The Dharma at Big Sur

Musicians’ Equipment List

Electric Violinist:

  • One Mesa Boogie Mark III or IV – guitar combination amplifier. Unit must have a record output (output to be used for FOH sound reinforcement and recording, where applicable). One, or two, 12” speaker drivers in cabinet only – combi amp should be small enough because it will live onstage, just upstage of the solo violin position.
  • Several 15ft. 1/4” (jack) cables to connect Electric Violin output to combi amp
  • Clean 110V AC sound power at downstage soloist position
  • One AC power strip to power Mesa Boogie and Electric Violin processor unit, if used.

Two Sampler Musicians:

  • There are two performance options: 1.) Kurzweil sampler or, 2.) Native Instruments Kontakt software sampler. See below for details.

Sound Reinforcement Requirements (with recommended manufacturers+models)

Digital Console:

  • Midas
  • Yamaha
  • Digico
  • minimum 24-input channel console with four-band sweepable EQ per input channel.

Mix position must be in house, not in a sound booth.

PA Loudspeakers (recommended models):

  • four Meyer CQ-1P (two per side) used in stereo for Main PA
  • four Meyer M1D, used in stereo, as Frontfills
  • subs


  • one hotspot monitor (must have volume adjustment on unit) for conductor, mounted on mic stand
  • one wedge monitor for solo violin position

FOH processing: If digital console is not used, then please supply outboard gEQ and time align delay units for each system driveline.

  • One Lexicon PCM-91 / Lex 300 / 480XL w/ LARC, reverb unit
  • One Lexicon PCM-81 (or similar) multi-effect processor

Microphones (nine mics and three D.I.):

  • one 170, or sim., air mic for electric violin’s Mesa Boogie guitar amp
  • four KM140 for strings
  • two KM140 for two harps
  • two C414 for piano
  • two D.I. for two Kurzweil samplers
  • one D.I. for electric violin
  • boom-style stands for all above mics (and hotspot)

The strings, harp and piano reinforcement is not required, but highly recommended. The conductor will need to hear the samplers periodically – such as, sampler pulse at the beginning of the second movement.

Two Sampler Musicians:

There are two performance options: 1.) Kurzweil sampler or, 2.) Native Instruments Kontakt software sampler.

Version for Kurzweil sampler:

  • 2 x Kurzweil K2500X (or K2600X/K2661X) 88-note keyboard version – each with minimum 8Mb sample RAM
  • 2 x keyboard combination amplifiers (amp and speaker together) – each with 15 inch speaker driver, or larger. Roland KC-550 recommended.
  • 2 x single-tier keyboard stands
  • 1 x Iomega 100Mb (or 250Mb) external SCSI ZIP drive, with SCSI cable.
  • 2 x audio volume pedals (Ernie Ball 6165 receommended)
  • 2 x sustain pedals for Kurzweil samplers
  • 4 x 15ft 1/4” jack cables to connect samplers to pedals, then onto combi amps
  • Several AC power strips and AC extensions for samplers and combi amps

Version for Kontakt software sampler:

Please contact Boosey & Hawkes to obtain our custom software.

Kontakt MUST BE PURCHASED (approx $400 USD). Please visit

Kontakt CANNOT be fully downloaded and purchased from the Native Instruments website, as most products now allow. It is NOT ready for immediate use. You must purchase the software, online or not, where the factory/distributor THEN ships you the software media (the sealed DVDs containing the serial numbers). The download version of Kontakt is the demo version which will only run for minutes, then quit. If you choose this method for performance please leave enough time to obtain the software via standard/express shipping methods.

Due to our custom Just Intonation tuning tables used for most patches in DHARMA, third party software samplers, such as MachFive2 or others which import standard Kontakt Instruments (*.nki), CANNOT be used.

Equipment List:

We highly recommend obtaining a “sampler technician” for your production. This person can help setup and troubleshoot the electronic instrument environment.

  • Full running Mac/PC version of Kontakt
  • High-performance Mac/PC computer with ample memory and hard disk space. Slower computer systems will increase the chance of unwanted latency.
  • High-performance, multi-output, computer audio interface compatible with above computer system. Less quality interfaces will increase the chance of unwanted latency.
  • High-performance, multi-port, MIDI interface compatible with above computer system. Less quality interfaces will increase the chance of unwanted latency.
  • Two 88-note master keyboard controllers able to send program change and sustain pedal control on MIDI Channel 1.
  • Two single-tier keyboard stands to hold each master controller.
  • Two keyboard combination amplifiers – to amplify the Kontakt patches.
  • Two audio volume pedals (not CC pedal) to connect audio interface output to the keyboard combination amp.
  • Two sustain pedals to connect to the master controller.
  • All cables (MIDI, audio, AC power) to connect and power the above equipment.

Note, all DHARMA patches (and sustain pedal control) in Kontakt are assigned as follows: SAMPLER 1 patches/sustain on MIDI Channel 1 ; SAMPLER 2 patches/sustain on MIDI Channel 2. Program your master controllers appropriately.

Also, default audio routing is as follows: Audio Interface Out 1+2 = SAMPLER 1 ; Audio Interface Out 3+4 = SAMPLER 2. This should be configured in Kontakt’s “Output” mixer section –> “SAMP1” Outs 1+2 ; “SAMP2” Outs 3+4 ; “DLY150” Outs 3+4 ; “DLY280” Outs 3+4.

General Sound Reinforcement Notes for Samplers:

Sampler players should not be amplified through main loudspeaker system. The sampler sound is to be amplified through the above recommended keyboard combination amplifier and should seem “acoustic” within the context of the orchestra.

Technical issues please contact Mark Grey, Sound Designer for John Adams: