Electronic music creators eventually start performing live during their careers. Such transition requires additional knowledge and equipment as live performances are quite different from creating music alone in your studio. There are important things to consider if you want to start performing live. Our studio will be happy to tell you about some necessary tools that you need to make your live performance great.
If you’re going to use a laptop in your performance, you will need an audio interface with enough outputs and inputs to support your setup. Mobile interfaces do not need to be as complex as studio interfaces, which generally include eight or more input channels and multiple inbuilt preamps. All of that depends on how many sound sources you will be using.
A small or medium-sized mixer with four to twelve inputs is usually enough for a live performance. You will be able to plug in numerous sound sources and adjust settings using easily accessible sliders. Many modern mixers have built-in effects however, if you are using a DAW, this will not be necessary. So bottom line: when it comes to purchasing the right mixer, it should be portable and have the optimal number of inputs and outputs.
Then you have to consider what instruments or devices you will be using. The setup will vary greatly depending on your skills and preferences. It can be simple and consist of a laptop, an audio interface, and a MIDI controller, or you can make it very complex and include real instruments. You should think about it beforehand to figure out what equipment you will need for your performance.
A great tool to use in your live performances is Eurorack. It makes the setup more complicated, but it is well suited for spontaneous live performances and can produce interesting results to make your performance even more memorable.
Choosing the right MIDI controller for your live performance can be overwhelming, considering the number of controllers available today. However, you should always remember that your controller for live performances will be a little bit different from the one you use in your studio. First of all, it should be portable. There are small USB Midi controllers that don’t take up a lot of space and provide you with the control you need. The type of MIDI controller will vary depending on your needs and your setup, but usually, you need to control at least eight channels and have a small keyboard to trigger samples.
To spice up your live performance, you can consider using your smartphone and apps that you can download from the app store. It’s unmatched in terms of portability, and it gives you the ability to include touch-sensitive elements into your performance.
Always have the necessary accessories, such as batteries, ready in your bag. Even if the venue should provide you with everything you need, do not rely on them. Mistakes happen, and you don’t want them to happen on the night of your performance. So always be prepared and have everything you need at hand because you never know what could go wrong.
Double-check your setup and retest it as close to the performance time as possible to prevent crashes. Musicians that perform at large venues run several systems simultaneously, so if one crashes another one kicks in, some performers have a pre-recorded CD. One thing is certain: be prepared in case your laptop crashes, because the last thing you want your audience to hear is silence in the middle of your performance.
And lastly, invest in a good travel case, even if you are not planning to tour at the moment, you will need one in the future. Make sure your equipment is properly protected; it will save you a lot of heartache down the road.