Eugene “Man-Man” Roberts
Making Kanye’s Sound
Out on a world tour with Kanye West, keyboardist and programmer Eugene Roberts relies on Roland and BOSS gear to create a larger-than-life sound and stage show. Keep up with Man-Man and the tour right here on his live blog!
June 15, 2008
Finally Philadelphia!! Well, home sweet home! I get to see my son and our dog. I brought my son a puppy and guess what his name is...yes, Roland! I call him the ROLAND mascot. Well, I’ll update you with things soon...!
June 14, 2008
Today is the show day, well… tomorrow is – lol! It’s now 9pm and we are leaving for the festival. I don’t really know what time we go on. But hey, I think it’s around 11pm or so...but things keep getting pushed back.
UPDATE: Ok, it’s now 1am and we haven’t hit the stage yet. The band before us is now 45 min over time…I don’t know what’s gonna happen.
June 13, 2008
Today I have a day off, and I’m gonna go bowling with few of the band members... it’s like one of our favorite outings as a band...lol...but, hopefully I can go see Metallica tonight at the festival, Bonnaroo...
June 12, 2008
I know its been a few days, but I’ve been working hard on some programming for a few John Legend dates I have coming up. So, its about 4pm and there is a Tornado warning in effect and its supposed to hit during our show. I pray everything goes well.
UPDATE: OK!! We've just ended our show and there are a few feet of water outside... Two tornados hit and now peoples’ cars are floating down the street! This is insane. I feel bad for the people who have lost their houses or cars. I stood and watched people swim to the parking lots of the arena. I have to go now, our bus is here.
June 7, 2008
Los Angeles, CA
So, tonight we play the Staples Center! And it’s our third sold out show here in LA. Today I had everyone on the tour sign my VP-550 with a silver sharpie... Everyone, including Kanye West, Chris Brown, Pharell, and many more. Tonight should be fun – as usual, I’m gonna hop on stage with N.E.R.D. to have a lil fun with all my friends. The whole band is from my home town, Philly! Junius Bervine (keys), Ray-Ray (guitar), "Big Wayne" Moore (bass), Eric "Booty" Greene (drums) and "Lil Darrell" Robinson (drums). And yes, they use Roland and BOSS gear! (V-Drums, SPD-S, Fantom-X7, and BOSS pedals).
June 6, 2008
San Jose, CA
Well, not much goin’ on today… we’re in San Jose again. I didn’t get my tat yesterday due to time reasons... We are at the same arena we played earlier in the tour and it’s great to see that there are people who support great music. Gotta go, catering is calling me! Lol!
June 5, 2008
What’s up ROLAND family! It’s early in the afternoon, and I’m waitin’ on my homie, Jesse Bond (extraordinary guitarist) to call me. I’m goin’ to get a new tattoo! So, hopefully I’ll have a pic to show you all if we make it in time before the show… well, I’ll keep y’all posted…
June 4, 2008
So, its 9:37am and we have just arrived to our hotel... we had about a 9.5hr drive from Portland. It was long but, hey its a day off and besides with all the people on our bus, it was very interesting... After being on different tours I’ve realized that you really get to know your band mates better because of the bus rides! For example, I’ve know Spanky (drums) and Adam Blackstone (Bass/MD) for a while, but being on the tour bus gave me the opportunity to talk and even learn more about them as not just musicians, but also as friends/brothers.
June 3, 2008
After a few days in Canada I’m now back in the states and able to talk on my phone and communicate! Lol! roaming charges are expensive nowadays!! anyways, this tour has been pretty great thus far and I wanna say THANKS to ROLAND!!
May 27, 2008
This place is another that I didn’t know was on any map! But hey, it’s always great to go places I have never been and so far it’s a nice city... the people are great here! They really are!
Oh, so... after playing with my Fantom-G I decided to just record some stuff and it sounds great! I did all the sequencing internally and ran my VP-550 into the audio inputs to record vocoder and I feel like this is a great pre-production studio set up! Man, Roland is the best! I have everything I need sound-wise and quality-wise!!!!
May 26, 2008
Winnipeg! I never even knew this place existed! Lol! But it’s nice here... pretty laid back... now I’m at the venue in the dressing room digging deeper into my Fantom-G! I’ll fill you in later! Peace!
May 25, 2008
Chicago! My birthday!
