In The Studio with Lars Behrenroth
Los Angeles, California resident Lars Behrenroth is the head honcho of Deepershades Recordings which he established in 2008. He has been a Club DJ since 1986, involved in radio since 1996 (currently with his own show ‘Deeper shades Of House’ via deepershades.net) as well as producing and remixing for labels such as Freerange, Offering, Peppermint Jam, Maya, Ocha, Atjazz Recording Company & many more.
We caught up with Lars Behrenroth EXCLUSIVELY to talk about his studio for the next installment of ‘In The Studio’
What equipment do you have in your studio? (full studio kit list).
- iMac 27” 2.93 Ghz Intel Quad Core i7
- Apple 24” Monitor
- 2 x Macbook Pro 15” (one is 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, the other I forgot) I keep these around to work on older tunes done on older versions of Logic.
- 1 G-Drive 2TB
- 2 x G-Drive 3TB (one only for back up of my internal and mobile drives)
- 1 G-Drive 4TB
- 2 mobile Seagate 500GB (one for all my music to DJ and one with sample libs etc to produce on the road)
- Tascam US-1800 Audio / MIDI Interface
- Tascam DA-20MKII DAT
- JBL LSR 4328P Monitor Speakers
- M-Audio SBX10 Subwoofer
- Mackie 802-VLZ3 & CAD Audio 4-Channel Stereo Headphone Amp
- Sony MDR-7506 Headphones
- MXL 2001 (this is my main mic and the one I use when I record my Deeper Shades Of House radio show)
- MXL Cr-24 Black
- Kurzweil K1000 (which I mainly use as midi keyboard)
- Maschine Studio
I also own a Roland JV2080, EMU ESI-32, Novation BassStation and a 32 channel Mitec console (the exact one on which Knee Deep mixed their legendary Afro Medusa “Pasilda” remix) but all that has been boxed up since our last move 4 years ago
- Logic Pro 9
- Bias Peak 7
- NI Komplete 7 w/ several expansion packs
- Rob Papen Albino 3
- Muon Tau
- Arturia Arp 2600 V
- Arturia CS-80V
- Arturia Minimoog V
- Arturia Moog Modular V2
- IK Samplemoog
- Izotope Iris
- D-16 Drumazon
- NI Kore (the only reason why I’m still running Logic 9, it’s not supported in the newest Mac OS and I have too * many trax unfinished where I used this)
- Korg Legacy Collection (including M1, MonoPoly, MS-20, Polysix & WaveStation)
- Xfer Records Cthulhu
- Novation BassStation
- Maschine 2.0
- Izotope Nectar
- Waves Collection
- Ustream Producer Pro
- Logitech C920 Cam
- Logitech Broadcaster Cam
- Macbook Pro 13” w/ Traktor Scratch Pro
- Traktor Audio 10
- NI Kontrol X1
- Vestax R-1 Premium
- 2 Electrix EQ-Killer
- Pioneer EFX 500
- 2 Technics SL-1200MK2
- 2 CDJ-900
NOTE: Click the images for large versions
Lars Behrenroth Interview
What is your favorite piece of equipment to use in the studio & why?
The obvious answer has to be my computer. It is the center of EVERYTHING I do. Outside of that it is most certainly my DJ rotary mixer by Vestax, the R-1 Premium (I think Louie Vega actually helped Vestax develop this one). The rotaries require a decent amount of torque and it feels like I’m f$#^%ng the music every time I’m mixing. The sound is amazing, too.
Give us some insight into your production process. How do you typically begin constructing a track?
I wish I had figured out a formula by now but it’s always a different approach. When working on a remix I usually start laying out the parts of the original I’d like to keep and go from there. Starting an original track sometimes begins with a simple beat and occasionally with a certain sound I came across while browsing through one of my many plugins. From there I try to come up with variations of the beat, chord progressions and begin rough arrangements. Throughout this process I am already EQing and mixing the single tracks as much as possible so I can save some time when mixing down the final song.
What piece of studio equipment or production process defines the Lars Behrenroth sound?
Most of my remixes and originals vary in style but if there is a definable Lars Behrenroth sound it probably comes from my mix downs. It is the thing I spend most time on when making music and it is also the thing that makes it hardest for me to say ‘It’s done’. I keep listening back and always find some things that could sound better, need more space in the mix, could use a different reverb and and and …
What piece of hardware/software elevated your production to a higher level & how?
That’s hard to pin down. I think each version of Logic has helped me get better and better. I’ve been using Logic since version 2.6 so a lot has happened since then. My subwoofer SBX10 has helped me a lot with my mix downs. It’s great to mix on just near or midfield monitors, but in my opinion when you make music that’s eventually played in clubs, you want to have the cleanest mix in the bottom end possible and my current JBL monitors and my previous KRK K-Rok had me guessing most of the time.
What fresh equipment have you recently added to the lab?
I finally got Native Instrument’s Maschine Studio and am very excited to dive in deep. So far I just had the time to use it for sounds and as a controller. I also just spend some time playing around with the Xfer Records Cthulhu plugin. Since I pretty much suck at playing keys, it helps me a lot with chord progressions. Still haven’t used it in a production though.
What are your essential studio supplies (food, drink, cigs etc)?
A good craft beer is always nice to have but recently a lot of studio assistance has been supplied by a 12 year Balvenie Doublewood Single Malt. The bottle is now empty, which reminds me, it’s time to get a new one tomorrow. There also have been some reports of green clouds in my studio in the past.
What list of artists have influenced your sound?
Oh wow, that would make a crazy long list. I’m not sure if the music I listened to influenced my sound directly but most definitely my evolution as a music lover and maker. There’s early electronic music like Kraftwerk, pre-industrial like Front 242, early hip-hop like Public Enemy, some weird German stuff like Palais Schaumburg & Andreas Dorau, Chicago masters like & , the guy who’s music consisted 100% of samples when he started, , genius producers and remixers , Detroit influences like , and , a whole lot of R’n‘B, Soul and Jazz and probably even more. In the end my only criteria is my gut. I either like something, or I don’t. Not too long ago I actually did a series of 33 tweets with songs that I somewhat consider my roots. You can find them in a YouTube playlist right here >
What are your 3 favourite productions?
Another tough one. I usually am done with my music when I’m done with it, which means I probably have heard it so much when making it that I don’t want to hear it again. However, after a while I get into some of them again.
- Rocco “Saharien Child (Lars Behrenroth Remix)” Deeper Shades Recordings
- Lars Behrenroth “Ice On The Sun” Freerange
- Lars Behrenroth & Sinan Baymak “I Miss The Things (Summer In Hamburg Mix)” Deeper Shades Recordings
What handy Lars Behrenroth studio tip would you pass onto producers out there?
Do what you want and what you feel. Follow your heart and when you receive (hopefully) constructive criticism, don’t let it break you. Study your equipment and the music you like every day. Nowadays you don’t even need to leave your studio anymore to learn something new. Tips & tricks by your idols are all over the internet and when you start including them into your own production, you’ll learn how to use them to your own advantage and maybe even come up with your own!
What new production should your fans be on the lookout for at Traxsource soon?
I just released “Madness Last Night” on my label Deeper Shades Recordings. It takes me forever to let go of my own productions, so this is actually my first original (under my name) since 2009. Coming up right around the WMC is a remix I just finished for Liquid Phonk to be released on Something Different Records plus I am working on a few remixes for new releases on Deeper Shades Recordings.