You’ve seen plenty of EDM and DJ parodies, snarky Facebook images poking fun at people who can’t use turntables, what have you.

But let me just level with you: this video could basically be a parody of CDM … of me. I…

Well, I can’t really say much more. Just watch. (Another way you can tell this is made by producers, for producers, rather than, say, by someone at Saturday Night Live who doesn’t know how this works – check the gear choices.) Also, I think I need to go to MediaMarkt to buy a new keyboard, as I may have just spit my coffee all over this one.

What you’re seeing is the work of Norwegian sketch comedy show Kollektivet. 2manybuttons sounds like a Max for Live patch, even. Pitch perfect.

Thank you to reader Stig Fostervold for posting this to our Facebook page.

More – if you speak Norwegian, anyway:
http://www.tv2.no/kollektivet

  • Konstantin Fateyev

    I have to say that recently I am trying to dig into some sort of perfoming my music live. Right now I am in a place where basically my track play by themselves and I apply some effects to different parts or add some melodic part over them. Since I cant acutally play anything besides the keyboard (although I am not good at it) what else I have to do? These mocking videos and stuff are kinda discouraging me, I know they are aiming to be funny and probably nothing more, but sometimes I feel like I want to drop the whole live perfomance thing out the door because I actually am the person who just presses the buttons and turns knobs over the top of prepared material.

    • You have to decide that on your own. I think with practicing and investing time in rehearsing you can make your live set more lively (i.e. by controlling more stuff live and thus making your performances more unique and interesting) but it’s always up to you. You have to balance and compromise between live controls and playback. And maybe – if you want to do more stuff live – you can get more people to join you on stage, too? Another place to look for inspiration and help are online tutorials about live performance and alike. Don’t be afraid, you have to start somewhere!

      • Konstantin Fateyev

        When I tried to play with what I have right now I had a lot of fun. I read that people do live sets where they can actually control how long their tracks are played, I suppose with the loop based playback. When I watched the Baths’ live perfomances I noted that what he actually does is basically apply effects in real time, BUT he does sing, and that makes it kinda live. What I have is just a couple of tracks which will just play one by one even if I dont touch a thing. Thats what probably makes people think its not live and that is what probably makes ME think its “not good enough” or whatever. Thanks for your support!

        • Ah, Baths. But they’re also doing lots of live looping (for example with the Ableton session view), like here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkYnVE5jsAo

        • wetterberg

          For me, interesting live music is like a tightrope balancing act. The risk of failure, along with the focus of the musician, is what makes it interesting. If you have a “failsafe”, like “if I don’t do anything it just keeps going”, that’s a turnoff for me, personally.

          What I’d do is take these large self-playing sections, break them up into smaller chunks that you can rearrange as you play. That will give you a lot of freedom, while still making the performance manageable, from an interaction standpoint.

    • Ha – no, wait. Don’t be discouraged.

      Look, I don’t care if you’re doing a ukulele solo or a controllerist gig or playing in an orchestra. If you can laugh at yourself as a musician now and then, that’s absolutely essential.

      Performance – any kind of performance, even DJing – involves pressure. You’re exposed. It’s what makes music a delight but it can create a trap, too. You can only do it if you can relax. And the artists who can laugh at themselves are invariably the most fun to watch…

      • Konstantin Fateyev

        I do agree with you. The shining example could be the Ceephax. His perfomances are usually not without humor and they are fun to listen and watch to. I must say that I dont actually have anything against this kind of humor, and it is not probably the humor or the videos that makes me somewhat discouraged. Some weeks ago I attended to a meeting to discuss my potential perfomance. And there was a dude who asked me questions like “what instrument do you play?”. I an saying “I am not playing any instrument, I create electronic music”. Then he is like “what will it look like”. I am telling him about the tracks and effects. Then he is saying “Isnt that DJaying?”. I am saying that these are tracks that I actually created. I dont think he catched the difference. So apparently for him the fact that I dont play any instrument automatically making it not “live”. Maybe this kind of attitude makes me doubtful about interestingness of my perfomance. I know I must not let it go to my head, but sometimes it does.

