Justin M. Brauer

Music Director | Theatre Educator | Keyboardist

High School Musical - Keyboard 2 Programming

High School Musical opened on Wednesday at Urbana High School. I'm playing the second keyboard book, as well as covering the basketball sound effects from the first keyboard book. Since the book isn't hugely programming heavy, I've done all the programming directly on my keyboards, rather than running through Mainstage. I'm using a two-keyboard setup for the first time on this show- a Yamaha MOXF8 on the bottom for about half the book, and a Nord Electro 5D on top for the organ and electric piano patches (I love the physical drawbars!) I also am triggering the basketball sound effects with a Novation Launchpad Mini, hooked up to an iPad Air 2 (on the music stand behind my book) running the Launchpad app.

I use the John Melas suite of desktop applications to speed up the programming process on the MOXF- this lets me get the bulk of my programming done very quickly in advance, and leaves minimal changes to be done once I'm with the rest of the band, which I can do using the on-board programming tools. The Electro was very easy to program during rehearsals - I set initial drawbar settings for each song and section, and then altered as needed while we played. I'm looking forward to exploring the Set List function once this show wraps up.

Since this is my first time running two keyboards vertically (as opposed to side-by-side) on a gig, I had trouble getting used to the sheer number of pedals I had beneath me, especially since the Electro was blocking my stand light from reaching the MOXF, which in turn blocked any light from getting to the ground. I spike taped each of the pedals so I could glance down and confirm which one I'm controlling- after the first couple of rehearsals, I finally got comfortable with the setup.

Go Wildcats!

Copyright Justin M. Brauer, 2014-2019.