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Ways of working with combos and setlists live

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Joined: 18 Aug 2020
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:32 am    Post subject: Ways of working with combos and setlists live Reply with quote

Hi, does anyone have any suggestions which is the best, or most efficient way to work with switching of setlists and combos during live play in the below scenarios? Would be interesting to hear from others how you tackle different scenarios and how you handle switching and navigation (pedals, buttons etc.) depending on how your keyboard rig is set up.

1. Playing a song where there is only two combinations of sounds during the entire song, one single piano sound (for intro and verse) and same piano sound together with a sting/pad sound (for bridge and chorus). This same combination can also be used in several songs.

2. Playing a more complex song that have say five different sound combinations that I need to alter between during the song.

Additional considerations that can affect the choice of workflow is if there is a one-tier or two-tier keyboard rig. Thinking about how to utilize the set up in the most efficient way. Thinking also about re-use of combos and programs to avoid redundancy.
Yamaha S90ES, Yamaha P150, Roland D50, Roland Integra 7
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Joined: 14 Sep 2012
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Location: Texas

PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For number one I use a volume pedal. My main sound is a piano with a pad. The pad is controlled with the pedal so I can fade it in or out as needed. The piano is not controlled by the pedal so it always plays.

I use two keyboards with my Kronos 61. That way, I can spread sounds over a large area as needed. I also recommend the NanoPad. I use it as well to trigger chords or notes that drone etc. It can address sounds on different MIDI channels which don't play on the keyboards. That way, you can have access to more sounds without using any keyboard space.

In combi's, You can alter the programs to a significant degree with the Tone Adjust page. This way, a program can be used in many different combi's and sound different as needed without altering the actual program.

I've only rarely used more than one setlist slot per song. Maybe only once..

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Joined: 18 Sep 2012
Posts: 20
Location: Herdecke

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


I'm always in Setlist Mode.

1. I use one combi with the two sounds and an expression pedal to control the volume of the string/pad sound.

2. Same: I use a combi with the different sounds I need for the song. The expression pedal to control the volume of one or more sounds.
If I have to alter the sounds in the song, I'll use the Karma function to the change between different sound sets within the combination.

And: I'm using only the 73 Kronos!

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Arizona Sage
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Joined: 10 Mar 2014
Posts: 165
Location: Arizona, Earth

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey there,

Live I'm always in Setlist Mode as well. I have an 88 key

If a song is too complex for a simple split to handle, I just create different combis for various sections of the song and then arrange them in the setlist so I can simply advance through them with a foot pedal. I have some songs that have upwards of 8-10 combis. Never had a problem with it. For me, it just seems easier to create the sounds you want independent of sliders and knobs during a live show. Keeps both hands on the keys. I also apply different colors to each song (or part of a song) as a visual aid while performing.

I use a Nanopad for things I need and use my left hand for that while still having the right hand available for lead lines, etc. For example, I play guitar on many songs as well as keys. Jesse's Girl bridge. Left hand is cycling through the 3 chord stabs on the Nano while i'm chugging an open G chord on the guitar. Another example: Night Fever by the Bee Gees. I find it much easier to play the main string chords on the Nano Pad, leaving the right hand free to play the single string lines.

The Kronos is a game changer for me. I'm sure many others do things differently but that's the beauty of it.

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Joined: 30 Aug 2009
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do the same as Arizona.

I have two keyboards, use an expression pedal to add or fade sounds (eg strings), and a foot switch to move up through the Setlist during songs. We like to do complete albums end-to-end, so something like Dark Side of the Moon has 11 Setlist slots using Combis and Songs. The ability of the Kronos to hold the sound when you switch up to the next Setlist slot makes for a seamless transition and is fantastic.

I also activate different Timbres during a song when in Combi mode where the changes work, but most of the time I'll move up to the next Setlist sloy.

I also use chord charts and include notes to indicate where I need to turn Timbres on or off, or change to the next Setlist slot.

I use the Forescore app on my iPad to store the charts (loading them as PDFs). Each chart has a midi code associated with it which puts the Kronos onto the right Setlist slot. This gives flexibility in a live situation, and means I only have to change one thing (the chart) and the keyboard changes to the correct slot.

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