making the jump to a live P.A.?


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hi all,

everyone here is so useful that i thought i'd ask some more :Smile3: thanks in advance!

this saturday will be my last DJ set for awhile. i'm working on my live set now, i probably have about half an hour's worth of material that i'm happy with... i'll be using my PC which finally has more ram, an Edirol PCR-M30 midi controller for sequencer / softsynths, my guitar & a zoom606 pedal, a CDJ for ambient loops, and probably an alesis micron (although i'm writing without it at the moment). i'm then running it all through the omnistudio soundcard and a shitty gemini mixer (which is a temporary solution to having fader-control over the guitar and whatnot).


it's a big step... because of the guitar element i'm really working on my technique to make sure i'm totally bulletproof when the night arrives. luckily i have a background in string performance (violin) so hopefully i won't have to worry too much about nerves or things going awfully. instrumental stuff presents problems of its own, primarily that it's absolutely human and there's no nice BPM lock going on :Wink3: plus shaky gig-night leg muscles might be bad for delicate pedal control.

i'm planning to have a backup track on the CDJ which i can cut to if the PC fries itself or if i fuck up spectacularly. i've drawn up a layout plan which i'm giving to the club on saturday. i've got some foam pads to put my PC on to help with excess vibration, and a surge-protected powerboard to plug everything into.

other than that, does anyone have any tips?

any dos/don'ts for live p.a.?

any horror stories or recommendations or essential advice?

and as a side-question, does anyone know of a really good rack-mounted compressor to think about? i've got the hardware fetish bug and it's bitten me HARD :S

any help much appreciated :Smile3:


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try and practice your live set at least once before playing it out
try not accidently reload and start playing the same tune halfway through a set
when playing a wav intro, remember not to unload it halfway through playing it
try not to let people on stage pull out the leads connecting the decks to the mixer

thats all the advice i've got, but then we've only put one party on recently :Grin:

above all have fun!


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Practise is good... practise to an audience (even if it's just one person) is better. When OOOD first started doing live sets in 1995 we practised a few times, first on our own, then to Stevie's mate Grant (later known as Darshan), which set we recorded on cassette as "OOOD Live - an audience of one".

Also I'd suggest starting simple and adding more complexity as you gain confidence in handling the fuckups even the most simple of live setups will throw at you! :Smile3: