Performing outdoors

Posted by: Jerryghr

Performing outdoors - 05/14/05 06:30 AM

I have started to receive calls for performing outdoors, however I am reluctant to take the booking , due to the fact that the screen on the Yamaha PSR3000 and other PSRs are impossible to read outside.

One solution may be to use the "video" out on the PSR3000, but this requires more equipment and setup.

I was wondering how other performers have handled the situation. I have seen numerous photos of Scott Yee performing outdoors, and was wondering if Scott could shed some light (no pun intended) on how he has overcome this problem.


Posted by: DonM

Re: Performing outdoors - 05/14/05 06:34 AM

I have a two-tiered keyboard stand. I put the keyboard on the bottom tier. I made a board to fit on the top tier. I place the laptop or whatever on it. The board shades the keyboard.
The laptop is another matter. I usually just do everything from memory and don't try to use it.
I have an outdoor job in 2 hours. I'll take a photo when I get set up.
I know Gary D. made a little shade for his. I once did that too, with some cardboard and tape. However you do it, you have to shade the display.
Posted by: SemiLiveMusic

Re: Performing outdoors - 05/14/05 07:19 AM

I played a party one week ago and had a helluva time. I've wondered how people have handled it.

Me Bill
Yamaha PSR2000
Posted by: Tony Rome

Re: Performing outdoors - 05/14/05 08:36 AM

Scott Yee uses a Tyros and the screen is very adjusts to suit your needs...
Tony Rome
Posted by: SBPC

Re: Performing outdoors - 05/14/05 08:40 AM

One thing I usually do is take along a market umbrella and stand to make sure I can have some semblance of shade. Over the couse of an afternoon, it means I'll have to move it a few times to keep the shade over the keyboard. (I don't mind haveing the shade on me, either.) In addition I'm made a simple hood for the display to enable me to read it in spite of the ambient light. Then the remaining problem I've had to deal with is not being able to see the red LED's above my various switches on my particular board (Ketron MS60). That's something I've just had to learn to live with.
Paul C.
Posted by: travlin'easy

Re: Performing outdoors - 05/14/05 02:48 PM

Unfortunately, there is currently no daylight or sunlight viewable keyboard display available. And, that video out will not do you any good either--you cannot see a TV screen when the sun hits it either.

The only option is to shade the screen, either by constucting a hood or some other means. In this respect, all keyboard manufacturers, not just Yamaha, have really dropped the ball. The cost of a sunlight viewable display is not very much at all, and for the past 20 years the marine industry has been using them for depth finders--including the color displays. The tyros display is somewhat brighter than the PSR-3000, but it cannot be seen outdoors in direct sunlight or even in bright light conditions. Yes, you can tilt the screen, but when the sun hits it you're looking at a blank screen.

If you construct a hood, use heavy, black construction paper which is nothing more than light cardboard. This will absorb most reflective light from outside sources. The one I made looked like an air scoop for a souped up car and Velcro'd around the screen's edge so I could still reach the adjacent buttons.

The other problem is the indicator lights are also invisible in daylight conditions, so you cannot determine which is activated--DUMB DESIGN WORK!

Fortunately, the new colors (shades of silver) keep the board a lot cooler in direct sunlight, and while some folks don't think anything other black looks professional, I personally don't believe this is the case.

Good Luck,

Posted by: captain Russ

Re: Performing outdoors - 05/14/05 04:52 PM

Been playing summers outside at the same restaurant for 13 years. Start at 7:00 PM. Never had a problem with scren visibility with Solton/Ketron products. There is a large tree nearby, which I suspect cuts just enough direct sunlight to make things work.

Did have a big problem last year playing several company parties outdoors. Since I could shade the screen with my hand, I know an umbrella or other shade would work fine.

Posted by: The Accordionist

Re: Performing outdoors - 05/14/05 04:58 PM

This may sound a little arrogant, but I won't accept any more outdoor gigs.

My acoustic accordion is just too expensive and fragile to have 100 degree (Southern California) sun hit it for four hours.

My last gig about killed me. I had absolutely no shade. It was a pool party and they seriously had me under a patio that had open slats. It was unbearable. I wiped the sweat off my accordion every five minutes.

I vowed from that day on it would be indoor gigs or restaurants only. No outdoor patios.

Again, this is just a hobby for me, and the income derived from it is discretionary and I do have the liberty of refusing jobs. If it was my full-time vocation I might think otherwise (like purchasing a $1000 cheap accordion for outdoor gigs only).

Posted by: StPatrick

Re: Performing outdoors - 05/14/05 09:56 PM

I bought a $200 EZUp 10'x10' tent at Costco. Not only does it keep you dry and cooler, but you can put your logo all over it for advertising. Takes 2 minutes to put it up.
Be careful about the morning dew setting in if you do a late late party, though! No tent will help that.
Posted by: SemiLiveMusic

Re: Performing outdoors - 05/15/05 07:09 AM

Originally posted by travlin'easy:
The other problem is the indicator lights are also invisible in daylight conditions, so you cannot determine which is activated--DUMB DESIGN WORK!

Hey Gary, what design feature could fix it? A depressed button or something like that?
Posted by: travlin'easy

Re: Performing outdoors - 05/15/05 07:31 AM

The only work around for the LED indicators is the MFC10 foot pedal, which can be programmed to perform some of the tasks, but then you have to work with a 10 button pedal, which is another problem for live performers who already have too many things going on at the same time.

Posted by: captain Russ

Re: Performing outdoors - 05/16/05 01:42 PM

Tommy, you're right..playing outside on a patio is miserable. I'll be starting my 14th season tomorrow night at a restaurant in Kentucky.

But, by he middle of June, I'll have all my bookings arranged for the off season. I really couldn't tak a year-round job, since winter corporate and state government jobs pay three times the restaurant rate. My customers look for me on the patio. Out of the corporate jobs, I get film production, film score work, research and graphics projects and lots of valuable contacts. Everybody knows this place and has seen me there at one time or another.

Balance that with equipment damage, carrying two complete sound systems in and out every night...heat, rain and's a love-hate relationship.

Posted by: Sheriff

Re: Performing outdoors - 05/16/05 02:08 PM

Originally posted by SBPC:
...Then the remaining problem I've had to deal with is not being able to see the red LED's...

Try to swap the red LEDs with blue ones! The sun has many parts of red and yellow light. The blue light has a higher frequency and so it is much better to see (it seems to be much brighter). The blue LEDs cost much more than the normal LEDs (red, yellow, green).
Be careful: The blue LEDs always have a higher flow voltage and current then the other ones but there are some brighter types of blue LEDs which can be used with lower current.

Greetings from Frankfurt (Germany),
Sheriff ;-)