I'm emabrking on a tour with a band doing backline and have a few questions regarding the keys setup. I've toured with them before and ran into certain issues with the setup (beyond my control) which I'm keen to avoid this time around now I get to do some pre-production.
There;s two keyboards playing simultaneously triggering separate Macbook Pro's running Mainstage (It's possible they may go with a single iMac system for both but I'm arguiing against that). So that side of it is all good. I prefer not to use the USB connection straight from the keys but MIDI interfaces, specifically the MOTU McroLite for each system as it has proven itself reliable. I may need longer cable runs too so using USB extenders is out in a live context as they don't work well. With MIDI power adaptors I can run the lines as long as needed, even over XLR cable.
Last time they did not account for a backup system, and I'm not going through that scenario again. I will be bringing a suitably specced laptop for backup, with ot's own MicroLite and whatever plugins/dongles installed. Running a Mainstage session that is set up for both keyboards at the same time (all systems will be using UAD Apollo Twins for soundcard duties).
My idea of a backup is something that is usable immediately and in-place, not something that requires the show to be stopped. The plan was to use MIDI splitters from each keys, which would feed the respective MicroLite and also send a signal to the backup system. This way the keyboardists would be triggering the sounds all the time, and FOH/Mons would have a feed of the backup but muted it unless needed. So they could switch over straight away should there be a problem. The back MIDI runs would need to be powered because they may be to go beyond 30 metres (playing large concert halls).
I haven't used MIDI splitters much before. Which do you recommend - MIDI solutions, Kenton etc? Is a powered splitter like the Kenton model more reliable? Also the keys in question (Doepfer LMK2+) has 2 midi outs. Anyone know if the second out on those simply duplicates the signal (the gear is in another country)? if that's the case then MIDI splitters may not be necessary. What other things would you look out for? Do splitters degrade the signal at all?
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MIDI Splitter Advice for Tour Keyboards
For performing musicians and engineers: stagecraft, engineering and gear.
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I just googled the Doepfer manual and it states "Both MIDI-OUTs are sending the same MIDI-signal."
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