I’d like to share my experience flying to the St Lucian Jazz Festival with The Ark Band without bringing a keyboard rig, how I fit my sound in a backpack, and the hardware situations I was able to adapt to in St Lucia.
I packed light, but still had plenty of safety in redundancy. I could have brought less. The rig:
Apple MacBook Pro (2021, 14") 10 core M1 - 32 GB Ram - 1 TB Storage
RME Babyface (+ Power Supply, MIDI Breakout, 3’ USB Cable)
Powered USB Hub:
OWC Thunderbolt Dock (+ power supply, 6’ TB 4 cable)
Hornberg HB1 Breath Controller
Expression Pedal + 2 Momentary Switch Pedals
USB Snake (3 X 6’ USB A-B cables)
DIN MIDI Snake (+ MIDI merge)
1/4 - XLR Stereo Breakout (splits headphone out for FOH)
MIDI DIN X 2
USB C - USB B X 3
1/4 - XLR Stereo Breakout
Data: Backup of MacBook on Hard Drive
All of this easily fit into a personal-item-sized backpack. I brought a MPK261 as my carry-on luggage.
Once I got to St Lucia, I was able to practice in my room with my MPK261. The next day, I had a rehearsal at a local recording studio and used a house Microkorg and Motif in addition to my MPK261. The Rig Manager made it easy to swap controllers. The studio only had one guitar cable available for keys so I patched all my sounds to a single mono output.
Once backstage, I found a spectacular selection of backline.
The logistics of the festival had musicians setting up backstage on wheeled risers. One band would play, and then be wheeled off and the next band setup while a solo artist or DJ entertained the crowd. The turnovers were very fast.
Sound checked and ready to go!
Snippet from the show. I’m playing (key)horns over a dub. The audio is horrendous but we were moving some serious air
Many thanks to St Lucia Tourism Authority and the gracious people of St Lucia. It was an epic experience. Thanks to Gig Performer for making gigging internationally much simpler!
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