Chris Liebing: How I Play Video Interview

At soundcheck before his recent San Francisco show, we had a chance to get German techno producer and DJ Chris Liebing to walk us through his entire workflow including: two laptops running Traktor, Ableton, and Maschine, two Allen and Heath K2s, a Faderfox and more. Check out his extremely modular setup and hear how he uses all four channels on his Xone:92 mixer at the same time to great success – all in the video after the jump.

Presented In Partnership With Beatport: 

If you’re digging some of Chris Liebing’s tracks in the video, listen or purchase them here on Beatport’s site:

Abletonallen and heath xone:92chris liebingfaderfoxmaschineTraktor Tipsxone k2
Comments (61)
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  • Mark Holloway

    I agree with everyone, this is great. He is obviously very passionate and shows a lot of excitement about what he does, and has no reservations in sharing that with people.

  • choepie

    He uses an RME Fireface UC. Can somebody explain me how he gets 4 stereo signals to his Xone:92 with it ? I see only 6 MONO outputs on the back of the unit… (= 3 stereo).

  • Latona

    Would this have to be set-up during sound-check, prior to each gig? And then every other DJ work around it? A very insightful video, and what a legend.

  • Pruvit

    I love artists that make use of multiple pieces of hardware and software. It is live production instead of using a playlist. This sound card he mentioned is super nice, if only I were that loaded 🙂 Keep posting videos like this

  • J Mac

    Saw him last weekend at Electric Zoo, my god is he good. Never listened to him before that and I can honestly say he had one of the best sets there. Blew my mind.

  • chaz


  • chaz

    omg! his DJ set is……….OO0o0omphhh!!!

  • Dj Chip Dish

    Great interview …i work so similar i was very impressed Chris is great very forthcoming

  • fghj

    great stuff. tons better the previus episodes!!

  • EZ1980

    Dear DJtechtools readers, can anyone explain to me what he means when he talks about send and return (reverb effect)? Thank you.

  • Zurelikkus

    Running both Traktor and Ableton has been a dream of mine for a while now. His use of the Maschine is very intuitive. Rad video and thanks DJTT.

  • Stefan Gavrilescu

    nice vid, great!

  • Grant Reynolds

    amazing DJ! amazing video!

    well done DJ techtools.. you have just convinced me to get all my midi controllers (modular) out of storage and start playing around again 🙂

  • DJ Peter Lo

    I dance at this club all the time. You can usually see me rocking out on top of one of those tables. :3

    • Jason Beneston

      What version of Traktor does he use? Looks older or a skin?

  • saZi

    Is he using regular midi to sync those two computers, or is he using A&H’s X:Link technology?

    • Charles Cushman

      I think he uses midi sync. It appears that all of his tracks are beat gridded.

  • 4321djgear

    I too have to say, Chris Liebing on “how I play” is perfect! I’m so pumped to see Maschine, Ableton, Traktor, Faderfox, A&H something old (xone92) something new (K2) being orchestrated together. I feel like a 5 year old kicking air after a great kung-fu movie. I’m going to have some fun with delays and reverbs before work, peace! Thanks DJTT!

  • Kyle

    Seems like a really cool guy. Great interview guys!

  • roigbiv

    That was a really good one! Chris is awesome, fantastic insight.

  • Anonymous

    the legend is speaking 0_0

  • Ilasik

    Very good interview, with ‘how he does’ details. Seeing him in action, for another 3-5 minutes after the interview, would have added even more.

  • tr4gik

    This is the way this How I play videos should be done. He is very confident in sharing everything not afraid anyone is going to take something away from him, like other selfish insecure djs think. Everybody does his own thing differently anyways.

