best way of triggering tracks live on both a master and slave mac for a musical production

I am putting on a musical in July called Back to the 80s. The show consists of entirely 80s tunes and therefore is very synth heavy. The musical director wants to sequence the synth tracks, and run them on a mac, along with the band listening to a click track. We will be using Ableton Live to playback pre bounced tracks. As technical director, theres a few hurdles I need to overcome so if you have any ideas please let me know.

I know Its a very good idea to have a redundant mac, where tracks are playing in exact sync. I don't want the macs to be syncd together via midi, because this could go wrong and stop both playbacks. So I need a way for the tracks to be triggered at the same time from a midi controller. I am also looking into hiring a radial SW8 auto switcher.
For triggering the tracks I need a hardwired keypad of some sort for the musical director which can display the track titles of all 30 songs in consecutive order and be played with a tap of a button. The Musical director needs to be able to quickly select the next song and hit play or be able to navigate through the songs and pick out the one they want. It has to be easy to use, and has to be able to send the midi to two macs, so I am guessing it cant be a USB interface. Is there anything out there?
Through rehearsals, I would like to be able to use a iPad which displays the titles of each track, ideally this would trigger both macs, but as its a rehearsal its not so important for the redundancy. (this is just a bonus thing, not really important, but would be helpful)
If you have any thoughts, or if you have done this kind of thing before, please let me know and how you did it.
Nick Jackson.

1 answer

  • scottiedo
    72 answers
    68 votes received
    1 vote

    Hello Nick. This seems like quite a production and I think there are a lot of variables that are coming into play here. You have a very unique situation and needs. I think attempting to answer and provide a solution through a forum is near impossible.

    My name Scott Dugan and I am an Ableton Certified Trainer. I have helped create solutions for large scale productions and shows. Custom setups and problem solving is one of my fortes.

    I would love to help you find a rock solid solution. Here's my contact info:



    6 years ago | 0 comments

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