How Much Technology Do You Need?


There are little, hidden evil monsters inside your equipment –says Shlomo

Not long ago I was on the big stage in Glastonbury and my loop station sent an error message:

“Too busy press any key.”

I was shocked – here I was in the middle of a performance with 10,000 people watching and not only had my technology just stopped – it sent me an obscure message that sounded like something from an Atari computer from the 1980s!

I read the message out to the crowd and they thought it was funny.

This turned out to be a happy accident: I pressed a random key and a weird tempo emerged which led to a new version of my song.

Too Much Tech

If you’ve seen me do my stuff, you’ll realize that I’m immersed in technology.

That’s why what I am going to say next may sound a bit odd: you just have to make sure that technology doesn’t get in your way.

Nothing is worse than constantly fiddling with stuff on stage – it gets in the way of you and the audience.

How much technology do you need?

The answer is personal to every vocalist – but the principle stays the same: only use technology if there is something that you need to do – that you couldn’t do without it.

Remember the core of what you do is your voice, your performance skills and your groove.

Ensure what you introduce on stage, technologically, is integral to what you want to present.

Redeeming the Error Message

Having said this, however, little hidden evil monsters will wreak havoc in your equipment at precisely the wrong time.

When that happens, don’t be afraid to admit this to your audience – this will usually make them feel closer to you.

Lots of vocalists are getting excited about looping – and rightly so: looping is an incredible opportunity for vocalists to be more in control of their sound.

But looping presents a huge challenge- especially if something goes wrong at the beginning of the loop – then it is there for the entire song!

If you’re looping and make a mistake early on – I think it’s vital to stop the song and say something about it.

The crowd loves to think you are real and a human being that can get something wrong.

A “whoopsie” moment can makes people smile, brings people together – and no one is going to walk out.

-Shlomo

My Reactions To This Week’s Peer Review Vids

KowBoy Tom – Johnny B. Goode (Cover)

Tom, it’s good to see that you have your own style and unique take on a classic song. It’s clear that you are enjoying yourself on stage which makes it fun to watch. I think you could try varying the harmony effect on your voice a little, for example if you were to bring it in for the chorus, and not during the verses, it would have more of an impact and make the performance more dynamic and exciting.

Uli – Silent Wings (Cover)

Uli – it’s great to see how much you get from this performance. Your voice has a uniquely interesting sound and works really well especially for those deep notes. I would like to see your confidence build as you get more experienced, so take hold of that free feeling you get when you sing and don’t stop!

-Shlomo

Check out Shlomo’s exclusive VoiceCouncil Interview – he discusses his most embarrassing, challenging and productive moments…

Shlomo gave up astrophysics to perform his amazing vocal pyrotechnics. It was a good move. Since then he has won global acclaim and worked with some of the biggest names in music. He’s the 2011 winner of the World Loopstation Championships in LA and is now knee deep in a dizzying festival season including Glastonbury and The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. His next project is a brand new vocal project called “Shlomo and the Lip Factory” which launches with a new EP and mini tour in October. You can check out his latest news, tunes, videos and competitions at http://facebook.com/shlomizzle or


  • Great article. Glad we’re getting some advice geared towards looping, there’s very little out there for us vocalist/loopers in regards to how to do it… I think thats why there are so many style & innovations, because for the moment everybody is doing it there own way. Would love to hear your take on composition/arrangement of loops for live performance.

  • KowBoy Tom

    Shlomo, thanks for your review and your advice. I will begin incorporating your suggestions immediately.Cheers,KowBoy Tom