How to make a home wireless monitoring system, and other technical matters.
I've been building a new rig for the upcoming shows in Australia and New Zealand.
The new kit means more space on stage for movement, less time changing settings between songs, (as the Deluge remembers them), and it means travelling with three pieces of luggage instead of four - meaning I can take public transport at times I would formerly need taxis on tour. You're also more likely to see the lights of the Deluge now it's more prominent in the set up.
I've been working towards a micro set up ever since Sam Taylor, who plays guitar with Nadia Reid, suggested it while we were touring Europe (at the time I was proud of myself for having switched from a 20 kg digital piano to a 6kg keyboard). I've found it's one thing to buy smaller, smarter instruments - but it's difficult to learn how to play them in a way that feels musical and individual.
This new set up required many hours sampling sounds note by note, and trying to find ways to work with the Deluge that aligned with some of the quirks in my set - quirks that developed from working with a Casio home keyboard. Happy to say that gaffer tape still plays a big role in the set.
Also - for those interested, I have a Canapé King tip for a home wireless monitoring system that cost me less than $40. I set this up so I can practise over a wide-ish footprint without tripping over headphone cables.
I'm using an FM transmitter from Trade Me for $9. They're designed for cars, and ones with a 3.5m jack like this are going cheap at the moment, as bluetooth versions superceed them (despite their poorer audio quality and latency). Because all my music now goes through the Deluge, I can just attach the transmitter to its built-in headphone output, or if I want to hear a mic as well - I can put both into an interface as above.
I'm then using a pocket radio, which cost $23, to pick up the signal on headphones, using whatever FM bandwidth is available.
When I moved to Auckland from Dunedin, I had a lot of problems making noise in a denser city, and I also started encountering hip hop producers who could work on headphones. I started feeling like my medium wasn't made for these times.
Over the last couple of years, without fully realising what I was doing, it seems I've turned my set up into one that is more similar to a hip hop or electronic producer's set up than a vintage band one.