  • Ryan Dallas

    Great insight into how Mr Liebing works. The only thing I could possibly critique the whole feature on was that we didn’t get a small demo at the end as an example of how it all works together. That’s just me nitpicking though 😉

  • Ryan Glassman

    This is awesome. I wonder if it’s easier for him to layer different basslines, drums, etc. over the tracks he’s playing because he plays techno, which is much more minimalist than, say, electro. Obviously I’m not trying to take away from his talent or the intense awesomeness of his methodology. But I wonder how that approach—that constant blending of 3 or more sounds—would work in a more maximalist genre with busier arrangements.

    Also I’d love to hear him do his thing. When I play moombahton I’m often layering loops from the next track over the first one, and then I’ll blend them in by EQing—first bringing in the mids, then cutting the bass of the track on its way out, then bringing the bass from the next track in, maybe filtering them both—but what he’s doing is way more complicated, and I could totally hear it working for a genre with fairly simple and not very melodic arrangements like moombah. The one thing I saw was him constantly using small loops. I’m gonna have to try that…

    • Charles Cushman

      I saw him in Ibiza, he was amazing. Richie Hawtin mixes the same way. Try to check out some of his stuff.

      It is much easier to layer with minimal genres. When I mix other styles you have to be careful not to overpower the song.

    • Ruben daCosta

      Mixing techno it’s completely different from mixing other styles, it’s not about playing one song but blending it with other songs in a manner that, when the audience listen to that mix, they may thing that it’s only one song that it’s playing, while actually there are 2 or 3.

  • Sebastian Heitzmann

    Thanks DJTT for sharing this!

    Chris is just so sympathic with that little smile always on his face.
    Not that i´m too deep into “techno” but he´s just a legend… hands down!

    and for all you german techno heads… (all others too of course… but german only) maybe you haven´t seen the “Stammheim” documentary.

    this is epic history tellin. Chris drops also some memories.

    thanks again. kepp up the good work! pure quality!

    • Patrick Enders

      Whoa, thanks a lot for the link to the “Stammheim”-documentary, I’ve had been searching for it since it was announced a couple of years ago…

  • Safadao

    This way this interview is shot, it seems as if Chris is giving me a personal tour of his setup and personal advice.
    Interspersed with live club footage, this by far is one of the best interviews ever.
    Please keep up the good work. I will be watching this over and over.

  • Jean-Luc Wu

    Chris Liebing is the man! Love the setup.

  • sss18734

    Great interview, DJTT… This one blew me away!

  • Tyrion

    definitely inspiring for us rookie DJ’s ..

  • Anonymous

    This is the kind of interviews from DJTT we want: in-depth explanation about set-ups and the vision behind it. Interviewing artists at their sound check is definitely the way to go.

  • RockingClub

    Wow! This was – as already said – really one of the best interviews from DJTT for a long time. Great thanks to Chris Liebing as well as he has showed really a lot (almost everything) and it’s been very inspiring. I appreciate his way of thinking about effects (mainly liking reverbs and delays as a send/return effect) and was positively surprised there is some rarely some producer stuff in his shows like the RME fireface and the Lexicon reverbs/delays. Very interesting!

  • kevz718

    Best how i play piece so far.. Good advice

  • Omar Nachtraaf

    We need a new term for guys like this, because they’re simply not DJ’s, they’re doing way more than just play some records.

    • dan sorce

      not even records… recordings

    • baldnbeardd


      • Avni87

        great dude! I always tought the same but wasnt enough brave to spread my tought around, but now I see im not alone anymore 😉

  • Krytical

    I want his xone K2 mappings!

  • manou

    He’s the man! I love you guys for interviewing my personal “hero” 😉

  • Owen

    Best interview yet by far, thanks for that one lads!

  • Nick Shepherd

    Chris is the man – hands down !

    seeing him play @ Berghain several times and it allways was a experience from outta space =) i could listen to his basedrums, perc & hihats forever

  • Mixtick

    The best Techno-DJ out there with the best “How I Play”-Video ever. Thanks for that.

  • Anthony Woodruffe

    And every time I start thinking about selling my :92 I see yet another video that makes me want to keep hold of it.