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Play a live show without embarrassing myself.
Old 11th March 2014
  #1
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natrixgli's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Play a live show without embarrassing myself.

Hey Slutz -

I've been really wanting to play out lately. I have worked on a fairly short (maybe 30 mintues if I manage to not drag it out too much) set of stuff which I think sounds pretty good. I plan to use my SparkLE, Octatrack, Tempest, and Ultranova. I did a couple videos (here and here) as I was starting to put my set together, but I've gotten much better with the OT since then.

I'm in my mid 30's and haven't played a show in about ten years. Back then I played in rock bands, so I had 3-4 other guys writing music with me, and also providing cover if I made a mistake in a show.

But making mistakes isn't really what worries me as much as the fact that I don't really keep up on what's popular in electronic music any more that my stuff might not appeal to fans of popular EDM styles.

But I really have no idea. Plus I live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin which isn't known for a fantastic live music scene.

What I'm thinking of doing is maybe trying to get an opening for a synth rock band or something, so that I'm not playing to a crowd with expectations of super trendy electronic dance music. But at the same time I don't want to bore a bunch of indie rock dudes with electronic music either.

Any advice or encouragement is appreciated.
Old 11th March 2014
  #2
Gear Addict
 
Seluj Netnihnov's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
you should wear a really absurdly disgusting costume.. having such an embarrasing look this way that your music becomes the coolest possible thing in relation to your look.. And..in case it goes wrong.. nobody would realize you without that costume and you could even participate in dissing yourself without beein realized. So a classical win/win situation
Old 11th March 2014 | Show parent
  #3
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natrixgli's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seluj Netnihnov ➡️
you should wear a really absurdly disgusting costume.. having such an embarrasing look this way that your music becomes the coolest possible thing in relation to your look.. And..in case it goes wrong.. nobody would realize you without that costume and you could even participate in dissing yourself without beein realized. So a classical win/win situation
Good advice. I will consider this.
Old 11th March 2014
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
If you are afraid of the audience not liking your music I'm just going to say…you're never going to make everyone happy. People go to bars to drink and to listen to music, and unless you are exceptionally offensive or obnoxious, they aren't even likely to notice you are there at all. You're only there for 30 minutes, you get up there, do your thing... if people dig it…great…if they don't…who cares?





My only advice is don't talk to the audience, just keep the music going. I don't even like rock bands talking to the audience. At best they come off arrogant, mostly its just annoying time kill. I've stood through many electronic acts while waiting for the actual act I wanted to see play. I may not like your music, but I will tolerate it, just don't test my patience. Get on, get going, get out of the way. The only exception to this rule where I actually found myself amused was Otto von Schirach.
Old 11th March 2014
  #5
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Never mind I should have watched your vids first.
Old 11th March 2014
  #6
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skyshaver's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I advise talking to the audience if you want them to pay attention. If not then ignoring them will insure that they ignore you. People want to be engaged, they want to hear stories, want you to make them laugh etc. I find people are way more responsive to my music and me in general if my between song patter is working. If you don't want to talk at least have someone introduce you. A brief "hey everyone, this is natrixgli and he's going to cook up some tunes for y'all, enjoy!" At least then people realize the performance has started and they can choose whether or not to pay attention.

Otherwise the best advice I can give is have fun. People have fun watching people have fun. Even if things start going wrong keep having fun. I've played hundreds of shows and I've learned to have fun no matter what happens. Mostly
Old 11th March 2014 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Addict
 
