Percussa micro super signal processor

Give the Black Eyed Peas a stage, and they’ll give you a party. So what technology drives this terrific live show?


Printz Board is the multi-talented musical director for the Black Eyed Peas; he’s their main keyboardist but also doubles on bass and (his first instrument of choice) trumpet. (Watch for a story I did on him; I’ll link to it once it’s published and available.) He has a terrific rig with a Korg MS2000B, Yamaha Motif-Rack triggered by M-Audio Oxygen8, Rhodes 73, and veritable Minimoog Voyager. The best part: one of his Rhodes (yes, that’s plural; he has several) is clear plexiglass. (I’ll work on getting a shot of that!)


Printz sent some photos of his rig, so with his permission, I’m sharing them with you. And yes, that’s him in the first two photos:


[wpg2]archived/printz/[/wpg2]

Also, check out my buddy Robbie Gennet’s writeup of the relationship between Printz and his Moog:


Servin’ up some tasty Moog treats [moogmusic.com]


Printz is a huge fan of Propellerhead Reason; it’s his main on-the-road songwriting tool and finds its way into the studio, too; some of their big hits got assembled almost entirely in Reason. You can expect a lot more from Printz soon, too: he’s got a huge catalog of other projects in progress, some involving fellow BEP members, plus plenty of other folks:


Beets and Produce


There’s also some serious firepower behind the scenes of a Black Eyed Peas concert, centering around MOTU Digital Performer. Check out this terrific interview with Paul Davies about how he keeps everything ticking:


BEP Tour Rig [MOTU.com]


To make a long story short, they use a clever setup with subsequences to trigger different song structures. And for backing tracks, it’s very reliable, thanks to the MOTU interface and DP; BEP now has three of these rigs. Those backing tracks mean a lot when your musical director plays three instruments — with the songs on DP, Printz can lay off the keys and finally get to play his trumpet a little! Of course, you can easily replicate this setup with a PowerBook and DP. You just might have to work a little on getting a Plexiglass Rhodes.


Seen a live rig that particularly impressed you — or got one of your own? Let us know!