Giannis Kampiotis – GAS Newsletterer

1. Favourite knob or fader or switch on a piece of gear and why?

The metal switches in general. Compared to knobs and sliders and all the other tactile elements of hardware, the metal switches feel the best to me. Every time I switch one, It’s like something SERIOUS is going to happen. They feel like there’s more decisiveness behind them.

Possibly an old Roland synth

2. Do you have an ‘almost’ perfect bit of kit? What would you change?

Hmmm… Actually, no.

But (and there’s always a but) sometimes when I ignore the purpose of a piece of gear and I find my own purpose for it, then something happens where it becomes mine. Of course, since it was not meant to be used as I am using it, it’s almost perfect but it cannot ever be (perfect).

To make perfect gear (for me), I should create my own, which I have no interest in at this point of my life.

3. What setup do you bring on holiday or tour or commute etc.?

Pen & Paper.

I do not own any portable gear so when I am traveling, instread I do this:

I find new artists whose music I like, and I listen with the purpose of deconstructing their tracks. Understand their arrangement and uncover their techniques. Most probably, I am wrong and what I am hearing is not what is actually happening in their music. But that’s exactly the point. I’ve got a new technique which might or might not be coming from another artist (A.K.A. inspiration).

That is why I don’t like tutorials. I don’t want specifics. The ‘incorrectness’ is the feature.

Pen & Paper

4. What software do you wish was hardware and vice versa?

I have no answer for this question.

5. Is there anything you regret selling… or regret buying?

I do regret selling… every piece of gear that I’ve sold.

Why do I keep conceiving my self that it’s the logical move? I should stop this nonsense.

Maybe a guitar pedal

6. What gear has inspired you to produce the most music?

It never is gear.

It seems as if they do (inspire us) but it’s not gear. It’s other people.

7. If you had to start over, what would you get first?

A fully-featured groovebox.

I actually recently started over (after selling all of my gear few years back) and it was with an Ableton Push. I sold it because I didn’t want to have the laptop ON to make music. So I sold the Push and when I was talking with the guy that bought it, I said “this is the best drum machine I ever had.” At the moment, I just said it as a way to tell him that if you’re OK with the laptop, this machine is amazing.

Akai MPC One

I went on to buy an MPC One because of all its features and the DAW-in-a-box thing. The experience of trying to have a DAW in just one tiny box (the MPC) is at least… meh. But then I thought about what I said about the Push. So I started using the MPC as a fully-featured drum machine and not as a one-stop-DAW-solution. The irony, is on Akai… OF COURSE the MPC is a drum machine. If you take it as such, it is one of the best. It’s a beast. But they went for the bigger market and marketed it as a hardware DAW. I also blame my self for listening to Akai for how the MPC should be used.

So my answer is: a groovebox where you can layer lots of effects.

8. What’s the most annoying piece of gear you have, that you just can’t live without?

The laptop.

9. Most surprising tip or trick or technique that you’ve discovered about a bit of kit?

It’s not new, it’s not surprising, and it’s not a trick, but it’s always magic. 

Recording with my phone the ambience of the room, the street, the beach, or wherever I am, and bringing that into a track… oof! It could be just a kick with that recording and I am instantly transported.

Artist or Band name?

I don’t actively release music. So no names/aliases. But, I sometimes upload recordings on my YouTube channel.





Where are you from?

Athens, Greece

How did you get into music?

My father brought home a full blown hi-fi system, a lot of cassettes and later on, CDs. It was not conscious choice at the time, but I spent a lot of time listening to whatever was there. People noticed and the random gifts became cassettes, CDs, and headphones.

Many many years later, still in school, I walked into a friend’s room and he had these Numark CD-Players and a mixer. We did countless days-months of mixing and recordings. Then I found out about vinyl mixing. Many years as a DJ and then… Ableton… and then… hardware! 

What still drives you to make music?

Exploration and pure enjoyment of the act.

How do you most often start a new track?

The drums and looking for a nice call & response.

How do you know when a track is finished?

I never do.

I have around 30 mins every day to make a nice loop with a quick mix-down. I do it every day, and at the end of the week, I revisit the loops. If the loop still excites me, I record a quick jam with it. That’s it. Most weeks end with a recording with of a few tracks. I upload the mix on YouTube, I share it with friends that like listening to my music and I take a walk with my dog and my headphones and listen to the mix.

Quick, fun, fluent.

Show us your current studio

Best creative advice that you’ve ever heard?

Focus and Diffuse modes of thinking. 

That’s the birthplace of creativity. Learn about it and then, based on that knowledge, you will find what works for you and have creativity unlocked for life.

Promote your latest thing… Go ahead, throw us a link.

I run a newsletter where I interview music makers (hey :D) where they talk gear, creativity and show their studio. It’s

Sascha Haber – Northern Light Modular

1. Favorite knob or fader or switch on a piece of gear and why?

That one is easy… the knobs on my Tegeler Audio Manufaktur Schwerkraftmaschine.

Tegeler Audio Manufaktur Schwerkraftmaschine

I don’t have much outboard gear, but the Tegeler gear is simply outstanding.

