A Tale of Two Keyboards

Last night, Yacht Rock played the Police Ball 2011 at the Marriott downtown.  No actual police were involved, except for the cop who brought his motorcycle up the freight elevator with me.

keyboards and cops

This was definitely some sort of high dollar benefit.  Big room, big production.  You know the drill.  Over-rehearsed lukewarm speeches, touchy-feely video segments, local newscaster host.  Blah.  We did some video bombing right before the doors opened.

The gig went well.  It was a good night for us, and for me personally.  The stage was really wide (but normal depth), so we were really spread out.  Thanks to monitors, it was cool.  Actually, I kind of dug it because we were far enough apart that I could hear myself well without having my amp really cranked up, and I could hear everybody else in my wedge and Dannells' wedge.

I finally bought a Nord…I got an Electro 3 73 off eBay this week.  It's really nice.  The most prominent improvement over the Nord 2 that I have been borrowing for a few years now is the piano sound, which is way better.  You can also dial up some reverb on it, too.  The organ isn't louder than the piano section (this was a problem for me on the Nord 2).  Last night was the maiden voyage.  So far, so good!  I was sort of disappointed the setlist didn't call for me to play more on it.

The other keyboard…my Roland Fantom started doing something weird on Thursday morning.  I noticed while I was playing (especially on keyboard splits) that it would ask me to save--like I'd made an alteration and needed to save it before moving to a new sound.  Weird.  I hit save, and then it would ask me to save again.  I played the gig--it was fine.

Friday night at the U2 show, it was cool, and then once we'd get going (and I'd start banging on the keyboard), it would do it again.  The star would come up on the screen, asking me to save.  Surely it must be a vibration thing--it's vibrating and the knobs are moving, maybe?

Two hours before I was supposed to leave on Saturday, I opened the thing up (never a good idea to disassemble your gear right before a gig).  I couldn't get to the knobs from the inside--I wanted to see where they attached to the circuit board to see if they were loose, but I couldn't get to it because of other electronics in the way.  So, I vacuumed it out, put it back together, and used compressed air to blow out the space around the knobs.  I then took the vacuum hose and held it over the knobs.  Finally, I twisted the knobs all the way in each direction and cleaned them again.

I powered the sucker up, and voila!  It was just fine.  No stars, no saving, no problem.  Best of all, it cost me no money.  I played the gig last night, and it was still fine.  Awesome.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that we played I Keep Forgetting last night.  I love playing that song.  We also did Lowdown (finally got my string part right), and All Night Long (I was kind of sloppy).  I sucked real bad on I Wanna Be Your Lover--I cannot remember that string part.

A couple of busy weeks await.  Stay tuned.


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