Keyboard Rig

Current Equipment


My current (c.2017) live rig is based around an Apple Mac Mini running Mainstage and various software/virtual instruments as well as a Yamaha XS7 and Yamaha P155. I control Mainstage and the VIs from the two ‘boards, all audio being handled by a dedicated USB audio interface/mixer.

Like many, ahem, older keyboardists, I was a bit skeptical of software instruments having cut my teeth on original analog gear then a succession of dedicated hardware synths over the years.

In around 2012 I realised that my logic was really a bit flawed – any contemporary synth has some amount of firmware/software involved – so a carefully put together and dedicated?computer should be just as fit for purpose as a modern hardware synth. Touch wood, the system has proven to be rock solid after a couple of years or so and a few dozen gigs. I should add that a lot of research led me to the particular hardware configuration – in that regard I follow in the footsteps of others :)

Specifics – Hardware

Computing duties are handled by a “Mac mini (late 2012)” as Apple rather unimaginatively refer to it. It’s not quite off the rack – it has the fastest available CPU option making it a build to order. Configuration as used then is;

At the time of writing I’m using Mavericks – I’ve not yet moved this machine to Yosemite, but may do in the future once it’s reliability for music applications is clearer. My backup is sounds from the XS7 and P155 should the Mac have a bad day.

Specifics – Soft Instruments

More to follow, but two gotos are GSI’s excellent VB3 Hammond emulation and GForce’s Minimonsta Minimoog VI :)

Older Kit

For better or worse being something of a gearhead I do change my rig around from time to time.