Different Skies 2010: T minus 21 days

Having committed early and properly scheduled it, I’m set to play at Different Skies this year. As I mentioned previously, Mike will be taking a couple years off after this year, so it’s kind of a special event.

We’ve had a number of folks who are mainstays have to pull out this year, leaving some interesting holes to fill. In particular, neither Darrell nor Allen will be able to make it (and again Allen, bet wishes for your mom’s speedy recovery!), so there’s a need for someone to volunteer to do the broadcast from the stage this year. Mike had sId he was willing to do this, but it seemed pretty unfair to expect him to not only run everything but to also handle the broadcasting duties as well, so I’m volunteering.

I have been promising myself that I was really going to set up and broadcast a Stillstream concert from home, sometime…really…and this has given me the push I need to finally get that setup in place and do it. The stage broadcast isn’t quite as exposed as a solo broadcast, and it lets me get familiar with the process before trying to both do something unfamiliar and pay original music at the same time. Since we broadcast every evening, I’ll have a good bit of experience at doing at least the basics by the time that the concert actually happens.

My new setup handles all the problems I gave myself during the 2007 concert, which resulted in one piece not getting performed at all, as both Allen and I had simultaneous rig failures that completely silenced us.

This year’s setup retains the Firebox, source of most of my woes in 2007, but relegates it solely to being an extra instrument, controlled by the SD-1. There is no computer-controlled single point of failure this time; even if I lose the Firebox, all I lose is the spare MIDI mode the computer is acting as, not every sound-producing box I have. The Firebox seems much more stable with the new MacBook (as opposed to the early-2004 iBook, which was at the limit of its power when trying to run the Firebox and the various softsynths I was trying to use).

I’m hosting the plugins in Live, and not really using it for much else. I’ve toyed with using the iPad as an OSC controller, and that looks like it has a lot of potential, but isn’t quite 100% yet – it sometimes but not always handles MIDI learn from the plugins, and it has to Just Work before I want to trust it on stage, or at least I need to feel like I know what’s going on. It seems really funny sometimes that even though I have a day job programming computers, I am so very reluctant to use them onstage.

I’ll probably post some pictures of the rig and talk a little about the setup as we go along toward DS week; there are still a few minor things to be worked out (whether or not I want to use a smaller, lighter mixer as my main mixer, since I’m only using two stereo ins right Noe, and whether I can deal with the added noise floor from the Vortex, sonic it’s my only processor, and I’ve been finding it quite useful for vocal processing).

So: more later; don’t forget to follow @differentskies on Twitter to catch micro-updates and notifications about posts to this blog.

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