Occasionally I get the chance to play some music. One of my favourite gigs is called June Rocks, a solid rock show put on by a small high school in Massena (Northern New York). Every year the students get to try out for the chance to sing any song they want backed a professional band in front of an audience of about 600. It’s a blast.

My setup

Every year my drum configuration evolves a little bit, and gets a little bit more digital. Here is what it looked like on Monday:

My drum setup for June Rocks

What I’m using:
* An old 4-piece Yamaha Stage Custom kit
* Yamaha DTXpress II electronic kit pieces
* Tascam US-2000 audio interface
* Retina MacBook Pro with Ableton Live 8
* Akai APC20 Ableton controller
My whole set is driven through Ableton 8, which keeps track of all my tempos, runs my metronome, and plays all my loops:

Ableton 8 is great!

This was the first time I incorporated electronic pads into my setup and it worked really well. I had a couple of pads set up as sample triggers for specific sounds and a couple for controlling the set (playing and stopping loops). Great use for an old electronic drum set you might have kicking around.
For monitoring I had the sound guy give me a return that I fed through my interface. That way I could set my own level through Ableton, and monitored everything through there.

Clips from the show

Here’s our band intro:

Here’s one of my favourite tunes from the night, “I Don’t Dance” by Lee Brice (cover by Bailey Cortese)

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