Seluj Netnihnov's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by skyshaver ➡️
I advise talking to the audience if you want them to pay attention. If not then ignoring them will insure that they ignore you. People want to be engaged, they want to hear stories,
no..they dont want to hear stories from the musicans..but saying hello and stating the name of your act is ok and enough to make a personal contact..
Old 11th March 2014 | Show parent
  #8
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skyshaver's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seluj Netnihnov ➡️
no..they dont want to hear stories from the musicans..but saying hello and stating the name of your act is ok and enough to make a personal contact..
You may not want to hear stories but many people do. I'm not suggesting you tell your life story chapter by chapter over the course of a set but stage patter is important in most scenarios. In many electronic music performance settings maybe not but in just about every other performance setting creating a rapport with your audience is essential. Anyways, an introduction is important. Where you go from there depends on you, your audience and the venue. Good luck and have fun.
Old 11th March 2014
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Well I live in Milwaukee and would pay to listen to you perform. I like the videos. I don't know where in Milwaukee one would perform this type of set though. Mad Planet comes to mind, but I could be wrong. PM me though if it happens. I'd check it out for sure.
Old 11th March 2014
  #10
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Rooftree's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I live in Madison. Let me know if you get a gig out here. I'd suggest arranging your gear so the audience can see you playing it. The music is the most important thing, but I get a lot out of watching how it's made. Good luck!
Old 11th March 2014
  #11
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by natrixgli ➡️
I don't really keep up on what's popular in electronic music any more that my stuff might not appeal to fans of popular EDM styles.
Your vids look and sound great - it's obvious you believe in what you're doing and that's 99% of it. Don't pander to the questionable taste of an entirely hypothetical audience - just get out there and do what you do and have fun doing it!
Old 11th March 2014 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by skyshaver ➡️
I advise talking to the audience if you want them to pay attention. If not then ignoring them will insure that they ignore you. People want to be engaged, they want to hear stories, want you to make them laugh etc. I find people are way more responsive to my music and me in general if my between song patter is working. If you don't want to talk at least have someone introduce you. A brief "hey everyone, this is natrixgli and he's going to cook up some tunes for y'all, enjoy!" At least then people realize the performance has started and they can choose whether or not to pay attention.

Otherwise the best advice I can give is have fun. People have fun watching people have fun. Even if things start going wrong keep having fun. I've played hundreds of shows and I've learned to have fun no matter what happens. Mostly
I agree... except the for the stories part... unless of course your music if very lyrical, then you should definitely banter a bit.. even if it's a few little quips or mumbling to yourself.

If it's instrumental... I'd at least, after the third track, say who you and a mention if you have anything like records for sale, etc...

If you play techno.. don't say a word.
Old 11th March 2014
  #13
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
After listening to some tracks in your link... do you have any friends that will play live drums for you?

Unless your style has changed a bit lately..
Old 11th March 2014 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by djugel ➡️
I agree... except the for the stories part... unless of course your music if very lyrical, then you should definitely banter a bit.. even if it's a few little quips or mumbling to yourself.

If it's instrumental... I'd at least, after the third track, say who you and a mention if you have anything like records for sale, etc...

If you play techno.. don't say a word. & look moody
fixed that for ya.
Old 11th March 2014
  #15
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Moody?

Nah.. You just gotta shake it.. Like you'd naturally do.
Old 11th March 2014
  #16
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pinkerton's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Haha I absolutely hate getting announced. Even moreso, announcing myself. Yes I do make some weirdass techno so I prefer to not be seen at all.

Just one piece of advice: do not EVER agree to "playing between the bands setting up"

Just say NO.
Old 11th March 2014
  #17
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
I for one would love to see more live electronica on stage that is not just DJ's.
I think this would be well recieved.
Old 11th March 2014 | Show parent
  #18
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Barfunkel's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unslaven ➡️
I for one would love to see more live electronica on stage that is not just DJ's.
I think this would be well recieved.
Most electronic music lives are basically just the producers DJ'ing their own tunes with a laptop though. That's WAY more boring than a proper DJ set that can include all kinds of music.

Not saying that you necessarily have to bring 20 analog keyboards on stage, but some kind of an effort to make the live set a bit more live (even if just premade patterns, with lots of muting/unmuting, playing with filters and FX and such - ie. the way I play live) would be nice. Most just play the same exact studio versions of their tunes, which is hella boring.
Old 11th March 2014
  #19
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I say put yourself out there. Play any gig you can get and open yourself up to your audience. Without apology.

and see what happens.

