The Harder Side of St. Vincent’s Live Rig: Custom Rack, Eventide Stompboxes, MIDI

St. Vincent is doing some amazing live shows, so it’s little wonder that a look inside the software rig and approach to computer-enhanced performance got some attention Friday. Eagle-eyed readers, though, weren’t only satisfied hearing from the band about the role of Ableton Live and Reason. That expansive rack of stompboxes, including some of my personal favorites from New Jersey-based maker Eventide, clearly matters, too. In comments, there’s a full explanation of what you’re seeing. As Dan writes: Mike Vegas of Nice Rack Canada (formerly Nice Rack NYC) built that board for Annie. The MasterMind provides switching for the analog …


How St. Vincent Plays Live, ‘Through the Looking Glass’ [Video Behind-the-Scenes]

At the end of the day, what motivates extra technical preparation is the same thing that drives musicians to practice scales or work long hours in the studio: that extra discipline can pay off in real freedom of expression. So, it’s moving to hear St. Vincent talk about musicality as the end point for onstage computer-based coordination. In the behind-the-scenes video, you can see how the band combines Ableton Live, a loaded rack of instruments in Propellerhead Reason (presumably running via ReWire into Live), and a whole big mess of pedals. Interestingly, MIDI triggers for those pedals helped focus on …


David Byrne on Collaboration, Process

David Byrne is, of course, a legendary name. But part of what I love about music is, for all the hero worship that sometimes accompanies music writing and fandom, there’s always something to learn from musicians whose work you enjoy – whether famous or obscure. David Byrne has been singularly open in talking about his work and process. In an extensive post this week, he shares how collaborations with other artists are born, evolve, and unfold: 03.15.10: Collaborations And, boy, are the collaborations coming now. The new Here Lies Love is a project with Fatboy Slim. In the post above, …