Help! I need a live rig

Andrew Robinson andrew at
Sun Mar 12 18:55:01 CET 2023

Hello 'Barians

So, someone liked my album* enough to book me to play a short gig - 30/40
minutes, in early June. This is great, I have loads of time to rehearse,
but the problem is that I've been pretty much evangelically 100% 'in the
box' since as soon as that was physically possible, so I have absolutely no
idea about live set-ups. Time to turn to the 'bar and to pick your brains
on what I need to buy so that I'm not just pressing play on a laptop then
having nothing to do for half an hour. If it's affordable to make this
laptop-free, great, because then I'll be able to VJ from my MacBook. My
keyboard skills are not amazing, so I mostly want to be able to sequence
existing audio on the fly, and play a few simple top lines/spot samples.

Here's what my ideal set-up would be able to do. I have no idea if this is
trivial, impossible, cheap, prohibitively expensive, and if I'm going to
need 10 boxes or 1 (the fewer the better BTW).

Live arranging:
I want to cut my music up into sets of 16 bar stems, maybe a couple of
dozen sets of 8-16 of them, and loop them. I want to be able to pick which
ones to mute / unmute next time the loop point comes round before it gets
there, and/or switch to a different set of stems for the next track/section
of track.

It would be nice to be able to trigger my TR-909 over midi and two or 3
TB-303s/clones via DIN sync, in time with the above.

Keyboard multi-samples:
It would be nice to be able to trigger spot samples live, via my Korg
NanoKey2 or similar.
It would be nice if the sample set automatically changed with the sets of
stems above, but not essential.

All the above needs to be mixed down a stereo pair. I think I'll need about
16 channels because of the 909's individual outs.

Would be nice to have:
Reverb/EQ/distortion at the mixdown stage
Triggering video playback in VLC in sync with the sets of stems.
Small size.
Possibility for one or two one of my mates to plug in an electric guitar /

Not really needed:
Any new synth/rompler functionality
Heavy multi-effects capability, what should I be buying?

- Andy_R

* Available at
  and on all good streaming services, NOW!
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