Getting Good Gigs … For Visualists

I got to run a feature yesterday on Create Digital Music with tips for getting good gigs, written by musician and Chicago electronica scenester Liz “Quantazelle.” That story has in turn generated a lot of discussion on CDM and elsewhere. This raises an interesting question, though: how much of this advice applies to visualists and, specifically, standard VJ gigs? We face even more challenges: needing projection surfaces and (in some cases) projectors, having to “accompany” music, and having a new medium that most people still don’t quite “get.” My own gigs have often been nontraditional (modern dance) or mixed with …

READ MORE →

Getting Good Digital Gigs: Discussion, Debates, and a Place to Chat More

Laptop performance gigs: MOMUS displays one (atypical) way to present your live performance persona. We forgot the “Find a way to keep your face warm” tip. Photo by Tamara Weikel, taken in a Chelsea (NY?) gallery. Getting good gigs is a challenge for all genres, and it touches even more issues when computers are involved. So, as we’d hoped, Liz’s tips for getting booked has generated a lot of discussion. In addition to comments here on CDM: The wonderful community at EM411 has some discussion, including a great tip: bring VHS tapes or books to prop your computer atop the …

READ MORE →

Hey, Bostonites! Boston CyberArts Events?

I’m off to Boston where I’ll be presenting work Saturday and Sunday 4/21-22 in the Ideas in Motion (dance + technology) portion of Boston CyberArts. (At the last minute, I wound up involved not only Saturday afternoon at 2pm with my own work, but Sunday morning at the Swiss Consulate with Andrea Haenggi.) More on this here on CDMusic and CDMotion soon. Anything going on that weekend? (Making my travel plans now.) Anything worth making an additional trip from New York to Boston to see? Let me know!

READ MORE →

Luxeed Keyboard with Interactive Lighting: Perfect Gigging QWERTY?

Down with laptops! Jaymis and I have both taken up SFF PCs as live tools, so we can bring some serious iron to gigs with multiple video outputs. Now, the only problem: laptops have these handy QWERTY keyboards attached. SFF PCs (and Mac minis and such) mean bringing your own keyboard and display. I’ve been looking for the perfect keyboard to turn this into an advantage: why not a super-savvy QWERTY keyboard that’s a performance instrument in its own right? I think I’ve found it: CES 2007: Luxeed Interactive Keyboard [Chip Chick] Each key can be programmed with colors, interactively, …

READ MORE →

Teaser: Great Laptop Visuals = Party

Our own Jaymis has left CDMotion for a couple of weeks for something called a “vacation”, but he’s left a terrific gallery of images from the Elements 7 / King Unique event in Brisbane. In an intimate club venue, Jaymis fired up his full live performance VJ setup, complete with Behringer controllers and Resolume video; the musicians are full-on with Mac + Ableton + Novation Remote SL. Notice how have some controllers handy frees up the performer to really have a good time and do something, well, performative. Notice, as well, that everyone in Australia — man and woman alike …

READ MORE →

VJCommuting: Wireless Midi Control with the M-Audio MidAir Adapter

Peter has looked at M-Audio’s new MidAir cable-free midi keyboard and adapter on CDMu, but I’d like to bring it up here for those who don’t visit the ‘Mu daily (shame!). The MidAir 37 controller is just an incremental upgrade on the existing MidAir 25, adding an extra octave and 9 faders. These are definitely interesting products, but without some way to strap them to your body they’re just removing a cable from the tangle behind your rig. Admirable, but not really worth US$100. However, the MidAir Transmitter and Receiver system allows you to add wirelessness to your existing midi …

READ MORE →

DustBook: Another DIY Solution for Burning Man Desert Performances

Mashup/files/media/music maven Moldover checks in in comments with another tip for surviving the desert of Burning Man (or, you know, your next gig in Yemen): I’ve been bringing my laptop to the playa for several years now. My solution this year was a modified briefcase. I made a mount for my MIDI controller to sit right on ontop of the open case. This minimized my footprint which was very helpful. The case worked like a charm at night but it would overheat during the day. The quick fix was to put it ontop of a bag of ice. (Not very …

READ MORE →

Burning Man: Musical Mac Laptops in Home-Built Bio-Hazard Boxes

Laptops as bio-hazard? Dust problems in the desert? Just stick them in a miniature “clean room” environment. Chris Martinez of effect69 writes us with details: Worried about dust and dirt? PowerBook got an alien plague? This should help. Burning Man 2006: Hope & Fear the Future When we were asked to play on the playa, I immediately thought of all of the stories of â€Å“That dust gets everywhereâ€Â? and did I really want all of my precious gear getting destroyed? Would you? No! So I went to work on a plan that would help keep most of the dust and …

READ MORE →

Line6’s KB37 Guitar/Vocal/Bass-Processing Keyboard

Multi-instrumentalists, Line6 must have you in mind. The equipment maker, known primarily for their guitar products, has plunked a keyboard on their multi-effects box / audio interface hybrid, TonePort. There are plenty of reasons to like the TonePort line: a broad approach to effects that caters to vocalists as well as guitarists, and cheaply-priced but good-sounding effects, in an interface with excellent low-latency performance. (Not to mention retro-looking VU meters, and they’re not just eye candy — they’re assignable.) Not everyone will need a keyboard in the same unit, but if you do, it’s nice to see a real mod …

READ MORE →