Dubfire: How I Play Interview

This week we have a very special treat for you, an in-depth journey into the mindset and technology of Dubfire, the talented and ubiquitous DJ with over 20 years of success under his belt. Part of our “How I Play” series, these videos offer an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at the world’s most interesting DJs through the lens of technology. 

Dubfire (originally one half of Deep Dish) is a Grammy Award-winning producer who has played the largest festivals in the world to the most underground clubs – and everything in between.  One of the industry’s most talented and intelligent personalities, he brings a technical proficiency to his sets that can be appreciated by DJs and dancers alike.

Here are other similar conversations I’ve had with interesting people you might also enjoy:

AbletonAbleton Pushali Shiraziniabehind the boothdubfireHow I PlayinterviewKontrol F1Kontrol X1maschinepublic worksrattlesnake snaresan franciscoTraktor Tips
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  • Enrique

    Anyone knows exactly how he’s connecting the soundcard’s outputs to the mixer? The Fireface UFX doesn’t provide any RCA stereo outputs. Is he using RCA to 1/4 cables? And if so, does this compromises sound quality?

  • What Unique Gear Do Touring DJs/Producers Use? | DJ TechTools

    […] Richie has his setup very much dialed – with a Traktor Pro base setup that is linked into Ableton Live (synced MIDI clock) to allow him to do live looping, sequencing, and clip triggering all over top of the playing decks. If this sounds familiar, you might remember a very similar setup that Dubfire uses in his setup – watch our complete How I Play interview with him here. […]

  • chris

    Kris Kylven – Spiritualizer
    btw, hopefully they read his holy books right next time

  • mikiblu

    I respect a lot ali for his past with deep dish,he did the history of house music.
    But now he’s the ugly copy of richie hawtin and I don’t like his dj set

  • Alex

    Dubfire seems to be a really nice guy. BUT he’s playing 100% standard tech-house loops and adding a bit of fx. This is neither djing nor playing live. Maybe this is ok for the big festivals but its not touching me at all.

  • toemac

    I’m assuming the clubs in question are ESL and the since gone Five. Who were the DJs? (I have a guess but …)

  • DeeJay Dario

    Dope series, keep em coming.

  • tetrix

    Great great great great great (!) interview, loved it. His set up is like a dream of mine, just every piece of kit communicating with eachother and feeding production into a dj set as you go

  • Oddie O'Phyle

    i miss deepdish…

  • danny

    Just abit gutted he didnt go into more detail on what is goin on in the laptop itself we all know the equipment and effects he use’s i want know the setup in the mac

    • neil mcmeechan

      That would have been good to see how it was all routed in the computer.

      • danny

        thats all i need to know trying learn myself but can’t get it to sound good and work as good as dubfire + be as stable as the pro’s i use maschine though

  • Beat Hacker

    i like these loop-machines. i had some roland grooveboxes. the worst thing of all is that you need a lot of praxis with it. The best training for this, is, you wear some leather-dress and go to bed with the machine and rub the knobs and .. (-CENSORSHIP-)

  • Aken

    this is so ******* boring

    • 1000 Cutts

      Yep I have to agree, I have listened to a lot of DubFire live sets and its all the same ol thing. Sums up that horrible minimal trend 4 years ago..in my opinion of course!!!

    • andreimatei

      Painfully boring and uninspiring. The video itself is great, as are all DJ TechTools videos, but pushing buttons and looping loops for the sake of looping and being “creative” marks a new low in music today. Some of these guys should listen to some jazz or classical records if they want to hear true creativity. Ugh.

      • boothridertv.com

        I couldn’t agree with you more. I belive in balance. And all the music that includes jazz and classical sounds has been removed from the dance floor- although many of it is still being made. Looping is overused in the tech genre because the tracks aren’t creative enough to play out on their own….

  • deejaysoul

    Great video. Is he using Traktor with Ableton on the same computer? Or was another computer off camera that handled Ableton with Push?

    • Matt

      Yes, on the same computer. Ableton with Push, Traktor with other hardware and synced by midi clock.

      • deejaysoul

        Awesome thanks. I tried this once with Maschine and Traktor, but it would stutter (MBP 13″ i5, 2.4GHz, 16GB ram) with the Z2, X1& F1 on the same computer. Any advise?

        • random guy

          I think you need faster hdd or even ssd to handle it

          • deejaysoul

            I figured out the issue, I had my 4port hub plugged into the back of the Z2. Once I plugged it directly to my MBP and Maschine into Z2. Now I just need to learn how to use my drum machine.

            Thanks guys.

  • Palace One

    on what program runs the push? on ableton in the background or what? And how is it connected with the loop that play in traktor? I don’t get it 🙂

    • Matt

      Push is working with Ableton. In that situation, Ableton runs in background and is synced by midi clock with Traktor.

      • Palace One

        ok thanks!

  • Percy

    I wonder why he chooses to use the xone 92 rather than one of the DBs.

    • laszlomag

      The DB:s don’t have the same send/returns capabilities as the 92. I’m also thinking about switching up to the DB4 from the 92 but the lack of send/returns is holding me back at the moment..

      • uncletones

        Send and returns I’d say also. He was using the DB4 when it came out [see the timewarp 2011 video] but looks like he has gone back to the 92. You can hack a channel on the DB4 to give you a send and return, but I’ve never tried. I think it would be possible for A&H to add this capability via a fireware update to the DB4. Unfortunately A&H are hardware manufacturers, not a software house and software release cycles are…..well, non existent. Still waiting for a basic DB4 driver update for OSX Mavericks for example. DB4 is an amazing mixer…shame about the software support!

      • b

        Dont do it…the db4 is amazing in features, and sound but thats it, the build quality is very poor, fw updates rare, and the forum practically dead..see for yourself, keep your x92, i wish i did that back then..good luck

  • killmedj

    Great vibe this cat has.

  • Patient: Richard

    The rattlesnake effect.

    I understand it’s the tape delay but to get something similar, what settings do I need to be looking at?
    Full wet?
    Single effect or grouped?
    Insert or send?


    Thanks for any help.

    • Victor

      Probably full wet but it doesn’t really matter, single effect because you have more parameters to control. Insert or send doesn’t matter as well. I think the key for this effect is controlling the RATE parameter in key moments. He also uses a reverb.

    • S_Rig

      It is all wet. The whole trick comes from send and returns and letting the tail out without any more input. The way to do that is to have full wet and activating and deactivating the effect instantly. Try it out and you will get that sound.

      • Marquee Mark

        This is exactly spot on – just tried it for myself and it works!

    • Francisco M.

      delay t3, filter <60, feedback 80-90, rate 1/32. dry/wet between 20-40. single and insert. play with the settings until you like it 🙂

      • Francisco M.

        sorry, filter anything above 50 is ok!

  • DJX

    How does he make ableton et tractor be so sync? I never get a so good sync? Is there a rewire of tractor into ableton?

    • Nick DaMozzy Sabo

      It’s wit midi clock send on traktor. Look up on youtube. There’s a great tutorial by dubspot. If you’re on windows it’s a bit trickier but you just need a virtual midi cable for it.

      • 1nfinite zer0

        if you’re finding that there’s constant troubles with jitter, map something to get nudge and incremental change to BPM in your slave and then just beat match it.