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Dig My Rig -- For Band Leaders

Postby cphollis » 24 Nov 2021, 22:04

I’ve gone from being in bands to running my own. That means gear -- or “performance infrastructure” as I call it -- all the tech you need to field a class-A local act. Here is my current rig if you're interested.

Doing this means less keys gear, as you'll see ...

Since I also play keys, I have three goals: (1) keep it simple, (2) keep it awesome, and (3) keep it reasonably inexpensive. Simple means other people in the band can do it, not necessarily me. The new digital gear is wonderful from all three perspectives. It all sets up and packs down nicely.

FOH (PA): a pair of Bose F1 systems, integrated tops and subs. It’s compact, lightweight and a bit pricey, but it sounds like a bigger, more-expensive tour-grade system. Simple setup, minimal adjustment required, killer sound every time, looks awesome, etc. If we need something bigger, I’m going to call someone.

MIxer: Behringer X-Air 18. A boatload of quality functionality and flexibility for not much money. The whole family uses the same platform, so it’s all good: X32, etc. Bring a laptop and make multitrack recordings of your rehearsals and gigs. The iPad thing is cool for mixing at a venue, but for deeper config, use a laptop. Bring your own cheapo external router. I bring a spare mixer to the gig -- used versions are not that expensive. If you want physical faders, those are available separately.

Per Performer: Behringer P16-M personal mixers, connected via ethernet to an inexpensive Behringer powered hub. This can be game changing, as the ability to dial in a personal 16 channel mix motivates musicians to give up powered monitors for IEMs. Our sound person thinks this is game changing as well, as no one likes to mix stage monitors. The learning curve for your bandmates isn’t steep but it is there. Get the mounting plates, print up some channel assignment labels, and you are good to go.

Aux monitors: A silent stage is a sterile stage, so I bring a few 8” powered monitors and place them so there's actually music going on if you approach the stage. Also helps with the lights, as you’ll see shortly.

Lights: there is a better game in town, and it’s called Ape Labs. Their specialty is battery-powered LED fixtures that form a sound-activated wifi-mesh. You get well-made, self-contained lighting fixtures and a zero-effort, well-automated music show in the form of MusikMode. I’m using 12 of the LightCans with the charging case. Someone takes them out of the case, puts them on the stage floor. I turn them on, they do their thing, and it’s not your average sound activation. If I want to get fancy, I can change the mood per song just by clicking “next’ on my phone app. I may use the extern function of my NS3C to drive this at some point, e.g. send midi on program change using the W-APP interface to get to an appropriate lighting preset.

Other important stuff: Lots of microphones. Lots of mic stands. Lots of XLR and some ¼” cables. Power strips and such. No need for power conditioning so far. Gaffer’s tape. A small toolset. Spare batteries for others who forget. Ipad or laptop charger. Flashlight/lanterns for when it gets dark. Bug juice and sunscreen as we’re in Florida. Wheel cases to pack it and move it.

Keys rig? Oh yes, that. NS3C over NP4 on a Spider Pro, direct to board via a Radial Engineering stereo DI. I mix and monitor using the personal mixer via Westone AM Pro 30 IEMs. It’s ear candy every time. Given the clarity of the FOH and the IEMs, I had to dial back some of my patches as they were a bit too aggressive to my ears.

Cheers!
I think I have gear issues ....
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Dig My Rig -- For Band Leaders


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Re: Dig My Rig -- For Band Leaders

Postby Schorsch » 24 Nov 2021, 23:32

No Key Largo anymore? Why?
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Convert your NS2 programs to NS3?
Check this awesome website from our colleague florence to visually view your NS2 programs and re-create them for your NS3!


Gear: NS3C, NS3 88, NS2 EX 88
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Re: Dig My Rig -- For Band Leaders

Postby cphollis » 25 Nov 2021, 00:00

I don't need the Key Largo with this setup, really. It's a single pair of stereo outs from the NS3C, so I don't have to mix multiple keyboards, just want to convert to XLR as it can be a long run to the mixer. Any stereo DI would do. Actually, using better quality 1/4" wouldn't be bad, so the DI is optional. I do have to crank the gain on the inputs +24 dB or so.
I think I have gear issues ....
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Re: Dig My Rig -- For Band Leaders

Postby Schorsch » 25 Nov 2021, 00:07

So you run the NP4 through the NS3C then?
Regards Schorsch

Convert your NS2 programs to NS3?
Check this awesome website from our colleague florence to visually view your NS2 programs and re-create them for your NS3!


Gear: NS3C, NS3 88, NS2 EX 88
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Re: Dig My Rig -- For Band Leaders

Postby cphollis » 25 Nov 2021, 00:11

Yes. NP4 drives the B panel via midi, plus being a backup in the event of primary board failure (never happened, but will happen just as soon as I don't bring a spare!) Although you give up a bit in layering, in practice this is more than compensated by having a single control surface to deal with.
I think I have gear issues ....

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Re: Dig My Rig -- For Band Leaders

Postby florence » 25 Nov 2021, 13:55

Thanks for thèse details. Using xr18 too, really very compact and simple to use. But no P16-M, we use the 6 aux out to each IEM. Just ok as we are 6 and each member uses iphone app to adjust each mix.
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Re: Dig My Rig -- For Band Leaders

Postby cphollis » 25 Nov 2021, 15:33

We did the "iPhone app per musician thing", but had problems with it.

Musician 1 frantically swiping at tiny screen icons, but actually adjusting the mix for Musician 2, which can be endlessly entertaining in the middle of a gig. Musicians switching between lyrics display and sound display, and getting distracted. Musicians having to wear beltpacks to use IEMs. Hard to make quick adjustments, e.g. get out device, invoke app, find your channel, scroll around to find what you want, be precise with your fingers, etc. vs. press button, twist knob.

With the personal mixers, all 16 channels are conveniently delivered to the musician for their use. One of those is a vocal effects channel, which has turned out to be pretty popular. Singers like lots of reverb in their ears. We also are now using presets per musician, which are helpful for different songs, e.g. solo mix vs. full band.

We did the iPhone app thing for a while. It was better than yelling at the sound person to adjust the mix.
Last edited by cphollis on 25 Nov 2021, 15:41, edited 1 time in total.
I think I have gear issues ....
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Re: Dig My Rig -- For Band Leaders

Postby cphollis » 25 Nov 2021, 15:39

EDIT: I should have mentioned that I use a Bose L1 Model 1S for smaller, more intimate settings, realizing that we are a six piece outfit. An example would be a country club event, where they want something more background for meet-and-greet, dinner, etc. -- and then want to rock out. I have used both the L1 and the F1 for different times of the evening. You can't get loud with the L1, and you can't create an acoustic, intimate ambience with the F1.
I think I have gear issues ....
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