Ben Blue: Have you had any technical difficulties with the new system?
Sasha: There have been a few moments with it, but it's been pretty much solid. I've been using it pretty much every night of DJing for four or five months now and it's been completely reliable. We had a couple of problems - we had it serviced about a week ago and since it's been back we've had a couple of things going wonky with it, but we fixed those straightaway. So yes, it's been really reliable.
BB: When you mixed the CD, or when spinning live, do you use
any other plug-ins [3rd party software instruments/ effects] inside of
Sasha: To be honest I try not to use third party plug-ins because they just seem to suck so much power [CPU] off the computer. I use mainly Ableton Live's plugins, because they're built into the program and very stable.
BB: Very streamlined
Sasha: Yes, you can chain them up together and get some really nice effects out of them.
BB: I've seen you say in the end, as far as DJing in general,
what matters is what comes out the speakers.
BB: So have you surprised yourself by what you've been putting
out the speakers lately with the new system?
Sasha: I think the most important thing I'm finding, just like with my record boxes, is to constantly be changing up, finding new music, and just trying to do spontaneous things. I think that it would be very easy with Ableton to just kind of work out a set in advance and kind of stick with it for a few months, something that you knew that worked. And, there are definitely certain records that I'll keep playing over time because I'm really into them, but I try and be as spontaneous as possible. All the work that you do at home getting ready for your gigs allows you to be spontaneous like that. When you get in to a live situation you're trying to be as spontaneous and creative as possible when you're surrounded by three thousand people.
Sasha: But when I first got hold of it I was probably really guilty of overusing effects and just going crazy on it. It was a brand new toy, what do you expect? Anybody probably would've done the same thing - it's just a lot of fun to use. I probably went a bit spastic on it for a certain few gigs.
Sasha: I think I've settled into it now and it feels like DJing to me. In the beginning it definitely felt slightly alien.
BB: Yes, like, it's like a computer at first.
Sasha: Yes, but now it really feels like DJing for me.
BB: If you can stay away from the mouse and keyboard, it keeps
it feeling musical.
Sasha: Yes, totally; once you've loaded your tracks in to the computer, and you don't really have to touch it, you can just start tweaking the mixer out.
BB: Were the New York and LA Fundacion residencies the testing
ground for this whole new system?
Sasha: Yes, definitely, I kind of treated those as the testing ground for the controller for the live situations to see how stable it was, and see how my DJ set evolved with it. I'm really glad I had those residencies. Everyone was so supportive there, the clubbers - and everyone, were so into what I was doing, it gave me a huge boost of confidence. And now, I'm going in to my first summer touring, around the world like I normally do, but with confidence that I know I'm going to be able to try this - that my machines aren't going to let me down.
BB: So that's what's next after the Foundation residency is over?
Sasha: Yes, I'll be touring Europe this summer.
BB: You're touring the US as well?
Sasha: That's right, I'm coming back to the US this weekend.
BB: Are you excited about that?
Sasha: Well, it's been great playing LA and New York every month but, there's definitely some places that I haven't been able to get to for a while, so it's going to be good to see them.