Behringer Neutron drone | Dave Smith Evolver Lead | Polara Reverb | Akai EWI4000s Controller
I uploaded this Sunday Jam on a Saturday...but it felt like a Sunday, so there it is!
The last two gigs where I used my EWI were not pleasant.
Gig one: South on Main with my band, TwiceSax
I brought three synths, a speaker, a two-space rack with power and reverb, EWI, flute, and saxophone. Too freakin' much. The venue (one of the coolest in Little Rock) features a sticking out into the room, and it is about three feet tall, with the only easy access from one back corner up a ramp that extends into the dining area. So I basically worked my but off to get it all on stage, got nice a sweaty, and ran my setup way closer to the top of the gig than I like.
My monitoring for the synths was bad, and I was never happy with the EWI sound.
Gig two: Four Quarter Bar with the Organ Collective
I brought my tenor, one synth, EWI, speaker, and my two-space effect rack. Not as much stuff to bring to the gig, but still a lot of heavy with that rack. Also, a lot of cable spaghetti that could have been more tidy.
The real problem: the sound in the room was deafening. Our sound check volume was 50% the volume of the actual show, because the mains weren't really used during soundcheck. Once the mains came on, and started slapping off the brick wall 20 feat away, the EWI was G. O. N. E. gone.
When I started playing I couldn't hear at all. With the EWI, you get virtually no physical feedback from the instrument, which makes it very difficult to keep yourself from overblowing. When you blow too hard, you lose all expression and articulations vanish.
Gig three: hasn't happened yet
But the video in this post was really used as a test of a new setup. I used the Neutron as a drone and the Evolver lead voice to be controlled by the EWI. I ran it all through my new Polara reverb pedal. Most importantly, I had everything set on my new media tray. I think I am close to having it to a simple, gig-able set up. I can get the entire EWI rig, sax/flute, and music stands/music into the venue in two trips by myself, and I can get it setup in about 15 minutes. Getting the speaker closer to my head helps a lot with being able to feel my sound, and I figured out a way to manage cables down the shaft of the stand.
We'll see how it goes. - BD
I play saxophone.*