For musicians hitting the stage, the backline—the array of gear used during a performance—is critical. However, not every piece is essential for every gig. Let's break down the must-haves and the items you can skip, with a nod to how the Kombo system streamlines your setup.
Must-Have Backline Gear
Instruments: Naturally, your instrument is non-negotiable. Whether it's a guitar, bass, keyboard, or drum set, this is the soul of your performance. Make sure to pack all the small equipment (eg. Capos, picks etc.) in the instrument bags - it just makes things easier to sort through!
Amplifiers: For electric instruments, amps bring your sound to life. However, you might want to spend some time on researching the easies way to amplify you, and/or your band with as little equipment as possible. Most PA`s offer 2-3 separate inputs - the Kombo system offers up to 7. Choosing an All-in-one system that can handle all your instruments at once dramatically reduces the complexity of the setups and allows you to leave the mixer at home.
Pedal Effects/Processors: Essential for shaping your sound on the fly. But here's a tip: the Kombo system offers built-in effects for various instruments, which may allow you to leave some of your pedals at home.
Microphones and Stands: Crucial for vocals and miking up instruments. While you'll still need the mics themselves, the wireless capability of the Kombo system means fewer stands and cables cluttering the stage.
Non-Essential Backline Gear
Bulky, Heavy Amps: Unless you're playing a large venue or have a specific sound that only a particular amp can provide, the portable and robust output of the Kombo system can eliminate the need for these.
Excessive Pedalboards: If you're not using a broad palette of effects, or if the Kombo's onboard effects suffice, leave the giant pedalboard at home.
Multiple Keyboards: Multi-instrumentalists might be tempted to bring several keyboards for different sounds. Instead, it is usually recommended to find one solid tool that can do everything. Digital and programmable keyboards can be invaluable in these scenarios.
The Kombo Edge
Wireless Functionality: Kombo's wireless system declutters the stage and simplifies setup and tear down. This can be hugely beneficial, as it takes away most of the boring and bad parts of gigging - and leaves in all the fun!
Effects and EQ: The Kombo system's onboard effects for both vocals and instruments mean you can achieve professional sound without external processors.
Direct Inputs: By accommodating a variety of instruments directly, Kombo can often replace the need for additional DI boxes and mixing consoles for smaller setups.
Portability: Being compact and battery-powered, the Kombo system allows for performances in locations where traditional backline elements are impractical.
In conclusion, the essentials of your backline depend on the venue, the audience, and your personal style. However, with the advent of all-in-one systems like Kombo, the modern musician can enjoy high-quality sound without the traditional backline bulk. Tailor your gear to fit your gig, and enjoy the spotlight with a clean, focused stage presence.