Preparing for the Road

So, after a remarkable amount of time obsessing and waflling over what to reduce my gig rig to, I think I have it.  Those of you who haven’t seen me perform lately may not be aware of the fact that what I do is rather dependent on technology.  I rely heavily on my onstage rig (all my equipment) to create the sounds I do.  Usually this involves a rack with 10 spaces in front and then a pop-up rack that has sveral other items of (or for) electronic delight plus 2 amps (a Trace Elliot for the bass register of the Stick and a Marshall combo for the trebble).  This is all controlled (mostly) via midi from a large pedalboard at my feet.  When I played with jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut a few years ago he dubbed it “Mission Control” although using the word “control” is rather optimistic.

Because the NYC show is at a venue I have never played, in a part of the lower east side I’ve never been to, I need to scale down the gear I bring.  This is for portability as well as reducing the amount of things to grapple with during whatever (if any) soundcheck we get.  Warning: gear-fetishist babble ahead:

This is what I eventually walked out the door with:

  • my Chapman Stick
  • my severely-revisied pedalboard (consisting of my volume pedals, Whammy/Wah pedal, Adrenalinn 2 (with an Adrenalinn 3 label – more on that later), ART TPS preamp, TC Electronics Sustainer/EQ, an Akai Headrush delay and last but not least my Electro Harmonix 2880 looper with footpedal.
  • a backpack with a couple DIs, hum eliminator, minidisc recorder, headphones, misc small cables, etc.

The idea is to plug directly into the house p.a. bypassing the need for onstage amps.  This takes a lot of faith in the sound guy who utlimately is controlling your volume.  We’ll see  how that goes. 

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