Donny hit the nail on the head when it comes to watching others perform. I drove thousands upon thousands of miles to watch Uncle Dave, Donny, Don Mason, Eddie Shoemaker and a host of other performers perform their magic on various audiences. I took lots of photos, talked with all of them before and after their performances, picked their brains, then when I returned home I utilized everything I learned.
Before meeting these guys I made 7 trips to my van just to unload the equipment using a refrigerator dolly--now it's just a single trip with the Rock & Roller.
I was also one of those guys lugging a half-dozen 3-inch thick looseleaf binders filled with lyrics. All of those lyrics are on the laptop, along with a lot more. (They're also stored on a CD used for backup purposes--hard drives eventually crash!)
One of my pet peeves has always been loose wires running all over the place. Wires connecting the keyboard to the amp, power supply cables, mic cables, wires hanging from plugs and resembling a bowl of spaghetti that has been dumped on the floor. Upon returning from my whirlwind trip to the south I decided to custom build all of my own cables in exact lengths, then house them within a wiring harness. Each wire is labled and some are color coded so there is no guesswork as to where they get plugged in. Not only does this dramatically reduce setup and tear-down time, you never have to worry about whether you remembered where you put a specific cable--they're all encased within the harness. Just like setting up the laptop, this takes some time and effort, but in the end it's well worth it.
If you want detailed plans on constructing the laptop platform/console that I designed, you can find them at PSR Tutorial
then click on Projects and scroll down to Laptop Platform and click on the link.
------------------ Travlin' Easy
[This message has been edited by travlin'easy (edited 01-20-2007).]