Kit French from Parachute here with a little whats-up from the road! We're at the end of about 5 months of straight touring this year with Walk Off The Earth and Gavin DeGraw. I wanted to take a minute to talk about a particularly awesome piece of gear that I got along the way. I've had the StudioLogic Sledge keyboard in my hands for a few weeks now and I've been using sound checks and days off (and even a few shows) to wrap my head around it. Up to this point I've almost exclusively used Nord keyboards in my live setup so it was a pleasure working with such a fresh conceptual take on the classic synthesizer.
Right out of the box this thing is eye catching (and I'm not just talking about it's big-bird yellow casing). The front panel hosts an impressive display of controls reminiscent of an old school Moog keyboards which fired me up because lot of the synth tones on our most recent album Overnight were created with the Moog Voyager series synths. All of the knobs and switches have exclusive functions which makes the Sledge easy to work with and gives it that classic feel.
The next thing I (and especially our front of house engineer) noticed was the power behind this thing. It can get immensely loud. Some of the sub drops we achieved with the Sledge we simply haven't been able to get from other boards. The website identifies this as the "latest Waldorf modeling technology." Whatever that is, I'm into it and I'm thrilled to have this board right now. We've got a little break from touring and no doubt some studio time is around the corner and I'm excited to see what kind of craziness we can get out of this thing in that environment. From what I can tell so far there is no difficulty in making all the sounds you could possibly need: warm pads, crunchy leads, adding in a little tremolo with the LFO functions, even adding some pink or white noise for a more dated effect. It's all there and it's super easy to do because, like I said before, all of the controls are clearly labeled and perform exclusive tasks-there are no multi-switch commands or indecipherable menu banks. It's a simple design, with powerful applications. I'd highly recommend getting your hands on one of these impressive beasts; you'll see how easy they are to tame.
Kit French is an original recording and performing member of Mercury Records artist Parachute. Kit takes on a multi instrumental role in the band; playing the tenor and baritone saxophones as well as adding background vocals and a percussive element. Kit took over keyboard duties when the bands previous keyboardist departed in early 2007. Parachute released its major label debut "Losing Sleep" in May of 2009 and plans to release its sophomore record "The Way it Was" in May 2011. The band has booked an extensive touring schedule of both headlining and support shows in the US and UK over the next 6 months in support of this second major label release.