power was supplied by a GoalZero Yeti 1250 battery unit.



I played for 45 minutes on a patch with 4 voices and percussion. It was a good mix of stuff I rehearsed beforehand and a little “what the hell, let’s see what this does” and all in all it worked pretty well. I was recording it so the big clock in my DAW (I use Ardour) was definitely a big help in pacing my performance.

I’d never heard my machine through a really powerful system and it was an eye-opener for sure. The drums sounded AMAZING. The whole system did, as a matter of fact. I made exactly and one (1) SoundCloud follower nanners Two (2) old people rushed the stage (!) at two different times to complain to me personally (not the sound guy lol) , so that’s a win in my book. They each got a talking to about not disrupting performers during their set, as if that weren’t obvious meh

All in all 10/10 will do again! Thanks for the words of support.
Koekepan
Sounds like a cool event. Glad it all worked out for you.

Do you have any lessons learned, either for the community at large, or for your next planned gig?

Oh, and just out of morbid curiosity, what were they complaining about?
Cybananna
Great! Glad it went well. Playing live is tons of fun isn’t it. I want to know their complaints too. That’s funny.
dubonaire
It's a rush right?
magnetsandlasers
OK haha the first guy came up to me before I even started, while the previous performer was playing guitar/singing, complaining about the general noise from the stage. He never introduced himself or anything, just came up to me and started talking about how he wanted to "get the most out of his learning environment" etc. At first, I thought he was interested in my equipment, even though he looked kind of angry. So then it dawned on me that he thought I was recording the show or running the board or something (he initially asked me if I was recording) and he was trying to tell me he thought the music was too loud for the workshop he was running. I said, "I have nothing to do with this, man, you gotta talk to the sound guy," and he kinda gestured at my rack of wires and blinkies, rolled his eyes and walked off in the direction I pointed him in. Then when I was about 10 minutes into my set, he comes leaping onto the stage (yes that's right) telling me I had to turn it down now, haha! So that's when I referred him again to the very patient sound guy.

The second time was near the end, a lady about my mom's age comes up on the stage and tells me that the music was making "everyone crazy" with the most hilarious expression on her face. I had just watched her come in the door lol I guess some people just aren't into 45 minute modular synth jams seriously, i just don't get it

But really, everyone else was super nice. A couple people knew what the deal was and talked with me about various synths and whatnot. Everyone loves Control Voltage in Portland and asked me if I ever heard of it hihi But even more fun, I talked with to few people before and after who just wanted to know what the heck all those lights and wires were and how did I know what to do. The sound guy was super into it, my friend who runs the Pedal Power stage business loved it and wants to do some stuff with trigger mics and hand drums when he gets the chance (probably never, haha), and hopefully I'll work with them again in the future.
Koekepan
These goldurn kids with them crazy hip-dancin' and their wiggle-watchamacallits makin' everybody crazy.

Probably gonna all have sex in my petunias next.

You're a wild man. A rebel.
dugoutcanoe
wow this sounds amazing.
matthewjuran
Do you have a recording of the performance?
magnetsandlasers
matthewjuran wrote:
Do you have a recording of the performance?


Hi, thanks for asking. I just put a bit of it up on my cloud of sound, and I'll have a video for it shortly on my tube thing as well. The links are in my sig below. Please subscribe if you enjoy any of it! cool
magnetsandlasers


jamos
I'll be there!

oh, wait - last week? Bullocks.
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Play Out! Performance Modulars  
Page 1 of 1
Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group