Tips from regularly gigging people


#1

My gigs have usually been many months apart so I have had time to build completely new sets for each gig and my gear has changed each time depending on my preferences at that point. I can’t call myself systematic when it comes music. However now I’ve had some gigs closer to each other and the amount of work has been HUGE. So I’ve come to the conclusion that I have to change my habits and stick to some gear and improve and alter my old set rather than write a whole new set each time.

Would like to hear your experience on gigging more often and how you manage it so that it stays interesting but manageable. How often do you gig? How often is too often? What kinda gear do you use? Tell me everything!


#2

I had basically the same experience as you. Gigs got more frequent. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel the pay off was worth it.

I sold a lot of my gear (TR8, Volca FM, DSI Evolver, Strymon Blue Sky & Deco) for a more streamline set up (AR, DT, AH) that is basically just for edits style tracks. It all fits in one bag.

I actually started this post addressing similar questions.


#3

You raised a good point, gear fitting in one bag. That’s something that makes things a lot easier. The most minimal setup I can have is 2 elektrons and maybe a small mixer. I’m kinda leaning towards a very similar setup, AR and DT. Maybe some extra synth or modular at times. I’ll read your post too, thanks!


#4

Absolutely do not bother writing a new set for every gig! Especially if your gigs are few. I learned this the hard way. If I could do it all again, I would not have written a fresh set for each gig. I was trying to make things interesting for myself, but the thing is, the audience has probably not heard you before, so it makes no odds to them, and using any hardware at all is enough of a live experience to stand out from the DJ crowd.

How much gear you want to carry is up to you, but yes, one bag is a good idea. My approach now is to have just one set, and play that at each gig, it will be different each time due to the nature of tweaking elektron gear (or any hardware) live. And you can always edit little bits after the gig if you felt a section wasn’t working.


#5

Thanks! Sounds reasonable! Plus thinking about it now, if I reuse the set, I can improve it better based on the previous gigs and kinda make it always one step better. Starting always from a scratch does not benefit from the previous gig experience so much! And yes I’m sure it will still evolve, like some song will be changed over time and like you said, tweaked to sound a bit different. Just have to mentally prepare myself for this new mindset :slight_smile:


#6

You can spec the mixer!


#7

Keep things simple, lightweight, portable, play the same set every night until it gets better and better. Tell your friends they are welcome to come but don’t explicitly invite them. That way they show up if they like your music, instead of if they just like you. Provides some objectivity as to how you are doing. Don’t worry about impressing anyone with your set. Just get better each time. Again - don’t waste valuable rehearsal time writing a new set every show. Just dump the tracks that didn’t work live (or make them better) and add new ones as needed.


#8

thanks! good tips, I’m starting to see the pros of this approach!


#9

I think it’s quite normal, especially with Elektron gear, to start with a set and after performing a few shows the sounds and patterns will have evolved quite a bit.

To an extent I think people would be expecting more or less the same material from one show to the next, at least until you’ve had a reasonable amount of time to write new stuff. Definitely no need to throw it all out and start from scratch every time.


#10

Edit: More info.
Simplify your setup, my original live sets used more gear then I could actually control properly at once. Scaling back to a DT/DN and an Ipad controlled by the midi from both is fun and more then enough to control. Ipad provides organic tones like rhodes, DT on drum duties, DN on synth duties and most of the music midi sequencing for the Ipad. As a bonus now I can remove the soundcard from the setup as the Ipad can do my usb midi conversion for any additional controllers to the DT/DN. Less things in the chain, less things that can go wrong, less things to setup. I enjoy running the DT/DN into a small analogue mixer as this gives me great tone shaping and instant hands on control to mixing/DJ and adds another dimension to the sound.

For me I spend more time organizing and processing my sample library on the computer (and Digitakt - folder structure, KICKS BASS, BREAKS ETC - breaks labeled with tempo, music bits labeled with key or notes) or my patches on the Digitone then actually writing the material, I find if you have an amazing and unique set of building blocks, one everything sounds better, two it makes it very easy and quick to write new material for new sets. Remember you can move stuff around on the Digitakt HD and the samples will still work and be found in old projects.
It’s boring, it’s work, but when it’s done I can smash out a set in a day and enjoy the creative process much more.
On a note when your preparing your samples in your DAW be sure to Mono them (If loading to Digitakt), I find that mono’ing the sample/stem your working on before you start processing leads to better results and no surprises when you mono it at the end.
It’s better to have a few instruments and know them very well then have a bunch of stuff you don’t know inside out I have found. Some of my best performances have just been a Digitakt and a Novation XL mapped to each channel (digi track) with a fader and each delay/reverb send + the delay/verb parameters. Dubwise.
Organise organise organise, Simplify. Profit.


#11

I second that! I really wanted to include my new drum machine in my set, however, the reality is, I have only had the drum machine for a few months. So I don’t know it well enough to rinse it live yet. However, I do know my octatrack very well, and I know my own sample material extremely well. So from those unique building blocks… :slight_smile:
I was always massively impressed with people like Mistabishi who just use one machine. If you know your instrument you can do so much with it! and nothing is more impressive than holding a set down with just one instrument (in my opinion) . The cliches are real, less is more, keep it simple etc.

The few electronic artists I follow seem to have the same thing happening, their newer sets that incorporate new gear, or extra gear… I dont like those sets as much as I liked the older sets with less gear/older (and therefore more familiar) gear.


#12

a set in a day… that’s kind of wild


#13

Yeah, if needed with a last minute booking or something and I have the time. Mind you this is with weeks and months of prep work beforehand. So it’s not technically a set in a day, as I said all the building blocks are there already = easy mode for me at least.


#14

I mostly DJ 4-8times a month but have been booked to play live for a few shows this summer😊 I chose to use the new trinity and picked up the UDG large producer bag as it just holds them. My goal is to practice the crap out of 16 tracks for a 1.5hr set… I don’t use song mode but rather have one 32bar pattern on the rytm and a4 per song, with additional samples on 3 of the OT tracks. Then I play around mute/unmute the drum tracks on the rytm and the bass and melody tracks on the a4. Every time I jam it is different:)


#15

Interesting insights! What do you use on the iPad and how exactly do you hook the boxes up with the iPad? Curious to understand how that comes together. In terms of summing the boxes, assuming one outputs to the others inputs, which is the master and how do you sun with the iPad?


#16

Always remember to label every single cable! Making a checklist of all your gear really speeds up setup and teardown times.


#17

if you use apple camera connection kit, you get an usb input on the ipad. then plug in elektron machine in via usb and send/receive midi via usb connection.(class complient) on ipad you can route midi between elektron and ipad apps pretty freely. there is plenty detailed information on this forum already…

audiowise you could even do without a mixer…

ipad headphone out > dn in, dn out > dt in


#18

Gotcha. Thanks! Simple. There are obviously lots of smart tools for iPad. Could be fun to try something like this in the future


#19

yep, vast possibilities… also ipad supports (powered) usb hubs, so you can even connect multiple things like usb controllers or audio interfaces…


#20

how to you guys go about booking gigs? do you have pre-existing social media presence and leverage that?