Tuesday, January 12, 2010

time to play ketchup..

before heading out the door to the NAMM convention.

I have spent my holidays with my tutor daniel rowland
who is helping me achieve one of my main goals for 2010:
to convert my massive guitar rig into something very
portable and easy to travel with: a laptop.
daniel is dragging me kicking and screaming into the future.
I do not have a natural aptitude for computers.
my 12-year old does better than I, but I am determined to learn.

touring internationally has taught me valuable lessons.

a. I need certain gear to play my music properly. you might
even say my music is born through technology and without
my sounds I may be an average guitarist.

b. every time I put my gear in the hands of the employees
of various airlines I am relying on the baggage industry
to insure I'm able to put on the best concert I can.

c. that is a lousy idea.

plus it's expensive and tiresome dragging stuff through
airports and security checks only to be overcharged
for the privilege of having it not show up.

phew... long story short: I'm dedicated to performing
with little more than a laptop and pedalboard
and this is taking up most of my time.
one benefit of working with new technology:
songs and bits of musical ideas begin to formulate
which gives me a sense of new music on the back
boiler of my brain and I'm hoping will result in new songs.

at the same time I'm researching new ways
to conduct my business affairs and I'm very excited
about certain looming possibilities.
moron this later.

so things are moving forward like molasses
for the moment but I do see the light.
it's going to be a marvelous year.


  1. you an average guitarist ? Not even doing air guitar ! Ah, ah, ah....oh my God, this is already the silliest thing of the decade......:-)


  2. hey professor,
    i did this switch over christmas. in addition to the logistical benefits, i'm now able to stack a ridiculous amount of effects and get insane tones with no worry of power, patch cables, midi programming, cost, and unintentional feedback.

    i use a new 13" macbook pro and guitar rig 4 through their "rig kontrol" pedalboard, and i actually have some presets that i based on your tones.


  3. Just a laptop, and not even the Roland VG-99? It's going to take one helluva laptop - or laptopS, since I imagine you wouldn't want a whole gig to rely on just one!

  4. Adrian a. Frank would never hire an average guitarist b. Even without technology your guitar playing is full of artistry and substance c.Remenber what Bob Nyswonger wrote I AM A MODERN CAVEMAN

  5. @stereoroid - i disagree! any of the newer macbooks could handle it. he should sending the midi signal through ableton live with all of the synth patches he wants installed and set per song. could even run guitar rig / amplitube / whatever through that app and use an external controller - even proprietary ones.

    @adrian - the most exciting thing about this post is that consolidating your rig to a laptop actually opens up MORE possibilities. be it looping for the 'e' material, using unlikely synths like mellotrons and moogs (all better modeled on a computer), or just playing with concepts like 30 wah pedals at a time, you kinda get to try out and use any idea in your head without added signal noise from all the chaining. easier to set up, easier to save, and you can put it in a backpack.

    please keep us posted on your progress and thoughts!

  6. I am expecting to use the VG-99 along with a small board of fav stomp boxes and a pedalboard to control everything else from the computer. I should have mentioned those valuables.
    I'm hoping to run the whole enchilada through my Bose L1 speaker columns which are very compact. Overseas I can have generic amps made available instead of the L1s.

  7. cool , have fun , i can relate things moving slowly , take the conservative estimate , triple it and add a week .


  8. Just don't forget to bring a backup laptop and a backup hard drive while on tour! I was at the Boulder show a couple of years ago when the massive rig went bad. It was a bit painful for all involved (I imagine you more than the rest of us). So I hope the new setup will alleviate those kind of issues.

  9. I am a cameral,classic musician,not play a up-to-date guy.There is quite another matter.I'm a starter,hard work under the supervision of truly great masters,I'm self-conscious and intimidated as before,but I can distinguish one "sound" from another "sound" and I know which is absolutely important and which is less essential.
    Furthermore I am sure you can play "everything".I will be blissful.

  10. Hey Adrian, when you do find out how to do that , please tell us about it...

  11. Hey Adrian,

    I hope you read these comments. Before you invest in a portable rig I seriously suggest you check out the Axe-FX Ultra by Fractal Audio. Several pros, including Dweezil, are currently relying on it for tour work. I run mine with a MIDI controller called Liquid-Foot Jr. (very small and extremely flexible) and a couple expression pedals. It's easy to assemble a carry-on rig that will blow your expectations (and Guitar Rig) out of the water. You can surf over to http://www.fractalaudio.com/index.html and also poke around in the user forum at http://www.fractalaudio.com/forum/ and check out how pros like Larry Mitchell are traveling with the Axe-FX as a carry-on. I think you'll find it hard to resist at least giving it a try. Hey, and let me know if this ends up being your solution. I'd love to know what you do. And, BTW, I'm just an Axe-FX owner, not compensated in any way to recommend the products.


    Dave Hoskins

  12. I forgot to mention that I use my Axe-FX Ultra through my Bose L1 and it sounds amazing!

    Dave Hoskins

  13. dave,
    how ironic, I just posted about the Ultra, then checked my e-mails and found your comments.
    I've had the Ultra since it first arrived and have been working with the head of Fractal Tom King since last year (there is already an ad with me in it) but I put it on the back burner while doing this last run of touring and have just now returned to it. it's amazing. I know about Liquid Foot as well but Tom has sent me advance pictures of their new foot controller coming out in a few months and it's made by-you guessed it- Liquid Foot!
    I'm playing my Ultra through the Bose L1's
    just as you are and it does sound incredible.

  14. Glad to hear it Adrian! I really think you'll find a great solution building a touring system around the Ultra. The firmware's really come a long way in the past year. Funny about the timing of the posts; great minds I guess! Have fun and be well.

    Dave Hoskins

  15. regarding the above, check out page 81 of the new guitar player magazine.

  16. Yeah..:)
    Acronis True Image for backup:)