My Gig Performer Hand Truck Journey V 3.1

Ah where to begin , a journey of over a year transitioning from Gig Performer pedal board and laptop setup to V3.1 of the Hand Truck.
Up and running with Gig Performer 4.054 or so last spring early summer 2021 it became evident that
a pedalboard setup with laptop and control pedals was becoming cumbersome to say the least .
For years I carted around a pretty heavy pedal board , dual layer, c/w a midi Footswitch , FCB 1010
and the accompanying power amp and cab and slew of fiddles , axes , guitars .
My first instance incorporated a modified small mic stand to hold a MacBook and it sat along with the pedalboard and midi floorboard and various control and expression pedals .
Too many moving parts and couldn’t be moved reliably as it was splayed out and wired up in an awkward fashion to say the least .
That got me thinking about a vertical solution with wheels , enter the hand truck.
Version 1 was the tallest heaviest hand truck I could find reasonably cheap on sale , maybe $70 or so , a deal at the local princess auto. Solid wheels and plenty of height to accommodate a bevy of pedals and the guitar amp itself , the laptop , audio and midi interfaces, hairy with cables and nylon straps all over .
I was mobile !
With the Mesa Boogie Mk2C+ and the pedals and wiring etc she was heavy but she was rolling !
I couldn’t lift her into the van so I travelled with a wide thick piece of board , mdf it might have been to
fashion a ramp to roll into the back. Simply roll out and into rehearsal , here’s the rub .
Into the band rehearsal house : up the front stairs into the foyer down the hall and then right down a flight
of stairs and into the basement , eek ! This rig had the potential to destroy something as it was heavy as hell , Frick with the amp on it that was insane .
Also needed assistance getting back up the stairs and out the door , but one thing was evident , I could arrive and be booted up and logged in in around a few minutes .
Enter Version 2 , after weeks of slogging the V1 around I though I would downsize and make a version that I could single handedly move and maneuver .
I had a portable folding hand truck , they type that folds flat and the wheels turn out for storage etc .
That was old yeller , recycled some plywood that was painted yellow from an exhibit at work .
This version eschewed the amp and I vowed to only add what was mandatory and less is more .
It was shorter and once loaded didn’t fold anymore of course , stand alone , but it wasn’t solid and often seemed like it was gonna tip over at times , hmmm , the death knoll sounded for V2 when I tore a wheel off and the plastic shroud wasn’t repairable at all, out she goes .
Enter V3 ! Repurposing yet another tall heavy hadn’t truck , this one was the standard size and could be set for varying heights , I cut her down to the smallest height with a grinder and cut off disc , and set upon bolting the bits back on , repurposing some and redoing a lot , keeping the idea of stability in mind , some gear would be bolted to the back , less is more , even less this time , the goal to keep it short and sturdy and not heavier than I could manage on my own ! I was tired of repurposing the MacBook for the guitar rig , I decided I wanted a dedicated Mac to run this , bolted on so in the flick of a switch I could be playing , enter the Mac mini. Bought a used one locally and decided to fashion a monitor and wireless keyboard and mouse. Using an old Elo touch screen and a few Bluetooth devices it could boot up very fast and login to the items set in Sys Preferences so I could up and running in way less than a minute , key to use a password you can enter with only one hand , make it quick . I had dabbled with OSC and Midi devices but to keep it super simple , wired midi usb can’t be beat in my opinion , always repeatable setup and I don’t change as much these days as I did earlier on in my Gig Performer history .
I typically create way to complex setups and find I get lost live , so I’ve come to using very little changes to keep it super simple , realizing that when it comes down to it , I can create almost any part with either a clean or simple crunch gain sound , I’ve eschewed a lot of effects for just simple delay at some parts , really just one fader on a Midi controller . I use a Traktor F-1 , it’s rock solid and has great pads you can color coordinate for reference , a few faders for just the basics , two DP-2 Roland momentary switches for Prev and Next parts in a setlist. Only using one song with one rackspace for guitar , two parts.
Over the last year I’ve delved deep into sexists and songs and charts going to certain pages etc , but found the most flexible arrangement for me is no songs , I have a vst for delay , Bucket Brigade Device , a freeware Audio Unit , I have one fader and can blend in some slap back for Rock a Billy , or some repeats say for Pink Floyd’s “Run” .
The Synth stuff is quite a bit more complicated , using a separate instance and utilizing rack spaces for different songs , I play like less than 10% of the time or less on the keys , just certain intros and solos , very sparse but it adds a uniqueness we don’t have a dedicated keyboard player at this time .
I’ve found the Akai MPK mini Mk3 to be pretty handy , and got a great deal on a used one that’s all black , no white keys , the pads have aftertouch and performing on the pads I find you can get shorted note on /off values than you could with a key , very handy , not that I do much finger drumming but it’s cool that you could , the editor is decent but only works on an older OS so that’s a bit of a work around .
So here is a break down video with V3 and perhaps I’ll make another video with sounds of the guitar and keyboard stuff that works live ! I play in a classic rock cover band and we’ve been at it for like 5 years or so now , plenty of gigs under the belt …

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Once again, thank you for sharing this. :beers:
The video is great!

