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Solace (band)

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Technical Info

ELECTRONICS INSTRUCTIONS AND SETUP

EQUIPMENT:

  • * Audio interface (MOTU Ultralite or 4Pre is what I use – any similar 4-channel interface should work)
  • * Computer (Macintosh or Windows) – preferably a laptop for space considerations onstage running Ableton Live software (the free demo version will work fine)
  • Stereo PA system with subwoofer (see below)
  • 88-key MIDI keyboard (preferably with USB connection to connect to computer)
  • Headphone amplifier and earpiece/headphone for the conductor (just for one ear)
  • Monitor speakers: 1 for percussion (aimed across the back of the ensemble), and optionally 1 or 2for the ensemble if desired. None should be necessary for the conductor.
  • The Solace Ableton Live sound set (provided free of charge upon payment of the rental)

* A pre-configured Macintosh laptop and MOTU interface are available to rent for your performance(s). Contact info@stevenbryant.com for details and a price quote.

PA SYSTEM:

Full range powerful speakers for L and R, plus a subwoofer. The mains should automatically roll over to thesubwoofer. The subwoofer is REQUIRED, and NOT optional. Speaker placement should be either to the immediate sides of the ensemble, or behind ensemble in the back corners of the stage. Front placement is also possible, but needs to be as close to the band as possible so the sound emanates from the same perceived location as the band. The goal is to integrate the electronic and acoustic sound worlds as seamlessly as possible. Do NOT use the house PA system, especially if the speakers are flown above out over the audience. This usually results in the sound being disconnected from the ensemble, and destroys the effect I’m trying to achieve. House subwoofers may be used, however, since their placement is less critical.

KEYBOARD SETUP:

The computer is set up onstage next to the keyboard controller (88-keys required). The keyboard connects to the laptop via USB (or MIDI-USB if it’s an older keyboard without a USB connection), and a software driver may need to be installed for the computer to detect the keyboard. This software driver is manufacturer-specific to the model of keyboard, so just go to the manufacturer’s website and download the latest appropriate driver for your keyboard. The computer and audio interface sit next to the keyboardist (onstage), and the audio from the interface is run into the PA from here. A separate audio out from the interface (output 3) goes to the podium to the headphone amp for the conductor.

The keyboardist plays the notated part, which is essentially an ascending chromatic scale. These are simply triggers for sound events and will not sound the notated pitches. A click track guide begins in m. 181 to give the conductor the tempo, but it’s not necessary to sync with it – this is merely a preparatory guide for m. 189 is where it begins in earnest, and the conductor and ensemble MUST sync with it from mm. 189-253.

CONDUCTOR:

A headphone amp with volume knob is strongly recommended, so that the conductor can adjust the volume as desired. The keyboardist will NOT be able to adjust the volume from the computer in performance. NOTE: the CLICK TRACK HEADPHONE is NOT OPTIONAL. Mm. 189-253 MUST be synced precisely with the electronics. If you are using one side of a set of earbuds/headphones, please tape up the unused side so that the click is not audible to the audience through it.

COMPUTER TIPS:

  • Turn off WiFi and all alarms, automatic updates, etc. – you don’t want them popping up in the middle of performance
  • Do NOT run any other programs than the Ableton Live Set during rehearsal and performance