View Full Version : Live Performance Sequencing With iBook G4

Mar 30, 2008, 02:23 PM
Hi, I'm Elf and completely new to this forum.

I am a complete newbie at running sound for live performances with my husband's band. I met my first soundboard 8 months ago. My husband has suggested that it might be fun to use my iBook to do some sequencing in live performances. I have no idea how this would be done and he doesn't speak Mac in any way. We run sound with 2 Behringer boards a snake that takes both 1/4" and XLR imput cables. My iBook is a 1GHz Power PC with OS X 10.3.9 and no current audio production software on it at all.

Can anyone tell me where to begin looking at how to do this? Software?outputs? We have a MIDI controller somewhere. Should the computer be onstage or back with me at the soundboard? I know nothing about how to do this except that it seems like a good idea and I think they could really add something to their show this way.

Any advice is welcome since I am a Graphic Designer by profession and running sound is just something I do to help out and keep me from getting bored during the performances. I know nothing!

Mar 30, 2008, 05:15 PM
the difficult part isn't hooking up the laptop outputs to the board, it's defining who/how the sequences will be triggered, how the band will monitor those sequences, and how they'll all stay in sync.

is there a *musical* need for sequencing, or is this just about the gee-whiz factor and making things complicated?

Mar 30, 2008, 11:19 PM
Not just a gee-whiz factor. There is no keyboardist in the band and while 3 of the band members can fake it pretty well, they'd have to put down their "real" instruments to do so. It would be much better if we could say, record tracks, which we can do on a more powerful system we have here at home and then sequence them in where they are wanted.

The gee-whiz factor comes from the kilt wearing bassist and the fog machine (wink.)

Apr 3, 2008, 08:41 PM
Zim... I'd like to say thanks for telling me what wasn't hard, but then not bothering to explain how I might go about doing it.

It seems like you've been doing this for a lot of years and have a lot of knowlege to offer. It also seems as though you've passed judgment on my motives for wanting to do this and have decided I'm not worthy of help.

I'm going to do my own judgement passing here as well. If you're in this to help, then help. I know the info I'm asking for is basic stuff that you probably think that a monkey should know, but it's info I don't have and while it probably doesn't offer you the opportunity to show this small section of world just how brilliant you are.... well - It might have shown them your kindness.

I know I sound bitter and vindictive here - and well, I am a little bit. I was really hoping that I could learn something without having to ask my husband to chase down his friends who have production studios to ask for their help. I guess we'll chase them down. Not a big deal, but I will say that I'm getting more and more disappointed with the Mac Using world. There was a time, in the 80's, when Apple users were bending over backwards to help each other. It was almost like belonging to a family - now... well.... I'm sad to say I'm starting to agree with my husband's assessment of Mac users. He believes they are a bunch of elitist snobs. Sadly, I think he may be right and the Mac community has done a 180 in the last 20 years.

I was so sure you guys would be willing to help me. Lecture over...

Apr 4, 2008, 12:33 PM
It seems like you've been doing this for a lot of years and have a lot of knowlege to offer. It also seems as though you've passed judgment on my motives for wanting to do this and have decided I'm not worthy of help.

no, it's really that i'm super-busy and i miss a lot of posts, including your reply.

patching in an ibook, say, is easy. you take its stereo output to 2 inputs on the board. be sure to send that signal to both the mains and the monitoring for the band. the hard part *is* the musical aspect: do players play off the sequence? what if it isn't triggered at the right time? what if they can't hear it well enough to play to it? and so on and so on. that's why i asked about that part.

good luck with your endeavor.

Apr 4, 2008, 07:01 PM
also take into account what CPU you have. i know a friend of mine has a g5 imac running logic express 8, and by looking at the CPU monitor you can see that some of his song that have alot of effects on and tracks just stop halfway through.

now considering you have a g4, and it being a laptop, i'm guessing your CPU will be less powerful than his. and alos more embaressing if it just suddenly stopped mid-song...

just a thought

Apr 4, 2008, 07:27 PM
For software I think ableton live would do you really well. It's dead easy to use and totally fits the bill. Get yourself a midi controller (could be a keyboard, a footpedal etc.) and the tutorials in the software will show you how to set it up - it's pretty easy, it detects the key/pad/knob you press/twiddle and automatically assigns it to the control you want.

I reckon a g4 933 will do fine for playback. I've got one. One could feasibly wack up the latency a litle without too much hassle. All you need is to hook up the output of whatever card your using (or the built in output) and send that to the monitor mix as well. Apparently live will run on it http://www.ableton.com/live.

Here's a little extra tip. If you need to do prefades and you have multiple output devices you can aggregate them under os x by going to apps>utilities>audio midi setup> and then under the audio file menu there's teh option to aggregate devices. This will allow you to say use your headphone out to do pre-fades - great for DJing!