As a response to many different requests and problems, I have decided that using this blog would be a great way to post all the music tutorials that I have written and distributed around the internet. I will do this over the next several weeks with several tutorials.
This first one is a Livepa Tutorial
Firstly, one of the first things that one must understand when developing a live PA set and the gear which one wants for a set is that LIVE PA is not about polished music, and it is not about you the performer. It is about the Audience and the performance as a whole. You must first change the mind set of being a producer to one of being a performer. 50% of live music is about the music, the other 50% is about how you interact with the crowd.
Music for Live PA does not need to be lush complex and polished like a studio work, this doesn't mean however that it should not be quality. This means that the focus of your performance should not be how cool your song sounds. The fact of the matter is you want to create an experience for the audience. If you have a fantastic song, but hide yourself behind your laptop or gear your no better then a DJ, and hence you lose the Live element of your act. I cannot stress this enough. Interact with your audience. Go on the dance floor with them, let them see your gear and how you work it, let them see you.
THINGS TO THINK BEFORE YOU START.
1. What type of music do you want to make?
2. What sorts of Venues will you be performing in (clubs, Venues, Cafes, House parties?)
3. How do you like to produce? (Are you hands on, or are you a visual person?)
4. How much do you plan on interacting with the Audience?
5. Do you like to sample or use synths?
6. How live do you want to get? Do you just want to trigger lines, or do you plan on just triggering percussion and playing all melodies live?
There are 3 basic approaches for gear setups. Laptop, All Hardware, and a Mixed setup.
Everything is in one box
Very visual way to create music on
Very flexible in terms of styles of music you can make
Latency issues (even asio only gets down to 5ms at best)
CPU: more power costs a lot more money
OS stability is always a problem
Not interesting for the Audience
Very little hands on/real time control without hardware.
Not many "pro" software options for live performance
Near zero latency
very hands on tactile control
has an "AWWW" factor for the crowd.
Gear is often times specialized
Gear is often times specialized
Can become very large and Cumbersome
Midi Routing can become confusing
Most gear doesn't have good on-board Efx
Software interface with mixed gear
Very flexible for music styles
OS crash, can still run show on hardware
Run into Driver/OS problems
costs of midi/audio ins/outs can run high.
Sequencer(one of the most important pieces)
Alesis mmt-8(only get used, pure midi sequencer no sounds)($100)
Yamaha qy-10(only used pure midi sequencer, about the size of a vhs tape)($100)
Yamaha qy-100(same as qy-10 but more features and new)($500)
EMU command stations (recently discontinued sequencer and expandable rompler)
Yamaha rm1x (sequencer and 5 part synth)($600)
Roland MC909(sequencer/synth/sampler good hands on control)($1400)
Yamaha rs7000 (sequencer/synth/sampler good hands on control)($1000)
Emu Racks/ Eseries samplers($500+)
Akai MPC(good only for percussion/loops, Ill explain more below)($800+)
Yamaha SU series ( $150-$450 loop sampler only)
Roland SP series ($250-$500 loop sampler only)
Ableton live for complete setup.($350)
there's various midi only software sequencer out there that are free. Personal taste is best.
Groove boxes (if you don't want a dedicated sequencer)
Yamaha loopfactory series
Roland MC series
Not recommended gear.
Akai MPC's as main sequencer or any ?production center?
USB gear for a mixed setup. If you plan on using a mixed setup of hardware and audio I recommend using firewire. This will help decrease latency as much has possible between machines and allow for more audio channels to travel down the line if you need them
Music studios: floops, Cubase, reason, etc etc.
The problem with these programs is that they do not work well with patterns or pattern switching. Most of the songs work in only a linear function which moves from left to right through a song which is restricted by time and patterns. Some don't even allow for you to insert and remove patterns in Somee and move playback position without skipping or jumping in the audio.