DIY hardware

DIY hardware, Musicians' Diary

Using our PA speakers as monitors on stage.


Some venues may have big PA’s, but in most cases… no monitors. Well, we always have our own PA at the back of our car while touring, so why wouldn’t we use it as an onstage monitoring system ?

Here is a loudspeaker, actually a sat from the LD System.

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A way to use sats as monitors could be that one :

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Ok, let’s try to figure out how to improve that without having to bring a whole case of books onstage !

A few leftover pieces of wood and screws, a couple of hours of calculations to design the right shape…

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Black painting should make it more nice-looking onstage :

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And the final result :

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Various tilts make it even easier to fit to various stage sizes :

angles

§ Yann

 

 

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DIY hardware, Musicians' Diary

The new DIY laptop stand


The following can be seen as the continuation of a previous topic entitled “The DIY table“. After lots of touring across Europe, we realised we needed something more compact to put all my electronic stuff on stage, with some specific requirements such as :

  • It as to be able to contain all my electronic stuff (Laptop, soundcard, cables, 5 power supplies (laptop, soundcard, effect processor, volume pedal, footswitch lightings), 1 5-socket powerstrip).
  • It has to be compact and strong enough to be carried and quickly moved at the last minute to the stage, with no cables hanging around. This can be extremely useful when you have 10 minutes maximum to switch bands, as it may often be the case in british festivals for instance !
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My old system, see all these cables hanging around !
  • It has to be removable, and quickly buildable, and fit in a case with all the other hardware.
  • It must be nice looking and hide all the cables that usually hang around.
  • It must enable the audience to see my nice beautiful handmade enlightened footswitch !!
behind the table
Can you see the footswitch ?

After some research from the web, I found these ones :

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But I didn’t want to feel like working in an office when performing on stage, and I didn’t want the audience to feel like they’re watching someone working in an office !

Moreover, it doesn’t really solve the problem of cables and power supplies hanging around…

This one appeared to be very attractive :

LS21D-DJ-Laptop-Stand

But heavy (9 pounds !), and not that stable on an uneven ground, like those you can find in very old venues. Moreover, the hanging cables problem still remains…

The only remaining solution was to build my own (as usual !!) laptop stand, which I did…

plans
First steps of the designing process…

And the final result :

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My old system, see all these cables hanging around !

I need no more than 20 sec to assemble the parts !

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My old system, see all these cables hanging around !

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My old system, see all these cables hanging around !

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My old system, see all these cables hanging around !

And the overview :

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§ Yann

DIY hardware, Musicians' Diary

And the “footswitch project” ?


You may remember when I was trying to shortly explain how to make your own “DIY USB footswitch” for the sake of using loops on-stage… Here is the post I wrote a few months ago about this : https://astrakanproject.com/2014/01/22/building-a-usb-footswitch/

Compile
A quick reminder !

And this is what il looks like on-stage so far :

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On-stage setup !

When we were touring in Portugal last summer, we had the idea of asking to someone working in a mold factory (a speciality from Leiria area in Portugal) to think about a way to build a transparent footswitch, with lights inside !

After some more accurate designing…

excel
Designing the new footswitch using Excel
schemas
Designing the new footswitch using Excel

We finally got this ready :

Plex2i
The plexiglas footswitch !

The next step is of course making this fully fonctionnal, by adding all the switches, the cabling and… the colour lights inside !! Can you imagine this shining diamond on-stage ?

By the way, have you seen our new video of a Flemish song  ? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJF1pP-C6V4

§Yann

DIY hardware

The DIY table ?


Each gig you may have as a band may always teach you something… Last gig we had was so. This is the table that I use on stage for all my devices (computer, soudcard, desk etc…)

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You may have noticed that there are many cables / sockets / power supplies around. This is that can makes life difficult when for some reasons I need to move all the stuff between the soundcheck and the show itself. This is indeed what happened at our last gig in Ipswich Library (UK). Therefore I had to find out a tip to solve this problem, that’s what I did today as soon as we got back from England 🙂

First, this is to fix the table feet :

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in which I cut small holes in order to…

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…insert a lower shelf as shown below :

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Ok, as you can see, I have used various parts of an old chair and an old cupboard. But this has to fit in a (small) car in which you may still be able to sleep (with two guitars, two uds, a turkish saz, a fiddle, clothing for at least two weeks, a whole PA and a kid !)

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Now let us have a look at the table in use, this is before the addition of the lower shelf :

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And this is afterwards :

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A close look from below should make things clearer 🙂

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Now suppose I have yo move everything to quickly make room available for the band that will perform right before us :

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A view without the top shelf :

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And it works out !! 😉

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§ Yann

DIY hardware, Musicians' Diary

Building a USB footswitch…


Actally, updating / upgrading the home-made footswitch, that I made a couple of years ago… (see previous posts there and there…). I use this footswitch to control my looping software “Live” on stage, since my hands are generally busy with a stringed instrument ! I must say that as far as I know, this kind of USB hardware doesn’t exist !

Pedalier - 03

As I wanted to get a more reliable hardware, and also more compact so that I can fit in my suitcase… So I started from a cheap USB keyboard…

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After finding the suitable combinations of connectors (i.e. keys, actually), let’s design the stuff with a nice and clear sketch…

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Then time has come for soldering…

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The tricky part, soldering on the keyboard core :

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Yes, this is a hard work :))

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And after many tests and controls, the final result :

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§Yann

 

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