Following up on the follow-up.
Last night I did the entire show with just the Digitone, a Circuit Mono Station and a Keystep to play live parts.
It went better than I could have hoped. I guess I’ve built up enough muscle memory on the Digitone over the past week to keep the flow going in a live setting. It helped that I put together some coded notes on paper to remind me what each pattern was about, which sessions on the Circuit Mono synced with which patterns on the Digitone, performance notes like what tracks were “open” for jamming on the Keystep, key signatures, tempos, etc.
I didn’t have an ordered set list because I wanted to keep things fun based on audience reactions, but being able to see at a glance all of the keys/tempos and more let me intelligently select what patterns/songs to transition to next. The Circuit Mono was fantastic in providing “through lines” in the music between songs without my having to pre-plan song transition patterns on the Digitone.
I overheard people saying things like “best DJ ever” (not a DJ despite the moniker) and one of the performers said, “I don’t even want to get up now after hearing that.” … another person said “Now that is some next level s**t.”
I’m not sure I felt it was worth THAT much hyperbole, but it was fun knowing that everyone was enjoying the music that much.
As the “house” performer for this regular event, I basically perform before, after and sometimes between sets from other performers, giving me an estimated 2+ hours of total performance time. I hadn’t yet plowed through full practice sets beforehand, but it turned out to be easy to keep it interesting the whole night with just the Digitone/Circuit Mono combo.
One thing I noticed during all of this was that the Digitone/Circuit Mono combo sounded consistently much more “beefy” and rich than the other performers’ material. One guy had a performance sampler, that sounded pretty good, but was kind of sterile in terms of punch. Another performer sang and played to some pre-produced tracks, and while she sounded great and the music was great, it too lacked that punch. The Digitone in particular gave me moments of low-end rumble that were still musical and made my little minimalist thing feel like it belonged in a bigger venue.
Some of the people thought I was DJ-ing tracks and were shocked to find out I was performing it all live. Then to find out that no samples or loops were involved was mind-blowing.
One of the more satisfying performance experiences I’ve had in a while, and the Digitone was magic. There were plenty of cameras and phones out, so I’ll see if I can find and post a clip or two.