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The more technical side of performing live?

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I've been thinking of branching out of remixing and doing crap in my bedroom to performing live for others and stuff. I'd at least like to give it a shot. My experience with remixing/producing is pretty much confined to software synths. I have a single midi controller ( oxygen 8 ) and other than that, I make all my stuff with a keyboard and mouse.

My questions:

1) What kind of equipment should I look into getting for performing live? I have a great laptop I can use but I'm not too familiar with the more technical side of sound engineering(?) and how stuff all gets wired together and whatnot. Like I said I've only used a computer and a MIDI controller so far in my 3 or 4 years of making music. It's 99% electronic, but I'm thinking of eventually picking up some instruments and incorporating those into live sets farther down the road once I get more comfortable with it.

2) Software? Right now I'm using ableton live and, if I'm feeling like something different, I'll rewire reason through it. Other than that, what do you suggest?

3) Books/resources? Like I said, I'm not too keen on the technical side of this stuff. My process now is something like: I play around until something sounds good, then I move on to more elements of the song and miraculously end up with a finished song (sometimes).

To sum it up: I want to take my music to the next level (performing live) and I have no idea where to start.

Thanks in advance :)

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that all entirely depends on what kind of live performances you want to make..

what are you going to be doing? deejaying? live remixing? triggering loops? playing melodies over backing tracks? loop recording? will it be just you or others?

i've been to numerous electronic music performances, and none of them go about it the same way.

is one example.
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mostly loops, im not sure how most sets are done but in my head im thinking, basically build a set beforehand with loops kind of as a base, then while live, create more loops on the fly and maybe incorporate some live instruments too. also using controllers to mess around a lot with effects/mods, etc.

it will be just me for now, although it would be nice to collaborate with some other people in the future. i do know a few musicians who play live instruments and might be willing to contribute or just jam out and stuff...

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ok, sounds like you mostly have everything you need for now, so just start experimenting. see what works for you.

only advice i'd give is get a video camera, and record your performances. review them, ask yourself how they could be better.. even take your act to YouTube, get feedback, find fans..

there's no secret, just practice. have fun!

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Bear in mind that as a DJ (which for all purposes, it sounds like what you will be) you will need your own sound equipment as many venues may not be able to offer you a system to patch into.

My argument as to you being a DJ comes from the simple truth that you will be using very similar equipment. On your list of things to get, here is what I suggest (and things that I use as a DJ, myself):

Small Mixer. 4-10 Channel should work fine. I use the Behringer Eurorack UB802. The mixer will be VERY handy for setting levels on the fly.

Power Amplifier. Lots of amps to choose from. Just about anything that's Behringer will work well for this. Take a look and see what might be in your price range.

Speakers (passive if you're going with the amp; powered speakers if you don't want the amp). I recomend passive speakers, but that is simply my opinion. Many prefer powered, but I find the passive a bit more manageble and easier to control. Lots of speaker choices. Again, Behringer makes some wonderful speakers as does JBL and Peavy. Look into it, read reviews, and you'll be fine.

These are things that I purchased over time as more and more gigs came, so don't read this a think you have to get it all, cold turkey :).

Lighting can be another issue, but its certainly not something you should worry about for a long time, if ever.

Analoq is right: every performer is different. I will go even further to say that every performance you do will be different and will require different aspects that others have never required before :).

I have pushed Behringer pretty hard in this post for two main reasons: 1. They are relatively inexpensive and 2. their products are generally very good considering the lower price you pay. Yes, there are better pieces of equipment out there, but Behringer is made to take a beating :).

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