I reckon playing live is like being bald. If you don't like that about yourself people pick up on it, however if you can have confidence in spite of being follicle challenged, well people pick up on that too and positive confidence is what wins in the end.
Old 11th March 2014
  #20
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depulse's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Get some dancers on stage with you. If the people don't like your music they might like watching the dancers. And it adds a human element to the show.
Old 11th March 2014 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by depulse ➡️
Get some dancers on stage with you. If the people don't like your music they might like watching the dancers. And it adds a human element to the show.
I tried that once, but the dancer girl took so much acid that her dancing was a bit awkward at moments. Ppl did do like her anyways

Better idea was to take good looking girl to play bass over the beats:

That distracts the audience enough not to care what you do with your nerdy equipment
Old 11th March 2014
  #22
Lives for gear
 
CasimirsBlake's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Proof that the SH-201 isn't entirely useless?

Anyway banter: it can work, makes you appear more confident. My "reference" here is Andy "Ceephax" Jenkinson who regularly comments and just goes with it when his old Rolands decide to sync in every possible direction except the way they're supposed to. He shrugs it off, hell it becomes a feature of his sets and IMHO serves to make him appear far more professional.
Old 11th March 2014
  #23
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ohsnap's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Is this even possible?
Old 11th March 2014
  #24
Gear Nut
 
damondarkwalker's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by natrixgli ➡️
Hey Slutz -

I've been really wanting to play out lately. I have worked on a fairly short (maybe 30 mintues if I manage to not drag it out too much) set of stuff which I think sounds pretty good. I plan to use my SparkLE, Octatrack, Tempest, and Ultranova. I did a couple videos (here and here) as I was starting to put my set together, but I've gotten much better with the OT since then.

I'm in my mid 30's and haven't played a show in about ten years. Back then I played in rock bands, so I had 3-4 other guys writing music with me, and also providing cover if I made a mistake in a show.

But making mistakes isn't really what worries me as much as the fact that I don't really keep up on what's popular in electronic music any more that my stuff might not appeal to fans of popular EDM styles.

But I really have no idea. Plus I live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin which isn't known for a fantastic live music scene.

What I'm thinking of doing is maybe trying to get an opening for a synth rock band or something, so that I'm not playing to a crowd with expectations of super trendy electronic dance music. But at the same time I don't want to bore a bunch of indie rock dudes with electronic music either.

Any advice or encouragement is appreciated.
Nothing to worry about. Okay, now that I've solved that problem let's look at some possibilities.

You could attend some shows and see how people respond to other artists. Typically you can find a venue near a college or something low-key where the kids are more receptive to different types of sounds. Give those a try and see if you can get a feel for the vibe. That should give you an idea of how to arrange your setlist. You may also want to mix up your setlist a bit, so that you give them a bit of variety (slow/fast/hard/funky) and see where the audience goes.

Hey, lots of people get the gitters. There are actually very famous, and long-established artists who still have horrible stage fright. So, that's normal, or shall I say natural.

I've played live a lot with a lot of different kinds of bands, and you're never going to please everyone all of the time; but you can sometimes get a feel for a region, a room or a crowd and try to accommodate. Also, you'll make a mistake. It happens. If it's not you, a piece of your gear will do it for you.

Way back in the day when I was with a group that played to a backing DAT tape, I kicked the plug and unplugged the rack. There was the loud "POP" sound and then no backing tracks (mainly drums). Fortunately we did actually play on top of the DAT so we kept going until I could maneuver myself over to plug it back in, and skip to the next song.

Best of luck!

Edit: Just listened to one of your tracks. I'd go see you! Your stuff sounds engaging and fun. It also varies enough in styles. Nice work!
Old 11th March 2014
  #25
Gear Maniac
 
justmull's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
What they said is most important - banter etc.
I've also played lots of live shows and the biggest other mistake I've ever made was not letting the beats roll out long enough on an early gig with 2xMC303's - the set is finished in 20mins instead of 40-60. A live dancefloor will always be happy with a beat for 30-60 seconds at the intro/outro - especially with banter.
Also bass - if you've never played out and mixing at home then your bass freq will most likely be too high but a quick fix is to roll it off on the desk - just be ready to do that.
Old 11th March 2014
  #26
Lives for gear
 
natrixgli's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Thanks for all the suggestions.

