2000F – Strøm Førende

[Editor: There are gear geeks, and there are gear freaks…. AND THEN there is the artist 2000F aka. Frederik Birket-Smith, who has got to have one of the most extraordinary collection of vintage synths, drum machines and outboard gear in all of Denmark… and this is just one of several locations where he has his gear. He is also the CEO of Strøm Festival – which is pretty much the biggest yearly electronic music festival in Denmark. So enjoy!
Also, if you’re wondering about the title, it’s danish for… ‘electric conductor’

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

My fave has got to be the Cinema Engineering Corporation Model 6517/e.

Cinema Engineering Corporation Model 6517/e

This is a low and high cut filter from Burbank, California, made in the 50’s, early 60’s. Originally made for, what you would call the telephone effect for film. It’s quite an extreme low and high cut and this unit in particular, has been modified by a local danish tech called Fairman, with a resonance control filter Q knob.

Cinema Engineering Corporation Model 6517/e front panel

So you can make it very aggressive and brittle sounding, and I use it for dub music, to get those extreme cuts. Most filter units of this type only have a low cut. Which is nice, but this one has high cut as well.

Lots of delay and reverb outboard

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

The Fender Rhodes 88 suitcase. Gotta be the suitcase version, not the stage. Has to be the one with the speakers. And I wouldn’t change anything about it.

Fender Rhodes 88

I have one from 1980 here in this studio and another one at home, from 1976. At one point I had both together in the living room, the kids and the wife were a little bit “Okay we need two?”. But my wife is really big fan of Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea as well, so she loved it. Still… it takes up a lot of room.

’80s Fender Rhodes 88 suitcase

But the interesting part of having two was that, while the sound of the one I have here is really good, the other ’76 Rhodes, the body and the weight is much deeper compared to this one. The ’76 almost feels like a proper grand piano. It’s really nice.

Solina String Ensemble

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

Smartphone… one with Koala Sampler.

And then just the built-in Memo app on the phone, that’s the only things I would bring.

I especially like the Memo app. Actually I just use it to record stuff… Sometimes it’s ideas and melodies or basslines or rhythms. Sometimes it’s just something I need to explain to myself, like an idea that I need to remember. Sometimes it is sampling something.

Quite recently I recorded a sound while they were rebuilding Fisketovet [Editor: a shopping mall in Copenhagen]. And there was this crazy huge drilling machine that was so loud. I’ve never heard anything like it, but I had to record it. It was just banging a huge pile-driver into the ground. The reverb tail was intense.

Oberheim DMX

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

I’m not sure I can answer that, to be honest. Because I like both worlds. If I HAD to say something that could be an answer, I think it would be, that in the last couple of years, the integration between outboard hardware and the digital audio workstation is getting pretty good. Life is getting so much easier with the new analog patch bays that can be digitally controlled.

I mean, it’s so easy to intermix it now. And I actually like both analog and digital because they’re both very different, so it is great that they can now be integrated.

They’re merging and I think that’s really interesting. I come from an old school hardware kind of workflow, but the funny thing is, a few years ago, I tried to force myself to use only stock Ableton plugins, just to to see what I can do… and boy, it sounded pretty, I still prefer hardware and all that, but I did two 12-inch releases that way.

Roland JD800

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

Regrets selling? Nah… but there’s some stuff I regret NOT buying.

There was an Arp 2600 that was for sale in a shop near where I used to live. I think the shop was called ELSound. It was just in the display winder. Still haunts me that I couldn’t buy it at the time.

I’ve had quite a lot of gear, as you can tell, so I haven’t sold that much, actually. I’ve sold a Jupiter-4 and a Polysix and I don’t miss them. I also had the very, very big Yamaha SK50D. Which is the huge poly synth they made, just a big as the CS-80 and just about as heavy, but a cheaper version. Even though it certainly wasn’t cheap. But I don’t miss that either.

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

Samplers. And the Emu Emax.

Emu Emax

That’s the one I grew up with. It opened up the world of music production for me. Actually, I can tell you a funny story. Particularly that unit over there, which my father bought in ’86. I remember so clearly, because when I was young, my mom used to be a DJ and my dad collected records and all that studio stuff. So I listened to a lot of music.

