At the recent Radiohead shows, you must have spotted those MacBooks and Jonny Greenwood’s PowerBook on stage. Radiohead’s live technician, Russ Russell, told MusicRadar about the band’s secret performance weapon.
A MacBook Pro is hooked up to a rack of daisy-chained audio interfaces and receives MIDI from two on-stage keyboard stations that are played by Jonny and Colin Greenwood.
As Russ explains, Kontakt is loaded up with all the sample-based sounds that Radiohead require. “It has allowed us to get completely away from all the frustration of hardware samplers,” he says. “Editing and importing becomes quicker and easier, which allows the band to make changes or try new ideas without delay or fuss.”
When it comes to triggering the sounds, Colin Greenwood uses both keyboard and floorboard devices, while brother Jonny also works with a selection of analogue devices and his own laptop. All songs are played live, though on more ‘electronic’ numbers such as 15 Step, the Greenwood brothers are known to trigger percussive loops in real time. [full story]