Hailing from Canada but based in Berlin, Minimal Violence has been ripping up the rule book for a while now. We asked them to show us around their Berlin studio.
If you want a journey into all corners of techno then the Minimal Violence Bandcamp is worth a visit. The duo delivers a relentless attack on the audio spectrum and a smorgasbord of sounds and influences all neatly sitting under a ‘techno’ moniker. But, how, why and where do they make these sounds?
We asked them to show us around their studio in an attempt to make some sense of their productions!
Hi Attack! Welcome to Our Berlin Studio
Since moving to Berlin, it’s our first time to have a home studio.
Although our studio in Vancouver was close enough to home, the ability to just walk into the next room when you wake up is really nice. When we moved here a very skilled friend of ours was staying with us for a few days and installed the acoustic panels for us.
It’s the first time I’ve really done any treatment in a room, it was definitely necessary though and there was a noticeable difference after installing. One hard aspect of moving overseas was having to choose which pieces of gear to leave behind. Bigger things had to wait at home, with the intention of picking up on a trip but then the pandemi happened.
Out of the pieces we left behind the Juno 60 is definitely the synth I think about the most, it was heavily featured on our recordings over the years, pretty much everything before the past two years had at least some Juno element in it.
Previous studios have always been built around a live, jam-oriented workflow for Lida and myself, but this studio is a bit more focused on the production environment.
Ensoniq EPS-16 & A Box Of Random Mirage Disks
This recent addition has been a total workhorse in the studio.
Randomly I found this on eBay Kleinanzeigen in Berlin and when I contacted the seller it happened to be a friend from Vancouver selling it!
I have the external output on my soundcard routing to the EPS to record samples on the fly, I still haven’t fully dove into the sequencing capabilities of the unit, partially because some the display is burnt out so it gets a bit confusing, but there is a ton you can do to mangle samples and just the sound quality alone is worth is.
Also, I use this as my main midi keyboard. The Mirage Disks I found online shortly after buying the EPS. They are the cheesiest sounds but through a bit of FX, they can be mangled to perfection.
Still at the core of all the live sets and the most intuitive tool for writing and sequencing new ideas. Whenever I feel stuck writing in the studio I head to the MPC and write with a live set in mind.
This helps channel the energy of live performance that can be at times hard to connect with when removed from the energy feedback of a live audience.
Eventide H3000 & Thermionic Culture Culture Vulture
Since building my home studio, I have put a lot more focus on post-processing effects. The Eventide H3000 can really do just about anything and I spend a lot of time mangling sounds and building sonic landscapes with this.
One of my favourite effects is the Stutter and I still haven’t figured out how to control it, or if that is even possible! But it creates rhythmic contortions that I could have never even imagined.
The Culture Vulture just sounds great, either if you are adding just a bit of it at the end of the mix to glue everything together or slamming some drums through it in overdrive. It goes really hard!
Mackie 1202 VLZ
I’ve been told this mixer is shit but I still run everything through it and slam the gains on the drums. To my ears, it sounds good and to be honest, that’s all that really matters!
Everybody needs a 909 clone! This is one of the original clones!
Access Virus A
Another key aspect of Minimal Violence live sets.
Also heavily featured on InDreams. The majority of our basslines come from the Access Virus A – as well as the trancy high synths like in June Anthem. Live we use the multi-timbral mode to sequence multiple patches at once from the MPC.
It is also one of the most playable synths in the live setup, easy to switch between patches for quick filter manipulations.
Pull Up Bar
Hanging is the perfect way to clear the mind after working on a track for too long.