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Author: admin
Date: 12-Mar-97

Here's an article written by Lagowski for Dancetech.... I added this html article into the database driven system... so although the 'author' tag above links to me, this was written by Legowski.. enjoy....


To play "live" electronic music abroad, or indeed in the U.K. (a place I will never play again) takes a small amount of event planning and plenty of pre-programming and preparation (excuse the alliteration - I am obviously not a lyricist).

In my case, the first priority was that I would not be using a DAT as backing. I have done this once before and it simply does not work if you are trying to create something exciting for people to listen/dance to. Consciously or unconsciously, I believe most people in clubs know if something is being sequenced live or is coming off a digital tape. The warmth simply isn't there when played off DAT.

The second consideration was how to do my usual length set (about one hour) with as small an amount of equipment as possible. As I usually use an Emax 2 Turbo keyboard for recording my tracks, this was the first item that came to mind when cutting down on luggage. Taking one of those to Japan, not to mention on trains and in cars is no laughing matter.

This left me with the problem of losing many of my original drum sounds and vocal-type pads, along with noises, samples etc. In stepped the EMU Morpheus, Roland R8M and the Roland JV1080. The Morpheus has infinite possibilities for sound creation and I spend many hours in alchemical frenzy conjuring new sounds from the micro-world of the EMU chip. The power of this instrument never ceases to amaze me. Likewise, the JV1080 is a goldmine for sound designers. Also, its midi response times are such that I can sequence many parts simultaneously and still keep the timing rigid. Please note: not a House piano sound in sight ;->

Lastly, the R8M provides the CR78 percussion and all-important 808 kick drum with four hour decay.....

So, once my replacement drums and noises were programmed, I had to transfer my sequences from Cubase 2.5 on the Apple Macintosh to my Roland MC50MkII hardware sequencer (no, I'm not working for Roland. Nor am I sponsored by anyone!). This involves saving each song as a multi-part midi file on a PC formatted disk, for transfer, and then editing each track that appears on the MC50MkII so that it is transmitted via the correct midi out socket on the unit. There are two midi outputs. In my case, one sent data to the R8M first and then "thru" to the Morpheus. The second dealt only with the JV1080. The difference in midi timing between the Mac and the hardware sequencer is astounding. The Mac, remember, has to redraw those lovely blocks and the song cursor as well as sending out midi data. The MC50MkII is built for midi data delivery. Tight as.....something very tight........


My set, I soon discovered, would not fit in its entirety onto one 720kb floppy diskette.
Unfortunately, I had to use three floppies and have a cassette of noises/voices to bridge the gaps during the short disk swaps. This worked out fine in the end as I had been rehearsing my swapping technique for twelve weeks before the gigs.

O.K., I'm stretching the truth a little. It wasn't so bad, as it gave the crowd a breather and added an extra bit of tension to the proceedings; the polite Japanese audience were thinking....."are his machines going to work after this or not?". Thankfully, all went smoothly and the generators were soon chugging away nicely again.

So, after quite a few heart-stopping moments (and several grey hairs) during programming, I managed to pull the whole thing together. The reactions were great and I made many new friends and contacts from the people who came.

My final list of gear which made it on the trip is: Roland R8M, Roland JV1080, EMU Morpheus, Roland MC50MkII, Mackie 1202 mixer and Sony Pro Walkman with noises from the Emax 2 Turbo (mostly transform-multiplexed sounds and voices). Of course I also took many backup floppies of midi files and the entire memory contents of the two synths in sysex format. The latter being dumped into the hardware sequencer as sequences which could be played back into the synths in the event of total memory loss.

The synths and R8M went in an SKB rack/case in the hold of the 747 and the mixer and sequencer came with me as hand luggage. Risky, I know, but where's the fun if there are no risks involved?

My only advice to anyone thinking of doing electronic dance/techno/ambient/whatever music "LIVE" is plan your set carefully and think about minimising your gear, where possible, so that you can carry it! Don't be put off by idiots who don't know the work you've done. Think positive and go out there and do it LOUD.

Thanks to DJ T23 for joining me (and playing some very heavy sounds) and to Toru Yamanaka for organising the events.

email: or for more info on forthcoming gigs/recordings etc.


Current releases:

S.E.T.I. 'The Geometry of Night' cd album - incoming! inc!cd3310

Legion 'Leviathan' cd album - Side Effects DFX24

Forthcoming: Lagowski 'Ashita' cd album - Side Effects DFX20

Click here to go to Neurowaver's unofficial Lagowski Discography



There are a total:  5  comments posted to this page.

Name:  kilo
Activity:  Professional
Date:  13-Dec-98


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Name:  freddy
Activity:  part-timer
Date:  13-Dec-98

lxk xlckxlckxl cxlkc xlkcx

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Name:  Rob
Activity:  Hobby-ist
Date:  04-May-99

It's great to see someone talking about playing dance live. I have been writing for a while and am thinking of heading down to the local to play a set or two but need more articles like this to work out the best way to go about it.

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Name:  Aaron
Website?:  n/a
Activity:  Hobby-ist
Date:  14-Jul-99

Very intresting artical about your performance and experience in Japan.

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Name:  Lagowski
Activity:  Professional
Date:  12-Jun-01

Lagowski here - you can now visit my website for links to free tracks. BTW: off to japan again next month - see the site for details. Peace! Lagowski, 12th June 2001.

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