Tom Leclerc – Ambient Mountaineer

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

I think this Is a complicated question. When I think of knobs (which not happen every time) it’s directly associated in my mind with it’s effects. If I take the power on of my modular, then all the generative stuff is just starting, the switch button is then really amazing. In the same way, the Spread button of Marbles (from Mutable instruments) is really cool too.

The best knobs I have is the frequency button of Altar (from Ritual Electronics) I think it’s the same as the Verbos knobs, but in black. This is really cool.

Altar by Ritual Electronics

But the best knobs I ever used, are not in my gear, this is the Moog knobs in their recent synthesizers (Grandmother, Matriarch).

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

I’m in a reflective stage for my setup. A lot of it works well like that, together and standalone. When I think of kit, I think of a palette of colors and feels. If I feel like a change, I would certainly switch my Prophet-6 for a Moog Matriarch. But it’s ok like this and now I’m looking forward for new colors. (I need to finish my actual Ghibli style modular case).

DSI Prophet 6

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

My little 44hp case or recently my Elektron Model-Cycles. There is only my piano and my prophet-6, which I rarely move.

For tour I’m using my modular synth. And for holidays I use Model-Cycles.

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

Pigments from Arturia is a amazing software. Even if I don’t use it in composition, sometimes I lose my mind in the complexity of this virtual instrument. I don’t really use software, but I would like to have OTO-Boum in software, or my felt piano.

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

When I sell gear it’s for new things. I recently sold a Digitakt and I still think about it when I see other people using it in a good way, but I don’t regret it.
I never regret buying one piece of gear, maybe my tape recorder, because in the end I didn’t use it as much as it deserved.

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

I would like to say the power of modular, but my piano is still the best gear for composition, inspiration and relaxation.

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

I started with a MicroBrute from Arturia and I would start again with a Moog Grandmother.

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

Marbles !

Marbles and more

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

Output modules changes lives ! I personally use Ooots from and this is a really cool module. Then I can talk about how I mix my piano with only one mic, but that is my secret…

Artist or Band name?

Tom Leclerc




Tom Leclerc

Where are you from?

Nantes in France.

How did you get into music?

Classical piano formation, then starting to compose (thanks to my friends Laurent Hilairet)

What still drives you to make music?

Wild, expedition and exploration.

Euro in the wild

How do you most often start a new track?

On my piano, I’m playing around with melodies, feeling, from that I get my key for the generative music on the modular.

How do you know when a track is finished?

If I listen with my heart, tracks are never finished and ephemeral. But sometimes I just record, play music, and then I mix the tracks and I’m happy about it. When I go outside to record something, new things always happen and can change a track prepared in advance.

Show us your current studio

Home Studio

Best creative advice that you’ve ever heard?

« What can I still remove in this track for for it to sound better ? ». Which means that you can always go straight to the essential and then the track will be better. Minimalist philosophy…

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

It’s not really a recent thing, but we will go back there soon to create more content like this. It’s an expedition up a mountain to perform in the wild. I recorded an album ( in the nature, and you can find the video of the trip here :

Modular on the mountain

[Editor: Do you have a favorite tip, trick or way of working with any of the gear from this interview?
Then throw a comment below…