Dig My Rig

August 1, 2010

by Tony Orant, a.k.a. tonysounds on the Keyboard Corner forum

My recently slimmed-down rig is a Yamaha S90ES [since replaced in Yamaha's lineup by the S90XS] with a Line 6 M9 effects unit and Hammond XM2 drawbar controller Velcro’ed on top. This feeds SKB racks containing a Roland Fantom-XR and JD-990, Yamaha Motif Rack, Muse Receptor, Hammond XM2 organ module, and Roland M-120 mixer. Mounted in its own tray is a Ventilator rotary simulator.

0810 Dig My Rig main

This gives me the power of a complex MIDI rig, yet has spontaneity—I can play the S90ES alone just by pushing “Voice.” The M9 adds more spontaneity, with realtime control of everything from distortions to filters to delays to tremolo. I don’t run stereo—mono is the way to go when you’re at the mercy of house sound systems.

 Skb Racks Front Open_resized

An umbilical of all MIDI, audio, and control cables runs from the keyboard station to the rack. The drawbar cable plugs into the front of the XM2; all others plug into adaptors I’ve dressed on the right side of the rack so they’re easy to find in the dark. I also outlined the XLR output of my mixer with glow-in-the-dark tape.








Skb Racks Back Open Wired_resized Inside the rack at the top, I Velcro’ed the AC and audio cables for my QSC K12 powered monitor, which sits atop the rack. Other AC cabling is fastened to the rack’s floor, with each cable in its own trough so I don’t have to disassemble the whole thing to change something out. My pedalboard is 1/4" plywood, painted black and stapled with cheap outdoor carpet with the rubber side down to keep it from sliding. All pedals are Velcro’ed to the board with pedal and AC cables bound in one snake. The whole rig takes less than 15 minutes to unpack and power up.

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