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The KISS principle

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Zlartibartfast, Aug 29, 2004.

  1. I almost always reply to and rarely create a thread, but last night we (3 members of APP) achieved a paradigm shift in performance.

    Background - we play 100% original material. Our style can be desribed as Progressive, Fusion, Symphonic Rock and Jazz. We carry a lot of gear and have a somewhat complicated setup - 3 basses, 6 guitars, 3 keyboards, racks all over the place, MIDI cables, pedals, on and on. We're talking about gettin' our brass chops back (trumpet/trombone/sax) to get that BS&T/Chicago/Miles Davis sound added in.
    It's a Big Rig.

    Last night I got an email from our former drummer and still a terrific friend, advising that he was going to be the house drummer for an open mic night, and would I like to sit in and jam? I replied back that although our regular drummer was out of town this weekend, the Pickman/Thumpman/Keyman were going to be in the studio tracking overdubs and I didn't think we'd be able to do it, but thanks for asking anyway maybe next time.

    In the studio (the gameroom at the Thumpman's house, where we have fabricated a drum booth) we encountered some tech glitches and were late getting started. A thunderstorm blew in - spectacular lightning display, booming thunder, etc. I was hesitant to try and record with this going on and decided to shut down the gear (my SDR! my mixer board! can't replace 'em...)so..

    We each grabbed (only) one of the multiple instruments we play, no amps or racks, & headed down to the club our drummer friend was at. When we found him he put us in the lineup. We had to construct a short set of songs that we could pull off using minimal/foreign gear, I had to figure out what programs I would use without any time for preparation, punching buttons in the dark, like using brail to create patches between solos. The energy was flowin', the beat was gruvin', and we Burned the Place Down. The MC asked us if we could make regular Saturday night appearances starting next week.
    I was torn down and off the stage in record time, and the sound guy was telling me that we really should have gotten up there earlier in the night so we could've played longer.

    Short Story - there is a lot to be said for the Keep It Simple Stupid principle! I don't intend to ditch my big rig, as I can't really pull off the big show with only one axe, but I think we'll be working up a Lite version of our set in the near future. Helps to be fast and lean at times like that!

    next I'll figure out how to apply the KISS principle to my posts
  2. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA

    I hear you. I have a KISS sticker on one of my bass cases. Over the years I've gone from a rack full of tube gear to a 7 pound amp that I can lift with two fingers. My small speaker is a 12" in a tiny box. When playing live cover tunes, I try to minimize complexity whenever possible. It's all about the Groove, and the Pocket.
  3. Jacob M

    Jacob M

    Aug 28, 2004
    New York
    Musical happiness with no complications.
  4. DubDubs


    Aug 23, 2004
    Los Angeles
    That's how I do it too. The simpler the better. Though I've always wanted to try out a Bass Pod Pro or XTPro as a preamp but that still keeps it simple because it's an all in one unit. I've never been into having a bunch of effects pedals and all that, especially for a bass.
  5. JacobM et al - Of course I can humour you! That's one thing I do well!
    Since I am the KeyMaster for Austin Power Plant I am always challenged to provide everything needed to back up the Power Plant Engineers with the widest sound palette possible while using the least amount of juice - a task that can be fraught with frustrations yet yields great rewards
    Just tryin' to keep the customer satisfied....
  6. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Sounds awesome. I'm a big enthusiastic endorser of the KISS method (bass -> cable -> amp) on my fretless, but I just can't say no to the 3 band active onboard preamp, digitech mutlieffects box and chops heavy fun on my fretted.
  7. YEAH - of course the retailers and manufacturers of all those awesome "gotta have it" gizmos just love folks like me!

    well, at least I don't have 5,000 pairs of shoes