Why UTT Pro?

My live performances consist of a mix of pure acoustic performances and a large number of mp3 backup tracks … mostly bass and percussion tracks … to which I add live guitar and vocals.  A few years ago, I upgraded my live performance setup to incorporate the latest technology in stage lighting, effects, and music playback devices.

I was interested in automating my stage lighting system so I could get rid of at least one bank of footswitches.  My instrument and vocal effects devices were computer controllable, so I could potentially eliminate some foot switches there, too.

It wasn’t just the footswitches, which were often distractions, causing me to look down to find the right one.  Just as much, I wanted to eliminate stage clutter and extra setup and teardown time.  Music is a labor of love for me.  At the same time, I treat it as a business in the sense that, the less time I spend doing the infrastructure of the business … setting up and tearing down before and after gigs … the more money per hour I make.

Plus, this makes my whole act look less like a troubadour, and more of a show.

So automating my system is giving myself a raise.

I wanted an all-in-one package … a way not only to easily find, select, and play my backing tracks whether doing this on the fly or structured in sets / shows … but also a way to control my stage lighting system and instrument and vocal effects devices … and synchronize those with my backing tracks.

I couldn’t find a low-cost combination of tablet and software that had the features or interface I needed to efficiently operate my show.

So I wrote my own program that would:

  • run on low-cost touchscreen tablet computers
  • keep track of my entire playlist, music library, and lyrics library
  • play my backing tracks
  • allow easy selection of individual songs as well as creating sets for automatic song selection
  • scroll lyrics
  • control stage lighting synchronized with the music so I wouldn’t need footswitches or manual dedicated lighting controllers
  • control my effects devices for guitar and vocals, eliminating the need for footswitches
  • provide break music
  • be exceptionally easy / intuitive to use
  • be mostly invisible; i.e., not be a distraction itself
  • be as close to one-button operation as possible

So I designed this software for myself.  Along the way, it occurred to me that I may not be the only one using this kind of setup out there.

The result is UTT Pro — to help your small act put on a big show!