Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A few thoughts during a week off

Since Crystal Sands was closed for Memorial Day on Monday and I didn't schedule any other shows this week, I actually have a week or so without playing in SL at all. While I certainly love to play, it couldn't come at a better time... it's an opportunity to regroup a little and perhaps make some plans for enhancing future shows. Besides, my poor back is still recovering, and not exacerbating it by rocking out with a big ol' Martin dreadnought guitar for a few days is probably a good thing.

Regardless of all that, I might as well give you a blog post that has nothing to do with a specific show or the like.

• If you're looking for a resource of information on performing in Second Life, I highly recommend you head over to the SL Music Community Forums. There are always active discussions on setting up your gear for streaming, on working within the community of musicians, venue owners, and the rest of the SL music scene, and some good camaraderie between folks who participate in this relatively new way of playing live music.

• I do get asked quite often about my own gear setup for my performances in SL. I consider my setup pretty minimal and simplistic, so here it is:

- Guitar: Martin D-18V dreadnought acoustic, but I could easily use a less-expensive guitar and have about as good a sound as I do. Still, keep in mind that what comes out is only as good as what goes in, so always try and use the best stuff available that you can afford. On a side note, I love my freakin' Martin.

- Harmonica: I have a set of Hohner "Special 20" harps, which are the same as the Marine Band harmonicas but with plastic combs instead of wood. They're great, and not very expensive.

- Mics: I use a Groove Tubes GT-57 for voice/harps, and a Groove Tubes GT-30 for guitar. Both are high-quality mics that are reasonably affordable.

- Mixer: I run the mics into a Mackie 1202-VLZ, mostly for some quick hands-on control should I require it.

- Computer Interface: The audio from my mixer goes into my computer via a Digidesign Mbox. It's fine and works reliably.

- Software: Hello, I'm a Mac (sorry). Therefore, I run a Mac setup to stream my audio... specifically, I use Nicecast, which costs about $40 and works well all the time.

That's it. Pretty easy stuff.

Well, that's all for now folks. I'll post some more non-show thoughts over this week as I think of them.

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