10 DJs With Unique Gear Setups Playing Movement Festival

This year, a classic US festival focused on the creative side of electronic music will once again fill the streets of Detroit with a wide variety of musical flavors. Many of these artists are selected because they play their music in very original and creative ways, so we thought it would be a great opportunity to highlight a few of them and the equipment they use on stage.

To celebrate Movement, and creativity in music technology, we are highlighting one piece from each of the artists playing, and discounting them in the store for our first annual Movement Sale. 

Dewalta & Mike Shannon (live)

w/ Mike Shannon live
15.05.16 at Replay Sunset Parties
Picture by oscar plaza diez

Posted by DeWalta on Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Known for being a gear heavy live production act that combines techno and jazz influences, these two producers and live performers have recently put out a collaborative album, “Residual”. Their rig of production gear includes:

  • multiple modular racks (one in front of each performer – we haven’t found a close enough shot of them to identify individual modules yet)
  • Ableton Live running on a Macbook Pro
  • Universal Audio Apollo Twin Duo soundcard
  • Movement Sale Item – Roland TR-8 drum machine
  • Akai APC mini
  • Elektron Analog Rytm drum machine
  • Arturia Beatstep Pro
  • A powered line mixer (critical for a setup with so many pieces of outboard gear)
  • A rotating cast of additional effects pedals

Experience one of their live sets here – a Berlin Boiler Room recorded last April:

Maceo Plex

Maceo Plex playing last year at Awakenings Festival (photo credit: Awakenings.com)

Maceo Plex is a well-respected producer in the techno community, playing deep and dark tracks to venues around the world each year. His setup reflects exactly what track-to-track DJs need more of in their arsenal: effects units to add delay, reverb, and generally build moments of tension and release. His rig includes:

Watch him work on this setup at his own Ellum label takeover last season on Ibiza:

Bjarki (live)

Using outboard gear is one of the big advantages of playing a live production set with Ableton – and Bjarki is a great example of that. He’s using:

  • Ableton Live on a Macbook Pro
  • Allen & Heath Xone:92 mixer
  • Dave Smith Instruments Tempest drum machine
  • Elektron Octotrack

Bjarki was spotlighted by Rolling Stone magazine last August – and his breakout story in the article is pretty hilarious:

“His break came when he almost met Nina Kraviz at the end of a long night out. After he accidentally got too drunk at an early Tiësto show his girlfriend had forced him to attend — “bullshit,” he says — she made it up by passing a USB of his tracks to the Russian DJ. One year later, Bjarki’s first single, “I Wanna Go Bang,” is the breakout hit from Kravis’ new label, Trip.”

Matador (live)

Matador’s live setup in Rosario, Argentina earlier this year. (photo credit: LIVE ART Producciones)

Matador is another techno DJ playing Movement who has a non-traditional live setup – he’s sequencing beats on a Maschine Mikro and controlling Ableton Live with a Livid controller that was co-designed by Richie Hawtin

Check out a live set using this exact setup recorded last year by Mixmag below:

Chris Liebing

Chris Liebing continues to be the king of pushing DJing into a more live production world. We did a classic How I Play interview with him back in 2012, and he continues to use largely the same setup – although it does seem that recently he’s started using the PLAYdifferently mixer, at least for the set above.

Modeselektor (live)

As with a lot of dance music groups who have a “live” rig in addition to a DJ rig, Modeselektor has been through a number of iterations of setups – such that it’s a bit hard to actually tell what they’re calling a live setup. In this instance (at least according to the above video of them playing live last year), Modeselektor seems to be moving towards a Traktor setup with accompanying controllers.

It’s worth noting that Modeselektor/Moderat have released some of their tracks in the Stems format – so there’s a chance that they’re playing with that on a lot of their mixes – but without a better view of the laptop (or an interview) it’s hard to be sure.

Guti (live)

Photo via Guti’s Facebook page

Guti is another artist who seems to be constantly testing out new gear in his live rig – so far in recent photos and videos of sets we’ve seen him use:

Get a taste of what his live sets are like in the video below from 2015’s Awakenings festival:

Marc Houle

Marc Houle has always had an interest having a cutting-edge setup – remember this How I Play interview where he showed off a prototype of Livid’s CNTR:R before it came out? His current live setup seems to be stripped down to two pieces of gear running alongside Ableton Live:

Tale Of Us

Tale of Us at Extrema Outdoor Belgium (photo credit: Francesco Porfiri)

Tale Of Us is a DJ duo that takes back-to-back sets to a bit of an extreme – instead of collaborating on one set of music, each of them brings their own laptop and routes two channels each into a single mixer. It’s a pretty unique setup:


First off, check out the above video to watch Magda play in a hot air balloon – they recorded this set using a 360º camera, which is pretty fun to watch. Magda uses unique controllers from a collaboration – 4midiLoop – Faderfox and Glanzman DDS. Magda even helped design these controllers! Her setup is:

Know of an artist playing Movement this weekend whose setup deserves to be featured here? Let us know in the comments, and upvote your favorites, and we’ll feature them! 

artist gear setupBjarkichris liebingdewalta & mike shannongeargutilive actsmaceo plexmagdamatadormovementtale of usunique gear
Comments (45)
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  • ChaosOverkill

    Nothing beats live sequencing and effects. Nothing.

