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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > Nov 17 > FROM STUDIO TO STAGE


Every producer should experience playing their music in front of an audience – it’ll transform the way you think about your own sounds. But there are challenges in moving from studio to stage, so let Martin Delaney take you through it.…


Working on music in the privacy of the bedroom, small studio, or coffee shop is one thing, but taking it to the stage can be a bit of a culture shock. After playing just one gig, your perceptions about gear, music and maybe even your artistic ambitions will change, as you process the input from new experiences. Even if you’re a committed studio rat and not really interested in playing live at all, I’d still nag you to try it at least once, you have a lot to learn and nothing much to lose – wear a mask if you’re feeling shy! The most important thing is to commit to doing it. The decision will be followed by creative and practical challenges, but relax, there’s nothing you can’t handle.


The time has to come to plan and play your first-ever live gig, or the first with a new band or new setup. It could even be a situation where you’re not playing, but helping somebody else to do it. There are probably common things we all want from playing live, such as fun, exposure, recognition, building an audience and to get a new perspective on our studio work. It’s the loudest we’ll ever hear our music played, at the opposite end of the scale from listening to it on iPhone speakers. Furthermore, standing in front of an audience while your music is playing is a true test of your faith in your own work. There’s really nowhere to hide, sonically speaking.

What we aren’t going to do with this piece is give you a full step-by-step ‘how to’ about getting ready for a live gig. That’d be impossible, unless everybody who reads this is playing the same set with the same gear and the same people at the same venue. But we want to spark some ideas and get you motivated and give you some useful tools. It’s similar to gear recommendations – almost impossible, except in the most general way.Before we commence our headlong rush into the crazy world of the live experience, let’s agree on what a ‘performance’ is. For our purposes, it’s any occasion in a public space where we’re playing our own music, whether that’s with electronics, computers, a band, or whatever. There has to be a margin of error, as well – it’s not a performance unless there’s a chance you might make a mistake or two. You most likely want something repeatable and recognisable from your original studio material, but with room to expand and improvise

Playing live can be as simple or complicated as you like, it’s your gig after all. You can get out there with just a laptop, controller and a soundcard, or go to the other extreme and bring your entire studio – whatever is best going to get you in the zone…

Then there are more questions still. What kind of performer are you? How do you want your music to translate to live performance? Solo or with a band? What kind of venue do you aspire to playing at? And… what are you going to do while you’re up there on stage? People, gear, and music are more closely tied together in a live scenario than anywhere else.


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About MusicTech

We’re very excited to reveal our new-look issue, which is on sale from Thursday 19th October, and we’ve gone the extra mile to give you something really special. Building up the courage to share your tracks over the internet is one thing, but performing them live is something else entirely. That’s where our cover feature, From Studio To Stage comes in. With 7-pages of expert advice from Matin Delaney you’ll be gig-ready in no time. Elsewhere in the mag we chat with Emre Ramazanoglu, who’s body of work includes several 2017 movie soundtracks as well as some of the biggest pop releases in recent years. Additionally we present our 10 tips to speed up your computer (without buying a new one), a retrospective on the Roland SH-101 and 6 reasons to buy more gear (as if you needed any). This and so much more in the new-look issue of MusicTech magazine.