On occasion, I’ve been asked what gear I use. So, I thought others may be interested as well. I started off the post listing out the equipment. Then I realized I could use it to just draw the path between me performing and the audience in Second Life.

So, first there’s me performing. 🙂 < -me

Next there are the instruments:

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First up, the piano. I’ve been using a Yamaha P80. It’s since been discontinued, but I still use it. I like the piano sound and it’s been as portable of an 88-key weighted keyboard can be.

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Then, of course, there is the synth, without which I couldn’t hit the technological sides of the musical landscapes. This one is the Access Virus C.

I find it absolutely essential to have a good sounding instrument if I am to feel inspired. There is a strong feedback mechanism of listening and playing. The two aspects need to be one and the same. I, frankly, have no idea how people program music via software without hearing the sounds they make. I am a dedicated hardware musician. If software is your style, then my hat’s off to you – I’ve heard some amazing sounds made by way of programming.

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My style of play is essentially an attempt to meditate. I need to be able to change things in real-time with real sliders and knobs. The MIDI controller helps me to do this. This one is aptly called the Kenton Control Freak.

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The piano and the synth need to have their audio combined in the appropriate ranges and frequencies (“mixed”) into a single stereo pair. Done via the mixer.

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Lastly, I need the things that mix all MIDI signals together and record. The above shows a MIDI router and the system that handles the audio recording and interacts with the computer. MIDI is the language by which the keyboard, synthesizer, and controllers all communicate. The router is their point of communication.

The audio is piped into the computer via firewire.

Now, the music is in the software side of things: There are several pieces of software that change the audio into a URL suitable for internet radio. The one I use is Nicecast. I haven’t really tried others much. This one seems to work fine.

Second Life has the ability to pick up an audio stream and broadcast it over sections of land. A land owner tunes the land to broadcast via a connection to the URL.

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Then … well that’s it. The rest is about playing in a cool venue with a neat design and working with people who have been tremendously supportive and friendly.