Robert DeLong interview and gear tour

Fast-rising star of the electronic dance movement in the US, Robert DeLong, talks FM through some choice items from his favourite items from his intriguing live rig. Don't miss the video above for the tour.

You're known for new ways of controlling your synths when you play live. Could you elaborate on some of the intriguing controllers you've adapted for your live performances?
"The most recent addition would be the Midi Fighter I got when I went into the DJ Tech Tools office. It's basically real arcade buttons mounted on a grid and they can be assigned to control whatever you want. It sends MIDI and comes with a software interface that allows you to do a lot of cool things. It has gyros built into it so you can also tilt it and move it around, which also sends MIDI information to your effects or whatever. I use it with samples and, you know, if I tilt it back it's a delay, to the right it's a bit-crusher or to the left it pitches it down. I haven't used it enough yet to fully explore all the banks."

If FM gave you £5000 tomorrow, what kit would you buy?
"Actually, I think the first thing on the list would be to invest in a tower or a Mac Pro. After that, I guess I'd maybe pay someone to design some custom MIDI equipment for me…I really want to get some giant X/Y controllers that I can use my hands on. (laughs) Maybe back-projecting them would be really cool in a Minority Report kind of a way."

That provides a neat segue into FM asking what significance the orange 'X' motif that features so prominently on your equipment.
I wish that there was a really profound story about it but it just started when my girlfriend painted and orange 'X' on my headphones and people just liked it and started identifying it as my thing. The reason we chose orange is that it's the best colour for showing up under black-light."

How are you with EDM as a descriptive term?
I don't know, people always use it and I don't mind it although it's almost redundant to my mind, really. I think that people get pretty stuck on genres…I understand that it's a way for people to talk about music but sometimes things like 'EDM' comes with certain connotations that might make people think a certain way about it the music without actually hearing it, which is a little scary!"

For the full interview check out the upcoming issue of Future Music

Future Music

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