    • SomeOne

      I understand your point. But part of the problem is that the electronic musician is often performing alone (often because of financial reasons and smaller audiences). And you only got two hands. So what can you do anyway but push buttons most of the time…
      Most rock music is multitracked / sequenced /multilayered these days, so it has the same issues. But the difference is that even if the whole album is written and recorded /mixed by one person, he/she will usually show up with a full band live to help him fill the parts he can’t do by himself. And that creates a different perception.
      Maybe in the case of pure EDM it doesn’t matter, people are too busy dancing to notice.
      But in the case of non-dance EM, why don’t musicians come up on stage with a couple of additional keyboardists/controllerists to play the bits of the track he can’t fill himself? I see all the time 4 part rock bands playing in front of 3 (drunk) people, so carrying equipement and such poses the same logistic/financial issue for them, but they still do it.

    • heinrichz

      Just keep it simple enough so you can still play your instrument with ease even under the potential pressure of a live situation i.e. with bad sound or adverse people in the audience.

    • wingo shackleford

      I’ve had a similar experience trying to play live. I started off doing what you mention, basically just triggering full tracks in Ableton and messing with fx. People thought I was doing more than I was, so it was kind of working – but it wasn’t satisfying to me. I felt like I was cheating. So then I started breaking my stuff up into different sections to loop, so I could play with arrangements more. Then I started making tracks with ‘extra’ drum loops/vocal samples, etc. that were in time that I could sort of freestyle mix in with stuff. But really, the audience didn’t know any different, so it really wasn’t that much more “impressive”, yet the risk of it not working was greater. So now I’m totally switching gears and trying to use an all hardware setup (Volcas, OP-1, microbrute etc.) It’s MUCH harder to manage, and you really have to put a lot of forethought/practice in to make it work. It usually doesn’t sound quite as polished, and you can easily screw it up, but people are way more impressed, like you are actually performing with instruments. It’s an odd thing. I’m still not sure if I’m pulling it off well, but it’s way more satisfying as a performer, and I’ve been getting more gigs. Still, I will occasionally fall back on the Ableton/launchpad crutch in a pinch if I’m feeling nervous about a gig. I guess the short version is, everyone tends to struggle with this concept, but you just have to find your own way, and there are lots of different ways. You just gotta try stuff out.

      • ElectroB

        Each one has a different approach to this.

        I’ve never performed solo and have always played in bands, even when I. but if the situation arose and I had to play a solo act, I wouldn’t limit myself to just triggering loops. It does not make for a very engaging show.

        In my case, I limit my setup to a MIDI controller for mixing and clip triggering, plus live keyboard parts in some songs (bass synths and pads to accompany the band’s drummer and soloists). I also use a fingerpad for improvising on top of a loop or accompany the drummer’s live beat.

    • foljs

      “””These mocking videos and stuff are kinda discouraging me”””

      You can either add buttons, which will end you up into the video’s situation (and isn’t much to look at live, either), or you could add some instruments (e.g. live drums), add some dancers or mcs, or add a visual show.

      The thing is, if you can’t play old-style, then the second thing people want is to see something entertaining in a live, not just hear somebody fiddle with differerent fxs.

      If you do the “visually stimulating” (and fun) part OK, then it’s ok to not have some finegrained BS control.

  • Konstantin Fateyev

    I have to say that recently I am trying to dig into some sort of perfoming my music live. Right now I am in a place where basically my tracks play by themselves and I apply some effects to different parts or add some melodic parts over them. Since I can’t actually play anything besides the keyboard (although I am not good at it) what else I have to do? These mocking videos and stuff are kinda discouraging me, I know they are aiming to be funny and probably nothing more, but sometimes I feel like I want to drop the whole live perfomance thing out the door because I actually am the person who just presses the buttons and turns knobs over the top of prepared material.

    • You have to decide that on your own. I think with practicing and investing time in rehearsing you can make your live set more lively (i.e. by controlling more stuff live and thus making your performances more unique and interesting) but it’s always up to you. You have to balance and compromise between live controls and playback. And maybe – if you want to do more stuff live – you can get more people to join you on stage, too? Another place to look for inspiration and help are online tutorials about live performance and alike. Don’t be afraid, you have to start somewhere!

      • Konstantin Fateyev

        When I tried to play with what I have right now I had a lot of fun. I read that people do live sets where they can actually control how long their tracks are played, I suppose with the loop based playback. When I watched the Baths’ live perfomances I noted that what he actually does is basically apply effects in real time, BUT he does sing, and that makes it kinda live. What I have is just a couple of tracks which will just play one by one even if I dont touch a thing. Thats what probably makes people think its not live and that is what probably makes ME think its “not good enough” or whatever. Thanks for your support!

