Oliver Tree: vocalist, producer, filmmaker and… professional scooter rider (yes really).
Oliver Tree’s unique, irreverent, and distinctive style permeates all of his projects.
Hailing from Santa Cruz, California, Oliver Tree’s solo career as an artist exploded in 2018 with the music video for his songs ‘All That” and “Alien Boy”. Effectively a short film, the music video took 9 months to create and involved Oliver Tree learning how to drive a monster truck, enabling him to perform his own stunts in the video.
By now you’ve probably realised that nothing about Oliver Tree is conventional. Whether it’s his music, his look or his image, all have a unique slant to them which make them immediately “Oliver Tree”. It should go without saying then, that his live show is equally unconventional.
Transforming Oliver Tree’s vision into a live show is the responsibility of Musical Director and Drummer, Amir Oosman. A remarkable drummer and musician in his own right, Amir orchestrates the performance and playback tracks from behind his drum kit.
Joining Amir on-stage is keyboard player and guitarist, Casey Mattson, who rounds out the terrific tryptic of musicians making up Oliver Tree’s unique performances.
A fondness for mixing acoustic drums with electronic textures, Amir has created a unique live setup for Oliver Tree’s shows. Using a hybrid drum kit of acoustic and electronic percussion, Amir also relies on the power of iConnectivity interfaces to bolster Oliver Tree’s live shows.
It’s a first time experience playing an electronic integrated setup… our playback system is brand new. I really love it, it’s extremely fast to set up, and it’s really portable. - Amir Oosman
As is commonplace on most pop shows, Oliver Tree’s live shows rely on a degree of pre-recorded audio playback. This is bolstered, live, by Amir’s drum playing as well as Casey’s guitar and keyboard performances.
Live audio playback is handled by the PlayAUDIO12 forming part of a redundant playback rig, in conjunction with two MacBook Pro laptops running Ableton Live. Equally important to the Oliver Tree show is tight MIDI integration and MIDI failover redundancy from the DAW.
For MIDI duties, The Oliver Tree show uses the PlayAUDIO12 as a failover “front end” in conjunction with an iConnectMIDI4+ MIDI interface. Having a reliable, tight, latency-free MIDI interface is crucial for Oliver Tree’s show.
It’s a very simple set-up, it takes me about a couple of minutes to plug it in, and once we have it running if anything were to glitch throughout our show with our ‘A’ computer, what the system allows us is to switch automatically to the ‘B’ computer without anyone noticing a difference. - Amir Oosman
If ever there was a situation which relied on extremely low MIDI latency, it’s the real-time triggering of percussive sounds. Amir certainly puts this aspect of the iConnectMIDI4+ to the test with his hybrid drumkit.
Everything as far as the [drum] triggers goes into our SPD-SX and then MIDI out into our iConnectMIDI4+.... I’ve not really noticed any latency whatsoever. When I’m playing, what I’m hearing, what the house is getting, the CPU usage and the latency is extremely low, which I love.
In the past, when I’ve used other systems when you hit had a pad and maybe you want the snare immediately but it hits you as a flam a little bit later? This has definitely been, in my experience over the last few tours, the most reliable and the most seamless system I’ve used. -Amir Oosman
Guitarist and keyboard player, Casey Mattson, flanks the other side of the stage, rounding out Oliver Tree’s live backing group. Casey’s live keyboard setup revolves around a Nord Electro and an M-Audio MIDI controller which is directly linked to the Ableton rig via iConnectMIDI4+
Casey triggers samples, bass sounds and anything else not covered by his Nord Electro, directly from his M-Audio MIDI controller keyboard
[this playback rig] is a big step up for us because it’s really awesome to be able to recreate the sounds from the actual productions. It’s a difficult thing to do with laptop music, you’re always trying to recreate things… the performance is a lot better - Casey Mattson
If you have the opportunity to catch Oliver Tree live, then don’t miss it! We can guarantee it’s like no show you’ve ever seen before! Our thanks to Amir, Casey and of course, Oliver, for inviting us backstage and sharing the secrets of their live show.