Today is a day off and I started by going to church with a few friends... and I got to play on one of the best keyboards ever made! The XP-80!!! Mannn that always has and always will be one of my favorites! Anyways afterwards, I went to eat, went bowling with the band and just had fun! Long ride ahead of us tonight though... so, gotta pack my bags.
May 24, 2008
Last night was great! And I feel great today because tomorrow is my b-day! And I have a day off here in Chicago! Yesss! The plan is after the show... PARTY into my birthday... I’m sure the show will be great, lastnight was awesome... the band got to do solos last night! And it was great! The Fantom-G6 was my weapon of choice to execute my solo! I think ill use a different weapon tonight! The V-Synth XT maybe... or my number one... the VP-550! We’ll see.... I’m out guys!
May 23, 2008
Chi Town! Tonight is such a big night because it’s the boss man’s hometown. We are playing the United Center! 13,200 fans! Each night... we lay here today and tomorrow! Well, as the day goes on I’ll fill you all in!
Hey guys it’s now about 7pm and there’s soo much energy in the crowd I can’t wait to play! And the cool thing is that I’m trying out some new tricks with my V-Synth GT! I can’t wait to hear the new patches I designed in soundcheck! Well it’s about that time...
May 20, 2008
So, I went to sleep and got woken up for the border crossing and I wasn’t a happy camper... *sigh* I wish I could have just stayed sleep! lol! Anyways we’re here in Montreal, one of the most beautiful places in Canada! And I’m here again! I love my life... today I went shopping again and picked up a few great things… some Adidas (as usual) and a few shirts and a jacket! It’s cold! See ya, lobby call now! Well, 5min ago — I’m late!
May 18, 2008
Well, today we are outside again and surprisingly it’s very cold outside in mid-May. Never would have thought it would be so cold.... I wanna just play from the dressing room, lol! But hey, we got hand warmers and ski masks on! Yesss it’s that cold!!! And imagine.... tomorrow we go to Canada!
May 17, 2008
So, I know it been a few days but.... I’m back and super excited! We’re not actually playing in Philly (my home town) but we’re 15min away in NJ. My 6yr old son Christopher gets to meet Kanye and everyone on the tour for the first time today, and it’s his first time seeing the live show in person. I love when he experiences things like this… he plays all of my gear at home! lol… well, he tries! Well, gotta go… gotta go get my li’l man some food.
May 14th, 2008
New York, NY
So, today officially was a day off but now a private event was added… The G-Shock anniversary! I can’t wait to see how the show will be.... I’m pretty sure Kanye has something creative up his sleeve for this one....
Well, soundcheck just ended and the set design and lighting is crazy! J. Goldstein is the best lighting engineer and designer to me! The show is gonna be soo crazy! Oh yeah, I was just told that we have a club gig after the show tonight… just Kanye, bass, DJ, keys, and vocoder! So, I think everyone knows what keyboard I brought for the gig.... yes you are correct! The VP-550! Now I get to use the strings in it as well this time! I’m so excited for what’s goin’ on tonight! Talk to ya soon!
May 13th, 2008
New York, NY
MSG (Madison Square Garden).... This is the venue I’ve been waiting to play for a while now.... the home of the Knicks! It’s about 6:30pm and the doors have been open for about 30min and it’s pretty packed in here already... I can’t wait to get onstage and rock out! Kanye West is the best at what he does! And I feel honored to be a part of his band.... he loves the sound I bring with my rig… well time to eat and get prepared for the show....
May 11, 2008
Virginia Beach, VA
Maaaaan, I’m on the tour bus because it’s absolutely freezing outside! Lol! It’s raining and it’s cold.... but the thing is, we’re playing outside today! But hey, the show must go on. I can’t wait to get this show over… NYC here I come....
May 8, 2008
Today I’m happy to get to spend time with my two cousins.... they come to every show I do in the area.... there’s nothing like family and their support. Today is a laid back day for me… just relaxing and researching some things I want try with my gear....
May 7, 2008
So, today is my day off and it started by finishing up a track I was working on lastnight with my VP-550.... I love that keyboard! It’s my controller and vocoder for production on the road! Anyways, now it’s time to get showered and dressed to cruise the streets some more before lobby call....
