Freitag, 5. April 2013

30 Year Of In The Mix

A German DJ and Producer meeting sent me some questions for a little "interview" here are the answers.

A) - 30 years Ben Liebrand „In The Mix“.....congratulation! How did you arrange all your mixes in the past (60 tracks in one hour!) do you arrange it today? Tell us something about your equipment in the past and today .

Typically a Grandmix had close to or even more than 100 tracks in one hour. In making them I always used the best technology available at that particular time.
In 1983, 2 SL1200's with Stanton 681EEE cartridges, A TEAC A3440 for loops and editing everything on a Revox B77 or PR99 with butterfly heads, mixing on a Tascam mixer.
All the records used to make those early Grandmixes were new fresh never before played copies. The 38 cm/s stereo master tape was then played on a Studer A80 and transferred to the Sony F1 digital format.
In 1985 a stereo set of TC 2290 Delay/samplers were added triggered reed relais under the turntable enabling accurate and 100% control-able start-ins.
In 1988 al was done from CD, where fragments were recorded into AKAI samplers and "launched" from timecode onto tracks of an AKAI DR1200. Mix was done on a Soundcraft 6000 console, recording to DAT.
In 1989 the mix was 100% digital, recording, mixing and editing done in 2 AKAI DD1000s. Intermediate parts recorded on DAT and final parts assembled on the DD1000 with extra external harddisks. All synced by a timecode generator in the AKAI S3000.
In later years the AKAI DD1500 replaced the DD1000's providing 16 (8 stereo) tracks to work with.
In 2004 everything moved into a Mac Pro using Ableton. Thanks to the extensive experience in analog editing even today I manage to work faster and maintain higher quality then most others, simply because I understand what the hardware and software actually does.
Currently out is the Grandmix 2012, making this series probably the longest lasting DJ megamix in the industry.

- Your record-collection is known as one of the biggest worldwide. How many records do you have on stock ? What ist your favourite one and which record is most rarely to find?

I have no idea where this myth has come from. But here are some facts.
I probably have thrown out as many vinyls as that I kept. The most I had at one time were perhaps somewhere between 5000 and 6000 copies.
And apart from some copies I kept for sentimental reasons, I actually don't like vinyl!
You can collect vinyl as you would collect post stamps simply because you like collecting, but if you collect vinyl for reasons of "great sound quality" or "unsurpassed audio experience", then you are fooling yourself.
Vinyl is an absolute disaster to your high frequencies, channel separation and very restrictive to your low end. And even though there are cartridges that can reproduce well over 22KHz, 99.9% of all vinyl is cut with a frequency cut-off eliminating anything over 15KHz.
This is fact, been there done that dozens of times and got frustrated each and every time when I was present at a cutting. I was always trying to preserve as much of the original sound quality as possible and despite all efforts each and every time a pristine audio master got mutilated just by cutting it for vinyl production. If you prefer vinyl, it is probably the distortion and the clicks which you love more than the music.
Vinyl does emanate a great sense of nostalgia and a first pressing of any landmark piece of music history will have a great collectors value, but only that, a "collectors" value.
If you like vinyl, you probably also love old fashioned typewriters. I like those typewriters too, but not for any reason related to accuracy, performance or quality.

Perhaps your question regarding my collection refers to the amount of masters I have.
If that is the case, then the answer is that I always tried to maintain the highest possible quality.
That made me make digital copies from each and every master I came across since 1983.
These digital copies still are playable today and have captured those production masters perfectly at a time when they were just made and "magnetically fresh".

C) - Your remixes adapted many tracks well for the dancefloor 80s & 90s. Are so many remixes neccesary nowadays?

A "dance" DJ used to play all that was "dance", from "Slow" to "House" to "Rap" and whatever style was trending at the time.
Nowadays DJs restrict themselves (to much) to one style and there are dozens of styles and sub-styles. So that is perhaps why so many versions are made of a single song.

D) - DAFT PUNKS „Get Lucky“ reached the no. 1 position in about 50 countries world wide! Ist this the return oft the „disco sound“ or is it just a quick trend?

Every trend nowadays is a "quick trend" as the life-span of music becomes shorter and shorter.
For my part, I would love to have a new era of "disco sound".
Where Daft Punk embraced that retro feel in the early 90's, I grew up listening to Kraftwerk, Giorgio Moroder and Cerrone whilst everybody else was still listening to The Bee Gees and the Trammps.
I have used the Sennheiser Vocoder since 1985, recorded live guitars all through the 80's, composed sequencer tracks, orchestra interludes and combined programmed drums and sequencers with live musicians on my 1990 album "Styles"
I have worked with Cerrone on several occasions, corresponded with Giorgio Moroder and am a big fan of the guys behind Chic and Sister Sledge, Nile Rodgers & Bernard Edwards and am extremely happy that Daft Punk seems to have be influenced by those same people that influenced me.
I might just make a new album come to think of it. Just wanted to make sure you all know how deep my roots run.

Ben Liebrand.

P.s. Daft Punk's new album is awesome!

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