Thursday, July 17, 2008

Live Rig Rethink

I have been doing a lot of research on putting together a live rig. After extensive reading I have determined that the considerably less expensive Mac Mini is the way to go rather than the previously considered Mac Book.

The Mac Mini at it's base configuration is only lacking an additional GIG of RAM and that is easy enough to remedy for a reasonable cost. I have the extra monitor, mouse and keyboard needed and it just makes sense to save $500! By the time I am ready to make the purchase it is looking like the base Mac Mini will be sporting around 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo and that actually trumps my iMac spec.

The Mac Mini is portable at around 1/3 the size of the Mac Book and though it might be cumbersome to lug around the additional monitor and such...I am thinking of creative ways to package the rig to compensate for that. I am thinking of removing the base from the monitor and constructing some sort of fold-out hanging system for it. The keyboard and trackball mouse will not be an issue at all. Hell, it is still going to be a lot easier to carry in one load than the monster workstations I hauled around in the 90's!

So here is the imagined set up:
  • Mac Mini: min. 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, 2GB of RAM
  • 17" LCD monitor
  • Swank-Ass slim Apple keyboard
  • Logitech Track Ball mouse (no surface/mouse pad issues)
  • Keystation 61es MIDI controller (cuz I already own it)
  • 250GB External HD
  • FireBox A/I and Fire Wire pass through
  • Logic Pro 7
That's it. I think that will allow me to be realistically portable and power sufficient while leaving the main production rig safe at home. Of course if i am smart that set up will include my electric guitar and bass. After all I am trying to have something that can honestly be called a "live" performance.

Now as to what I would actually "do" on stage...well that has always been an issue for me. If it is a "chill" room gig then I have loads of previous experience doing that sort of gig. In essence you just sit (yes sit) behind your gear playing instruments and fiddling with knobs. Oh yeah, and of course you create your own smoke cloud as you puff your spirits and inspiration into a THC induced chill mode!

For the up-tempo / main stage gigs...well I would really prefer to put a cardboard cut-out on stage and hide behind a mountain of gear playing various instruments. I am not real big on showmanship. I wish I were, but I am just a little mellow and even if the song is pumping I tend to stay rather subdued. This is why I either need to start singing on some tunes or find myself a vocalist.

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