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 …

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Behind the Scenes with Justice in Rio

Here’s a unique chance to step onstage with electronic duo Justice – well, through photos, at least – on tour in Brazil. Behind a stack of Marshall Amps and other gear that looks ready to push back an invading horde of Barbarians with a battering ram, these two have some very lovely goodies for live laptop performance. No plain-vanilla DJ sets here. Our friend Fabio “FZero” writes: I came across some pictures of the gear Justice used to play in Rio. They were taken by a guy which works on Circo Voador (the place were they played) and uploaded to …

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Onstage Tech Disasters: Van Halen Goes Microtonal!

Spinal Tap has nothing on this. Via RW70, aka Rob Warmowski: So what happens when you’re Van Halen, the last song in your set list is the million-seller “Jump” with its synthesizer-keyboard opening…and the recording you’re using to play back the synth is accidentally run at 48K instead of 44.1K? What happens is exactly this (recorded in Greensboro, NC four days ago) Yes, just as disturbing as the possibility that your backing tracks could spontaneously introduce a new tuning system in front of thousands of fans, hundreds of thousands more may know about it within days on YouTube. Techs everywhere …

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Soft Synth Road Watch: Vince Jones Plays Logic Onstage

Who said computer performance has to be a dude sitting behind a screen tweaking arcane software setups? As we saw Friday, you can hide your computer in a rig and play guitars and keyboards. David Levy reports for Apple.com that keyboardist Vince Jones totes a PowerBook onstage for playing keyboard soft synths, courtesy the sampler in Apple Logic Pro. I don’t think Vince is using the fancy, 60-hour time-investment Environments setup in Logic to switch between sounds that we saw last week (more on that soon), but having great software sounds has some appeal. So, who else? Obviously, there are …

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