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Richie Hawtin, techno god, goes Jazz

April 28, 2008
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Richie Hawtin is one of the world’s greatest producers, and widely regarded as one of the artists that helped bring the second generation of techno to the fore in the early nineties. He has released some of the most influential recordings of the last 20 years, recording under various names including Hard Trax, Circuit Breaker and, of course, his ubiquitous Plastikman moniker. More recently he produced a track for the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics and has since been ensconced in his Berlin studio recording new Plastikman material. Luckily he has a mighty Lemur control surface to help him with his latest projects…

“I was looking for an open hardware controller that would give me the most customisation and power options in the smallest frame,” he says on his Jazzmutant purchase. “Because of the way the Lemur is built, you can easily modify the set-up so that it’s personalized and the most efficient for your performance. It can also grow with you so, as you add new plug-ins, software or your ideas change, the Lemur can be easily modified and stay in tune with your every wish!”

In fact the Lemur’s open nature is just about to become even more useful for Hawtin as he explores the brand new Dexter update that will enable his Lemur to directly control major sequencers…

“I use Lemur specifically for controlling effects and parameters in some of my performances, but I am extremely excited about the new Dexter update so that I can use the Lemur fully in my studio set-up with Logic 8 and other plug-ins and effects.”

Of course the main advantage of both Dexter and Lemur is their multi-touch screen technology, which means that today’s computer musicians and producers aren’t reliant on traditional controllers. Hawtin, though, believes that Jazzmutant have now gone so far beyond the tradition that their controllers have become creative tools in their own right.

‘Yes, Lemur has allowed me to venture further and further away from moving and clicking the mouse,” he agrees. “The Lemur is one of the first controllers that I've used that feels like an instrument. It allows an artist or producer to be much more expressive than with a typical mouse or keyboard set-up, and/or typical fader/knob situation.”

“I like to perform, record and produce in as near to real time as possible,” concludes Richie. “I very rarely lay out MIDI automation or plan things, so I like to use devices that allow me direct human access and connections into the digital world where spontaneity is valued.”

So there you have it: Plastikman and machine in harmony.

Further information from www.jazzmutant.com.

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