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#148335 - 01/19/07 06:56 AM Re: Laptop holder
tony mads usa Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/16/02
Posts: 12962
Loc: East Greenwich RI USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Dnj:
I knew was going to go south fast.....purist vs dj mentality.....its almost as bad as my Kb is better then yours.
Call it what you like ....your not gonna fool anyone out there....
.
Thanx for your thoughts.

[This message has been edited by Dnj (edited 01-19-2007).]


Donny, I didn't think the thread was "going south", just an honest, open expression of opinions without being judgementive ...
I think everyone was agreeing that whatever works for you is fine, and if that doesn't work for me that's fine too ...

I'm behind the curve on this, still using big binders for whatever music/lyrics aren't memorized ... fortunately the kb has a good hard drive for backing tracks, registrations, etc. ... but once I retire from the day gig I figure I will have the time to transfer a lot of this stuff to a LT ...
t.
t.
_________________________
t. cool

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#148336 - 01/19/07 07:12 AM Re: Laptop holder
Dnj Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 39510
Loc: NJ
Quote:
Originally posted by zuki:
Thanks for the replies.

I found an old 2 tier x stand, but it appears a laptop on the top would block me from the customer.

I suppose I need to get with the program by utilizing technology.

Uncle Dave:

1. How do you hook up your system to hear the mp3's through the keyb speakers?

2. What sites are best for obtaining these prerecorded songs, both midi and mp3.

I play live on 2/14 for the first time in years and want it to go without a hitch.

Thanks,
zuki


Zuki....there so much more then just getting the songs, smf, mp3, custom backing tracks, lyrics etc etc & utilizing them seamlessly with NO Delay time in between songs except for a 2 or 3 sec..for use on a Laptop/KB situation...these songs have to be selected properly, edited & mixed extensively using programs like Sonar, Sound Forge, Acid pro etc etc to get the correct sound and arrangements for performance...there is no easy solution....being its your first time I'm sorry to say your gonna have to go through it like we all did with a hit and miss attitude learning, changing, editing, creating, & finding out what works FOR YOU & what Doesn't...no way around that...this is a juggling act of the highest degree...it can be unbelievably successful or it could end up your worst nightmare, but you need to learn by elimination and trying different things, it CAN be done if you work at it seriously and with your heart 150%...the LT shouldn't be more then 4-5 " on top of your keyboard so you can see over it & get your hands under it to make changes on deck. Also how you setup your LT desktop is imperative to your real-time navigation....

I want to wish you good luck on your gig......remember Technology can be as GOOD as it is BAD.....have fun.

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#148337 - 01/19/07 01:13 PM Re: Laptop holder
Uncle Dave Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/01/99
Posts: 11088
Loc: Philadelphia Pa, USA
Quote:


Uncle Dave:
1. How do you hook up your system to hear the mp3's through the keyb speakers?


Zuki,
Wow ...Saint Valentine’s Day, huh? We don't have much time then!
OK - first thing to do:

1) Make a set list of ALL your best live numbers. List them by category.
i.e.:
dance, latin, slow, swing, etc
2) Next make a list of the TYPES of styles/tempos you are MISSING from your live repertoire.
i.e.:
hip-hop, line dances, cha-cha, etc.
3) Ask around, or Google to find the most popular of these tunes available for free downloads.
i.e.:
Cha-Cha - "Never on a Sunday"
Hip-Hop - "Bust a Move"
Line Dance - "New York, New York"
Two Step - "All My Ex's"
*** These are just a sample of how to look for million sellers to "pad" your dance repertoire.

After you have the songs on the Laptop - put them in folders so you can find them easy, keep the folders open and be ready at the drop of a hat to access them.

I have audio inputs on my Yamaha psr3k, so I run the Laptop's headphone outputs into an external headphone amp (Rolls), just to boost the signal, and then the mix comes through the KB along with my voice. That signal is fed to the PA or house system.

The tricky part is deciding WHEN you use a file or play live.
Here are a few points to consider:

1) It's hard to follow a 16 piece big band arrangement with an omm-pah pattern, so I try to use MP3 tracks at the end of a set or right before a ballad that I KNOW will pack the dance floor ( aka: "Crazy" )
Keep your eyes on the dance floor ( or the EYES of your listeners) and pick the NEXT rhythm while you're playing the current song.
i.e.:
You're playing "Runaround Sue" - they love it, and they're dancing to it ...... do you play another jitterbug, or is it time to slow it down, or change it up somehow? Decide that B4 you end the Dion tune, so you are ready with the next dance beat.
I think it's more important to pick a beat than a song. I try not to play 3 of any one type in a row, no matter HOW many people like it. What about the ones that don’t like it? dON;T MAKE THEM WAIT TOO LONG FOR A DIFFERENT CHOICE.

( Dam caps lok !!! grrrr )

If I pack the floor with a ballad, then I give them a second one before I change the rhythm to say ….. a cha-cha like “Under The Boardwalk” or “My Girl” – that keeps the tempo change minimal ……. After the latin deal, then you can pump it up with a Rock/Disco/R&B type song.

