Jesse Gould’s Multimedia Playground

JESSE GOULD, FOUNDER AND GUITARIST of the hard-rock trio Ones and Zeros, dreams big. He wanted to capture the imagination of his band’s audience with not just sound, but video. Unfortunately, multimedia performances are usually only mounted by platinum artists, Broadway productions, and other well-funded visionaries. But Gould persevered, and he developed an affordable and roadworthy system that sets up in just ten minutes.

“Ones and Zeros has always used computers for playback of percussion samples, synths, and dialog,” says Gould. “To add visuals to our live show, we built a system—affectionately known as ‘Bertha’—that handles audio and video playback while giving us total control of our monitor and click mixes. Our main computer is a MacBook Pro, running Apple Logic as the playback engine that sends clicks and cues to the band, as well as a stereo signal of the prerecorded backing tracks to the house system. Logic also drives our Arkaos software that calls up the video images and effects. An RGB send from the Mac feeds video to video projectors, which beam the images onto our custom screens or any blank surface—including speaker cabinets.

“Onstage monitoring of the playback system is essential, of course, and this is achieved via a Rolls headphone amp for the drummer, a Shure PSM 200 wireless in-ear system for the bassist, and an Audio-Technica M2 wireless in-ear system for me. I feel it’s too risky having the drummer on a wireless system, because if he loses signal, we have a real performance issue.”