    The setups that are pre-made ableton sequencing and some FX work are just as stale as CDJ’s.

  • Seth Hollender

    When Magda was setting up to play after Heidi at Movement she pulled out a pair of Kontrol D2’s.

  • Josh C.

    I don’t believe he’s playing movement, but Legowelt has a pretty sweet live setup.

  • Oddie O'Phyle

    Maceo Plex… I miss Maetrik.

  • t jones

    errm, magda , balloon, hello????? why is anyone discussing anything else….mind = blown!

  • Sandeep Kumar

    Kinda surprised no DJM2000 or Allen & Heath Xone DB4…. have DJ’s given up on those?

    • B

      The Xone db4 never took off as “dj standard” it is only used by a hand full of dj’s just as the Djm 2000.

  • AuralCandy.Net

    Nice article. Whenever I see a DJ use anything else than the usual Pioneer CDJ-2000 + DJM-900 setup, my curiosity goes up a couple of notches.

    Logically speaking, the hardware should not matter since it’s the music what counts, but often people who have unique hardware needs tend to have a more unique musical delivery too.

    This is of course completely subjective and a matter of perception, so don’t take this statement too seriously 🙂

    • Sandeep Kumar

      not really, but the DJM900 has pretty bad sound quality, the Xone 92 sounds a lot cleaner… you agree there’s a difference when you listen to music on good speakers vs bad speakers right? same concept with mixers, they make a huge difference

      • AuralCandy.Net

        That’s not quite what I meant. Or course component quality matters in terms of sound quality, that’s obvious. I was going more the lines of “hardware X does not make one a better DJ”.

        • CUSP

          Indeed all of the gear that isn’t a controller listed here are just options for people to enhance their sets in whatever way they want… and no amount of gear makes someone a better (or worse) DJ. Although a good soundcard will help a little.

  • Tim Maughan

    So this is about Movement and you couldn’t find anyone from Detroit to profile? Anybody not white? Sigh. Disappointing.

    • Ean Golden

      That’s a pretty good point sir, look for an update later today.

      • AuralCandy.Net

        No, it’s not a good point actually. Not everything is about racial/gender/whatever equality. This article is about interesting and unique setups, not about equal representation of ethnicities and whatnot.

        In the future, please feel free to concentrate on the actual topic and NOT worry about giving each group a equal representation. It’s really not your job nor your duty.

        These days too many people are just looking for excuses to be offended at any given opportunity.

        • Sandeep Kumar

          true, not everything is about race, but when there’s so many strong acts from Detriot & so many strong acts that aren’t White I think it’s fair to ask why they weren’t noticed.
          Detroit’s techno scene comes from a background of diverse acts (Derrick May, Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson, etc) who push the boundaries so I get why someone would notice that

          • AuralCandy.Net

            I’d guess a big factor would be what kind of research material was available at the time etc. I very much doubt that somebody made a deliberate editorial decision to rule the aforementioned artists out.

          • CUSP

            While true, there appear to be no “artists of color” in the article, that only speaks to how the author did their research, not about some hidden racial agenda. Did we also not notice females were surprisingly underrepresented?

          • Tim Maughan

            Ah, finally we can agree on something. Two things in fact. Yep, there’s clearly no ‘racial agenda’ because that’s the sort of dumb thing only illiterate Trump supporters actually accuse people of, and yep the research done *was* sadly lacking. Because even a cursory glance at the line up reveals many non-white artists using interesting set-ups. So good to have agreement from a fellow SJW!

        • Tim Maughan

          It’s sad you don’t understand or appreciate the rich, exciting, diverse heritage of the music the city of Detroit (alongside Chicago, NYC and other places) has given to you, that you claim to love. If you did perhaps you wouldn’t come with such a stereotypically short-sighted, ignorant dismissal. Get yourself schooled.

