Live on Guitar and Vocals with a prerecorded Backing Band
The Mark and the Mp3’s show
- Over the years a few things have changed. The red car booster amplifier is 50 watts bridged into mono at 8 ohmes, a decade old Sony x-plod.
- The speaker is a JVC with hardened corners.
- The metal box doubles as a table to set up over.
- At the end of last year the cheap mixer and old mp3 backing player both died, so I also have some quite new gear.
Mixing and Effects rack
- The rack starts with a large 18 amp/hour 12 volt battery. Being a gel cell it can lie on it’s side. That battery can last all day along the waterfront.
- Next up is a Boss 16-bit mini rack reverb [mono]. Most of the time it’s just on vocals. To power this hungry 9 volt device, I had to solder up a rig for 3 small 9 volt batteries. I might run it on 4 to 6 batteries in a proper rack, 3 batteries only last about 2 hours.
- The mixer is just 5 volume knobs and plugs, 4 inputs and 1 mono out. This replacement has a much improved volume response than the old one. Instant response is vital as some of the backing tracks are louder than others.
- The Microphone is a stage series Audio Technica AT88-b Vocal Mic, with a sturdy boom mic stand. When doing some of the Elvis songs (like Now of Never) I change the delay between the Verse and Chorus.
- There is a black box with a red stripe and a big switch. That is a kitset pre-amp. It can run from 6 volts to 12 volts, but I installed a 9 volt battery so it makes about 1.5 amps without making any noise.
- A little boost between the mixer and slave amplifier, brings the weaker microphone volume level up to match the backing and guitars, without hiss distortion.
- To start with it caused a bit of trouble, my soldering the board was fine, but the wires were getting pulled off through set up and pack down every few days.
- In the end I managed to secure everything in the box so it has been a very reliable component for over 3 years now. Them bugs just took a while.
- I have been soldering my own leads and simple stuff for most of my life. At least i didn’t blow this one up. in the box is a map of the poles so i won’t get the battery around the wrong way again.
- I use a classing buskers tool, an old 1980’s FG Yamaha acoustic steel string.
- Once it was modified into a 9 string (see music video – Just a Dusguise). But now it is back to the versatile 6 string setup.
- It has a Neo-D Fisman pickup, I installed that and soldered in the plug.
- Acoustic guitars are a bit more mellow in the streets of a big city. I do not have effects on guitar at all.
- Most of the backing has very little effects, so I manage to create a very clean and rich sound, not loud and without distortion.
- But there is one tune, when I disconnect the microphone and plug the guitar through the boss effects for a slow lead. Albatross by Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac.
- Glasses, these are fake 70’s Show-Biz, with bushy Side Burns glued on. This is a must for the show Elvis is Busking Outside the Building.