In pictures: Sébastien Léger
17th Nov 2011 | 10:05
He's the casual French master of house and tech, blessed with golden ears and possibly the most bizarre monitoring choice we've ever seen.
Sébastien Léger has been releasing records internationally for over a decade, but in the last four years, Léger has become a globally recognised force in dance music production. His huge solo club hits like Hit Girl, collaboration with Chris Lake on their Mistakes EP and vast amount of remix work has marked him as one of the club's leading producers, with a golden touch when it came to big, spacious and melodic productions.
Léger's parents were both musicians and he himself was classically trained on piano and percussion. For the listener, this nod towards formal musical training might be something that's very obvious considering the melodic nature and evolving arrangements, but his ultra casual personality means it isn't something that Léger thinks important.
His studio is similar to others we’ve seen in the tall and thin townhouses of Amsterdam – located in the roof space it’s a small but packed affair, with plenty of hardware and personality.
“I want to buy an 808 again because I had the 808, 606, 707 – all of them – but I had to sell them when I needed the money. Now I will probably buy them back at twice the price. I’m never looking for the
next plug-in or anything, just hardware machines.”
"This TB-303 has been a little bit modified. I have an original here but it’s not MIDI. This is so I can program my basslines in my sequencer rather than the built-in step sequencer which is a nightmare.
"I just put some notes, like it’s a plug-in and it makes a nice bassline. There’s an overdrive knob which is a very subtle but there’s more switches and knobs for really changing the sound. And you can program the filter over MIDI so I draw in shapes in the sequencer. There’s no other TB-303 that can do that.
"Then I record the audio from the machine and I’ve got a nice clean bit of audio for looping or chopping. I can even add swing which the original doesn’t have. There’s endless possibilities."
“I don’t know what to say about these Kinyo speakers. I bought them over ten years ago and they were the first speakers that I had for my computer so I used to listen to all my music on them.
"So I knew them so well by the time I started to use them to make music. These and Ableton are the perfect combination for me.”
Nord Lead 3
“This is my favourite synth – I know it very well and I’ve done all my famous tracks using it.”
TL Audio Fat Track
“I’m not using this for sub-mixing or stemming, I’m just using it as a monitor controller.”
Future Retro Revolution
“Here’s another acid machine. It’s funny because I don’t actually make that many acid tracks. This was actually my first acid machine and is really cool and has a great programming interface.”
Electrix Filter Queen
“Yes, it's true! Before there were computer plug-ins, we had to filter things for real.”
Vermona DRM-1 mkII
“This is very good but it has no MIDI so if you move it, that’s it. It’s good for the really crispy weird analogue sounds.”
“It doesn’t get used much any more because it’s so much easier to use the Arturia plug-in that sounds pretty much the same. It’s a great piece of gear though and I’ll use it for the live show.”
Mode Machines x0xb0x
“This is a fake but sort of real TB-303, with the addition of MIDI it’s so much easier to program and costs less so is a great alternative.”
Boss Voice Transformer VT-1
"This is an amazing little device for making the robot voice effect, it’s connected up but I don’t use it much anymore.”
"This is the controller for my live sets and I’ve made my own lovely customised design. It uses the colours mapped exactly to the colours I use when I’m making my tracks in Live.”