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5 of the best machines to lift your live set

You need this live gear

  • Gavin Herlihy
  • 17 February 2020

1
OTO Machines BOUM

Running machines raw into a big system can be dangerous. This compressor/distortion unit safely squeezes all your elements together and adds nice grit via four distortion types, making it a hit with touring live techno acts like Surgeon and Karenn. With lo-and hi-cut filters and a noise gate.

£439, www.otomachines.com

2
Elektron Octatrack

Elektron’s swiss army knife is not perfect. It has a steep learning curve, switching between midi sequencing and sample playback can upset rhythm, and many artists use a controller to map parameters. But it’s popular thanks to its ability to function as a mixer and assignable cross-fader.

£1,037, www.elektron.se

Read this next: The 10 best music machines released in 2019

3
Arturia Drumbrute Impact

A proper drum machine can make your set truly live. There are many options, but size and ease of use are key. The Impact saves pattern/songs easily, has a huge kick sound, distortion on the master output and the sequencer’s Roller and Beat Repeater let you add fills on the fly.

£239, www.arturia.com

4
Boss RC-505 Looper

Playing live can be chaos, and great sounds can disappear into the ether forever unless you have some means of looping them. Record your best riffs onto five separate tracks and use the onboard effects to add additional interest.

£356, www.boss.info

Read this next: 5 of the best studio hacks

5
Behringer MS 101

Famed for its monstrous bass, three generations of producers swear by Roland’s SH 101 for its ease of use. If you can’t find an original, Behringer’s reboot, the MS101, is a worthy replacement – and if you need even smaller still, try Roland’s own Boutique remake, the SH-01A.

£252.36, www.behringer.com

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