Autechre preparing for live set (with Fennesz)

The concert took place as part of "Phonotaktik" electronic music festival here in Vienna, Austria, in the "Radio Music Hall". I was responsible for recording and live broadcasting the concert.

Setting up was quite relaxed. Autechre played together with Chrisitan Fennesz (a local Viennese electronic music hero) and Mr. Roedelius ( a german electromusic pioneer). Roedelius played acoustic piano and also played some of his prerecorded DAT tapes, Fennesz uses a G3 Powerbook with Max/MSP software and some guitar effects pedals.

I had only a few Inputs from stage, so from a recording point of view it was very easy. Autechre, Fennesz and Roedelius provided ready-made Stereo Mixes from their Mixers, so I only had to put up Mikes for the piano and some for the audience...

Autechre didnt even bring their own mixer, they used a Soundcraft Spirit which was around, but they were not too happy with Soundcraft, they would have prefered a Mackie. The 2 boys (sorry, I dont even know their names, shame...) are really well organized and are splitting duties and gear perfectly: one of them runs a MAC notebook with a NordLeadRack, the other one a PC powerbook with the NordModular. Also performance-wise they seem to split duties, the MAC with the NordLead seems to create the rhythmic texture, and the PC with the NordMod the Layered Sounds and all the effects.

Unfortunately i only had the ready mix from them, so I couldnt find out which signal comes from which box, but it seems the percussion noises come from the NordLead. On the MAC 1400 there was MAX running (but no MSP, of course, the 1400 is much too slow..) and it was triggering the Nordlead AND the Nordmodular. On the PC notebook there was the NordMod Editor running plus a software I think is called Granulab, but i dont know PC screens too well.....

The gear in detail:

NordMod connected to PC notebook via MOTU MicroExpress, plus a SONY MP-5 multi-effects box for delay etc. etc.... NordLead Rack with MAC 1400 via MidiMan "MACMAN" interface and a Peavy Faderbox.

.. and thats it!!!! I also couldnt believe they can do all their sounds live with this small setup, but its true!!! So dont run out buying new boxes you have it all in your hands..-))))))))))) Almost all the Inputs and Outputs of the boxes were connected, all 2 computer audio outs, the NM in+out and MIDI crossover between the 2 notebooks, also the MAC seemd to control the NordMOd.....

They had a Minidisc drive, but only for emergency backup, there was NO playback happening during the concert!!! Somehow the MAX software seems to be the backbone, providing complex rhythmical patterns which seem to vary random over time, to me it looked like they programmed several independet patterns which are then shuffeld around quasi-random but always very musical.... the MAX patch looked to me like a very sophisticated "auto-accompainment" box.

Photo 1
Photo 1 shows Autechre plus Christian Fennesz (person on right side) in front of our beautifull classical organ in our music hall, viewed from the audience.
Photo 2
Photo 2 is a view from the rear, you see Mr. Roedelius between and in front of the boys. right hand side is the NordLead/MAC operator, in the middle the Mixer and on the left the NordMOd/PC operator. On the far left its Fennesz again.
Photo 3
Photo 3 is a view from the side, the MAC upfront belongs to Fennesz, and seated is the one from Autechre who runs the Nordmod and the PC.
Photo 4
Photo 4 is closeup of the Nordmod, you can see all the connections.
Photo 5
Photo 5 shows the other side, with the Nord lead, the MAC and the Peavey faderbox. All the stuff on the floor did not belong to Autechre but to Mr. Roedelius.