Profile of Seth Regan (SL – Mankind Tracer)
Second Life® offers various ways to enjoy music. There are DJ’s, tribute bands and live musicians feeding their sounds into SL using a streaming server (most commonly used are Shoutcast and Icecast). Seth Regan, with his avatar Mankind Tracer, is a singer/songwriter from New York, who resides in California. Since 2006, Seth has performed in SL. His work has been recognized with awards, including “Best Live Performer”, “Best Singer/Songwriter”, “Listener’s Choice Award”, and “The Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Contributions to Second Life”. Seth agreed to talk with MANIERA SL about live music in SL.
Could you explain how live music, tribute bands and DJs differ from each other?
“Performing live means singing and/or playing an instrument live and interacting with people on a more personal level. Live shows are much more intimate, especially those of us who perform our original works.
To be fair, good DJ’s must also know how to interact with an audience since they are speaking live on a mic during their sets. Tribute shows, as I understand them, are basically several people controlling avatars designed to represent the members of a particular band. Someone then pushes a play button to animate the avatars and start the music streams. I’m really not a fan of these to be honest. My reasoning is ethical: They are streaming copyrighted music [without proper permissions]… which leaves them wide open to an infringement lawsuit.”
What is the attraction of performing in SL for you?
“For me it’s not so different than performing in RL. After touring over 20 years professionally, I perform live music for my audience and interact with them. There is no difference in these regards to SL. These are real people around the world behind the avatars. SL simply saves me the travel and “schleppage” of my gear!“
When it comes to live music, how does using SL Voice and a stream differ? Is there a place for both depending on the application?
“I have done live shows on SL Voice and yes there is a difference. I actually prefer voice because it has less latency, the time from when I play until the time the SL audience hears me is much less. This offers more of an instant interaction between me and the audience.”
I would imagine that a great musician/songwriter like you might be interested in collaborating with other musicians. How can this be established in SL?
“I have been trying to stream live on voice with other performers. It doesn’t work perfectly again because of latency. If we are not hearing each other at precisely the same time, then the audience will not hear us in sync.
Of course there are external means, such as collaborative websites, which can then be streamed into SL. There is also multi streaming (IE. Dual Stream) whereby one artist streams to the second artist who then adds their live performance and streams the combination into SL.”
In 2013, you released the CD ‘Best of.” Are you working on a new one?
“I am currently working on my 6th album entitled “Left of Center,” named for the change in my direction musically from the harder rock I used to write and perform. When I first started out, I began on acoustic guitar and have found my way back to it more recently. I have no release date set yet as I am very busy in RL with another business and of course my little boy, Aden.”
Going to concerts is a great way to spend time in SL and meet people. Seth Regan’s performances are a wonderful way to enjoy music in SL. Visit his website at http://www.sethregan.com for more information and check out his Sweet Spot at The Bay (44, 38, 23).
Article written and photographed by Sammie Audion