        • Ah, Baths. But they’re also doing lots of live looping (for example with the Ableton session view), like here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkYnVE5jsAo

        • wetterberg

          For me, interesting live music is like a tightrope balancing act. The risk of failure, along with the focus of the musician, is what makes it interesting. If you have a “failsafe”, like “if I don’t do anything it just keeps going”, that’s a turnoff for me, personally.

          What I’d do is take these large self-playing sections, break them up into smaller chunks that you can rearrange as you play. That will give you a lot of freedom, while still making the performance manageable, from an interaction standpoint.

    • Ha – no, wait. Don’t be discouraged.

      Look, I don’t care if you’re doing a ukulele solo or a controllerist gig or playing in an orchestra. If you can laugh at yourself as a musician now and then, that’s absolutely essential.

      Performance – any kind of performance, even DJing – involves pressure. You’re exposed. It’s what makes music a delight but it can create a trap, too. You can only do it if you can relax. And the artists who can laugh at themselves are invariably the most fun to watch…

      • Konstantin Fateyev

        I do agree with you. The shining example could be the Ceephax. His perfomances are usually not without humor and they are fun to listen and watch to. I must say that I dont actually have anything against this kind of humor, and it is not probably the humor or the videos that makes me somewhat discouraged. Some weeks ago I attended to a meeting to discuss my potential perfomance. And there was a dude who asked me questions like “what instrument do you play?”. I an saying “I am not playing any instrument, I create electronic music”. Then he is like “what will it look like”. I am telling him about the tracks and effects. Then he is saying “Isnt that DJaying?”. I am saying that these are tracks that I actually created. I dont think he catched the difference. So apparently for him the fact that I dont play any instrument automatically making it not “live”. Maybe this kind of attitude makes me doubtful about interestingness of my perfomance. I know I must not let it go to my head, but sometimes it does.

    • SomeOne

      I understand your point. But part of the problem is that the electronic musician is often performing alone (often because of financial reasons and smaller audiences). And you only got two hands. So what can you do anyway but push buttons most of the time…
      Most rock music is multitracked / sequenced /multilayered these days, so it has the same issues. But the difference is that even if the whole album is written and recorded /mixed by one person, he/she will usually show up with a full band live to help him fill the parts he can’t do by himself. And that creates a different perception.
      Maybe in the case of pure EDM it doesn’t matter, people are too busy dancing to notice.
      But in the case of non-dance EM, why don’t musicians come up on stage with a couple of additional keyboardists/controllerists to play the bits of the track he can’t fill himself? I see all the time 4 part rock bands playing in front of 3 (drunk) people, so carrying equipement and such poses the same logistic/financial issue for them, but they still do it.

    • heinrichz

      Just keep it simple enough so you can still play your instrument with ease even under the potential pressure of a live situation i.e. with bad sound or adverse people in the audience.

    • wingo shackleford

      I’ve had a similar experience trying to play live. I started off doing what you mention, basically just triggering full tracks in Ableton and messing with fx. People thought I was doing more than I was, so it was kind of working – but it wasn’t satisfying to me. I felt like I was cheating. So then I started breaking my stuff up into different sections to loop, so I could play with arrangements more. Then I started making tracks with ‘extra’ drum loops/vocal samples, etc. that were in time that I could sort of freestyle mix in with stuff. But really, the audience didn’t know any different, so it really wasn’t that much more “impressive”, yet the risk of it not working was greater. So now I’m totally switching gears and trying to use an all hardware setup (Volcas, OP-1, microbrute etc.) It’s MUCH harder to manage, and you really have to put a lot of forethought/practice in to make it work. It usually doesn’t sound quite as polished, and you can easily screw it up, but people are way more impressed, like you are actually performing with instruments. It’s an odd thing. I’m still not sure if I’m pulling it off well, but it’s way more satisfying as a performer, and I’ve been getting more gigs. Still, I will occasionally fall back on the Ableton/launchpad crutch in a pinch if I’m feeling nervous about a gig. I guess the short version is, everyone tends to struggle with this concept, but you just have to find your own way, and there are lots of different ways. You just gotta try stuff out.

      • ElectroB

        Each one has a different approach to this, I guess.

