Routine: KiNK’s Live DJ Hybrid Setup

“Live DJing” is usually used to describe DJs who mix and flip tracks between two or more records. There is no automation and the DJs are making cuts on the fly. KiNK, a Belgium DJ/Producer, feels that there is a hybrid system to be made between live production and DJing, which is why he created a new way to play. Watch his new system in action then read more about what’s going on behind the scenes.

Incorporating CDJs, Synthesizers and a Turntable

KiNK’s routine is one of the most intriguing routines that have been featured on DJTT because his way of incorporating synthesizers and playing tracks is very elaborate. So elaborate that everything isn’t synced up to one MIDI clock. Between the different pieces of gear that KiNK incorporates, he is beat matching the recordings of his synth modulations with the drum pattern of his TR-8. His set-up and the way he plays puts a strong foot forward towards the debate that DJs aren’t musicians. KiNK’s live instrumentation and variety of sounds bring the magic of the studio to the stage.

Roland AIRA TR-8

In KiNK’s set-up, the TR-8 is used as his source for the main beat of the track. The TR-8 is an all in one unit for creating drums and the full capacity of the unit can be seen in his routine. He creates different patterns on the fly and modulates different parameters to progress the track throughout the set. The Roland AIRA TR-8 is also carried in the DJTT store.

Pioneer XDJ-1000s

The XDJ-1000s are not only playing music but they are playing back loops that KiNK recorded from his synthesizers. The loops are then categorized on his flash drive where he can mix and match different sounds based on where he is at within the track. He then use hot cues to further diverse the sounds live. This way of performing is very interesting and may solve the problem of playing live sets without bringing the studio to the stage. All a DJ has to do is export patterns to a flash drive and they are ready to tour any club in the world.

Modular Synths

One of the most abstract designs of this set was KiNK’s use of analog and modular synths. These days most DJs work inside their DAWs and only a handful of producers actually create physical patches in a synthesizer. An important note to take about his sound creation is how each cable movement and turn of a knob can create a new sound. Synthesis is a beast to conquer but once a producer learns the ways of synthesizing, they can go from presets to authentic sounds. We couldn’t ID all of the gear he used to create the modular sound so we challenge you to tell us what he uses in the comments.

Live Production and DJing

Live production is slowly moving onto more and more stages around the world where DJ sets once used to stand. Technology is allowing the producer to finally move the studio to the stage in a complete package. While there isn’t a clear cut answer how to do this, solutions like KiNK’s live production/DJing hybrid system make a strong case. A producer’s creativity isn’t bound to a DAW.

How do you incorporate live production into your DJ setup?



Analog SoundsBeat matchingBelgium DJcdjdrum machineKiNKlive djingLive Mixinglive productionModular SynthesizersModulationproducersRoland AIRA TR-8SynthesiersSynthesizingturntablesxdj-1000s
Comments (18)
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  • Muggers

    Anyway of doing a similar set up on the cheap, say using the Korg Volca series somehow linked to an existing traktor set up and going from there?

  • R. Franklyn

    I liked some of Kink’s releases but that Boiler Room mix is too much exposure…around 52:00 minutes is a good example of how things just doesn’t work the whole way through.

    Live Performers that have rocked Boiler room include John Heckle and Mr. G. Look at their archived videos and see/why they’ve got full control over their musical expression with live instruments or samplers. He regained flow with the turntable involved but it is patchy at best…around 1:07:00 is another example of quirky enthusiasm instead of throwing curveballs into the ears of the crowd.

    I believe a performer needs to get their crowd involved, but this became one big open-house drunk party.

  • Lorne Hart

    Really would like to get some colored knobs like that for my tr-8. Are they chroma caps? I’m guessing not because the knobs on the tr-8 are so small. Any ideas?

  • djsicknarf

    here is his live performance at the boiler room. I found it very astounding and was in awe. great set. check it out.

  • Bandana

    Good for him and his niche but i personally need non repetitive loops, forwardness, and huge buildups and drops. Doesnt it Seems like the “live” popular djs always come out with these setups but then resort to dropping the live gear due to stability and travelling issues? Just a thought.

  • Jeff

    I appreciate what he’s doing, but personally I want to hear music when I see someone play. I want to hear records, tracks new and old. I’ve seen quite a few kink videos, and yes, impressive what he does, but after a while it all just blurs into this same old same old. I’m not hating at all, as I say, it’s nice to see him doing something he’s good at.

  • kyle

    he is clocking something with the make noise maths in the second modular part and using the make noise DPO as the oscillator.

  • kyle

    from what I can see on the modular he is using some make noise modules, the Pressure points and a Renee sequencer. some tipstop audio drum modules along with their new sequencer. Looks like some more doepfer and synthesis tech modules as well.

  • Prof_Strangeman

    I am just SO aroused.

  • Stoyan

    Bulgarian, not Belgian 😉

  • Wane Manuel

    Here is my current live setup. I write about 45 mins of material on my synths. Rytm handles drum synthesis, sampling one shots, and Sub bass. Monomachine used for chords, rhythmic synthesis, and leads. Bass Station II is my wild card that I usually improv jam on. I started using Traktor Dj on the iPad to give me a break in between transitions and I have to say the combo is awesome. If I run out of original stuff I can just jump into a dj set (or if something goes wrong with a synth). And I can also use it battle style against my synths if I wanna change up the feeling in the room or drop a nostalgia track. Also the small footprint of the iPad mini keeps the focus on my synths and not the dj software.

    • Dean Zulueta

      Thanks for sharing this! I really enjoy how you have the different routes laid out. This set-up is not only really creative but extremely flexible.

    • o

      Any videos of your setup in action? would be interesting.

      • Wane Manuel

        I have a lot of vids on my Facebook page if you’d like to check it out. There’s one from a show I did last weekend showing my full setup where I transition from a Daniel Avery track on Traktor Dj into one of my originals on the Elektrons.

  • deejae snafu

    wow that is a very unique approach , and very unique performance..