when we met award-winning techno and trance DJ / producer Joris Delacroix last year, we asked him about his general attitude towards the equipment.
“To be honest, having a lot of gear is cool and it allows you to shine with other producers” he told us, “but the more time goes by, the more I start to think that the gear is not really so important, the only important thing is what your sound does to people.
“It doesn’t matter whether it’s made with sophisticated equipment or not.”
Which is easy to say for Delacroix, as you will discover during a tour of his current studio installation, below …
Ableton Live 11
“For production, the DAW I use is Ableton Live 11. I have used several different software in my career.
“I started on Fruity Loops, while some of my first published tracks were done on Logic Pro. In 2015, I switched to Cubase, and finally moved to Live last year.
“I think this is where I’m going to stay. I use a lot of external plugin suites: Arturia, Native Instruments, Waves, FabFilter, U-He, Soundtoys, ShaperBox, Output… etc.”
“As the main controller I use Ableton’s Push2. I love working with it because it allows me to quickly add tracks and get ideas.
“I also use it a lot to sequence my drums. I also use another controller from Special-Waves when I need more. It’s a modular controller, which means any button, button or fader can be removed or placed differently, I really like that concept. “
Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S88
“The master keyboard is that big S88 from Native Instruments. I started playing music by learning the piano when I was a kid.
“So I like this keyboard because of the 88 heavy keys, which make it look like a real piano. And I also like that I can control almost all of my plugins directly from it with the NKS function. “
Moog Under 37
“The subsequent Moog (or Sub37) is definitely my favorite. I’ve had it since its release in 2014 and fell in love with it straight away. It has a powerful, efficient and catchy sound that is very often the starting point of my music. parts .
“This synth is now very common, but I have a good knowledge of it and I can still create cool and unexpected melodies with it. I use it a lot with the paraphony and the looped envelope function.”
Access Virus TI
“The Access Virus TI was the very first hardware synth I used, when a friend lent it to me in 2009. It’s a digital synth, so there is a very wide range of possibilities for use. .
“You can do pretty much anything with it, basslines, leads, pads, effects, arpeggios… Once you have mastered the Matrix section which allows you to modulate almost any function, you can make the most of it. . “
Sequential Pro 3
“I had this one recently. Pro 3 by Sequential. It’s my new live synth and I’m having a lot of fun using it. It has 2 analog oscillators + one digital, and all of that can be played with paraphony! I have very interesting and unexpected results with it.
“It’s also very handy to use with the built-in effects and the 2 additional digital envelopes that can modulate each parameter. With the many distortion and feedback effects, it can get really crazy!”
“The Moog Matriarch is my first step into the world of modular synths. This one is semi-modular, so it’s perfect if, like me, you need to learn modular voices.
“It has a very peculiar sound, which gets dirty quickly (in a good way). I usually use it to do destroyed leads or effects, but it can also provide some really good bass lines.”
The Korg MS-20 is a classic from the 1970s. This one is a reissue of the original with new features including a USB connection (which is more convenient than the original CV / Gate control).
It’s also semi-modular, but for me the main interest of this synth is its raw filters and basic / brutal oscillators. I often add distortion and delay to it to achieve a raw “space-destroying” sound.
Another Moog, the One-8. This one is not easy to use. At first I didn’t like it very much, because with the Moog synths I’m used to, I get exactly what I’m looking for. The Moog One requires you to work it out, and you have to work it hard because it packs like a million features.
But once you put in the effort, you are directly rewarded with rich, powerful sound. The modulation possibilities on it are almost endless, so the sounds I get with are very original.
Killer hardware effects chain
And finally, here is a chain of hardware effects that I made with different devices. The blues and yellows are respectively BIM and BAM by OTO Machines. BIM is a delay, BAM is a reverberation.
At the top of the photo you can see 2 small hardware compressors, RNC and RNLA from FMR Audio. Everything happens in the Mackie mixer on the right. I use this chain to get spontaneous modulated effects, and also to layer my tracks when I finalize them.