How I Play: Octave One Shows Off Their Live Techno Setup

In today’s video, we take a closer look at the impressive live rig used by notorious techno savants and live performers, Octave One. The duo is famous for their live shows, which they’ve perfected for over 20 years. Watch the full interview in today’s How I Play feature, and get a sense of what it takes to run such a multi-faceted setup.

Octave One

This collaborative sibling duo has made music for a long time together – over two decades. The brothers, Lenny and Lawrence Burden, have their onstage relationship mapped out with precision. Lawrence runs a 32-channel mixing board onstage, while Lenny is at the helm of a wide array of sequencers and synthesizers. There’s enough analog and MIDI gear in the booth that it feels more like a studio, and less like a touring setup – but they take this live rig around the world for shows.

Watch Full-Length Octave One Sets On This Rig

Wondering how it all comes together, but don’t see a tour date for Octave One near you soon? Don’t worry – there’s a number of full-length sets online. Here are two sets that use a setup very close to what’s featured in this How I Play:

Octave One’s Producitons

As you might expect with this big of a setup, Lenny and Lawrence also do a fair amount of studio production work as well. They’ve just put out a brand new remix of Dave Clarke’s “The Wolf” – released on Skint Records. Listen to it below:

Special thanks to the former club Mighty in San Francisco for allowing us to film on location during Octave One’s sound check. 

Ableton Live TipsHow I Playinterviewlive productionoctave onetechno
Comments (8)
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  • Remco Peggeman

    Really cool video! Nice work DJTT. Only thing is that I saw a typo, the header is “Octave One’s Producitons” haha!

  • King Porteous

    Really interesting video, at first I was a bit overwhelmed by the amount of gear especially when they started referring to the different layers of sequencers!! But seems like every part of their set up is purely functional it would be easy to judge it as indulgent but clearly everything has its place and purpose.
    Sounds incredible in action, awesome stuff!!!!


    • Spacecamp / Dan

      It’s VERY overwhelming. I was standing right there and he was explaining it to me….and I still had to watch the video again to really start to get how it all worked together 🙂

  • Mat Lomas

    Never heard so much sense spoken in ten minutes. great video

  • Rolfski

    As impressive as it looks, I have yet to be convinced that more gear leads to better gigs

    • Spacecamp / Dan

      Absolutely. But Octave One certainly didn’t go out and buy this entire setup and start touring with it. It’s a slow building process for them – adding a new piece, trying it out, incorporating it in.

      More gear doesn’t mean a better gig – but years of practice and experience often do!

  • SEJU

    Excellent piece! I got their Point-Blank EP and an EP on 31 Records. Great to see them talking about their work! respect