One of the strange things about overseas touring is that I can only take a small section of my usual live rig with me. The lovely people at Accugroove always take care of the Cabinet side of things, and I can always borrow a poweramp from QSC or in this case, from Accugroove again, but there’s no way I can fly with my entire rack – three processors, two echoplexes and a Mackie desk. What I took with me for NAMM this time was two Echoplexes and one of the Lexicons.
I hadn’t really figured out what I was going to do about carrying it all around, and the day before NAMM started, Vida and I went shopping for a soft rack bag to carry it all around in. Fortunately, I didn’t actually get one, as when I got to NAMM, Dale Titus sorted me out with a 3U soft rack case WITH WHEELS. Dale’s a very nice man. The case is a Warwick Rockbag, and seems pretty solid. It certainly saved the day when I suffered a (suspected) broken toe on the Friday morning of NAMM. Getting out the shower, I caught my toe on the top of the rail on the bath. cue much pain and screaming, to the bewilderment of Bob and Alison’s cats. Nail was ripped and bleeding, toe wasn’t moving. No point going to the doctor with a suspected broken toe as all they’ll do is what I did – splint it to the toe next to it. It obviously wasn’t so broken that it would set weird (was still toe-shaped), so I did that, hobbled for a few days, and waited for my toe-nail to fall off (it’s still there, just a bit blackened… ewww, TMI!)
Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, not being able to take all my stuff to NAMM – so I was playing through the G2, with two outs into two EDPs, split most of the time into two separate amps! It sounded pretty odd, and didn’t really afford me much control over where things were going, or what the relative levels of the different layers and sounds were. It was useful in that it provided a new set of limitations within which to try and create something of substance (always tricky with 85db of background nastiness at NAMM), but now I’m home and have finally wired up my rack again, it feels great to have my main sound back in stereo, the loops separately pannable, and the option to post process everything again. This set up is so maleable. I need to work on a smaller version of this so I can do more of this on tour. The new rack bag will certainly help in Europe, but I still don’t think I can fly with much more than I’ve got here…
Anyway, I’m going to have fun getting reaquainted with my toys over the next few days… in the few minutes when I’m not teaching!
Soundtrack – Scritti Politti, ‘Cupid And Psyche’.by