One of the most fantastic musicians it has been my pleasure to work with as Karmadillo has been Kate Aria, who is currently holder of the ‘furthest distance between myself and Rishi after having been in a band with him’ award by heading off to Australia a decade ago.
She has been identified as having the BRCA1 gene, an indicator of a high likelihood of breast cancer. She is having some quite drastic surgeries over 2022 to help her avoid the worst outcome for her two children.
If you’ve enjoyed Kate’s wonderfully spirited company, her talented music skill, her devotion to the music therapy cause, or her bonkers stage presence, please consider donating towards the fund to help her get through this tough period. More details here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-kate-survive-the-brca1-gene
About 15 years ago I used to to host on the Cambridge community radio station, 209radio. I’m not really someone with a classical background so it was a way of educating myself on the genre. The show was called the “The Bare Minim” to reflect the level knowledge I had. I used to pick pieces by what was being performed in Cambridge, film scores, and things on a collection of about 10 CDs from the genre that I owned, and things like the 2001: A Space Odyssey soundtrack. The station wound up in 2010 but I had a rich and rewarding time doing this, and met many talented broadcasters and technicians who volunteered their efforts.
I have put together a tracklist of pieces I remember playing on the show on Spotify. Hope you enjoy!
A while ago I started a side project to turn some ideas I had for songs from the world of science into musical form. This saw the light of day as Professor Karmadillo, and resulted in the album Giant Leaps. I have now decided to turn this into a more full time project, which sees the light of day as Singing Science, together with its first fully fledged show Genomics! The Musical!
This takes on board some of the feedback from audiences (videos for all songs when performing live, a theme to the show rather than just disparate science songs) and performance spaces (sadly one of these being that to perform in academic institutions it is easier to do with backing tracks rather than bring real instruments into play).
This is my first gig of 2021, and my first gig on Twitch! Aidy from The British IBM has been entertaining with his Friday night gigs throughout this lockdown period. And he has kindily invited me along to do a Karmadillo set. The gig will be split across two URLs.
This is my guide – partly for myself so I don’t forget how to do things – to getting a Facebook Live performance setup. I’m doing a handful of gigs in this virtual world, and must admit that I am quite enjoying the hassle free nature of it!
First of all, you’ll need a Facebook account. The Live item works on your stream, you band page or an event page. This post isn’t going to detail the how to set these up.
Google Chrome browser – Facebook Live seems to prompt for Google Chrome and this is the only way I’ve successfully had it working. My norm is to use Vivaldi, Opera, or Edge, browsers (which share the same engine as Google Chrome) but that’s the one I had to install on my system. This may change over time.
Video – a webcam in the PC should suffice, or an external webcam will give better.
Audio will vary according to your musical setup. This will vary from using an in-built microphone to capture room acoustics, external microphone capturing room acoustics, or the more complicated way of having several channels mixed through an external soundcard.
At time of writing I have tried the in-built webcam and microphone and tested out an external webcam with it’s microphone. Both had reasonable success (video much improved by the webcam), but want to give the other techniques a go as well. For this post I want to use an external webcam and it’s in-built microphone.
For reference, my own hardware here is a Surface Pro 7 with Windows 10. I have had good success with the in-built webcam here and an external Logitech Web Cam.
Basic Facebook Live
Should become redundant over 2020: At time of writing (2020-05) there is an olde way of doing the Live performance, or a new way. I’m only detailing the new way. You should be prompted to try the new way when you hit Connect. If you are on the new way there will be a ‘Switch to previous version’ option in the top left corner.
If you want to test your setup there is a column on the left that is independently scrollable. There is a test option at the bottom. Click this first if required, as your options will all be reset if you do it later! Testing is recommended, and some masking tape can also be worthwhile to record where things are placed, where you are standing etc.
Get started offers a range of options for connecting.
I currently haven’t tried out (OK, I don’t understand) the ‘Use stream key’ and ‘Use Paired encoder’ options, so I am going for the ‘Use camera’ option which then lets you set your microphone and video sources.
There are settings in the main window and the left hand column for audience participation and behaviour which is useful to have a look through.
Use the preview window to check things are visually as desired and give it a go! If testing it’s a good idea to move around and see how sound/mix works out as you do this. Once you are comfortable stop the feed and have a watch and listen back. I’ve found the following when singing with an acoustic guitar type instrument using the web cam microphone: the voice always sounds good, but there is sometimes an attempt at noise cancellation going on with the instrument.
Then comes the tricky bit – plan to play live! I’ve found having a phone or tablet etc with you on silent mode can help read comments which gives a nice interaction with the audience.
Once again, congratulations to Rosey REPEAT for another superbly organised Love Music/Hate Racism stage at this years Strawberry Fair! Kudos to you for all the work you do for the cause in Cambridge. It is always an honour to play to support the work.
It was also great to see so a stage given to so many young performers, and watching Saltfen (who I had supported the week before) in action left me awestruck once again. These guys are really amazing. As featured on the You Flexi Thing Volume 2 by Repeat Records. And a shoutout the to Baby Seals for a great headline set.