updated: 10 March 2013

My Current Setup

Here's the current (March 2013) incarnation of the gig rig. I'm sure this page will become out of date before too long. ;-)

If you've perused many of the links to the left, you've seen that I've had some pretty complicated setups over the years, and I'm constantly fighting to simplify the rig, both for sanity's sake, and also to make for an easier load-in and load-out. The current rig is by far the smallest, lightest, and most versatile gig rig yet:
  • Nord Stage 2 Compact organ/Rhodes/piano/clav/synth keyboard
  • Ocean Beach Digital DB-1 drawbar controller
  • QSC K10 powered monitor
  • Unison keyboard stand (not visible)
  • Roc-n-Soc throne
For the organ, I'll sometimes use a real Leslie as shown here:
  • Speakeasy Vintage tube Leslie preamp (not visible)
  • "Pancake" Leslie organ speaker
But for most gigs I just use this instead:
  • Neo Instruments Ventilator Leslie simulator
After using the Electro 2 for about eight years, I upgraded to the Stage 2, and quite a significant upgrade it is. The biggest difference is the acoustic pianos, which rival those I had loaded in the Muse Receptor, which means I've ditched the rack! It's still in the rehearsal space but I haven't brought it to a gig in years.

I also got a Neo Instruments Ventilator, which is the first Leslie simulator that actually sounds like a Leslie! It doesn't so much sound like a Leslie in the room, but it sounds remarkably like a miked Leslie, just like what you'd hear coming through a wedge monitor. I never thought I'd ever be able to gig without a Leslie, but I'd say I play 85% of my gigs with the Ventilator now. It is a remarkable piece of engineering.

But for some gigs I still bring out the "Pancake" Leslie which was built by David Tarantolo in New Orleans. It's all the guts of a Leslie 147 in a knee-high cabinet that will fit in the back of a Prius. The pre-amp is the Speakeasy Vintage tube preamp.

For awhile I tried to use a repurposed Voce V5 as a drawbar controller, and while it worked, it was a pain to set up. It needed its own stand and its own power supply, and it needs to be modified if you want it to power the MIDI Solutions box required to remap the MIDI commands to ones the Nord will understand, and it just was a very unsatisfying solution.

I ended up designing and manufacturing a drawbar controller designed specifically for the Nord. The Ocean Beach Digital DB-1 is the world's first and only fully programmable MIDI drawbar controller, and out of the box it works with every Nord ever made, is MIDI-bus-powered, and is super slick and convenient to use. Plop it down, connect two MIDI cables, done!



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