        I’ve never performed solo and have always played in bands (both as bass/guitarist and electronic musician). But if the situation arose and I had to play a solo electronic music act, I wouldn’t limit myself to just triggering loops. It does not make for a very engaging show.

        In my case, I use a relatively simple setup with a MIDI controller that is used for mixing and loop triggering as well as live keyboard parts in some songs (bass synths and pads to accompany the band’s drummer and soloists). I also use a fingerpad for improvising on top of a loop or accompany the drummer’s live beat.

    • foljs

      “””These mocking videos and stuff are kinda discouraging me”””

      You can either add buttons, which will end you up into the video’s situation (and isn’t much to look at live, either), or you could add some instruments (e.g. live drums), add some dancers or mcs, or add a visual show.

      The thing is, if you can’t play old-style, then the second thing people want is to see something entertaining in a live, not just hear somebody fiddle with differerent fxs.

      If you do the “visually stimulating” (and fun) part OK, then it’s ok to not have some finegrained BS control.

  • beatboxing

    This had me ROTFL.

  • beatboxing

    This had me ROTFL.

  • chaircrusher

    That was funny. But back in the real world, what anyone serious about performance of electronic music is looking for is this: degrees of freedom, but not so much that you have trouble shaping a performance coherently.

    I’ve tried to keep it simple — just use an APC40, but you quickly run into 8 tracks not being enough. So I have knob boxes and an APC Mini.

    With electronic music, you are looking for precision and freedom at the same time and they can clash. The people whose performances I really respect — Stewart Walker and Shawn Rudiman, practice as hard as any pianist on how to actually perform their music. That’s really the key — you can be predictable and easy, or you can put together something that gives you opportunities for surprise and failure. Then you practice to minimize failure (and learn how to recover from it) and make surprises welcome.

  • chaircrusher

    That was funny. But back in the real world, what anyone serious about performance of electronic music is looking for is this: degrees of freedom, but not so much that you have trouble shaping a performance coherently.

    I’ve tried to keep it simple — just use an APC40, but you quickly run into 8 tracks not being enough. So I have knob boxes and an APC Mini.

    With electronic music, you are looking for precision and freedom at the same time and they can clash. The people whose performances I really respect — Stewart Walker and Shawn Rudiman, practice as hard as any pianist on how to actually perform their music. That’s really the key — you can be predictable and easy, or you can put together something that gives you opportunities for surprise and failure. Then you practice to minimize failure (and learn how to recover from it) and make surprises welcome.

  • Nick Shepherd

    LOL – soooo good ! 🙂

    made my day

  • Nick Shepherd

    LOL – soooo good ! 🙂

    made my day

  • CBDJ

    BUT NO ONE WOULD USE BEYERDYNAMIC 770s LIVE, THE IMPEDANCE MEANS THEY’D BE TOO QUIET.

    Like the autistic thief, I take things, literally.

    • foljs

      Actually the 770s come in 3 different impedance flavors: 80, 250, and 600 Ω.

  • CBDJ

    BUT NO ONE WOULD USE BEYERDYNAMIC 770s LIVE, THE IMPEDANCE MEANS THEY’D BE TOO QUIET.

    Like the autistic thief, I take things, literally.

    • foljs

      Actually the 770s come in 3 different impedance flavors: 80, 250, and 600 Ω.

  • André et Michèle

    Improv live pa does/sorta/kinda feel like that sometimes 🙂

  • André et Michèle

    Improv live pa does/sorta/kinda feel like that sometimes 🙂

  • heinrichz

    This certainly must have touched a sore spot for many…and humor is the best way to do it.
    Now how about a clip about people with big modular system not getting any music while blowing things up with bad connections.

  • heinrichz

    This certainly must have touched a sore spot for many…and humor is the best way to do it.
    Now how about a clip about people with big modular system not getting any music while blowing things up with bad connections.

  • Antonio Leon

    hilarious.

    1:53 kills me

  • M Clis

    check out their other videos! they’re incredibly talented!

  • M Clis

    check out their other videos! they’re incredibly talented!

  • Guillaume Lectez

    Need some pads 😀

  • Guillaume Lectez

    Need some pads 😀

  • ElectroB

    Yes. This hits the spot. Or rather, button.

  • ElectroB

    Yes. This hits the spot. Or rather, button.