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Author Topic: Laptop musicians (::::Battle ::conFIGuration::)  (Read 4535 times)


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Laptop musicians (::::Battle ::conFIGuration::)
« on: April 20, 2004, 09:49:08 PM »

I have a few recommendations for those of you who haven't had the pleasure of reinforcing laptop musicians.

1) They will overdrive their outputs, -If- they are new to stage laptop performance. They will. Counsel them on the benefits of lowering the output 10% Thats right-dont go lower in volume than you possibly can. But put a brick wall limiter in line before your FOH board.

2) Laptop are not synthesizers!! They can send you hot and heavy processed 20hz without even batting an eye. And some of those trouble maker types WILL send you that just to check and see if you are sleeping. I never got such full volume full frequency madness as I can get from a laptop performer.

3) Now I know this will seem like a given to most people but
You gotta check the signal, prior to putting it into the mains/monitors. Sometimes in a battle situation, you cannot do it the traditional "sound-check" Style. When they come up to compete, hook them up( I recommend a signal leveler like matchbox even though I have never actually tried it maybe I wouldn't say go out and buy one) (All your cords have to be in perfect shape. A lot of times you will get a feed from their headphone output!) In a laptop battle configuration I recommend you have your back up board on the table with them (if you cannot have your foh board there) You are a major player in this form of competition, don't be afraid to be center stage if the situation calls for it. Talk to the players, get them to lower their output volume a little, cue up the incoming signal on your headphones, ask them if possible to max you out  with some heavy beats and obnoxious highs
let it run(you can un-cue the signal and put out whatever fire is igniting.) come back in a few minutes after the output electronics have "heated up" a little. This can and will happen while a prior competitor is performing. Check the envelope of the signal for distortion. Most of the time it will be the envelope, as the output device is distorting. I do nt think the signal can distort too easily within the individual programs, but who knows with a little smarts and effort one could do anything.

4) The laptop world is extremely diverse, maybe last year it was populated mostly with IDM- types, but now adays every type of GEEK makes their own style of music. It is a cool scene. They are the kind of people that you would talk to in a big crowd. Well, I am assuming that you too are a signal generating/processing obsessing type of geek.

Unfortunately (really it is fortunate, but we are creatures of habit) every type of music/noise/ machine emissions will enter your ears.

5) did I say have a brick wall limiter? Well have 2. one for each performer.

6) rent subs if you do not have enough ooomph. Which brings me to another point of worship. Laptops can generate full frequency signals. You will find out how good your system is. You can join in the fun by creating some music of your own. This is the wild west of music creation so anything you do adds to the event.
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