Anyway you choose to run your sets – just be aware of HOW you need to place the MP3s within the set. If you start playing 3,4,5 DJ tracks in a row ……. You’ll never be able to compete with the energy when you go live.

As for download sites – iTunes, Van Basco, Limewire …. Anyplace that you trust. MOST of my files are from my personal CD collection, but I do use downloads too.

Be careful, be smart and be forgiving to the dancers if they prefer dancing to the original over an arranger’s pattern. They don’t ALL work for all songs. It’s YOUR job to pick the right style, right pattern, right tempo, and right order for ALL the songs of the night.
Control the pulse of the room, and you control the crowd. Once you let them tell you what to play next, or how to do anything – you’re lost.

Take requests with a smile, and play them when you think the ENTIRE room will benefit from that selection.

Just one man’s way of working the room!
Good luck – although on Feb 14th, most people will have more on their minds then dancing! You’ve already got an edge!
_________________________
Everyone, and everything I listen to is my teacher. Every instrument, every voice, every sound in nature ... they are all my private tutor ... 24/7 for free.

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#148338 - 01/19/07 03:52 PM Re: Laptop holder
travlin'easy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 14302
Loc: Forest Hill, MD USA
Zuki,

That's only a small sample of the things I learned from Uncle Dave. You have a lot of work ahead of you, but if you're persistent you'll be able to put everything together before the deadline.

Good Luck,

Gary

------------------
Travlin' Easy
_________________________
PSR-S950, Bose L1 Compact, TC Helicon Harmony-M, Digitech VR, Samson Q7, Sennheiser E855, Custom Console, Morgan 33 Out Island Sailboat, and lots of other silly stuff!

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#148339 - 01/20/07 02:47 AM Re: Laptop holder
Stephenm52 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 4507
Loc: USA
Uncle Dave, Thanks that's great advice!! Where should I send the check to?

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#148340 - 01/20/07 04:50 AM Re: Laptop holder
Dnj Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 39510
Loc: NJ
Quote:
Originally posted by Stephenm52:
Uncle Dave, Thanks that's great advice!! Where should I send the check to?



Although great advice....remember it still has to be implemented on stage flawlessly and only so backed with years of trial & error experience.....remember it all might sound easy and nice but what works for UD & myself, & others is totally different for each other ...it MUST be customized for YOUR approach & style of playing & singing before it can be successful...only take this advice as a stepping stone & build on it....seeing it demonstrated LIVE is a great learning tool also, years ago I sat & watched sat in & filled in many hours for UD always absorbing......this also includes fantastic Vocals also to pull this off....
Fran also has been my technical mentor for years also....I'm blessed to have two awesome musical friends & belessed to play & sing music which is my passion for a living!

I wish you all the best!!

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#148341 - 01/20/07 07:09 AM Re: Laptop holder
travlin'easy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 14302
Loc: Forest Hill, MD USA
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.

Good Luck,

Gary

------------------
Travlin' Easy

[This message has been edited by travlin'easy (edited 01-20-2007).]
_________________________
PSR-S950, Bose L1 Compact, TC Helicon Harmony-M, Digitech VR, Samson Q7, Sennheiser E855, Custom Console, Morgan 33 Out Island Sailboat, and lots of other silly stuff!

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#148342 - 01/20/07 03:23 PM Re: Laptop holder
zuki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/20/02
Posts: 4187
Hey, thanks folks for the replies and the detailed instructions from UD - wow

I have a great start on registrations, now that I figured it out. Man, the board is terrific (3000)

I am very geeked about playing live again.

My best,

zuki
_________________________


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#148343 - 01/20/07 03:23 PM Re: Laptop holder
tony mads usa Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/16/02
Posts: 12962
Loc: East Greenwich RI USA
Everything UD said I've garnered from 26 years playing with the band in NYC ... It was always about calling the next tune ...
t.
_________________________
t. cool

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#148344 - 01/20/07 03:46 PM Re: Laptop holder
Stephenm52 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 4507
Loc: USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Dnj:

Although great advice....remember it still has to be implemented on stage flawlessly and only so backed with years of trial & error experience.....remember it all might sound easy and nice but what works for UD & myself, & others is totally different for each other ...it MUST be customized for YOUR approach & style of playing & singing before it can be successful...only take this advice as a stepping stone & build on it....seeing it demonstrated LIVE is a great learning tool also, years ago I sat & watched sat in & filled in many hours for UD always absorbing......this also includes fantastic Vocals also to pull this off....
Fran also has been my technical mentor for years also....I'm blessed to have two awesome musical friends & belessed to play & sing music which is my passion for a living!

I wish you all the best!!


Donny, point well taken. I'm sure your absolutely right. I about broke out in sweat thinking about how I could put those tips to good use, cuz there's lots going on for sure. I'd like to be able to travel as Gary has to see yourself and some of the others play. Maybe sometime I'll get the opportunity to do so. In the meantime once my neighbor Tony Mads retires and becomes a full time musician maybe I can catch some of his performances, I know he's got lots of experience too.




[This message has been edited by Stephenm52 (edited 01-20-2007).]

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