By and large, the DJ gear that someone chooses doesn't effect how "good" or "real" of a DJ they are. But for DJs that play hundreds of shows in a year, the gear makes a big difference to consistently and comfortably being able to perform. Today we've put together a collection of the gear inside of some of the world's favorite DJs and live producers - read on.
For the past few years Ean has been developing a style of "light controllerism" that takes his live performance routines into the improvised worlds of house and techno. 4/4 dance music is all about the groove, so this transition required new tools and performance techniques, which offer a lot of creative control but won't kill the groove. Today he shows us his full setup in the hopes that some of the tech might inspire your workflows!
Here are some entertaining videos for your DJ-viewing pleasure this weekend. Got a few minutes or a few hours to spare? Here are a few options of DJ documentaries, shorts, and videos that range from scary to inspiring!
Matthew Dear’s Audion techno guise may be 10 years old now, but its latest incarnation—in a tricked-out, spherical performance pod called Subverticul—is a game-changer for how techno is presented in the live forum. We spoke with Dear from inside his vessel at Montreal’s MUTEK Festival earlier this year to get a deeper glimpse into how he performs and how this new stage setup changes it all.
While dance music certainly has taken on a whole new life these last few years with the explosion of EDM and its attendant festival culture, DJing as we know it (the style of mixing two beat-oriented records together for a seamless dancing experience) goes back at least to the '70s, in the age of disco—though, one could easily argue that it reaches back farther still. The point is, over the past few decades DJing has firmly established itself as both a creative cultural force and a viable career path—not some fly-by-night whim to be scoffed at. In that spirit, we decided to take a look at the life cycle of a professional DJ, from year zero to well past year 20, to get a look at what can change throughout the decades and how to keep that career sustainable.
Marc Houle is not a DJ—in fact, he'd be the first to tell you that he's never really learned how to mix beyond fading one track out and another in—but that doesn't mean he can't rock a club. His live show, which he brought to MUTEK's stage a few weeks back in Montreal, consists of little more than Ableton Live, a vocoder, and TK, but his piece de resistance is a special prototype controller made by Livid for a Minus Records tour a few years back. He gave us a look at how it works, and told us about his new album, in today's video interview.
Mad Zach just wrapped up a brief US tour and was kind enough to record a quick How I Play interview from behind the booth at his gig in Oakland, explaining how he uses his Midi Fighter Spectras, Twister, and Moogerfooger to perform a dynamic set. Watch the quick interview inside as well as a complete video of his hour-long set later that night.
This past weekend, the DJ TechTools crew headed to Montreal for the 15th edition of the city's MUTEK Festival. As part of the event, we got to sit down with Richie Hawtin in the Ableton Lounge to chat with him about his creative process. Check out the video interview after the jump, and take a rare peek inside Hawtin's studio and live setups.