This weekend, I’ll have my first live gig with reverential, a project started by my friend Dan. We’re playing a youth retreat at a camp in the Poconos in nothern PA. Over the last few weeks, we’ve been practicing for the gig, and over that time, I’ve been refining my rig. There will probably be a further refinement over the next day (which is a little scary, because we leave tomorrow afternoon!), but more on that in a bit.
Going for minimalism, I purchased an Ultimate Support center-column 2-tier stand on which will be my Korg Karma above a controller. Currently, that controller is my ancient Ensoniq Mirage (the only other board I have that does velocity (shows you the age of my collection!). The MIDI out from the controller goes into my Alesis Nano Piano, and the thru goes into the Karma. When I’m not playing piano from the controller, and change of the MIDI channel will allow me to play sounds on the Karma seperate from the one triggered by the Karma’s keyboard (done with a combi made up of different programs on different channels). At some point, adding the Kawai K1m and Roland U-220 would be nice, but for this one, I’m keeping it simple.
I said the Mirage is currently the controller because in the next day, I hope to be the proud owner of a CME UF7, a 76-key, semi-weighted MIDI controller. I say “hope” because the only way to get one of these apparently is to order it, and I’m not about to buy one without playing it. Thankfully, Sam Ash in PA was able to order one (I did have to put down a deposit) that I’ll be able to try first. Cutting it close to the wire, they should have it in by tomorrow morning, and hopefully by tonight. I’ll post my “review” once I get my hands on it, whether I buy it or not, and if I do, I’ll probably be posting remotely from the gig (assuming network connectivity).
Oh, by the way, I did consider M-Audio, but rejected them for two reasons: one, the semi-weighted board they have doesn’t have much in the way of front-panel controls, and things like changing MIDI channels on stage would have been hard (they’re after the computer market, not the stage musician), and their 88-note hammer action controller had (for me) a really bouncy feel to the keys that I just didn’t like. Too bad, too, because I loved the control surface, and really wanted to like it. Oh, and I didn’t go for fully-weighted/hammer action because I wanted something a little more versatile, and I thought playing synth-like sounds from a hammer action keyboard might be a little strange.