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Live band configurations

 
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Nick
Y'SEE!?


Joined: 20 Apr 2006
Posts: 7996
Location: Albany, NY

PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:06 pm    Post subject: Live band configurations Reply with quote

Not sure if this has been asked before.....but what configurations have you tried with your bands when playing live? I'm in a 4 piece band and for the past year with us it's pretty much been pack 2 guitar amps, a full drumkit, bass amp, a bass and like 3 guitars, all the pedals and cables, and if we have room, a keyboard. It seems the lightest we've traveled was to NYC when all we needed to bring was our guitars and a snare. And it was still the same 2 electric guitars, bass, drums....just like every other fucking band. We don't have a van so if we're traveling any distance we like to take one car....and when shows are less than an hour long it seems like a lot of work for nothing setting up all the standard gear and then some.

We have a rather large collection of original songs now (something like 40 songs now total) and when we record we try not to limit ourselves and don't hold back on overdubs, so a lot of times things that should be in there are often not in live shows, especially when we don't bring a keyboard of some sort. The thought crossed my mind today while listening to a song we (our singer) recorded with just piano, organ, and an acoustic guitar..it sounded amazing and we could replicate it if we brought two keyboards to a show and had our drummer play guitar, but as it stands this would never fly.

So then I thought....instead of the two guitars and two amps why not just bring one electric guitar with a small amp, and an acoustic that can plug into the p/a and a keyboard or two to every show...it seems like it would be a lot easier to set up, and might make for more unique shows than we've been playing. It seems a bit like trying to reinvent the wheel, but we're going to try some practices this way and maybe with a few other configurations to see what we can do with new freedoms (as well as limitations).

Does anyone see any obvious flaws with this setup? What are some ways you've set up to perform in a band?
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stewart
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Joined: 14 Jul 2008
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Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i've been in a 6 piece band before (drums, 2 guitars, 2 keyboardists [more than 2 keyboards though], bass) which involved an insane amount of gear... and a quartet with guitar, bass, keyboards, vocals and programmed drums (no live drumming) which also involved an insane amount of gear. carting combo organs (or hammonds, occasionally) and rhodes pianos about gets old extremely quickly.

when i took up the guitar i thought things would be so much simpler- guitar, amp, away we go... nope. i cart tons of shit to gigs, for some reason i always end up with loads of stuff regardless of the band setup.

there are some things i'd like to do with this band but it'd involve hauling synths and/or sequencers around on top of all the rest, so they're on the back burner for the foreseeable future.
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robroe
Bon Jovi Fan Club!!1


Joined: 20 Apr 2006
Posts: 45547
Location: PORNO ISLAND !

PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the band im in now has a drummah, me, another guitar player and nate on bass.

nate has a 8x10 and i hate it. i mean it sounds rad but fuck me its too big for a litle 4 piece band....

I CANNOT WAIT UNTIL HILARY AND I BUY A HOUSE AND I CAN SOUNDPROOF THE BASEMENT!!!

right now we practice in our drummers basement and he still lives at home with his parents which SUKCSZ BALLZ

we are going to play EVERY FUCKING DAYYYYY
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Simon
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Joined: 24 Feb 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

8-piece instrumental band. 3 guitarists, around 5 guitars, 3 amps, 1 bass, 1 bass amp, drums, full stage size Korg Piano, Violinist, Cellist, 1 sequencer = HELL ON EARTH.

We never play together that often as we're all in our own bands and it's a fucking nightmare trying to organise rehearsals for gigs.

We have to hire a huge fucking van everytime we play as there's just too much gear and only 2 of us drive.

It's a blast when we do get together to play the songs after such a long time away from it though.
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kypdurron
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Joined: 09 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried a lot over the years and learned that as long as youre not rich and famous, the ability to downsize your gear conerning amount, size and noise is vital. So many gigs here if you are able to play quieter than the usual rockband ... so few if you cannot. But if you want to sound a certain way, you may need a certain gear, that's the other side of it.

I used to play in a Electro Punk group that was fully set up with 2 synths, 3 or 4 drum machines, me on guitar and a bass. We gigged it a lot in duo configuration though, with the drums and basslines coming from only one synth and me on guitar. It was Punk anyway, so no matter if it sounded a good as on the demos.

I still play in a cover band that emerged from being as sixties-authentic as possible, featuring 2 monstrous guitar amps (Twin Reverb and DUal Showman /4x12' cab), a Hammond organ + Leslie amp, Bass, drumset, percussion table and all the you need to connect that. Brutal. But on the other hand it's meant to look and sound big on stage. So the only thing that had to go was the hammond (Keyboard now), and sometimes we use smaller amps.

My current 2nd band was meant to be downsizeable from the start. (Ac. guit, el. guit. B, Dr) We will play with only a snare and Hi hat next week, and completely without Drummer next month. Amp-size is determined by room size. So if he have a full rock show, we can rock. But if we play in a bar we may hardly need a microphone. At least that's the idea.
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benecol
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I play out nowadays, it's as part of an improvised music workshop so there can be 10+ musicians. As long as there aren't many guitarists, this is usually fine and you can concentrate on being a part of the band.

In days gone past, when I was in bands at school and college, I used to like being in trios: two guitars, bass and drums was OK too, but since I'm not a very good guitarist, I used to feel neurotic and like I wasn't really needed. In a trio, the need to keep up and keep making a noise (suits me just fine) was far more important than any widdly bits. It's worth pointing out that, as complete guitar saturation took hold (and admittedly, the drugs) all of our bands ended up with at least three guitarists. It is impossible to be in a band with three guitarists and not sound like The Eagles. Don't do it, kids.
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Simon
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

benecol wrote:
It is impossible to be in a band with three guitarists and not sound like The Eagles. Don't do it, kids.


Radiohead do just fine in not sounding like The Eagles!

I think you're right though(apart from the sounding like the eagles bit) all three guitarists need to be doing something completely different to eachother. You also can't all play the same thing, all at the same time as it just sounds crap.
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timhulio
Redheaded Stepchild


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Radiohead were like The Eagles of the nineties.

My band were two guitarists/singers and drums for a few years, then we got a bassist, and inexplicably have lost him again, and are now trying another bassist. I like to be able to fit everything in an estate car. Everything fitted well in a Volvo V40, but since getting the BMW estate there's less space so I'm using a Musicmaster bass amp rather than a head and 2x12".
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Simon
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Joined: 24 Feb 2010
Posts: 767
Location: Newcastle, UK

PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

timhulio wrote:
Radiohead were like The Eagles of the nineties.


Were they?! Confused
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benecol
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes.
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Simon
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Joined: 24 Feb 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, I believe you now.
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laterallateral
Traynor or Death


Joined: 16 Jan 2008
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Location: Montery Howl

PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome bassist used to use her Sunn 300T and matching 2x15 cab live. It wasn't long before we decided it was too goddamn big. What's worse is that none of us could carry the head by ourselves. It felt kinda dumb to have two people carrying a giant bass head in and out of venues. As though fucking Motorhead was playing a dive bar. She's resorted to using her SOMEWHAT smaller but definitely lighter YBA-1 and matching 2X15. When we were providing the backline, the other bands sure did get a kick out of it, though.

I used to have a smaller, crummy drumkit that I had bought with plans on taking the resonator heads off of in order to stack and save space in the van and that we wouldn't worry about having other bands play on but our drummer never really gelled with it, so I sold it cause it was taking up room in the rehearsal space.

I think that until we can't fit all of our gear and ourselves in a standard size minivan, there's no real need to re-evaluate what gear we're taking to gigs.
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