As a member of a touring band, it’s always important to have the right technology at your disposal. Without the proper tools, it’s almost impossible to translate the music you’ve worked hard to write and record into a live context. Here are four tech essentials every touring band needs.
Bringing your own PA system on the road ensures that you won’t be at the mercy of venues when it comes to sound equipment. With your own system, you’ll be able to maintain consistent sound quality at all of your gigs. It’s also a good idea to bring your own mixing board, since working with the venue’s equipment can sometimes put you in the awkward position of familiarizing yourself with a totally new piece of gear in just a few minutes before you go on.
Rack Mounted Amplifiers and Effects
Although many bands still choose stacked amplifiers and effects pedals, it’s actually much more convenient to tour with rack mounted equipment. With a rack of preamps and effects, you can cut back on and load in time. Rack gear also takes up less space in your touring van, which is usually at a premium when you’re on the road.
Whenever you’re playing live, it’s essential to have monitor speakers on the stage so that you can hear your own music properly. Without monitors, it’s hard to tell if you’re in proper time and if your tone is right. Investing in high-quality monitors is one of the best things you can do to improve your live performances.
Many bands forget to bring extra cables on the road with them. This can be a huge mistake, since it’s not uncommon for cables to give out with extensive use. Nothing is worse than getting onstage, finding you have a faulty cable and not having a spare to replace it with. Ideally, you should have one replacement for every essential cable in your setup. Bringing extras with you will save you from bad sound quality onstage and side trips to music stores to replace your equipment before the next gig.
If you bring all of these items on your next tour, you’ll have the essentials you need to put on great live performances. Although your band’s musicianship is the heart of your gigs, having the right gear on hand is also essential for sharing your talent with the audience.