Live setup improvements
Getting the laptop into the live show has been a long dumb technical process. It's been working solid now for a long time so the last step was to get it all into a nice portable form factor that was quick and easy to set up and tear down. I think I'm just about there:
I bought this Gator Studio-2-Go case - which is a 2U rack case (front and back) as well as a laptop compartment on top (and most importantly a hole between the rack and laptop compartments for cable runs). Getting it was a stupid ordeal. I actually couldn't find it anywhere in Canada (everyone said it was discontinued) so I had to order it from Sweetwater, get it delivered in the US and drive across the border to get it. Sine then it's been a gradual process figuring out everything I need in it.
In the front (sorry for the crappy photos) I've got a Furman M-8X (rack-mounted power strip), a MOTU Ultralite mk3 (sound card) and a Shure PSM200 wireless transmitter (for feeding the click to the drummer). The power strip means I only have one power cord for the whole box, which is great.
In the back:
The sound card's outputs go into a Behringer ULTRA-DI PRO DI800, giving the sound dude three channels of DI'd output. I had to learn how to build some short angle patch cables since non-angled ones wouldn't fit with the back cover on.
- I need an 8-channel XLR s-s-snake for the DI outputs (this has been ordered.)
- The power supply for the PSM200 is one of those dudes with the AC adapter block separated from the plug. Meaning the block is floating around in the case, threatening to knock all my other connections out. I'm not sure how to secure it down or if I should try and replace it with a different adapter.
- The Firewire adapter in the laptop sticks out of the side of the laptop a great deal and makes the side-foam the case comes with not fit properly. I guess I'll cut a hole in it.
- I wish it was easier to get the DI in and out in case I need to adjust something. Right now I can squeeze my arms in but I'm only getting fatter so that's not a permanent option. I don't know much about racks - is there a. thing for that? A rack drawer maybe?
So instead of bringing in a pile of devices and having to set up all my cables each time, I'm down to one AC adapter and a handful of XLR outs and I don't need any DIs from the house.
That was a lot of work.