Fossil Fool, the Bike Rapper, and drummer Joel Elrod perform while cruising the streets of the Mission District in San Francisco at the Bicycle Music Festival held in June, 2008. Joel keeps the beat on a SPDS drum machine mounted on the LiveOnBike rig, a modified Mundo Cargo Bike, whose signal is sent wirelessly by a Shure bodypack microphone to the Choprical Fish (Fossil Fool’s bike) and then wirelessly amplified by two other Soul Cycles rolling alongside.
This video gives a taste of the LiveOnBike performances we’ve been doing on SF Cruiser rides this summer. Joel Elrod, who had just finished playing a gig with Pleasuremaker, is drumming on a SPDS electronic drum machine. The signal from the SPDS is carried from the back of the Mundo to the front where it enters a DIT Head Unit containing a Rolls MX56c 4-Channel mixer and Shure Wireless body pack microphone, and DoubleWide Down Low Glow battery that powers the SPDS and a dual tube DLG system for 5 hours.
Skip ahead to 1:15.
The LiveOnBike rig also has a microphone seen in this video of Janaysa performing at the Bicycle Music Festival, but it takes longer to set up, so we haven’t been using it with Joel. The signal of the Shure body pack on the LiveOnBike rig is caught by the receiver on the backrest of the Choprical Fish. I select the tracks from an iPod on the control panel of the Fish. When I pick a new track, Joel listens for a few moments and then picks up the beat and improvises on the playing-card-sized rubber pads of the SPDS.
Both Adam (pilot of the LiveOnBike Mundo) and I have the ability raise and lower the volume level of the SPDS. When I was piloting the bike for Janaysa, I was able to set her vocals and keyboard levels independently using Channel 1 and Channel 2 of the MX56c. We were experiencing a very short range with our wireless transmitter that night, as you can hear in the first moments of the videos.
The DIT Head Unit uses the excellent 1-button KlickFix handlebar mounting system, and the wiring harness simply Velcros to the bike, so we can convert the Mundo from Town Hauler to Rock Star in only 5 minutes, and that includes mounting the SPDS and aTractor seat. I know that’s lot of names for you, but well, that’s how we did it.