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Dorian Live

Dorian Live

1 September 2015

CreativePact (32 posts)

Having lately developed my studio practice it's time to look at the live side, so with a big gig on the horizon I'll use this Pact to lay the groundwork for Dorian Live.

Automaton tech setup

AJ Pact | Dorian Live | Automaton tech setup

It's crept up on us, and all of a sudden we're at the penultimate day of CreativePact 2015. I have yet to discuss the tech setup I foresee for Automaton, so best get it in before final orders. (Because CreativePact is like a pub, didn't you know?)

In previous posts I've covered what the piece requires live: organ (obviously), computer running Ableton Live with two Launchpad-style controllers, vocals and saxophone. Seems straightforward on the surface, but there's an extra level of planning here to consider.

First of all, how am I getting the audio out of my computer? Earlier this year I picked up a Native Instruments Komplete 6 USB audio interface, as a replacement for my ageing (and maximum 48kHz) Novation nio 2/4. This new interface can accommodate 6 audio in and out (though split 4/2 analogue/digital in both directions). This is the only travelling option I have for an audio interface.

Union Chapel's PA has two large speaker stacks wide on stage left and right; these are complimented by a narrower stereo pair and a single centre speaker, all at the front of the stage. If I'm able to find a DAC then the six output channels could be routed thus:

  • Out 1-2: main output, carrying the backing track and other computer audio elements
  • Out 3: metronome output – a couple of sections require metronome count-in for just myself and James (over our headphones)
  • Out 4: centre speaker - anything for the centre speaker can go here
  • Out 5-6: narrow stereo - anything for the narrower stereo pair can be sent here

This would provide the greatest flexibility, although that's actually a fallacy as decisions about which elements go to which speakers must be made ahead of time so the parts can be bounced down to use in Ableton's samplers. With that in mind, striking output 5-6 would make the setup simpler; maybe keep output 4 around for bassy sounds.

When it comes to vocals and saxophone there are complications too – I want both to have some form of FX on them (changeable reverb on the vocal and delay FX on the sax). Rather than buss these through my computer (using which outputs?) I'll probably end up getting a return from FOH to run into FX pedals for these two - there is plenty of capacity in Union Chapel's stagebox for this.

That's as far as I got with this today. Return tomorrow for the final instalment of my CreativePact for 2015.