(I’m pretty sure the guy in this pic is Dave Matthews’ younger brother)
The way my gear has evolved over time stems from a philosophy of guerilla gigging. I try to be as simple in my setup as possible without losing the necessary elements to create a loop based show. I’ve been able to fit my setup into a compact car and can set up in virtually any space in 20 minutes.
The flaw with this setup is that I don’t do any miked looping, which is an unfortunate disadvantage that I’d like to overcome someday. Miked looping is a pain in the small spaces I play due to feedback and unpredictable noise that builds up with each loop. However if you can work around these problems, as I hope to one day, you will find great power in vocal looping.
For P.A. I currently use a Bose L1 Model 2 with 2 B2 Bass Modules. If I need a little extra oomph I use a QSC K12 as a supplemental front-of-house speaker, angled a bit to provide double duty as a stage monitor. In-ear monitors would be ideal, but for the guerilla setup I’m using they are extraneous.
I use the Roland Handsonic 10 for drum sounds, and this device is a crowd favorite. I’d say the drum pad is almost as important as the guitar. If I’m looping with just the guitar and drum pad that’s enough- I’ve played the NorVa with just that setup.
As a third instrumental element I like to use a MicroKorg which weighs about 1 pound put packs some heavy sounds. It allows me to go into EDM realms and provides me with great bass and monophonic synth patches that bring a jamtronica vibe to the show.
I’ve tried using an electric bass and midi guitar, but considering the small spaces and hassle of having to switch guitars, they are too clunky for my taste. I’ve used a BOSS octave pedal for most of the bass tones- but the tracking on the pedal can be iffy and I find myself going more with the MicroKorg these days for bass. The other pedals I use are a tuner, compressor (for gain boost), and delay and reverb pedals. Wah pedals work great but I’ve dumped the wah in favor of a volume pedal to keep a smaller footprint.
All of the instruments go into a small Mackie mixer and then into the loop pedal. I’ve tried forgoing the mixer but the added gain and EQ controls are important enough to warrant the extra setup- and I have not seen another multi-instrument looper who doesn’t use a mixer.
With this gear list you can play anywhere for any function- from a wedding to a large club. Simplification and guerilla tactics are key for a one man operation and this way you can be self-sufficient in any situation.