Akai S950 and S1000

I listened to stuff like Kraftwerk and especially Art Of Noise. Early Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel… you know, with all those Synclavier sounds. But I never really understood how they did it. I understood the music and I loved it, but especially the Music Nonstop album, Electric Cafe album from Kraftwerk, where they used samples heavily, people don’t rate it. But I loved it because it was so digital.

When my father bought home the Emax. I can tell you where exactly in the living room I was standing and where my mom stood, when my dad used it for the first time. He set it up and plugged in a microphone, and my mom came into the living room and said, “Dinner’s ready!”.
And it was recorded. When my Dad started to mess with that sample… Then suddenly I was like, ‘That’s how they do it!’ … My whole mind was just blown away.

Emu Emax

So I was like… ‘Gimme that!’ and I borrowed an Atari ST2 computer, the Emax and Pro-One and the PPG and made lot of music. From then on I started buying stuff, so since I was 14 years old, I was just hooked. Spent all my money, I bought my 303 and right after that the 909 and all that.

But the sampler, that was the start.

Classic Korg Rack synths

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

The computer.

The thing is that nowadays you’ll be able to go online and find answers to absolutely everything. And at that time around ’86 you couldn’t find any answers to anything except if you knew somebody. So a computer would, whether it was an ’86 or 2023, open your world in any direction you wanted to go.

So then I think inspiration comes from other stuff. I mean, gear can inspire me and anybody else, but I’m not sure that’s the main thing, to be honest. I think the computer will just be the door that opens the world.

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

Oh, that’s everything. Everything! Just keeping and maintaining a synth mausoleum like this one. That’s grief…. and a lot of money. I would say being a collector, it’s just a major headache.

Classic Drum Machines and Synths

Cabling and setting up wires is a huge headache, but refurbishments and service on this stuff, that’s just a downwards spiral of agony and pain. And money out the window.

The most expensive restoration I have, which is still ongoing, is the EMT-250 reverb, which is at a repair workshop in Germany right now, and has been for the past five years. Kinda crazy.

The EMT250 is the only thing my father never got to hear or see working, before he passed away. He was an avid gear collector and once even managed to find a Fairchild 670 on Den Blå Avis [danish version of Craigslist], but the 250 we found at Sweet Silence Studios, and it’s super rare. Gotta be less than 200 in the world.

It even came in the original flight crate from Germany. So this wooden box came through Kastrup Airport, and then through the distributor up in the north of Copenhagen, then finally to Sweet Silence Studio, where we discovered that it had some water damage.
So it was sent to the US to repair at Studio Electronics and they said “we can’t fix it”. It had some humidity things that happened to it.

But eventually I found this guy Stefan Hübner in Hamburg. Who I was recommended by an old PPG factory tech. Who said, I have this young apprentice called Stefan, who is willing to take a look at repairing your EMT.

But the problem with the EMT was that, they never and still haven’t ever released any schematics or diagrams for it. At the time of production, they were so afraid that the Japanese would copy it, so they even sandblasted the tops of all the chips. So it doesn’t say anything on them.
There’s no traces, or anything. It’s all point-to-point soldered in the back. It’s just one huge board of chips, which no one knows what is. So Stefan has two EMT250’s on his workshop table, and he is trying to trace and test the electronics, and build up his own diagrams to figure out what happens inside of it and what each component is.

It’s just a never ending story.

So that’s the longest and possibly the most expensive restoration that I’ve ever attempted. I have never even heard it working. I just bought it and shipped it around.

Lexicon 122-s
Echoplex Tape Delay

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

I spent a lot of time listening to and trying to figure out all the old mysteries of dub music. I like Prince Jammy and King Tubby, but I especially like The Scientist, who was the apprentice of King Tubby.

Stack of delays

I loved his way of mixing dub and I always liked that sharp filter cuts he had. And that was the knob that King Tubby built from a unit like the one I told you about before. [Editor: Cinema Engineering Corporation Model 6517/e]

Those filters, I mean, you don’t find them. You have to build them… And I’m sure that King Tubby’s version was also modified, because he just needed it to be more aggressive.

Unknown Dub Machine

Artist or Band name?



Bass music


2000F aka. Frederik Birket-Smith

Where are you from?

Frederiksberg, Copenhagen, Denmark.

How did you get into music?

