It has been nearly three years that SHADED has globetrotted with his trusty ZERO Halliburton aluminum case. Retrofitted with his own inner foam lining around the edges, the Californian DJ's precious hardware is assured to be safe and sound when packed in for a hectic life on the road.
The well-travelled crate is also starting to resemble a stamped passport for the SCI+TEC star. "This baby has been slowly gaining more and more stickers at every gig I go to." SHADED lets me in on a little secret too. "These labels are also mainly for security purposes," he confesses. "If anyone tries to steal it at an airport or gig, it's easy to spot!"
Although, it's not like the average kleptomaniac would have the slightest clue what to do with the advanced machinery if they ever got their hands on it. SHADED is distinguished by his complex live set-up, which takes advantage of everything from cutting edge DJ technology right down to good ol' fashioned compact discs.
Since many people ask what's in SHADED's roller, we finally had him share some of the most important bits of equipment he lugs around from show to show.
SHADED: This has been my main MIDI controller and live sequencer for about two years. It's the key element in my live show for sequencing the beats and allows me to stay away from my computer as much as possible while playing. The great part about the controller is that it feels like a piece of studio gear, so you can really get a hands-on feeling while using it—without worrying you might break it. This thing is a beast and can handle the road too. I have dropped it so many times and had it beaten to bits by airport baggage handlers, but it's still ticking! They are well worth the money in their technical capability, as well as durability.
The Maschine Mikro is the drum sequencer I use while playing. I use it for laying beats on beats, not to mention drum rolls and break down mixes. It's great in a live gig environment, because you can load all your own samples [onto it] and freestyle them over the top of a mix for added snap. It's also small and lightweight in comparison to its big brother version, which makes it quite ideal for traveling.
I have been using Oyaide cables for a couple years and now use them exclusively. The boys over there always hook me up. These cables have never failed me—ever! Cables and stable connections can sometimes get overlooked, but in my opinion they are so important when it comes to electronic music. There is nothing worse than a RCA or quarter inch squealing out during a gig.
I've favoured MOTU for quite a while. I travel with the UltraLite-mk3 as my main sound card and the Mikrobook II as my back up. They're both monsters and can handle a pummeling on the road. Both of mine are so battered that people make fun of them. To be honest, I'm surprised they both still work. But hey, if it ain't broke then don't fix it!
Along with a backup laptop and iPad, I always carry around a Novation Launchpad, as well as the Novation Launch Control as a backup for my LIVID. The Novation stuff is really easy to MIDI map on the fly—so in case my LIVID dies on me, I can map the Novation stuff quick and easy before a gig last minute. Also, in a worst case scenario, I have a CD that I travel with that's just one MP3 file with a ten minute beatless track I wrote. This is only in case all of my equipment fails. Thankfully I have yet to have to use it, but if I was in a situation where I needed to reboot my whole computer and Ableton system, I could just pop the track into a CDJ and let the ambience ride for as long as I needed to get my computer restarted. My advice if you play live: always have a backup computer, backup sound card and backup MIDI controller. Last thing you want to do is show up to a gig and not be able to play because technology won't let you!
You can follow Christopher on Twitter at @theCMprogram.