New liveset

As far as equipment goes, a CANVAX liveset used to be a Macbook with Ableton Live, some midi controllers and an Ipad to launch clips and control stuff like volume and effects. Not exactly accurate, but you could say I arranged all the sounds of the tracks I was playing live and topped it off with some effects. Like a DJ, but not with 2 individual tracks, but with all the individual parts of those 2 tracks.

That was fun, but I always felt it could be more fun.

Because of Covid I had to make use of computers even more then before and it almost became the only tool I was working and/or playing with. So the need for ditching the computer to make music with become even stronger then before. So I ditched it, switched to an Elektron Octatrack, ditched that because I missed visual feedback of what I was doing on it and got an Akai Force.

I could write a whole post about that machine. Perhaps I will later on, but for now back to the topic of this post, my new livest and how it works.

Left case

The left case contains a Behringer BCR2000 midi controller and an Akai Force. You could say this case contains the brains and the controls of the setup.

From top to bottom knobs on the BCR2000 takes care of controlling filter gate effects, delay send, reverb send and volume per channel. The Force is used as a mixer, (including effects) and a launchpad for all audio and midiclips. The rotaries (knobs) on the Force control the amount of lowpass or highpass filter per channel (I use 8 channels).

I use midiclips on the Force to send melodies and patch selection info (in case of the Microfreak) to the Neutron and Microfreak.

Right case

This side is made up of a Behringer Neutron and a Arturia Microfreak. This right case contains the baselines and pads of my liveset. Because the Neutron doesn’t have patch memory it needs quite some tweaking between tracks to get the sound right. But that’s the charm of playing live and it’s also what I was missing in my previous computer only liveset. Together, the Neutron and Microfreak add quite some filth and dirt to my set. Especially the Neutron can go a bit overboard sometimes, like a beast that has to be tamed a bit.

I wanted to create a setup that’s easy to – well – setup. The goal was to not only use the cases to carry the equipment, but also contain the equipment while I’m playing my liveset. Taking everything out of the case and connecting it all and putting it all back into the cases after performing wasn’t on the top of the things I’d like to do list.

So after a lot of measuring, drawing and looking for cases, I got these 2 Magma Carry Lite DJ Plus XXL cases. I took out some of the foam to make room for the equipment and all the cables, including a powerstrip on the right hand side of the right case.

The only thing left to do when I remove the lids of these cases is connecting the power cables of the Force and BCR2000 and the 2 USB and 2 audio cables from the Neutron and Microfreak, connect the power cable from the powerstrip to an outlet and I’m good to go. Both setting it up and putting it back together is done in 5 minutes.

I’d say case closed (really…), time to get this setup on the road!