Thursday Again!

Yacht Rock played at the 10 High last night--our usual house gig.  We fared well.

I run my saxes, EWI, and two keyboards into a small Mackie mixer.  From there, the main goes to my powered speaker, and the aux channel goes to the house.  That way, I have independent control from what I'm giving the sound guy.  If he wants more, I can give it to him without disturbing what I've got coming at me.

The Nord keyboard that I am using is going into the third channel on my mixer, and because it's a quarter inch cable, the gain knob does not come into play.  This has always bugged me--the first two channel quarter inch inputs can be affected by the gain.  This matters to me because the output on the Nord does not by itself put out enough signal to reach unity gain (I'm sure the non musician people are drooling by now--sorry!).  Last week it dawned on me that if I could get that line to end in an XLR plug, I could use the gain, and then I could bring the level up to where it needed to be.  Aha!  I was going to go into a DI and then out of that to an XLR, but instead I bought a cable that was quarter inch on one end and XLR on the other.  It worked perfectly!  The Nord sounded much better!  I'm using a Nord Electro 2, and the piano is really thin and bright, and being able to bring the gain up fattened up the sound a bit.  Coolness.  That way, my piano can be heard a bit better on stage.  Actually, the sound was fat enough that it made the EWI and my Roland Fantom (top keyboard) sound thin.  Hmm.

I don't know if it was luck, but there were lots of saxophone songs in the first set last night.  I had Summer Breeze, Heart Hotels, Couldn’t Get It Right, Lotta Love (sax AND a flute  solo!), Little Jeanie, Heart of Rock and Roll.  Pretty cool!   Every song was either all keyboard or saxophone.  It was fun.

I had a really soft tenor reed...same one I played at the High Museum Tuesday night.  It sounded ok, but I just needed a little bit of resistance to blow against (and I'm not a fan of resistance!).  It would close up on me really easy.  Later on as it dried out, I could do a little bit more with it, but I remember at the High thinking that I should pitch it but I didn't, and last night I had the same thought (and didn't pitch it).  That's kind of stupid of me.  I hate to get rid of it because it sounds good, but it's so flexible that I probably should.

The crowd was not bad.  I kept waiting for the second wave to show up in between sets, but it never came.  We still did well, though.

Mark Dannells played some great stuff on Easy Lover last night.  I kept waiting for him to fall into his little five note lick that he goes to, but he avoided it and sounded good.  Mark Bencuya played an awesome solo on Lowdown--kicked my butt.  I couldn't get anything going on my flute solo.

We had Kiss You All Over on the list last night, and I couldn't for the life of me remember how to get into the song.  On the record, the strings, piano (me), and kick drum all start together.  Bencuya had kicked in the strings and Nick was setting up the tune with a monologue, and I kept trying to figure out if Ganesh (who was playing drums last night) was going to to give me some sort of cue.  Finally, I just started in with the piano chords.  Everybody laughed--I guess they thought I was showing up Ganesh--but I really was just trying to figure out how to get in!

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