May 6, 2008
It’s sooo hot out here! I just got in from renting a scooter to cruise the streets of Miami beach... I hit the Adidas store and the Levis store! Hey… gotta enjoy myself, it’s Miami! Now it’s time to go to the venue! The American Airlines Arena!
May 5, 2008
Hey everyone! So, I thought the weather was great in Atlanta but now Tampa is hotttt — I can only imagine Miami tomorrow. Anyways, today we’re playing outside in an amphitheatre… I just got back from taking a ‘lil walk around the venue and now it’s time to go to catering! Mmm! Food! Lol! See ya....
May 4, 2008
So, today we’re in Atlanta and the weather is the best it has been in the whole tour so far! It’s about 70 degrees and the fans are tailgating and having a great time outside. We’re playing the Gwinnett Center tonight and I know it’s gonna be a great show.... The cool thing is people always ask me, "how do you make your voice sound like that?" and then I begin to educate people on what a vocoder is and how it’s so major to me in the show…well, time to get ready — almost show time....
April 21, 2008
Los Angeles, CA
I know it’s been a few days but I’m backstage right now, the openers are on, and the crowd is into the show! The past few days I’ve been getting to know the V-Synth GT more and I’m starting to really enjoy it. The things you can do with it blew me away! Whenever I get a chance, I’m always learning or trying new things with my gear. I’m like an "I wonder if I try this, what would happen?" type of person. As the days go on, I get more into what I’m playing because all the kinks are worked out of my rig as far as patch changes for different songs. That’s always something to get used to..."Knowing the Set List by Heart!!" Lol...I’ll know it in another show or three...Lol!!!
April 18, 2008
What’s up everyone, I’m in Sac Town, today is the second show, and I feel like the first show was awesome and that now it’s only gonna get better. My VP-550 was definitely the highlight of my show the first night, and I’m sure it will be tonight as well. What’s great is I have three separate vocoders in my rig and I use them all; the VP for more dominating lines like the hook of "Flashing Lights," and the V-Synth XT for my solo parts. Well, can’t wait till the next city — I’m pretty sure I’ll have more great news about my gear.
April 16, 2008
Today is the first show of the tour and the crowd is just coming in by the numbers. So, now it’s about 8:30pm and I’m getting ready and gearing up for a great show. There are about 11,500 people in the crowd and it’s time to deliver. It’s SHOWTIME!!!!
April 15, 2008
Today we do another full run-through of the show at the Key arena in Seattle, WA. This is the venue for the first show of the tour.
April 12, 2008
Los Angeles, CA
Hey guys, just got to our first full production rehearsal here at the Forum and the new set design is great! It’s time to sound check and finish designing my patches for the show. Right now I’m on a 15 minute break and wanted to give a little bit of info on what’s been going on thus far. My rig is sounding great...and feeling great. We have about 7 more hours of rehearsal left...so...gotta go...
April 11, 2008
Los Angeles, CA
It’s now 2pm, I just got off of my flight from Hong Kong, and I’m absolutely exhausted! I just found out we now have an added rehearsal at 5pm at Center Staging...so, my problem is that my rig is at the Forum! What do I do? Program another rig! Two Fantom-Xs, my V-Synth XT, and my VP-550. Basically, my first Kanye West rig minus the VP-550. But hey, with the VP-550 or V-Synth GT I can make it happen.
April 10, 2008
Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong!! It’s great here, and I’m sitting in sound check for another private event. I’m now finding new ways to use the VP-550 and am starting to believe that it’s the center of my rig — well, I know it is! Lol! Sound check just went great and now it’s time to eat and shop!
April 4, 2008
Los Angeles, CA
Today, we leave for Japan to do a few private shows, and I have a carry on...my VP-550! As time goes on, I’m getting more acquainted with the VP. It sounds great and is easy to travel with.
April 2, 2008
Los Angeles, CA
So, today is April 2, 2008 and also the second day of band rehearsals for the upcoming "Glow in the Dark Tour 2008" with Kanye West. I’m so excited because every day, I’ve been digging deeper into my new Roland gear: the Fantom-G6, V-Synth GT, and the VP-550. After trying different set-ups, I finally got it! Here it is: V-Synth GT linked via MIDI to my V-Synth XT, VP-550, and the amazing Fantom-G6! The cool thing is that I share one mic with the VP-550 and both V-Synths. And I’m ready to get more creative now that I know my rig inside and out. Well, back to rehearsal. Stay tuned for more...