Ah the behind the scenes part of playing music live that most people never think about – rehearsing
I’ve been putting together a new group of people to start playing out live more. Having done a ton of music for film, TV, and now even a theme song for a TV show (more on this to come in the next few weeks). Plus, I’ve created a special MIDI controller (HIVE) for playing live. Whether it be for a solo acoustic show or a full band type of show.
See, I’m now running a computer for all my guitar sounds. No more heavy amps. No more multiple speakers. No more worrying about the mic placement and hoping the sound guy is able to get a good sound. Maybe that last part is still prone to issues if the sound guy isn’t any good. Consistency is now the name of the game. Once I get the setup for a song, it remains the same time after time. Mind you I can still tweak and do things. But if I’m out on tour and wondering if its going to sound correct to the audience, I know I’m providing a consistent feed to the PA.
The first show for this new rig is happening October 16th at Brewskis in Ogden UT. Lucky devils get to experience the future of guitar players.
One thing I’ve come to enjoy is the process of getting a group of people together to play music. Its a time to hash out how to perform the music in a way that makes sense at the time its being played. Plus it gives me time to work the kinks out of the entirely new guitar rig I’ve gotEach song now has it’s own sound. Sometimes its directly related to the sound on the recording. Some of them however go into different territory sonically. Setting up each sound varies in time. Meaning some sounds took no more than an hour. However, the more complex ones can take several hours of tweaking.
In the first rehearsal, all the sounds were there, but I hadn’t really gone thru them to find out how loud they were in relation to each other from song to song. Thus I had to make notes and spend another couple of hours after rehearsing to fix songs that had sounds that were either too loud, or too soft.
The second rehearsal went much better, the rest of the band knew their parts better. My guitar sounds were way more consistent from a volume standpoint. Though there were still a couple of tweaks that needed to be made from an EQ standpoint. Due to the way I’m now creating sounds, I use no outboard/plugin EQ. Its not needed. But one song, which sounded great in my studio didn’t sound so awesome with the rest of the band in a PA. It needed thinning out. Pull up the amps and tweak their EQs. Problem solved.
The owner of the rehearsal studio sat in with us, listening, taking pictures and occasionally adjusting sound. Actually he didn’t really do much of that after we got the levels set at the start. BTW – the photos in the post are all from him, Dave at Razman-Studio. After rehearsing we chatted a bit. He had some initial reservations about a computer being able to put out great guitar sounds. From the pictures you can understand why: he’s got tons of amps sitting around waiting to be used. Then he said something interesting. He stated, I am now a believer.
You will be one too! See you on the road soon.