Down the Production Hole with Matthias Tanzmann

Words by: Lisa Loco
Posted: 26/5/10 10:25

Down the Production Hole with Matthias Tanzmann An arty deep houser since the mid-90s, from Leipzig with love comes Distillery and Circoloco resident and chief twister of the Moon Harbour imprint, Matthias Tanzmann. His label celebrates a decade of dance this year and has just released some Luna City Express remixes and Martinez's new album. Meanwhile, over time, Matthias himself has released an album (Restless), several EPs, and a string of singles and DJ mixes, as well as being a prized remixer for the likes of Moby, Josh Wink and Booka Shade. He's also collaborated with other producers, including Daniel Stefanik, Steve Bug and Daniel Scholz (as Gamat 3000).

Of course, as a loop lovin' DJ, you can catch him at all the best joints this summer, and on the anniversary trail. But here he's back, after various Voice editorials and a podcast, getting down to speak up about his production tips. This includes detailing his archetypal hardware for techno-house heads, plus revealing that he's acquired a Rhodes electric piano. Classic. So read on to get your groove on with a highly-respected underground champ - welcoming Don Tanzmann...

First, can you tell us something about your frames of reference/what you think makes for a high quality electronic sound recording?
I think it is essential to leave the digital platforms to gain a deep and dimensional sound. Analogue mixdowns usually stand out from the thousands of rendered Ableton Live tracks. So even if people are only working inside the computer nowadays, good converters and a summing mixer will make a big difference and give a totally new impact to their productions.

What's your current music production set-up like?
Like most of my colleagues I like the hybrid style of using both software and hardware. In hardware I prefer to buy old stuff. Software-wise I am mainly using Ableton Live at the moment. I used to work on Cubase but changed a few years ago. I haven't changed much in the set-up as I am looking for a new studio room. Once I find it I will probably change to a Logic/Ableton combination. My mixdowns are done on a 32-channel Allen & Heath desk. Monitors are Beyer Dynamics.

What is/are your most essential tool/s of the trade within that set-up?
I love the classic Roland stuff: TR-808, TR-909 and TR-606 for drums. SH-101 for bass sounds or whatever is needed - and not to forget the Juno-106. Besides that I recently got a Fender Rhodes Mark II, in mint condition. This was like a longtime dream come true, especially for somebody coming from a deep house background.

Digitally I am using Native Instruments plug-ins like Battery and Reaktor a lot. I was quite late discovering the powers of the UAD. I got it for a few months now and I am still impressed by its sound.

Can you reveal a secret about your production technique/s?
There is not much of secret about it. Like most producers of electronic music all ideas are developed within the process of making music itself. That is also what I like so much about it. I am listening through all kinds of music and take small sample bits, which I twist and rearrange into something new. From time to time I record drums and sounds through the microphone to generate a more organic feel in my productions.

Do you have a general top tip for budding producers?
Try to avoid using preset sounds and invest some time in learning about the technical backgrounds of studio work. Get some hardware and good monitor speakers.

Finally, what's your take on the future of electronic music production?
I am sure there will be even more people producing music than nowadays. The easier it gets, by further developed software solutions, the more people will do it. This will certainly result into an even bigger flood of new tracks every week. Hopefully there will be some more outstanding music again. 

Matthias Tanzmann
Latest Releases:
(mhr046) chano  // Moon Harbour Recordings
(mhr045) martinez, seuil & matthias tanzmann, moon harbour joints vol.1  // Moon Harbour Recordings
(mhr010-3) v.a., moon harbour inhouse vol. 3 // Moon Harbour Recordings

Next Gig:
30 May - Circoloco @ MuMu - Liverpool (UK)
31 May - Circoloco @ DC10 Opening - Ibiza (ES)   
03 June - Grashüpfer Open Air Festival - Karlsruhe (DE)
04 June - Harry Klein - Munich (DE)   
05 June - Below - Birmingham (UK)   
11 June - Salon Wien / Hofstallungen - Wien (AT)
12 June - Bocking Street Warehouse - London (UK)   
14 June - Circoloco @ DC10 - Ibiza (ES)   
17 June - Moon Harbour Sonar Showcase @ The One w/ Martinez, Luna City Exress, Dan Drastic and more - Barcelona (ES)   
20 June - Terassa / Concorde Atlantique - Paris (FR)
25 June - Sumol Summer Fest - Lisbon (PT)   
26 June - Moon Harbour @ Distillery - Leipzig (DE)
02 July - Cocoon Club - Frankfurt, Hessen (DE)   
03 July - Back To Basics - Leeds (UK)   
04 July -  Love Family Park - Hanau (DE)
10 July - Littlefield - New York (US)   
16 July - Calypso - Tunis (TN)
17 JulY - Melt! Festival - Ferropolis (DE)   
24 July - Circoloco Southhampton - Southhampton (UK)   
26 July - Cavo Paradiso - Mykonos (GR)   
30 July - Ohju - Cadiz (ES)    
31 July - Nature One - Kastellaun (DE)   
06 August - Aquasella Festival - Arriondas (ES)   
07 August - Fuse - London (UK)   
14 August - Merkwuerdiges Verhalten Am Strand - Offenbach (DE)   
14 August - Merkwuerdiges Verhalten After Party @ Cocoon - Frankfurt (DE)   
21 August - Circoloco @ Loft - Mannheim (DE)   
28 August - Voltt Loves Summer Festival - Amsterdam (NL)
04 September - Electric Zoo Festival - New York (US)   
10 September - Kecel Festival - Kecel (HU)   
11 September - Alte Börse - Zürich (CH)

Playing Now Chano By Matthias Tanzmann on Moon Harbour
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