Journal: Alive 2020 - my first attempt at a live dance show

Live patching, designs, and techniques that push the performance envelope.

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Journal: Alive 2020 - my first attempt at a live dance show

Post by robkramble » Thu Sep 19, 2019 5:05 pm

Aloha Wigglers,

My goal is to have a road-ready live dance show I can play out at local clubs and bars in the upcoming year 2020. I'm kicking off this thread for several reasons:

1) To document my thinking and creative process in designing a live dance act.
2) To collaborate and get input from all of you on the subject.
3) To hold myself accountable and actually see this thing through.

I've long been inspired by live and semi-live albums produced electronic duos, such as:

•Daft Punk - Alive 2007
•Factory Floor - 25 25
•Fuck Buttons - Tarot Sport

My goal is to create a cohesive blend of these influences in my own routine.

Here's where I'm currently at.

I've been creating eclectic electronic music since 2013 or so, primarily using Ableton Live Suite, a handful of synths (hardware, modular, and VST), and a buttload of processing VSTs. It's been an entirely studio affair, with no plans to ever play these tracks out - it's worth mentioning that few of these tracks are particularly dance-oriented, anyway. ... uiggly-z02

Now, I'd like to pivot.

I want to ditch Ableton and VSTs - except in the creation of MIDI sequences and general sound design for resampling purposes. I want to create a small live-friendly ecosystem of a few select pieces of semi-budget-friendly hardware, which allow me to play and store song states without the assistance of a computer. I could conceivably save up for another year for a laptop capable of running Ableton, but I'd much rather have hardware dedicated solely to the creation of music, instead.

In the posts ahead, I'll lay out what I'm working with, and what my first steps are going to be. Feel free to offer up input and advice as this rolls forward!


Robert / Conduit

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Post by blw » Thu Sep 19, 2019 6:49 pm

Nice tracks! Deluge or Polyend Seq might turn my head for your purposes.

I've realized an awful lot of the performers in my area that produce full live sets with all hardware are actually working with audio loops instead of synthesis. Feels like a bit of a cheat to me, a bit more like DJ'ing, but they also do a much better job of varying up a set than I am able to do, and they still are mangling things a bit, too. The 1010 bitbox could be a decent tool in that direction, as well as the toolbox.

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Post by pmboos » Sat Nov 02, 2019 3:45 pm

blw wrote:Nice tracks! Deluge or Polyend Seq might turn my head for your purposes.

I agree nice tracks. If you go with either of those sequencers, I'd love to hear of your experiences.

I'm also looking to try to put together a mini-set for liveplay. I am full-up semi-modular at the moment. I sometimes rely on the sequencer on the synth when it has one (particularly true for the Quadrantid Swarm). I'm experimenting with a pair of SQ-1s with plans to learn more about my Future Retro Orb and Twisted Electrons Crazy8. I'm awaiting the Tangible Instruments Arpeggio to show up. I'm patient, I still think it will wind up being a nice machine when it arrives.

The sequencer that has caught my eye is the Analogue Solutions Generator. I had hoped that the Pittsburgh Modular Sequence Designer would have gotten released, but I have heard it has been cancelled. :-( The PolyEnd is another that would interest me, though it seems super pricey for something that looks less geared to improvisation or maybe I just don't see that use-case in it.

For MIDI-oriented stuff, I have a NDLR and a Kawai Q-80.

I'll be watching this thread as I think this is a direction I want to have for at least one set.
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