At TED this year I’m using a stripped-down version of my usual live rig. Here’s what it consists of:
-Logic Pro 7
-Nord Lead 3
-Yamaha Motif 8
-Novation XioSynth 25 (audio interface)
Most of the tunes don’t use a sequence, but I’ve created a Logic song anyway so that the relevant softsynth sounds will load up for me. I’m also using Logic’s Environment to do my keyboard mapping and switching, instead of my prorietary ZoneOut application. The Environment is more clunky and slower to set up, but this simplifies things because everything’s in the one program.
For some tunes I have live sounds coming out of the Nord or Yamaha, as opposed to softsynths. It’s refreshing to have zero delay, I guess I’ve adjusted over the years to the inherent delay when playing live synths in Logic.
Everything is mixed through the Novation XioSynth 25 that I’m using as my audio interface. It connects to the Mac via USB. Many people ask me what a good entry-level keyboard is; I would thoroughly recommend the XioSynth, which has excellent built-in sounds, mic and line inputs, and stereo audio outputs, and can be picked up for under $300. This is the one axe I always carry around with me and hooks up nicely with a laptop. They do larger versions of this keyboard as well if you need two-handed functionality at the expense of a little portability.