My setup right now has machines, a keyboard, a laptop, and a drum pad (alesis controlpad). My short term plan is to keep things simple and stick to my Octatrack and Tempest with a bit of synth playing here and there. But down the road, there are a few songs I did drums live on where I would probably run the whole track via either Ableton or as Static tracks on the Octatrack, and drum over them. So for some songs I'd be pushing buttons and twiddling knobs, for some songs I'd be playing keys, and for some songs I'd be drumming live. (or a combination of all 3.) I setup my drum controller to trigger loop playback in Ableton, so that I can play the beat live for a bit, then trigger a recorded loop version and go off and do other things.

This coming weekend I think I will do a video that incorporates some live drumming to see how well I can pull it off.
Old 11th March 2014 | Show parent
  #27
Lives for gear
 
natrixgli's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by depulse ➡️
Get some dancers on stage with you. If the people don't like your music they might like watching the dancers. And it adds a human element to the show.
For some reason all this makes me think of is this guy:



(if you were never into the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, that's Ben Carr.)
Old 11th March 2014
  #28
Lives for gear
 
pinkerton's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Seems like you've got the right idea... I think you'll be fine.
Old 11th March 2014
  #29
Lives for gear
 
slaughtrhaus's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by natrixgli ➡️
Hey Slutz -

I've been really wanting to play out lately. I have worked on a fairly short (maybe 30 mintues if I manage to not drag it out too much) set of stuff which I think sounds pretty good. I plan to use my SparkLE, Octatrack, Tempest, and Ultranova. I did a couple videos (here and here) as I was starting to put my set together, but I've gotten much better with the OT since then.

I'm in my mid 30's and haven't played a show in about ten years. Back then I played in rock bands, so I had 3-4 other guys writing music with me, and also providing cover if I made a mistake in a show.

But making mistakes isn't really what worries me as much as the fact that I don't really keep up on what's popular in electronic music any more that my stuff might not appeal to fans of popular EDM styles.

But I really have no idea. Plus I live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin which isn't known for a fantastic live music scene.

What I'm thinking of doing is maybe trying to get an opening for a synth rock band or something, so that I'm not playing to a crowd with expectations of super trendy electronic dance music. But at the same time I don't want to bore a bunch of indie rock dudes with electronic music either.

Any advice or encouragement is appreciated.
I can totally relate. I played in rock bands through most of my 20's and 30's, took like 5 years off, and at nearly 43 years old I hope to play live again soon. Congrats on getting back into it.

Advice-

Logistical in nature mainly...
You have a sweet rig, with lots of stuff to hook up. Make sure you provide yourself with adequate time for setup and troubleshooting your rig.

I have my AK, Octatrack, XV2020, power strip and stereo D.I. box all mounted to a board with industrial strength velcro. The board fits neatly in a large keyboard case, all I have to do is pull the whole board out in one piece and put it on the stand, plug in power and outs to the house and I'm basically ready to go. All the stuff on the board is completely hooked up and left that way. There are a few cables to hook up for the pedalboard below and the top tier of the stand, but I have those snaked together and marked, so I can do it quickly and without much light. Some sort of logistical plan is beneficial here IMO.




Bass management is going to be really important too. Show up early and take a nice long sound check. Play all the parts with deep bass and be ready to make a few minor adjustments for the room and system. Try out your live set on a friend's practice room PA or something if you can.

Anticipate being nervous. Use the adrenaline rush to get pumped up not angry or anxious, a shortcoming I unfortunately fall victim to once in a while. Opening for semi-famous bands that I actually like was a big trigger for this lol, you'd think it would be the ****ty gigs

Anticipate at least one "gremlin", and be ready to deal with it when it pops out.

Anticipate your set being cut off early or being asked to play longer. have a "spare" song ready.

Be ready for whatever may happen, and this will allow you to relax and enjoy the gig.

Don't be disappointed if everyone who promised to drive across town on a Tuesday night to pay a cover and be in a loud bar all night bails on you, you're in your 30's now, generally people who do that stuff are younger, sans kids and careers etc.

Encouragement-

I remember these vids from when you posted them as they were made, I thought they were good then and they still sound good now. It's going to go well, because you obviously give a **** what your music sounds like. Even if you end up playing for the next band up and their girlfriends and the bartender, play your ass off and own it.
Old 11th March 2014
  #30
Gear Addict
 
Seluj Netnihnov's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
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