The set I played at Soundbar+ on Friday the 05/03 is available for download here. It has been slightly edited for levels and some timing issues – enjoy!
In the end I had a great time as always, a big thanks to all those who came out, danced and enjoyed the show.
The perfectionist in me though is not too happy with the performance and what follows is a break down of my experience of the set, if you are interested.
First of all it was very difficult for me to take over from the Drum ‘n Bass/Live MC set before me. To drop from 160+BPM highly energised into 128 BPM deeply groovy is a massive energy shift and I feel I was just not on game enough to pull off the transition smoothly. It was one of those nights where my timing was off by milliseconds and it compounded this feeling of slippage on my side of the performance and chipped away at my overall confidence.
Second of all, the sound check was fantastically loud but when I got on to play (with the levels I had set and finalised) it was 2/3rds of the volume and the level dip was obvious enough to have the promoter come up to me to see what was going on.
I cannot turn up the volume though my system, it is why I go and do a sound check, I am the rare artist who actually attempts to adhere to the red lights and limits set by the club so I set my levels as close to the in-house guidelines and let them take up the slack and oomph.
It was only when the house master level was raised (by the promoter sneaking behind the mixing desk and pushing up the house faders) that we reached the level previously set in the sound check and then, of course, things kicked off!
The monitoring in soundbar plus is non-existent and behind the gear it was merely a wall of low end rumble not unlike standing inside a bass bin, and I have no idea how DJs mix successfully in that environment.
I only really regained feeling for the floor at about the 20 minute mark and from there was able to get into it and get the groove going.
Production wise I was trying out some new compression/eq styles for this round of tracks and it didn’t seem to work very well in Soundbar at all. The sub woofer was just completely overwhelmed and the in-house system limiters must’ve dropped the audio levels to compensate, the set really didn’t have the impact I was after and from my point of view sounded awful.
DJs have a safety net in that most of the tracks they play out have been professionally mastered, so it is very clear when a sound system is at fault or something is wrong with the mixer/set-up or the track being played.
However, since I play only music I have composed and mixed I am wholly responsible for the quality of the sound and honestly sometimes I get it a little messy.
Even more annoying is that this mixing style sounds fantastic in the studio and on various non-pro systems I tried it out on – hmmm.
I appreciate everyone blaming the sound card and other factors but really my mix downs were not up to par, I always strive to push my own production skills and in this case I pushed a little to far (literally like 1.5db boosts at 50hz – what the hell was I thinking?) so it becomes a live and learn experience and all in all I am probably one of three or four people who even noticed if at all.
Also a big shout out to Nik Sliwerski (aka Motherfunker) for lending me a sound card for the evening, it was a blessing to not have to worry about my card freezing on me again.
If you have any questions or comments about my live sets fire away and I will do my best to answer them.