Music Tech Focus


Working on music in the privacy of the bedroom, small studio, or coffee shop is one thing, but taking it to the stage can be a bit of a culture shock. After playing just one gig, your perceptions about gear, music and maybe even your artistic ambitions will change, as you process the input from new experiences. Even if you’re a committed studio rat and not really interested in playing live at all, I’d still nag you to try it at least once, you have a lot to learn and nothing much to lose – wear a mask if you’re feeling shy! The most important thing is to commit to doing it. The decision will be followed by creative and practical challenges, but relax, there’s nothing you can’t handle.


The time has to come to plan and play your first-ever live gig, or the first with a new band or new setup. It could even be a situation where you’re not playing, but helping somebody else to do it. There are probably common things we all want from playing live, such as fun, exposure, recognition, building an audience and to get a new perspective on our studio work. It’s the loudest we’ll ever hear our music played, at the opposite end of the scale from listening to it on iPhone speakers. Furthermore, standing in front of an audience while your music is playing is a true test of your faith in your own work. There’s really nowhere to hide, sonically speaking.

What we aren’t going to do with this piece is give you a full step-by-step ‘how to’ about getting ready for a live gig. That’d be impossible, unless everybody who reads this is playing the same set with the same gear and the same people at the same venue. But we want to spark some ideas and get you motivated and give you some useful tools. It’s similar to gear recommendations – almost impossible, except in the most general way. Before we commence our headlong rush into the crazy world of the live experience, let’s agree on what a ‘performance’ is. For our purposes, it’s any occasion in a public space where we’re playing our own music, whether that’s with electronics, computers, a band, or whatever. There has to be a margin of error, as well – it’s not a performance unless there’s a chance

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