I’ve lost quite a bit of weight in the last two years. I mean in terms of gear. Like long-distance hikers, most long haul musicians–keyboard players in particular–will sooner or later go to obsessive extremes with this goal in mind.
[note: the pics are not to scale, or the B3 would be the smallest item, and you know that ain't right.]
I have never toted a:
Hammond B3 (approx. 350 lb, excluding pedalboard and bench),
Leslie speaker cabinet (140 lb).
Good times that I have missed. But I did replace my Hammond clone (Korg CX3, 38 lbs) with a Hammond SK1 (15 lbs). Then this year I replaced my bulky keyboard amp:
Roland KC 350 (49 lbs)
QSC8 powered speakers (27 lbs each).
I can easily carry these guys up a flight of stairs safe and snug in their little tote bags. Oh, and did I mention they are rated 1000 watts each, sound superior, and I now play in stereo?
For my bass amp, I've been using the tiny, humble SWR workingman’s 10 (32 lbs) for years.You can't tell from the pic below, but it’s already about as weeny as you can ask for, basically a 14" cube. Can't go smaller than that. Yet.
For most shows we no longer bring a p.a. I put my mic through a tiny mixer into those QSC speakers, and my bandmates have lightweight, compact towers that handle both their instruments and vocal mics as well (Paul: Bose; KZ: Fishman). Our sound sources are then exclusively on the backline. The loss of monitors occasionally creates problems, but not when we stick close together, and I like the fact that our music can be sourced to our individual locations on stage: more natural. And when we play the BIG houses? that’s why they invented line out jacks and microphones and sound engineers....
Sound engineer working the board on the astral plane.