Mom was a DJ. Father was musician and studio owner. Guess it’s in the blood.

What still drives you to make music?

Exploration of bass and sounds, I think.

Novation Bass Station mk1 keyboard
PPG Wave 2
PPG Wave 2 Close up

How do you most often start a new track?

A beat or some sort of rhythm.

Roland CR-78

I’m not sure I’ve got a methodology or something. I least I can’t explain it. I don’t think about it really, but I just bang it out real fast. The rhythm.
I think the rhythm shows for me where the track goes. Also, I build a lot of my songs as a DJ. Which is a bit like putting music together like how I would build with Lego bricks. And I actually like it when it’s almost mechanically switching from one part to the other.

Roland TR727

Even though I mix dub stuff, I grew up listening to a lot of jungle drum-and-bass, especially grime music from the UK, and most of that is so cheaply made and is so swiftly made, that you get, a part A and a part B, and they just switch. Just so rough and so simple.

Roland CR8000

Before grime was called grime, it was called 8-bar, because the rappers just had 8 bars to rap on top of, before the song just switched sound, and I love that very, very simple almost mechanical way of building music. So I always tend to think of this as a DJ.

Roland MC-202
Roland JP8080

How do you know when a track is finished?

I test it out quite a lot… DJ’ing. I feel that it’s essential.

In bass music, people make dub plates. I used to cut a lot of plates. But I test tracks and I play them out a lot of times and then I listen. I’m listening to gauge audience reaction.

DJ decks and rack mixer

It’s actually mainly the response of people, if they appreciate or not. And what I do is even though it’s bass music, and it’s really aggressive, really dark. I like to make people almost implode.

2000F vinyl collection and decks on the back wall

I do BassUnderBuen, which is huge rave with 10,000 people here in Copenhagen under a motorway. I’ll play two or three new tracks and I can just tell… ‘okay, this track really works, this one needs work’.

I gotta test it out on a proper dance club sound system. And then I come back to the studio and rework it a little bit.

Show us your current studio

2000F Studio left side wall
2000F Studio right side wall
Unknown Prototype Valve Microphone from the ’50s
Danish DISA tube mic pre

Best creative advice that you’ve ever heard?

This is for producers working specifically on computers, try to close your eyes as often as possible. You’ll listen differently.

Like when I have my analog mixer setup here in front of me, after I have built up the basic structure, all the stems, patterns, parts of the rhythm and the bass and so on…
Then I switch off the screen. Because I came to realize when I was in the studios, that the more I look while I mix, the more I know what is going to drop and what is going to happen. So I don’t listen as a person on the dance floor would.

The other thing I haven’t quite learned yet, but I’m trying to tell me myself all the time… is that if you’re doing edits or changes during the song structure that people need to notice in a club or in a rave situation.
It has to be very, very particular. I mean, keep it simple and obvious.

Another thing, don’t do social media. Do music.

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

2000F on Spotify

Chrome Shadow – David Eilertsen

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

Not really a knob, but I love the matte black clicky buttons on the Digitakt and I’m a bit of an Elektron fanboy. The buttons are just very satisfying and of high quality. I definitely prefer hardware over software.

Elektron Digitakt with battery mod

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

I love grooveboxes and I’m still searching for that perfect one. The Digitakt is pretty close, especially with the new firmware adding song mode and new machines. It’s a future classic.
I do wish it had a rechargeable battery, stereo sampling and more than 8 audio tracks.
I made the internal battery mod for it, but it wouldn’t fit inside because of the way i attached the bms board. Plan ahead man! Oh well, I had to desolder the thing and along the way I sort of shorted the battery pack. I might give it a go again someday.

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

Korg Electribe 2

I often take the Korg Electribe 2. It’s definitely a favorite of mine and the one piece of gear I have kept the longest. I also have the sampler version with the hacktribe mod. Looks very techno in matte black, nice! It’s portable, well built, battery powered and has lots of hands on control. It can export stems to Ableton (all 16 tracks) and even chained patterns, making it easy to make a full track. I think it’s a very underrated machine. Check out rbeny on youtube.
He created some great ambient and droney stuff with it. Also check out Legowelt he also used the tribes for live stuff. The box does have some limitations though (voices). Korgs latest update was in 2016 which makes me very very sad.

