Date: 08-Apr-02 @ 11:10 PM -
Linear vs Non-linear Live
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Formant brought up a good point on another thread about playing live. He commented:"its just that if my live show adds no benefit over my statically recorded material then i am not sure why i am attempting it."
Largely, if I'm getting what he was saying, that's a question of linear sets vs non-linear sets. For purposes of discussing this subject, lets make a couple of quick definitions... These aren't "textbook" definitions, just some defining of things so everyone is basically on the same page... Your own definitions may be a bit different, and please feel free to amend my quick overviews...
A linear set is pretty much "prerecorded." It's more of a song to song to song approach. It's well suited to recreating studio trax for live use. It's also the "easiest" way to play live as it's closer to mixing songs in a way a DJ might mix records....
A non linear set is more freeform. It's usually more pattern based than song based. It's better suited for improv and spontaneous interactions with the audience. It generally requires more practice to pull off consistently.
Okay, that said, to address Formant's comment, even playing a linear set, you'll still be able to do things that you couldn't if it was truly static as in a record or CD. If that's still not satisfying enough, then maybe you need to go with a little more of a non-linear approach.
Personally, I like the non-linear approach because I can "move" the set when and as I want to. I can choose to go to a breakdown, build it up, set on the groove, whatever, depending on what I'm reading from a crowd. You just don't have that freedom in a linear "song based" sort of set. Admittedly, I come from a rock band background where you might do a chorus a couple extra times if the crowd was digging things, or maybe you go into an "unplanned" solo for an extra eight measures or whatnot. All a bit non-linear, even though we had a general framework of songs and song structure. That's the sort of way I still like to play electronic sets, too.
I'm certainly not saying one way is "better" than the other, but for the way I prefer to work, non-linear just suits me better...