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© Eleanor Jane
“When David is playing his keyboards onstage, with the exception of the organ and the piano, he's controlling all of the equipment backstage as well. We use samplers that have the band's signature sounds from all of their hits. Because those sounds are studio designed, you can't just go and invent them with a couple of synths, so Dave is triggering onstage the sounds that are stored in this equipment back here.
“It's the same with old synthesizers. We don't want to bring those on the road because we'd need a whole case of them, plus they're old and unreliable, so the sounds of those old synths are in here in this sampler unit. Old keyboard units have also been fitted into this sampler, and they are essential to the rig otherwise the sound wouldn't be the same as it is on the band's various albums.
“The sampler unit itself is an evolution of sorts. I'm tech number three on the evolution of this system, and I know the other two techs very well. The only thing that hasn't changed is the core of the sound producing equipment. Take the MIDI patches that we use, for example: they're not especially old, but you don't find them new these days because people just aren't doing it this way anymore.
“I've got two Mac laptops back here in my tech area that are used for live patching, so any editing that I may need to do on the fly (which isn't very often because the core of the show is programmed in), is all driven from these two Mac's.
"An example of editing on the fly is when Clarence Clemons passed away recently. Jon wanted to do a bit of a tribute to him with [Bruce Springsteen's] Tenth Avenue Freeze Out, and I needed horn patches for the song so I pulled them up and then we were live to do editing and sound creation with those particular patches. The process for that song took around 10 minutes.”