laptop

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 Album, Musicians' Diary

Using loops on stage : Trying to find the right balance


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As we use a computer with pre-recorded loops on stage (this post), we realised that we needed (and that we still need !) to find the right balance between those two following extreme situations:

  • A : The computer only provides very simple loops such as a drone or a basic beat.
  • B : The computer provides the full set of missing instruments so that we play the songs as they can be heard from the album. B-statement in our minds is this :

I must say that when I had started loop programming, we were first very close to the A-statement. Later on, as I was thinking that my programming skills and experience were increasing, we got very close to the B-statement…

The kind of music we would like to play on stage is somewhere in-between. A-statement may not be sufficient since we are in most cases only two musicians on stage (Voice and stringed instrument, except when we have guests), whereas B gives the feeling that we are not really playing but that the laptop is playing for us. Some would call this “Karaoke” !

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Our laptop, footswitch and instruments

So, we’re going back to A, but not as close as in the beginning, loops mostly consisting in drones and light rhythms. We do hope we’re on the way to find the right balance !

[ yann ]