M83 ‘s live set-up and the Novation Zero SL MKII at the heart of it
The Novation Zero SL MKII controller has been quietly finding its way into some of the world’s leading artists’ live and recording rigs, ever since its launch. From Magnetic Man to Madeon, this compact yet powerful controller has been providing immediate hands on control for some of the most complex electronic set-ups. Few compare to the rig used by M83, however…
What does it take to control five laptops?
M83, founded by the Frenchman, Anthony Gonzalez, has become one of the most talked about musical acts of the last 12 months. Formed in 2001 in Antibes, M83 ‘s music is heavily inspired and informed by synth pop acts of the 1980s and ‘shoegaze’ indie acts of the early 1990s.
As you may expect with influences like these, the music is dense, multi-layered and complex. In a live scenario, there is an awfully large amount to be controlled to keep things tight and under control, as a result.
The man with the task of doing just this is Hugo Marcotte. As published on the Novation website, Marcotte has an incredible array of gear to keep M83 ‘s live show on rails. Five (5!) laptops are connected to various onstage controllers, and Gonzalez’s modular synth system.
The computers, each running Ableton Live, are used to run playout systems accompanying the band. According to the website, a custom made software patch strips out superfluous MIDI messages, keeping MIDI data lean, and everything synchronised.
At the heart of all this is the ludicrously versatile Novation Zero SL MKII controller. Employed to control monitor mixes, the controller‘s bank of faders and buttons are to control a monitor mix. This is the first time I’ve heard of a Novation Zero SL being used for this purpose, but it comes as no surprise.
With eight touch sensitive pots and eight touch sensitive rotary encoders, along with thirty-two buttons, eight faders and a cross fader, this is a seriously ‘tooled up’ little box. Plus, with Automap compatibility, if you’re using a computer with one of the major DAW packages, there’s no time wasted setting up controller maps.
If you have five laptops that you’d like to get control of, or would just like one of the best and most flexible controllers for your DAW set-up, call our stores or customer service team (01925 582420) or order a Novation Remote Zero SL MKII online today.
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Joe is a contributor for the Dawsons Music blog. Specialising in product reviews and crafting content to help and inspire musicians of all musical backgrounds.