If it wasn’t for Gig Performer in Action, I wouldn’t know how creative can people be with their setups! :slight_smile:

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Wow! I think you’ve just invented the first Gig Performer robot!

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here’s short video rolling the hand truck around in the back lane showing off the mobility, music is an old tune of mine called “Action Man” sort of fitting …

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Brilliant :slight_smile:

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@bobco631 : Your setup with the Hand Truck is really brilliant and thank you very much for sharing it + the great videos!! I like your Doctor Doctor video very much!
Probably I did not fully understand your setup, which is why I am having some - maybe stupid - questions on the guitar part (even if I am a bass guy). But it is really great to see some real world usage of GP with guitar/bass which brings up these questions.
Here they are:

  1. It looked like in the end part of your chain after amp modeling etc you are connecting your audio interface to the input of your Mesa Boogie Mk2C+ - which in my understanding consists of a preamp section and a poweramp section. With this you basically are sending the signal through two pre-amps (1.: GP Amp Simulation; 2. Pre-Amp of Mk2C+) + speaker simulation. Does this not harm the quality of the sound? Is there a reason why not connecting the interface to the effects return input of the Mesa Boogie (available at MK2C+ as far as I know) or use just a pure power amp?
  2. Any reason why you are using ‘analog’ wah and compressor (instead of digital effects in GP)?
  3. (maybe more general GP question): for Treble/Mid/Bass the scale is usually something like -5…0…+5. You are using as well GP knob widgets with 0…10, so I guess the other scale is not available, correct?

And love the guitar. Got a Steve Vai vibe going on (for all I know, maybe it is Steve Vai! Hah!)

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I think I was channeling Michael Schenker through Steve Vai !

Great questions thanks , I think it’s time for a hand truck journey update , version 5 it may be , I’ve eschewed a lot of gear to lost the weight of the unit , last version was over 100 lbs , so new hand truck and completely real amp less , all modelling and 100% relying on stage monitors and front of house , just smarter and much cheaper and easier to lug around , though heavy on the programming but I like that stuff. yeah the two preamps thing is a thing and it really comes down to if it sounds good it is good , certain plugins are better at that sort of thing , it’s not a fast and hard rule , but yeah going completely without the amp now that point is moot for me anyway . I’ve used the effects loop and have some vintage gear to utilize there , I love that stuff but it’s just so heavy and cumbersome and troubleshooting it on gigs makes you look weak , why bring it anymore , the modelled stuff works as well in the box so I don’t fight it anymore . The analog wah pedal is the only mainstay, on the new build that is , just more tactile I find it has lights and controls for way range so for me that works best , the compressor I’ve always had a fetish for in the studio and or at home , upgraded the components etc , but never was effective live , always seemed to diminish the effect and just way to bothersome , now with the new setup I don’t even use compression as a crutch or an effect of any kind , I would prefer the Neural MKII+ suite. I trialed it and love it but time ran out and I’m back to using some plugialliance Suhr Pete Thorn 100 plugin for now , save up me pennies … moral of the story tubes blow , amps fry out way more often for me than computers crash , even utilizing another instance of GP4 just for synths , way more reliable than my tube amps and flexibility just blows them away , it’s over for me and real amps , I’ll toy with them at home for fun tho , not for playing out or rehearsing …

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That’s some good channeling!

@bobco631 Thanks very much for your answers! As you say: if it sounds good it is good. So I will as well go on trying different set-ups and chains. Thanks very much for showing that ending the guitar/bass GP chain with just connecting to a standard (pre-amp) input of a guitar/bass amp ist not a no-go (which I thought so far…)

always a pleasure , I’ve had pretty good success running from GP with a MOTU M2 either into the effects loop, or front end (access to gain stages and eq is bonus) of either a Mesa Boogie Mk2C+ or a EVH 5150iii … the EVH was kind of unique with it’s midi foot switching channel abilities , the Boogie was pretty great too , could switch channels from a Musicomlab EFX mk2 , or even a Behringer FCB 1010 … I prefer the Musicomlab real estate size , that’s a pretty great unit , got mine used but it’s rock solid , I think it was $150.

I had quite the loom (patch cables snake) running from the hand cart and that was a considerable weight and yet another reason to ditch the real amps , I haven’t had a live gig without the real amps yet but soon , should make some difference with stage volume , the impact of say cranking your solos through all the monitor mixes boosted for the solos really turns it up, I’m glad the other band members enjoy hearing my solos as loud as I do ! do they ?
You could argue the preamp into a preamp issue for days or even the modelled cab output into a preamp power amp cab redundancy point as well , it’s just signal processing and though you could argue best practices it’s individually up to you what sounds right , don’t get caught up in mumbo jumbo and haters replies , form your own opinion about what sounds good to you with your own gear and ears …
For me ultimately trying to reduce the amount of gear and connections , pedals and amp heads and cabs makes sense , do more with less and continually try and reduce and compartmentalize because I tend to bring way too much and do way too much with what I bring , reduce and reuse … smaller , more compact , lighter , easier all the way .