They spend a good amount of practical engineering on those motorised pots and switches and seeing them turn while using the plugin is just magic.

And then you touch them during a session and they do not resist, but instead write the automation…

Wonderful german engineering 🙂 

Tegeler Audio Manufaktur Schwerkraftmaschine insides

2. What bit of music gear are you particularly proud of?

That is my TTSH/1601 combo… the piece of gear that started my soldering career i would say.
I always dreamt of owning and playing with an ARP 2600, and 6 or 7 years back there was no re-issues like today.

But then I hear about this swedish project that was around for a while and ordered a kit from Jon. Little did I knew what it takes to build an instrument! It took like 3 months and occupied most of the living room space all the time.

But there I started to invest in tools like a proper DMM, my first real soldering iron and a scope. I actually managed to finish the project, got it fully working and learned so much in the process.

So I started the Facebook group called TTSH and at some point I did a group buy and talked Behringer into selling us a few thousand fader caps.

TTSH/1601 combo

3. How do you see your gear in the landscape of music?

Very much as accessories to existing Buchla systems… like Akrapovic makes racing exhausts for Ducati, we make expansions for 4U systems.

When we started Northern Light Modular both Marc and I had a small DIY system.

Well, mine grew at that time as I built each and every kit that i could get my hands on and after a year I had a massive 24U system blinking at me.

But then we looked at things like the Ornaments and Crime, Temps Util or the offerings by Mutable Instruments at the time and thought, that kind of stuff is missing in the 4U world.

And instead of cross patching Euro to 4U we got in contact with Max, and Patrick and of course Emelie and looked into collaborations to port them into 4U.

The 2OC was our first project and at that time in 2017 very much a Euro module behind a 4U panel.

It took another year or two to adapt all the software to work properly in the 1,2V range, revert negative voltages and show proper values on the displays.

But it was a great time, 3D printers allowed us to experiment with front panels and making your own PCBs was exotic and fun.

2OC in 4U

4. What music has inspired you to produce this gear?

I am a sucker for Berlin synth school…Tangerine Dream etc.
The O_c is in my opinion the best multi tool one can add to a rack, even if it takes a bit of learning .

But once you figured out how to cascade the quantizer playing variations of simple shift register notes, it plays generative music that is not just random noise.
And I like that a lot.

5. Most surprising tip or trick or technique that you’ve discovered about your gear?

Haha… the stuff other people do with my gear compared to what I intended it to be used for always amazes me.

Like, we build this massive 3 voice oscillator, spend countless hours to make it track 8 octaves and FM in sync with each other.

Sounds like angels singing and then someone comes and cross modulates the FM with the sync and all hell breaks loose.

So I am just watching and standing in awe, one part of me wants to yank out the cables and the others is like, that is super impressive, bro.

Northern Light Modular Animated Tricillator Model 2AT

6. How did you get into music gear making?

Well, after that TTSH adventure, diverse EuroRack modules that came and went i stumbled upon the 4U crowd and how few options they had.

So we talked to Émelie Gillet (Mutable Instruments) and Max Stadler (Ornaments & Crime, Temps, Utile) about porting some of their designs and they were very helpful sharing and helping us up on the horse.

My lovely girlfriend Katrine, who built many of the SMD designs we have now, also is a wizard with the 3D printer and so we could prototype our new modules very quickly.

Like a great danish philosopher once said : 
Life in plastic, it’s fantastic  🙂


7. How do you most often start a new piece of gear? Where do the ideas come from?

Necessity I want to say, but that’s not quite true.

More often it is actually artists airing out ideas, pointing me to existing gear, or just imagining things.

Though the latest thing we’re making, was born from an idea to have a multi effect that works without any cables.
I have had a handfull of different guitar pedals and it really gets out of hand at some point with power and audio and midi cables.

So I wanted to build something that works straight in the Music Easel and can use its modulation.

We made a Kickstarter to found the project, I learned to program with Max/MSP at Notam/Oslo  over winter and BLAM!… we had a multi effect.

Northern Light Modular – mobile effect engine

8. How do you know when a piece of gear is finished?

Is it ever ?

Most of our modules evolve constantly… either we fix small things here and there or sometimes, when they need a bigger change we made a V2 or V3 like with the Ornaments.
The latest version has input and output attenuators and LEDs indicate the actual level produced…
I think no other O-c in the market has that… and the software still works with that added hardware part.

Every year we also do special edition that we auction off for a good cause, and last year we made one for the international trans fund.

Northern Light Modular – Dual CV Polymorpher

9. What is the best creative or production advice that you’ve ever heard?

Go with the flow ! 

Turn off Facebook, put the phone on silent and jam… just record what you are doing, maybe you strike gold, maybe not 🙂


Sascha Haber

Where are you from? Where are you based?

From Germany…the south…and based in Copenhagen since 2006 and Northern Light Modular has been operating since may of 2017, for six years now.

Show us your current studio/workshop!

Sascha Haber studio
Sascha Habers Studio

Promote your latest thing… Go ahead, throw us a link.

Northern Light Modular –
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