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. 

In the beginning…

So, given that I have so much free time, I’ve started this. It’s more an effort to keep everyone who asks “are you playing/recording/producing much these days?” up to speed.

So I’m sure you’re wondering, “Hey, are you playing/recording/producing/blogging much?” Well, yeah. In the past month I’ve watched the dust settle after completing the final mixes for Arty LaVigne’s forthcoming disc (tentatively titled Faraway), I’ve mastered the new Doughboys album (out now I think), recorded a Stick track for the soon-to-be-released disc from the Stone Document project (more on that soon) and now I’m getting ready to play a few dates.

And in my free time I’m figuring out this blog thing.