Recent posts: Spotlight
Written by: Tommy Mac, “Mashene”
What I find most interesting about “Saytek” (an EDM pioneer DJ), is his unique approach to DJing that he started years ago, and has served him so well he remains true to it. Basically, using an improvised approach with older drum machines, digital and analog boxes, mixed in with the new hi-tech of Abelton software. It is quite an amalgamation of special boxed units, software, plug-ins and hardware.
Speaking of hardware, he starts out with Abelton installed on his Mac Book Pro and creates his own stems using Maschine, however, he does not use Maschine during his live performances.
After creating a stem in maschine, he transfers the tracks over to ableton and turns them into audio, while also having the ability to que D16 plug-ins which are 909, 606 and 303’s classic drum machines from the vintage box collection.
He has high praise for his Impulse Novation 25 keyboard that he uses as a controller, while running everything that looks like an S 900 Pioneer mixer with the sends and returns running thru his Pioneer RMX 1000 effects unit, daisy chained thru a Kaoss Pad 3, allowing him to put effects over any one channel at any one time, giving him the flexibility to explore and trigger his vast rhythmic arsenal.
He uses three different Korg Volca boxes as well, the bass, sample and keys.
An Electron Analog Rytm box ($1,549,00 US), has replaced his Roland MC909 (describing it as a 90’s studio in a box) while being overjoyed with it for over 12 years or so going thru two of them, he finally had to kick an expensive habit after a massive fail with it turning on and off during his last performance in Berlin saying, ” I love you, but you’ve got to go!”
As an EDM pioneer DJ, he prefers to use internal patches in a variety of drum kits, while syncing them all thru a midi clock.
Using Abelton as his preferred DAW of choice in live performance, he runs a ton of different scenes creating a myriad of variations on a similar theme, thus triggering the different scenes that bubble up different patterns. Saved patterns from his drum kits are creatively mixed in anytime as well, taking him on a rhytmic and aural expedition or as he puts it, “when I want to go on a journey”.
Instead of using USB hubs plugging directly into his mac-book pro which have failed him in the past, he trusts running most everything thru midi, as the former would break down and crash his computer.
The only two USB cables connecting to his mac are one for audio and the other for midi, shooting for reliability rather than speed.
When abelton first came out it was just audio, and he was an early adopter. He believes in keeping things simple in ableton, while triggering stems from his keyboard, this way he can mute and un-mute at will any thing on his hardware/software/mixers while controlling all of his effects at the same time.
As stated in the beginning, this approach served him well at the start, so he has stuck with it.
Some of my favorite comments from this piece and sage advice are: “If a piece of equipment lets me down once on stage, it’s out, you have to trust your kit”.
Saytek, is not one who cares much for DJ’s who program a per-arranged set saying, ” I would hate to be in front of a crowd and realize it’s not working”, without the ability to change it on the fly.
I couldn’t agree more because every audience is different and this is where the years of experience come into play knowing how to change your music to fit each individual unique niche audience in real time.
I also find this comment interesting as well, ” the beauty of the hardware is it’s limitations, and the beauty of ableton is that it has none.”
Notice how he bounces everything down to audio, for him this is his opus at the core of what makes for his unique style utilizing a ton of audio clips, while doing all of his mixing and automation in them as well. As a side note for example, he will take over 20 midi tracks running in liner fashion and flatten them to one audio track, very interesting.
As an EDM Pioneer DJ, his main flavor flav is underground house and techno with his adept ability to improvise and jam on it for hours.
For me, “Saytek” gets the esprit de corps of what a DJ being true to an art form should be, whether using Soreto, Scratching old school style, Traktor, CD-J’s or a combination of them all, it’s about having the options available and experience and skill to improvise that inspires your audience in the moment.
For a “Saytek” audience, they know they will receive a fresh aural palette every time, instead of a DJ who just presses PLAY!
Tommy Mac is the CEO and founder of Las Vegas Corporate Entertainment, LLC
::: Nominated Best Live act 2013 DJ MAG ::: October 2013 Mixmag Album of the Month ( KMS | Soma | My Favorite Robot | Cubism | Liebe*Detail | fabric | Bedrock | Monique Musique | Wiggle | Lucid Flow | Bullet:Dodge )
Saytek has steadily grown over the last few years to become one of the scene’s most in-demand live acts. From playing the Space Ibiza closing party to fabric to rocking Tresor to his former residency with Zoo Project, he has garnered acclaim the world over. His live shows are truly live, featuring a myriad of synths , FXs , A Roland MC909 and controllers which ensure a much more engrossing performance than someone simply clicking on a laptop.
DJ Mag nominated him for Best Live Act in their 2013 Awards, while Mixmag awarded Album Of The Month the same year. With a prolific output of EPs and live albums on Cubism plus releases on labels such as Soma, My Favorite Robot Records , Wiggle , Monique Musique and fabric (london Club) with upcoming releases including for Kevin Saunderson’s Legendary KMS and liebe*Detail .
Saytek Live On Cubism 3 was released at the beginning of Nov 14 on CD and Awarded 9/10 by DJ Mag , 8/10 by Faze Magazin (Germany) and getting glowing reviews across the press including Freshguide Berlin , Decoded Magazine and4clubbers.net.
“Deep metallic chords, guttural sub-bass and raving synths; New Jersey organs, Amazonian chants and gurgling acidic syrup all washthrough a frenzy of smoke and lasers… this guy just keeps getting better and better.” – 9/10 DJ Mag