Inventor Composer Coaction

9th May @ The Jam House, Edinburgh

This is a fun one. Take a violin, various forms of clarinet, a trombone, a double bass from the Red Note Ensemble. Grab a load of virtual instruments and then unleash the combination on a selection of composers and see what comes out the other end.

Or from a more technical viewpoint, take a relatively small FOH rig and work out how you are going to set up 7 different laptop sessions with fast changeovers and live processing of acoustic instruments with on stage monitoring and multitrack recording in parallel with the live amplification of the pieces. Never let it be said that I don't like a challenge...

I decided that the best option was to put a load of my mics feeding into a multi-channel DAV mic pre on stage with the gains setup that the outputs gave a relatively sensible mix of the acoustic arrangement, and then feed this out to a series of passive +4 db splits:

  • one split went to an on-stage loom that could be easily moved from laptop interface to interface thereby letting us route the signals for processing as required.
  • one split goes to FOH for live amplification
  • one split goes to my Matric Halo ULN8 for recording

Then we route each laptop output to a separate stereo feed with its own monitor mix and the direct outs patched into the remaining channels on the ULN8 (and switched between pieces as appropriate).

Aside from some computer hardware issues (that were thankfully resolved before doors) it all went remarkably smoothly and I was pleased to have the headspace to think about the aesthetic qualities of the amplification rather than the routing logistics. And very pleasing the music was as well...

We had pieces from Jessica Aslan, Lauren Sarah Hayes, Stuart MacRae, Christos Michalakos, Shiori Usui, Richard Worth & Harry Whalley. It is not impossible that some of the recordings may become publicly available in the future and I will link to them from here if this becomes the case.

Photography © Jakub Gloser