Kojo Samuel is a regular on the UK pop music circuit. Having cut his teeth as a keyboardist on various large-scale tours, he is now musical director for Jessie J, Tinchy Stryder and Plan B, plus many others, and worked on all of their tours and live performances throughout 2011.
As is the norm with large tours, band members play live to accompaniment from multitrack playout machines, which provide extra instrumentation and the drummer's click track. Kojo's rig allows any one of the on-stage players — usually the drummer — to run the set, all using the Novation Zero SL MkII as a remote control for the backstage hard disk machine rack. "The Zero can select different MIDI locate points on the multitrack," says Kojo, "and I give each locate point a song name and save it as a template. I upload that template to the SL MkII, which can then be placed on stage and used to trigger songs via a long MIDI cable while the multitrack sits off stage."
The Zero SL MkII has some specific features that make it perfect for Kojo's setup, as he explains. "Because the Zero has two MIDI outputs, you can trigger two hard disk machines at exactly the same time: one main, one backup. Additionally, as it has a visual display, it allows you to see song names, which is important. By being able to access these from the various features on the Zero, it means that selecting the songs is easy, regardless of the order of the set list."
You can find out more about Kojo at www.kojosamuel.com.