The improvised techno thread

Being able to use the ipad as an FX send via the USB would be very powerful!

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Can you please elaborate? I have no experience with DJ mixers.

From watching people DJ, I understand queuing up one record while playing the other. I can’t easily do that on my regular mixer…although perhaps I can with some creative routing. In any case, it’s necessary for how @d4ydream works.

My regular mixer has sends and EQ. I can mix and crossfade different sound sources by putting them on different channels.

The only thing I’m missing is the queuing, right? Or wrong? Please educate!

I would also say the channel faders on a DJ mixed are much nicer to work with when playing live (based on my own experiences). Most studio mixers also only have mono sends (such as my Zed14) - not a dealbreaker for me but nice to have stereo sends if possible. If you have something like a MIDAS then there is probably no need for a DJ mixer.

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Nice set btw!

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Pretty much this. It’s also easier to queue in headphones. PFL switches work on a traditional mixer but it’s not quite the same.

DJ mixers are just more performance-centric. I did not find using my Soundcraft mixer particularly engaging. Though I don’t have my PX5 yet, I am certain it will be the mixing centerpiece that I’ve been missing to bring all of these sources together.

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I can write a long explanation here (which i already did a good deal of in the xone:96 thread on this forum), but you ll probably glean more insight from checking some demonstration vids. ‘Naut Dave Mech has a bunch with the A&H DB4 mixer and elektron gear.


If your mixer has a PFL switch on each channel, you can use them to create a headphone mix of what’s active and what you want to bring in. It’s just not a very intuitive way to work. But, I also intend on working at a pretty fast pace. If your music/performance evolves at a different pace then using the PFL method might be a workable solution. :slight_smile:

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Do not underestimate the stereo channels point either. most studio/live mixers don t offer enough of them for me so dual mono channels have to be used, which require 2 hands to manipulate faders, eq, sends etc. Not great in a live setting.

No concern for people that are happy to work in mono though.


I’ve used Mackie 1202 and A&H Zed 14 recently, the 4 stereo channels are invaluable.
I run OT & Rytm & Access Virus through them to main outs, and use the other two and the mono channels & pre-fader axes to feed things to the OT for sampling.

I’ve kinda got 2 live setups slowly being put together. Both make heavy use of the Octatrack as a mixer and FX but also being able to utilise 4 channels of the OT for samples/transitions/looping is becoming a bit of a revelation for me.

So setup one will be for more drone-based but occasional techno stuff and completely improvisational, using my Lyra 8, Erica Fusion System and a DFAM I’m planning to buy (again :grimacing:). Three bits of kit that are very much “instruments” and need to be played to get the best out of them.

Setup two will be simpler, just a Model:Cycles and an Erica Synths DB01, for straight up techno. This setup is much more about having some patterns set up as a framework to improvise around. I’m finding the sweet spot is to have loads of patterns with the Cycles setup with 4 tracks pre-programmed and two clean tracks (one perc, one tone) ready to program on the fly. The DB01 is so much fun to program I like to just start with an empty pattern and see how much mess I can make.

The Beauty of using the OT is that I have plenty of options to fall back on, should I get a bit lost.

I’d say I’m about a year away from being good enough to do any of this in front of people.




Yeah, I’m hoping I can summon Cthulhu with it.


A lot of DJ mixers will give you filters per channel and full kill isolator EQ and pretty easy interfaces that don’t get in the way. Considering you are likely working an elektron box, maybe a synth, and a fx unit, it is pretty nice to have the mixer more or less be totally transparent in use. I wouldn’t say it is a must but if you can manage a more minimal set up it is certainly nice to use a DJ mixer in the setup.


Happy to read that, i work to reach this ability.
With such a goal, the modulations are, Imho, the place to concentrate the work during the live, to produce such evolution and having a long flow of minimalist music, with very little material.
I bigan this practice with AR in solo, very satisfaying, and my recent discovering of modular gives quite interesting results.

For the moment the few records i made are in stereo, directly in the recorder. I don’t record stems or samples to make finished track (that i never ended :rofl:).
So, the exercice often have a jam appearance. But jaming with always same few gear, every time you can, around techno is the way being able to improove live techno skills. That drives you to knowing well your “oriented techno/set/machine”, witch is the main point i believed.
From above things, i will plus one @dtr approach of mixing table (that i dont have for the moment) and filtering capabilities.
For that, dipole filter and dpo are sofisticated gear that permit a lot with few.
But in AR, scenes and perf give good results too.


This too. The modular save me saving and recalling duties. From scratchs is the way to reach techno live abilities.

Edit : this is not pedant or conoisseur point of view/afirmation, it’s just the choice i try to learn and reach the wanted skill of “playing techno when i want”.

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These are great for introducing motion to sounds. I m using a BCR2000 midi controller with 12 encoders mapped to AR track levels and 12 to performances. Direct controller access makes them much more useful to me.


Yes, we already talked the practice of midi to perf, kind of travel deep in the AR modulations paradigme. If introducing savant randomisation in the sequencer sending midi to perf, it’s very rewarding.

Any vids or sound of you in action with this working together?

What made you decide the PX5 over the 96 or DB4 (besides the price tag)? I’m definitely torn between these three ATM. I’ve studied Dave Mech’s reviews. I keep pushing the PX5 out of consideration, but without reason honestly.

I’d like to see your setup and what you do with it when you get the rest of the kit you have planned.

I chose the PX5 because it’s fully analog except the onboard effects. The effects can be externally clocked and I’m hoping they do the “bread and butter” stuff well enough that I don’t have to bring my Strymons with me (reduction of footprint) and I don’t need the second sound card. I’m also hoping, and I’m fairly confident, that the soundcard can be used in an insert mode. This would allow me to use Fabfilter plugins in AUM on my iPad do do some cleanup EQ that just couldn’t be done with the onboard EQs.

The DB4 is a bit pricey, it’s digital (take it for what it’s worth. I’m sure it sounds aces but there something nice about pushing an analog board a little bit), and isn’t really what I was looking for. The Xone:96 does have the extra channel, soundcard, and EQ band. It’s a compelling offering to be sure.

Price was definitely a consideration but if I felt the Xone:96 was the right fit I would’ve made it work. The PX5 is perfect for my needs. Excited to receive in the next 10 days or so.