Welcome back to Do It Live, where artists break down their live performance setups and walk us through how they perform live. This time, we are joined by Robert Babicz, the acid house pioneer many know as Rob Acid. Over the course of his lengthy career, his live performance setup has evolved tremendously, and his current kit is quite a sight to behold. Although most live performances have been canceled, we were still keen to learn more about his rig ahead of his upcoming album Utopia, out November 13th on Systematic Recordings.
Words by Robert Babicz
For the last few years whilst playing live I have mainly been using the Ableton and a DS1 controller. However, I was always feeling a bit limited when it comes to improvisation and touching knobs. Experiencing happy accidents during a performance is a fantastic tool, I also use this method at the studio. So I decided to experiment with different setups and currently, I came up with this:
Ableton Live with DS1, Pioneer SP16, TB303, TR909, Dreadbox Hypnosis, Behringer Cat, and part of my Modular system. The idea is to have loops and fragments from Ableton Live and the Sp16 little snippets or chords or breakbeats. I was then having the Tb303 running into a SansAmp Bass DI and into the fantastic Dreadbox Hypnosis.
The TB303 is controlling the CAT thru CV/GATE, or I use an old trick from the 90s using the trigger output on the TR909 as my gate; this is allowing me to play the CAT with other timing than the original sequence.
The modular is also getting the CV/GATE from the TB303 and also the Midiclock. Kilpatrick K4815 Sequencer is in control of parameters within the tempo. I love the QPAS and MIMEOPHON from MAKENOISE as an amazing stereo effect duo. The mighty TR909 is techno in the purest form; you can use this in every situation on the dance-floor. Everything goes into a mixer with some extra guitar pedals in the effect sends. I am playing around with this setup and experimenting; we will see when I can finally test this on the road and if it makes sense. Back in the 90s, when I played as ROB ACID, I was always taking machines and improvising everything, even programming all the patterns on stage.
Grab your copy of Robert Babicz Utopia here.