Going All-Hardware performance is like going off-grid

in other words, requires much determination and preparation


elektron means the 1% inspiration is always within easy reach. doesn’t preclude the 99% perspiration however. but i know you knew that. :slight_smile:

what different approach have you been using lately anyway? ableton sets?


the best way to emulate the sound of a 12 Bit Machinedrum is to reinvest in a Machinedrum, i’ve found …

recently using ableton … sequencing one-shots mostly. Using the standard Drum Rack.

also enjoying softsynths.

so i exported some original material in a series of stems, sometimes soloing a track, sometimes exporting two or three audio tracks at the one time as a combined stem.

now i’m not doing any more composing in ableton for a while, although i am using it - to export one-shot samples out of the recent Stems, each sound file at 22050hz sample rate, monophonic.

what is your fave setup for making tunes or performing atm?

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Minimal Electronic Music Setup For Live And Studio. Octatrack + RYTM!!



i change my setup slowly, glacially so by some estimations, but the classic trinity gives me way too much to explore (1%) and learn (99%) to need much variance. i added a heat recently, that’s about it for the past three years or so.

mostly i keep it set up for performance and compose with it, so when i take it to the club i don’t need to adjust much outside of the mixer’s main eq and the heat’s settings. now and then if i just can’t get something to sit right i’ll record a line into ableton and dump it into the OT.

the biggest issue i come across with this approach is the need to go back and mix a bunch of compositions to sit well with each other across a performance. not usually that big a deal, especially now with the heat doing its glue thing, but with so many synthesis and routing approaches available i do find myself thinking about end results from the beginning a lot more than i once did.


I agree. The two together are, imo, the most formidable duo in beat driven music - techno, hiphop, ect.

I will work out rough drafts/noodling hardware based - either a beat on the AR, a soundscape on the OT, melodies/chord progressions on keys/OT sequencer - then either record it into the OT or DAW depending on my mood. If it goes into the OT, it will go into a DAW eventually. From there I keep adding away. For live I’ll mixdown stems and throw them into the OT. Ideally multiple stems together in one as the OP suggested, but havent felt comfortable doing it yet.

Essentially the places from where a track takes flight are hardware based.

i’m really inspired by the way Jeff Mills rocks up to a gig with a 909 and essentially plays an amazing performance on that.

it would be cool to do something - not necessarily similar in sound, but in spirit - to rock up to a gig with a single drum machine and proceed to completely play something special.


how do you arrange Snapshots out of interest, some for compositions, some for performance i guess? are you doing progressive genre of mixing? love to see some video :slight_smile:

[quote=“previewlounge, post:7, topic:36493, full:true”]it would be cool to do something - not necessarily similar in sound, but in spirit - to rock up to a gig with a single drum machine and proceed to completely play something special.
Yeah this is my ultimate goal. I’ve done it before with a single game boy—nanoloop 2 is incredibly diverse for such basic software—but would love to become proficient enough on monomachine/octatrack that I could just turn up at a venue with just the one machine and cane it :smiley:

edit: hope you get that from the MD!

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edit: cheers :slight_smile:

is there a style or genre called Progressive Minimal? i imagine it would allow for just playing a bassdrum for two minutes, then for extra bonus, bring in the hi-hat.

i’m thinking that style of stripped back warm techno element mixed with a tip of the hat to deep house… could be the perfect ‘entry-point’, so to speak, to start playing live in clubs in the dj booth. relevant genre, not too experimental, and not overly taxing on the tapping of trigs.

seven years ago i was mixing visuals with a friend who was a dj in byron bay, that was cool fun, and i would bring the Machinedrum along and plug into the dj mixer with a stereo rca lead and two connectors.

i learned two things: an entire club is more than willing to rock to the single sound source of a Machinedrum playing 130bpm four on the floor with a nicely detuned bassdrum sample.

2nd: don’t try to play snare drum solos Jeff Mills style live unless one has practised at home first.


basically, yeah. i just keep a few for performance at the top of the snap list, and i just move sysex in and out of them as i come up with new material.

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perfect, sysex would be the best choice to manage Snapshots.

as regards performance, do you ever use Song Mode?

it’s cool how it is possible to be in Song Mode, then to loop the currently playing Pattern in the Song, simply jump over to Pattern Mode.

when enough repetitions of the pattern have happened, return to Song Mode and the playback will resume.

Also, what is your opinion of the ‘progressive pattern for performance’ system, whereby say Bank A Pattern 1 is the intro, Pattern 2 builds on that, and so forth… too simple? too good to be true, perhaps?

i have yet to get into song mode, though i keep intending to. every time i test the waters i manage to stop the sequencer at some critical moment. just pilot error of course but i’m comfy enough with pattern chaining that it doesn’t bug me.

nor do i feel inspired to start patterns from different sequencer steps. it’s obviously a powerful tool but doesn’t seem to fit the housey stuff i usually write, and sounds like an invitation for a train wreck when combining elektrons, whose song modes (from what i’ve read) are hard to link. maybe someday i’ll finally make the jump into abstract techno and sidestep all these whiny self-limitations :wink:

i do it when the buildup i have in mind is too complicated to bring off in real time using mutes and tweaks. most of the time these are enough when combined with a ctr-8 macro on the MD or a set of scenes on the OT. for the MnM, though, they can be a big help.


Sidestep could be the name for a new abstract techno genre … low-maintenance, yet very-well-thought-through

Song mode seems like an interesting idea for live performance, but I think the danger its that it could be a bit too auto-pilot for a solo live PA. Since you can only control the params for one page on one voice at a time unless you’ve gone through to set up a whole bunch of performance macros, I find performing is much more dynamic when you’re controlling mutes and patterns on the fly.

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Here’s the problem I run into - super duper minimal works on the dance floor but you can’t publish a track like that, people will get bored. So you gotta do both to do one or the other.

  1. yes and clap solos. That tr8 has everyone doing clap solos now. So many clap solos. Too many.

MD permit very easy changes between song mode and pattern mode : one button ! So you can freely navigate thru the 2 modes.
Interesting point : when you switch between song and pattern, the pattern maintain the song mode offsets. So you can for example play song, then when you want to play live, you change the mode to pattern, that freeze your loop and permit to twick buttons and make break or make slowly the ambiance increase before go back to song. Test it, adopt it :smiley:


As a UI designer, I’d say it’s actually too easy to switch between them. I switched into song mode accidentally at a show once when I had the function button held down (probably cueing up a big mute-change), and it was not good.

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I can understand that :scream: can be the bad moment of the show.
But, still think that’s a good way to shake the patterns in a live playing drum machine like the example of Jeff Mills minimalist improvisation with 909.

you can remix your own work… just do patterns like J.Mills… listen to his albums, he is creating most of the time clever built up patterns, only adding or remove bits of sound, starting in between, no beginning and no end … loops