          • robin

            Well, mosly peeps from europe are pushing techno into new spheres atm. And in europe most of people happen to have white skin… I respect the heritage from chicago/detroit, but berlin is cooking it up hotter than ever (;

          • AuralCandy.Net

            Oh please, why don’t you take your patronizing high horse and shove it. Just because certain artists were not mentioned in THIS PARTICULAR article, it’s not a sign of systemic dismissal nor lack of appreciation from DJTT’s part – or from my part either, for that matter. How about YOU get schooled on not being such stereotypical little social justice warrior looking for an excuse bitch and moan.

          • Oddie O'Phyle

            Detroit techno wouldn’t be what it is without an Ontario connection, even now the line up reflects it.

          • CUSP

            Hmm, you seem to think race matters… why? Would Carl Cox suck if he was White? How about Grandmaster Flash? Please stop using race as a thing to divide people. Could this article have chosen a more diverse path, sure, but the essence was rooted good people doing good things with music… and selling some gear at a discount.

          • Tim Maughan

            I don’t know if Grandmaster a Flash would suck if he was white, but he wouldn’t have been an important figure in the creation of hip hop. Because hip hop wasn’t created in white neighbourhoods.

            The same is true about the creation of techno. It wasn’t created in white neighbourhoods initially.

            This is why race is important when talking about the history and heritage of dance music. Ignoring or whitewashing it is to erase history. I’m anti that, surprisingly.

          • CUSP

            Find me one neighborhood that’s completely one ethnic heritage that makes good music. You’re doing the opposite of Whitewashing, you’re ignoring that any other culture or heritage contributed to the rise of Techno, and that’s also not acceptable. Techno and House came from a love of music and people, not from racial divides.

          • Tim Maughan

            Amazing. You’ve managed to take my calls for racial inclusion in an article and twisted it into accusing me of encouraging racial division. Wow. Only on the Internet.

          • DrüMünkey

            Dear lord dude, give it a rest…

      • Tim Maughan

        Thanks Ean, looking forward to it. Movement was the first time I saw anyone use D2s out in the wild (Kenny Larkin and Kevin Saunderson), and last year Carl Craig and DJ Stingray did a hybrid vinyl/modular synth set. The Detroit guys might be getting old but they still like to push boundaries 🙂

    • drno

      black people gave away the music, really. barely anyone does it anymore. you have a few of the same names from like 30 years ago but most of them are VINYL ONLY crusty types. this was about current methods of playing and the people using the technology to do it.

  • culture_drone

    He doesn’t really play festivals but Jack Dangers [Meat Beat Manifesto, Tino Corp] has had some really unusual performance setups, he plays a lot of MBM shows primarily using a midi drum kit integrated with a lot of Ableton but I also saw him DJ at one of the old Future Primitive Sound parties, he had some kind of really early timcode vinyl synced to video setup [keep in mind this was almost 15 years ago] with a lot of extra boxes.

    • DrüMünkey

      I’d really like to see what he’s doing with the drum rig you describe. A bit of google-foo resulted in nothing. Have link? Please? 🙂

  • Johnny Vasiliadis

    Why all of them have mixer of choice Xone 92 and not let’s say Pioneer DJM 900 nxs? And only Guti has an audio interface? what about the rest? Xone 92 doesn’t have a sound card does it?

    • AuralCandy.Net

      Maybe they like the 4-band EQs 🙂

      You’re right, Xone:92 doesn’t have an audio interface.

    • Spacecamp

      Likely because many of them use the dual send/returns, or the 4-band EQs.
      Guti was the only one where the audio interface was obvious – they’re much harder to identify than control surfaces, which tend to be more visible

    • Sandeep Kumar

      Sound quality on the DJM900 is bad… Filters on the Xone 92 are a lot better also

      • Johnny Vasiliadis

        Ean was playing with a djm900 in Enter. Ibiza, ,can’t be that bad..

    • Sandeep Kumar

      For audio interfaces, the ones I see the most the RME Fireface 800 & Universal Audio Apollo if you’re interested

    • DJ boom boom

      Because the xone 92 is a top end mixer. It first came out in 2004 and is still used today by many many dj’s. How many gimmick pioneer mixers have come out in the last 12 years? And the filters on the xone 92 are way better the any of the pioneers.

      • Johnny Vasiliadis

        Thanks everybody for the responses, trying to figure out pro-level setup for a while now. Thanks DJtechtools for the great article.

  • thundercat

    was an interesting read… good stuff

  • Chuck

    This is the type of article that get me hooked. Unfortunately DJ Enferno, DJ Shiftee and Mark de Clive Lowe aren’t mentioned in this article. They push boundaries with complex innovative set-up and way more advanced musically.

    • Sandeep Kumar

      I’m sure Enferno & Shiftee aren’t playing at Movement

  • Fatlimey

    Great article, solid research.