So, did my first out-of-town job with Almost Elton John in Minneapolis last weekend. And along with that, I did my first pro gig where the keyboard backline was provided for me. While I’ve done that plenty of times at church gigs, this was the first for a more professional job where my sound set was essential. I have pretty specialized synth layout programmed in Logic for the show, and it’s just not feasible to try and program anything that’s provided at the venue. And Even though the rider specified certain specs on the keys, I still wasn’t real sure how that was all gonna play out.
It turned out to work fine. I ended up with two really nice boards: a Roland Fantom 88, and some kind of Roland RD model. I didn’t take time to notice which one it was exactly, and the photo didn’t get the model. I took the unorthodox approach of sending only the audio output from the laptop to the front of house; didn’t even get sound from the boards themselves. I wasn’t planning on using them anyway, since I run all of my sounds from Mainstage in the first place. It is nice to have the internal sounds as a backup, though, so I normally have that at the ready in case something goes down. We were an hour behind schedule, so the soundcheck was rather hectic and I thought I’d give the sound guy a break.
The only thing I ran into was my USB MIDI connection. Both Roland boards had both USB and 5-pin DIN MIDI I/O connections. I initially used USB cables to connect the boards to the MacBook, only to find that Mainstage wouldn’t find the connection. Fortunately I had two MIDI to USB converters, both of which worked. Problem solved.
So I lucked out this time. We’ll see how things roll this next weekend.