Touring with keyboards overseas (logistics)

Discussion in 'Keyboards' started by Bee3, Jun 13, 2018.


  1. Bee3

    Bee3 Member

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    So it looks like I may have an opportunity to tour overseas (UK/Italy). Wondering if anyone here has experience with this?

    Obviously, a TSA ATA case is in order (will take recommendations! I'd be using a Nord Stage 3 HP 76). What about a stand? Do you just pack up your stand and send it through airport check-in? How about power? Would I need some kind of power converter to convert from US voltage to EU voltage? Any other tips/recommendations?

    Sorry, very naïve with this kind of thing and hoping someone has done this.
     
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  2. MoPho

    MoPho International Man of Leisure Silver Supporting Member

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    For sh!ts and giggles, you might want to check into backline rental units or to see if you can borrow what you need while over there. I've seen posts from the keyboard player in IQ making shotgun shoutouts to borrow keys while he's in the States. Yes, power is different across the pond.
     
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  3. Bee3

    Bee3 Member

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    That did cross my mind.
     
  4. rsm

    rsm Member

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    I wish I had this situation to contend with :)

    I'd bring a laptop (with adapters), audio interface, and keyboard controller(s); and try to find what you want/need to rent there.
     
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  5. Bee3

    Bee3 Member

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    Hmmm... i'm like the worst 'keyboardist' on the planet. I usually play Hammond, Wurli, Rhodes, etc... I recently purchased a Nord Stage 3 and am on a HUGE learning curve. The prospect of getting any more complicated than that is too daunting. I just want to bring one board and be done with it. If that makes sense.
     
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  6. rsm

    rsm Member

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    Understood. Maybe see if there are places there to rent a Nord Stage 3 instead of bringing your own?
     
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  7. JWDubois

    JWDubois Member

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    Most modern power supplies are 110/220 50/60Hz. You just need the correct IEC power cord or an end adapter.

    Vintage gear, not so much.
     
  8. amphog

    amphog Silver Supporting Member

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    Unless it is a tour, with cartage, and roadies, I would rent it there.
     
  9. mattymel

    mattymel Member

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    Make sure that your ATA case combined with the keyboard itself doesn’t exceed the weight limits for checked baggage. It can be pricey if they charge you for being over the limit. And especially so if you are taking more than one flight.

    I have a Moog Sub37 that (believe it or not) is about 1 pound over with just the case and keyboard in it. Believe me, I complained to Moog about that one.

    Other than that, yeah, you’ll need a power converter and a keyboard stand. So check with a back line company over there and see if it’s easier to just rent everything from over there.
     
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  10. Meriphew

    Meriphew Member

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    You might also look into softsynths and a little keyboard controller.
     
  11. IGuitUpIGuitDown

    IGuitUpIGuitDown Member

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    You also might want to plan on bringing some things and actually buying other pieces over there. Don't just expect it can all be rented with no hassles. If a piece is indispensable to your playing style BRING IT.

    You will probably have hassles. It's part of traveling overseas.
     
  12. Bee3

    Bee3 Member

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    This is why I want to bring the Nord stage. It’s all I need.
     
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  13. stevel

    stevel Member

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    I'm really curious about this.

    You're in the US, doing a tour of UK/Italy?

    How many dates? What are you getting paid?

    Is air travel, accommodations and so on provided?

    Nord stage is pretty expensive. Airlines do lose and damage things. Nord stage are also probably common backline requests.
     
  14. IGuitUpIGuitDown

    IGuitUpIGuitDown Member

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    Don't some musicians ship their gear across the pond before it can become "airline-d?"

    It might be an alternative.

    I once gatechecked my Martin to later discover a new dented hardcase and a new 6" crack on the lower left bout which corresponded perfectly.

    I don't think I'd EVER travel again without a Calton case for it. The horror stories I've heard from luthiers...

    Your precious gear is actively sought out and abused by baggage handlers. They want to destroy it. It's fun for them.

    I am not kidding.
     
  15. Bee3

    Bee3 Member

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    Yes, I'm in the US... and it's looking like a short tour of UK and Italy is going to happen in the fall. I don't have details yet, but would assume a handful of dates. The band would pay air travel and accommodations. Don't know what I'll be paid (nor do I think it appropriate to ask - sorry dude).

    The Nord is very expensive and I am concerned... if I do take it, I'll definitely be calling my insurance company ahead of time.
     
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  16. Bee3

    Bee3 Member

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    I may look into that as well... and yeah, I believe you about the baggage handlers. :(
     
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  17. IGuitUpIGuitDown

    IGuitUpIGuitDown Member

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    It was a real wake-up call. I swore someone lifted the case near the top (headstock) end and slammed it down into the concrete floor with all their might. The metal case frame was bent flat where it was previously curved.

    Couldn't play the guitar for months until I found a qualified (and more reasonable) luthier to repair it. One wanted $650.00! The Martin cost a little more than that used - in the early 80s!
     
  18. stevel

    stevel Member

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    The reason I asked was not to be nosy, but IMO there's a big difference between a "professional tour" and "hey, my band is going to Europe".

    You said "the band" would pay air travel and expenses - is "the band" a corporate entity or are you saying that each member has to pay their own way?

    I would never go to Europe with any band I've been in without it being all-expenses paid, full backline, and pay. Now, most of the bands I've played with would never be invited, but one band I was in (though I had since left) played down in Puerto Rico I think it was (before the hurricane). The "club" that booked them paid everything - they supplied venue, PA, lights, audience, rooms, and a meal a day (voucher) and backline. The band just had to bring guitars, pedalboard, keytar, sound module, and theremin and a drum pad. The band got paid, and they only had to pay for drinks and extra meals, and anything else they wanted to buy.

    I know they didn't make much a piece for 2 shows back to back (I think it was about $600 per member). They flew them down on Thursday, they played Friday and Saturday night, and came home Sunday. They got to do whatever they wanted when not playing - touristy crap, hang by the pool, whatever.

    I know college students who will jump in a van with what little gear they have and "tour" who are all excited about their music and wanting to "break into the scene" and that kind of stuff. None of them usually own anything that's worth much. And of course they go into debt for the effort.

    I just replied in another post - I play both keys and guitar. For $100, no hassle, easy, local gig, I'll go play guitar. If you want me to bring out keys, it's going to be $300. If it's 8 hours away, it's going to be $1,600 for just guitar. I might agree to play 2 or even 3 nights for $1,600 if all other expenses are covered. I've done 3 dates in a row out of town for $300 each night - so a net of $900 for 3 days and 3 - 5 hours both ways.

    So, I mean, I'm either going to have to make enough money to cover all the expenses and still make a hefty profit, or not go. Once in a lifetime or not.

    I can remember us standing in the motel lobby at 3:00 AM and they guy wanted to charge us the full rate and we were only going to be there from like 3 to 11 and he wanted like 80 bucks a room and we said, "let's go check somewhere else" and he dropped down to 60 and we said, "there's a motel right across the street" and he went down to 40 and we took it. Because when were only making $300, 80s too big a percentage.

    And I've played way too many gigs where accommodations were provided - some were bare minimum, but it didn't cut into our pay, so we were fine with that.

    I just can't imagine going to Europe without travel and accommodations provided, as well as backline and all that, unless it was significant pay to offset the costs - including the costs of any damage to any equipment I had to bring myself.
     

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