Sharing your approach to live gigs


well it amazes me at how skilled Mr. Dataline aka Cenk can handle a dozen machines so clever and fast! He really is a wizard.


I have two sets. One is a DnB set using just the OT. Each part is a song made up of 4 patterns. Everything pre sequenced. Basically I just hit play and tweak away at the knobs and scenes until I feel its time for the next pattern. I dont use song mode.
The second set is techno. Using OT TR8-S and Lyra. Each pattern is a song, OT and TR are pre sequenced. Lots of tweaking and sound shaping live, concentrating on texture and layers.with improv on the OT and Lyra. Lyra being 100% improv. I also have a scene set up for resampling so I can go fully weird and make a sequence up on the fly if Im feeling it.

My advice would be keep it simple. A little goes a long way. Dataline is cool, but sometimes I feel it would be nic if he calmed down a bit and let those knobs be still a while.


My approach to live gigs vary depending on the project, ranging from 100% improvisation to 100% composed and rehearsed, zero-improv stuff. Also my role in those gigs vary, but more recently its been a part of the rhythm section (playing drums with an AR or MPC). Next gig is going to be turntables-based :diddly:

When on the elektrons and not on a improv set, Everything is premade into pattns, which then get more or less ”performed” live. Elektron boxes are cool af for such duties with all the numerous performance tricks they have up their sleeve (pattn / kits reloads, perf macros…)


Agree with keeping it simple. I think it’s important to let things breathe as well. Improv stuff is all well and good but with electronic music I think it’s somewhat redundant sometimes. Where the real magic for me lies in playing live is when you hit an fx sweet spot and can ride on that for a while (filter feedback for example). Sometimes if there’s too much activity happening all the time (delay freeze addicts take note - I have also been guilty of this :joy:) it can take away from an audience’s enjoyment as the material never plays straight long enough for them to catch on to it properly


I don’t do live gigs. But I can confirm this from a consumer side. :slight_smile:
I think you can go wild on a track if you are in a position where the audience already knows the original version pretty well. Stuff the Chem bros or underworld do…
If you are a no name with no name tracks I mostly enjoy the development of the tracks without echofreeze every 2-3 minutes. If the artist has a good feeling when to hit a sweet spot and how to go on from this point of the “set” it’s mostly enjoyable.
But: if you are more into experimental music your perception of sweet spots might take longer to reach the audience. Then it’s art, I guess :thinking:


Very interested to hear solutions to the dreaded “All your eggs in one basket” approach.

Had one bad experience using only laptop/Cantabile/VST’s/external usb keyboard.
Never again.


Backup CD/USB stick? Most live acts I’ve worked with, in my promoter capacity, will resort to that in dire circumstances. You’ve usually still got a few synths to noodle over the top of the pre-recorded material with.

To my mind, if you’re going to have a backup, then it may as well be a pretty safe fall-back solution.


Thanks everyone for sharing your setup approaches and good tips! :3lektron::thup:

For the record I will note on my sketch pad :smile:

  • check the room acoustics before the set.

  • worry about the visuals.

  • avoid drastic FX abuse (echo freeze type).

  • spending time tweaking subtle nuances around an fx sweet spot (eq, filter…) to keep a mouvement may be a good idea.

  • keeping it simple or consider working with stems /backing tracks.

  • still leave room to improvise and adapt if the crowd isn’t into it.

  • having a backup solution is something to think of! :fearful:

  • check pro live setups :
    Octave One, Sebastian Mullaert, Maayan Nidam, Atom and Tobias, Voices from the Lake, kink.

This week I am trying to create 1 or 2 basic tracks filling the 8 voices of the rytm, seeing if I can get to something with the AR only :smiley:


I am surprised that many elektronauts use the digitakt for a live setup!
I have to look into it further!



The iconnectivity playaudio12 and a second laptop can be a nice solution. Never heard of someone using it though


Of course!

Or maybe 2 usb sticks.
Always have two on my keyfob.

Maybe I should get another :slight_smile:



Will check it out.


You already have lots of good replies here, but I’ll add my own anyway.

I currently play live with Digitakt + Blofeld. The DT runs through a stereo distortion.
I use patterns I’ve prepared earlier but there’s a large degree of improvisation. I use ‘global BPM’ and never/rarely stop the track, instead nudging it faster or slower according to what suits the pattern. Each ‘song’ only uses two or three patterns. I improvise vocals over the top if inspiration strikes.

Here’s the thing: in dance music, eight tracks is a lot. If you have a really great groove going with just a kick and hi-hats and a melodic tom part, that’s cool. You can get a really good vibe going just with that. When you add another element, it should feel like a big change. Usually we’re using quite big, carefully-produced sounds, right? So restraint is really important.

One of the virtues of minimalism is that you can really go to town with the FX. Messing with filter settings over a busy track sounds lame; over just a kick and snare and simple bassline, it can sound sublime.

Of course, this means your patterns have to be pretty interesting. But you’ve got plenty of time to work on that at home.


Brilliant advice. Thank you!


I’ll try to be short.
I use a Dark Trinity running through a Strymon Deco, with an Alesis Q49, a mic, VP-03, Mackie Mix4 for live gigs.
Most of it is semi permanently plugged in and packed in a case.
At gigs, all I have to set up is a stand, my case, plug in power, and 2 XLR outs. Takes about 5 mins.
I know the rig like the back of my hand, so I wont be confused about anything.

I do a mix of using the arranger on the OT to sequence full songs, some areas I play keys/pads no sequencing, sometimes I am playing over beats or sequences, a lot of the time I’m just twiddling performance knobs and pads.

For me the most important part is that I make it fun for myself, and hopefully interesting.
I get pretty anxious before gigs. I want things to go smoothly, so I try and make my rig and my performance within my abilities under stress, dark lighting, maybe some drinks etc.
I allow myself plenty of room for mistakes and growth.

As much as I like honing my craft to perfection, it’s important to get out there and play and let that guide my path as well.
Currently I am incorporating a light show, merch, and a few other tricks.
Slow process sometimes $$$

Don’t over apologize for mistakes, most people wont notice anything went wrong unless the sound goes completely off.
Remind yourself, it takes a special someone to throw themselves out there and perform, in whatever capacity, try and have fun because it can be nerve racking.


Thank you!
Superb advice.

So true!






puff puff pass


I usually approach from the side of the dance floor over to stage left and up from there… :smile: