What does live music mean in the laptop era?

This weekend my electronica band Revival Revival is doing some shows for the first time in many months. We’ll be doing a lot of what my non-electronic-musician friends consider to be cheating. The lead vocals and guitar will be live, as will some of the synths. Everything else will be canned, recordings played back from a laptop. Here’s the setup:

From left to right, you’re seeing an Mbox, the audio interface that goes with Pro Tools. We plug the vocal mic into it so that the computer can perform its magic, like Auto-tune and compression. Next is a little mixer sitting on top of a headphone amp. Then there’s Babsy’s laptop running one of our Pro Tools files, showing some of the backing vocals she’ll be singing over. On the right is a Line 6 Pod, a guitar effects unit and amp modeler. It’s a lot easier to carry to gigs than a real amp. Using a fake amp modeler isn’t very rock and roll but it fits perfectly with the spirit of electronica. For the show we’re going to use two computers, Barbara’s to run Pro Tools, and mine for Reason synths and playback of ordinary audio files.

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Dancin’ On The Ceiling

Here’s Revival Revival’s arrangement of Lionel Richie’s classic “Dancin’ On The Ceiling.”

Ohhh What A Feelin’

Revival Revival vs Lionel Richie vs Michael Jackson

mp3 download, ipod format download

Vocals, guitar and bass by Babsy. Beats, loops and production by me. The beat is from “Billie Jean.”

We love this song. Here’s the original.

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