Born in Frankfurt, Michael Klein‘s love of techno began with regular trips to the pivotal club nights of his home town Cocoon and Robert Johnson. Relocating to Berlin, Michael’s musical experiments quickly found a calling on DJ Emerson’s Micro.fon imprint, releasing as part of duo Klein & Meister before debuting his own brand of dubbed out techno.
With a passion for heavy grooves and a sound that explores gritty textures to more experimental affairs, Michael’s productions have been supported by artists like Laurent Garnier, Chris Liebing, Speedy J and Dubfire, whilst finding home on Pan-Pot’s Second State label and becoming a core member of its family.
Most recently responsible for the third edition of Second State’s collaborative series HUB, Michael’s first combined effort saw four tracks built for dancefloor destruction with artists such as Pan-Pot, Amelie Lens, Stephan Hinz, and Roman Lindau, using FaceTime studio sessions and in person encounters to create the final results.
In celebration of the release we catch up with Michael in his studio, exploring the machines most central to his creation process.
As I would call my tracks quite groovy and heavy on drum or rhythm programming, I love to use the TR-09 as a first place for sketching things out and later on recording the parts into my arrangement in Ableton. I was using VST plugins before but none of the plugins are even comparable to something where you can push physical buttons or twist some knobs.
I’m already a big fan of the TR-09 and obviously always wanted to have an original 808. As good ones are either very hard to find or overly expensive I was very happy when Roland gave me some hands on time with the TR-08. Now I’m also using this a lot to sketch out ideas or to add some hand modulated hats or claps into my tracks.
I’m a Maschine user since day one. I’m using it as a VST within Ableton pretty much all the time. It is one of my key sources when it comes to rhythm programming. Each sound which is coming out of Maschine I am routing into an individual channel in Ableton and then I further arrange and modulate it from there.
Since some time Maschine also has its own drum synths which made it an even more essential tool for me to come up with modulated and moving drums. Now with the latest design of the Maschine MK3 it is also a great piece of eye-candy that I never hide from my studio desk.
The LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt SSD drive is always on the road with me. It is my studio in a pocket. As portable as all the other units are sometimes it does not make sense to take more hardware on the road. Thats why this hard drive is holding most of my active projects, my sample libraries and my plugins which allows me to always note down some sketches on the road. It is super fast and so far very reliable.
The Novation Launch Control XL is my controller of choice when it comes to being able to spontaneously automate some parameters. It has a good ratio between buttons, knobs and faders so that most of the time I don’t really need anything else when it comes to writing some automations into my arrangements.
Michael Klein’s Hub 3 is out now on Second State. Order it here.