Live performing with laptops
...have a contingency plan! last friday i did the usual last minute test on the laptop & oooops - no output.
...have a contingency plan!
last friday i did the usual last minute test on the laptop & oooops - no output.
a quick reboot (which always sorts out grief for me) and, errr, same thing - no output. now it's saying 'Hardware I/O - error'
so i had a quick look at the breakbox and all the interconnects and whaddyaknow - the clip that connects the pcmcia card to the breakout box is stuck.
so i take out the pcmcia card, have a wriggle about with the connects and managed to unplug the clip. a quick look confirms that the plastic clip has broken, and the pcmcia card looks a bit bent...
half an hour earlier, the stand the laptop was on had collapsed and i'd caught it just in time (or so i had thought). obviously not just in time enough, because enough pressure had been exerted to break the clip and damage the pcmcia card.
all of this would be an everyday story of kit breakdown if it wasn't for the time & place: onstage at cargo, facing a few hundred people, just as we were about to start our set.
our set is *totally* dependent on the laptop - synth & fx tempo settings, the drummer's click, cues for the vocalists, background atmosphere - it's all on there.
so what to do? we did what any self-respecting rock&roll band would do, said 'sorry, our laptop's buggered which has killed our set, so instead we're just going to jam for you.'
which we did, for about half an hour. testament to the band's (especially the vocalists) balls that we embarked on a set without a scoobies as to what bpms, keys, riffs or sounds we were going to use. i'd be lying if i said i thought we played a great set, but we *just about* pulled it off. i think.
apologies to anyone who was there and wondered why our set was, er, a bit sketchy and a bit short.
lesson learned: burn a CD with clicktrack on one channel and all audio one the other and stick it in the gig bag.
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