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

I can’t really think of any. I think that there are so many options today in both realms. Wavetable, FM, granular, modular etc. With software I use Ableton Live for arrangement, mixing and so forth. Izotope Ozone for basic mastering. And that’s it basically. I used to be a Native Instruments Komplete user, but moved over to hardware.

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

When getting a new piece of gear I usually sell some other stuff and I don’t mind my setup changing and evolving. I love the chase of finding used gear for a good price and I enjoy fixing broken stuff. Sometimes it’s just a bad solder joint or a part that needs to be replaced.
I’ve had many different synths and nerdy stuff over the years and I don’t regret buying or selling any of it. But I have to say I do miss the Synthstrom Deluge sometimes. It ticks a lot of boxes. If it had the possibility to edit waveforms on that new Oled screen, that would be fantastic. Who knows it might come in a future update.

Synthstrom Deluge

The Korg Electribe EMX-1 is another great device that was hard to let go of. I got it for a very good price because it had a bad power socket. I replaced it with one from an old guitar pedal. Worked like a charm. It’s a very fun and immediate machine and it sounds great with those tubes.

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

I think all the instruments I have owned have been inspiring and fascinating in that certain period of time. It’s always inspiring when you get something new. But this can also be a hindrance in regards to finishing music. Mostly because there’s a lot of learning involved.
Maybe the goal is just to learn and have fun with those toys that make bleepy noises.

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

I would learn to play one instrument really well. Like a piano, the double bass or maybe a nyckelharpa?

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

Elektron Octatrack mk1

I recently got an old octatrack mk1 in rough condition. It was covered in stickers, had some bad encoders and a broken compact flash connector. I got a really good deal and was able to fix it with parts from Elektron. Now it almost looks new again. I was afraid that I would hate it, because of its complex workflow and steep learning curve. But actually, I love it! It’s a lot of fun and definitely annoying.

Eurorack in retro suitcase

At one point I got into modular. Built a 9u rack, then decided to downscale as I got tired of the sounds and sold most of it. I had some modules left and used them in this little retro suitcase project which I think turned out great. It’s a little cumbersome to tune the oscillators every time and I don’t use it that much. But still, there’s something engaging with that playful, experimental approach to making music. And sometimes the patch you create just sounds like shit. So annoying, but so addictive.

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

I’m still learning the octatrack and recently discovered that you can use external gear as send effects. The dark reverb on the machine is ok but not great. So being able to use the Eventide Blackhole with the octatrack is awesome.

Eventide Blackhole with an Octatrack

Artist or Band name?

Chrome Shadow


IDM, ambient, garage, noise, dub(step).. probably something else next month.


Chrome Shadow – David Eilertsen

Where are you from?


How did you get into music?

I’ve been working as a motion designer for a long time and sound design is a big part of my profession. So this goes hand in hand with my interest in electronic music.
I’m not very skilled with an instrument, even though I received piano lessons. To quote Brian Eno, I think that formal training and instrumental virtuosity should not be the sine qua non for music making. So it’s just as much patching and experimenting for my part. I started making music with Fruity Loops (now FL Studio) about twenty years ago (feeling old). I was inspired by the music I heard at that time. I was into post-punk, industrial and weird experimental stuff back then.

What still drives you to make music?

Learning new gear and the creative process of building something from scratch. I usually get in the zone when I listen to some music that inspires me. But that GAS can be an obstacle.

How do you most often start a new track?

Usually the beats come first – getting a groove going. Sometimes it starts with a pad or drone.

How do you know when a track is finished?

It’s never finished, but at some point you just have to let go and move on. If I work on a track for too long I start hating it and then abandoning it. So it’s key for me not to get stuck in the details. I don’t have a lot of spare time, so it’s actually a real challenge finishing a track.

Show us your current studio

Studio Desktop
Eurorack with Arturia Keystep

Best creative advice that you’ve ever heard?

When in idea-generation mode, listen for potential rather for perfection. Creative time is short and you have to move fast.

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


Mathias Bredholt – Torso Electronics

The T-1 Euclidian midi sequencer is made by Danish Torso Electronics and in this video we chat with Mathias Bredholt one of the founders of @torsoelectronics and ask him 9 odd questions for music gear makers.

…and check out the the T-1 Euclidian hardware midi sequencer here: