Mapping live sets by energy of the crowd

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Hull
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Mapping live sets by energy of the crowd

Post by Hull » Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:25 pm

Hello!

Not to place any rules about how one performs in a live setting, but I have generally found that my better shows seem to occur when I have a particularly good feel for the energy and feedback I'm getting while I play. I use the session view and then I record as I play (as do many people) so I can review it later.
The programmer in me is always curious about the structure and patterns. Reviewing my live sets I find that there can be certain repeating patterns of energy build and cooldown over a 45-50 minute live set. That is, even though I'm in the moment and reading the energy, the structure tends to follow patterns almost every time. I'm curious as to whether that's pretty common and if anyone has ever sat down and gotten statistics, or created visual maps of that kind of energy. I'm wondering what some of the factors that cause variations would be.

Also, I wonder if it varies depending on venue size, time of year, other factors.

I've also notice that when I'm just not as "on," the sets are A LOT more random and disjointed.

THT
Hull
Dymaxion Groove Records
http://dymaxion.fm

Sage
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Re: Mapping live sets by energy of the crowd

Post by Sage » Fri Aug 10, 2012 2:08 pm

It doesn't matter how "on" you feel, the crowd can perceive it very differently and how you "read" the crowd will be strongly based on how you feel at that point in time.

andydes
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Re: Mapping live sets by energy of the crowd

Post by andydes » Fri Aug 10, 2012 2:55 pm

That's interesting.

I've never really had the crowd to even try that. Any suggestions for chatting at the bar or going out for a cigarette music?

Tysonviolin
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Re: Mapping live sets by energy of the crowd

Post by Tysonviolin » Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:18 pm

Do what you feel. Be opinionated. If your opinion is a good one you will find hat the audience is with you. Also, record your sets. As mentioned by the previous poster, you cannot rely on your mood to give you a clear idea of what is actually going on, in fact, a great mood can skew your perception and not make you work for the y ou are looking for. Work on your art as often as possible both with an audience and on your own time.

But, yes. To answer your question, time of year, venue, temperature, crowd, drugs, preshow meal and bowel movements, Lighting, acoustics, sound system, hot dancers, big news (like tsunamis and mass shootings), fights with GFs, etc etc etc, ALL affect your set. It's a job. When you do it regulaly you will get the experience you are looking for. The show must go on. Oh, and also, anything I forgot to say.

Hull
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Re: Mapping live sets by energy of the crowd

Post by Hull » Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:49 pm

Thanks for the replies! I think those are all good points. I think what I'm hearing makes this such an interesting topic for me - a performers mood may skew the perception of the crowd. So how do we structure it, then? I certainly get inspiration from hearing other people's work, and it sets the guidelines for what I'm doing as well.

Tysonviolin mentioned a bunch of different factors that can effect crowd mood. Does anyone take that into account, or are you just following a set of patterns as established by other artists and your own ideas when working alone?
Hull
Dymaxion Groove Records
http://dymaxion.fm

yur2die4
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Re: Mapping live sets by energy of the crowd

Post by yur2die4 » Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:20 pm

This is some basic stuff, but always fun to remember to take into account.

At times you may want to hypnotize, or bore people. Get them accustomed to your presence. Then you have te opportunity to Grab their attention at moments. But you have to make it worth their while once you get them!!

How do you grab people's attention?? Something Feeling like it is loud, like a sweeps build. If it is too short, you won't turn heads. If it is too long, people who have turned their head may have lost interest. I like the concept of taking it Down, so I can take it Up again. Keeping the powder dry. So that when you go bang, it is tight, and well executed.

Also, changes in overall atmosphere, groove, vibe can grab attention. BUT. The pre-requisite is that they thought they've already heard everything you have to offer. You've kind of bored them. Sung them to sleep... When they've 'accepted' you as the background noise I their fun. You can then begin to sway and twist it. So, you're getting them all on the same page. And then bringing about the story, or movie.

It's all theoretical of course

Hull
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Re: Mapping live sets by energy of the crowd

Post by Hull » Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:20 pm

Well put, Yur2die! I think you described it in a nutshell. My last show (since I posted) I did some sweeps and ups and downs (though mild as it was a sort of ambient, chill set). I just kind of went in knowing that there was a pattern I already had (which I based on a few other sets I had handy). I got some positive reaction from the crowd on it. I wasn't looking for anyone out there to lead me and it paid off.

I guess it's like any other form of entertainment (such as films). It's all about the pacing and intensity to produce the desired effect.
Hull
Dymaxion Groove Records
http://dymaxion.fm

lasersounds
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Re: Mapping live sets by energy of the crowd

Post by lasersounds » Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:57 pm

http://imgur.com/4opHm

I have played over 500 shows. This is what works.

The red circle is the most important part of your set, and it sets the good DJs from the bad ones.

You need to play music thats not bad, but doesnt hit particularly hard at the very beginning. And when everyone is settled in ready to party(got drinks and shit, found a girl, whatever) and they start to get tired of your music, thats when YOU FUCKING DROP THAT SHIT IN THEIR FACE!!!!

The key is letting it go on long enough they have pent up energy, but not so long that they lose interest.

They have to really want what you have to give them, or else the energy isnt flowing in the right direction.

Then play some hits for about 30 mins, cool down the dance floor(the dips in the picture) and then put some more heat on them. It keeps excitement and interest. It also very important to give the dancefloor a chance to rotate and let people go buy drinks(thats your job at the end of the day).

Then close out with an encore, if they beg for more, you know youve done a good job, then play a really slow song(i regularly play dancing in the moonlight by al green, and says "thanks yall, i enjoyed your company and this last one is for the lovers" something to that effect, tell them where youll be playing next and to pay their tabs, tip their bartenders and GET OUT! Also, if you can get people laid, they will be much more apt to come see you again(hence the for the lovers part, it lets the one night standers do a lil slow dance then go home and fuck)

Works every single fuckin time, ive literally done this hundreds of times.

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