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Reznor's Folly

After reading the message about Reznor's little problems at the first
Lalapalooza (I believe this is the show where he went ballistic and 
smashed a bunch of equipment and slugged his manager in the face and
went near crazy - I read this in a weird interview with him.  Shows 
what lack of sleep and fragile high-tech stuff breaking down in extreme
conditions will do for you if you have no coping skills).

Trent thinks he's a techno gearhead nerd, and this may indeed be the
case but he was kind of trying to kill an ant with a sledgehammer here -
why do you need two eight track digital recorders onstage with you to
play backing tracks and ambiences?  It's asking for disaster in a hot
outdoor scenario like that.  And those pieces of gear were designed 
for studio use, not rugged outdoor usage.

Anyway, Trent could have saved himself a lot of trouble - instead of
bring fragile DA88 digital equipment along to play the impossible to
duplicate backing ambiences and such, he could have had custom burned
CD-Rs of backing tracks brought along and had them played on a disc 
player through the PA and played along.  We know he's doing this anyway,
but two DA88's in 103 temperatures is tantamount to saying "I'm asking
for trouble doing this, I'm DUMB!"  He could have had two track DAT's
as a backup.  If he wanted to record the show live, well, they could
have used the house recording facilities for that if indeed that's what
he was thinking.  Sometimes analog works better as a convenience factor.

I've seen many local musicians in the food courts and skyways downtown
Minneapolis doing just this - using custom CD-r discs through a disc
player and connected to the PA and they play along.  I've seen a sax/
synth duo do this and they have a drum machine they use live, but the
rest of the overdubbed stuff is on a disc and it sounds good.  Nobody
thinks they're doing the Milli Vanilli thing because the main focus
of the tunes are done live.

Then again, sometimes certain types of equipment just don't lend 
themselves to outdoor concerts.  I remember reading an interview
about Jeff Beck and why he never got another guitar-synth after
his Roland GR-500 "melted" after being onstage in 100 degree temps
for four or five hours before the show began and all sorts of 
things were happening inside it (such as cooking and things).

My two cents.

Todd Madson
Musician, Mountain Biker, Stunt Kite Flyer, BeOS/MacOS/Linux/WinNt user.