Return to Amazing Grapes

Stone Document returned to Amazing Grapes with a slightly revised approach. After listening to Anamnesis I realized what was missing from our live sound – the synths. The album is drenched in atmospheric synth pads. So it was time to revise the rack (as I seem to do before every show). I went back to the Roland GI10 midi interface (with the treble end of the Stick plugged into the mic input) driving a Kutzweil piano module (that I actually use for string patches). I also put my Oberheim Matrix-1000 into the bass signal chain and controlled it using my little M-Audio Oxygen 8 keyboard. This was a beginning…

After the show Mike said, “That’s the rig! You aren’t allowed to play without it, ever.” I guess the Oberheim was a good choice.

The other thing we tried was running the band direct into my Zoom multitrack and then using the monitor section to feed the p.a. (really just a powered speaker sitting between Mike and Doc). This seemed like an easy way to get a multitrack recoding of the gig and with the exception of a little harddrive noise it was. Highlights of the three sets will be mixed down, trimmed and compiled for possible future release. The other advantage of this set up was having all of the band’s sound coming from a singular central location allowed all of us to focus on the sound of the band as a whole and I think we played more cohesively than ever before.

We also made a conscious decision to take our time and let things build. This also payed off. After our first set one of our audience asked us what the name of the last piece we played was. We explained it was all improvised and wasn’t a formal composition. This seemed to surprise the audient. This is always a good thing.

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