Paul Van Dyk’s Gear List

Paul Van Dyk

Apple has an interesting profile on DJ Paul Van Dyk. It looks at how he’s working now, and also provides a current look at the gear he uses:

“I’ve developed the same passion I have for making music as I have for DJing over the last 15 years,” he says. “It’s the ultimate thing to be able to combine both. I can use my production skills as well as my skills as a DJ together to create new things live. The whole experience of me playing music is much more intense because it fits the atmosphere of the moment, of the set, of the venue, and of the crowd.”
Paul Van Dyk’s Studio Gear

When he’s not on the road, van Dyk turns out tracks at his Berlin studio. The electronic music laboratory is packed with old analog gear and the latest Macs running Logic Studio.


  • MacBook Pro
  • Mac Pro (in the studio)
  • Logic Studio
  • Ableton Live
  • Spectrasonics

Outboard Gear

  • Euphonix EuCon Console
  • Allen & Heath 3D Mixer
  • Evolution UC33e USB MIDI Controller
  • Akai MIDI controllers

Vintage Outboard Gear:

  • Roland Juno 60
  • Roland Juno 106
  • Roland TR-808
  • Roland TR-909
  • Roland TB-303

“My music production starts in Logic,” he says. “I usually nail down a speed, then get a nice drum loop going for some rhythm. Then I lay down chords or a bass line or some piano—some stuff like that. When I feel the musical idea I have is coming across, and I can feel it, I get to properly blowing it up and doing drum programming and better bass line sequences.”

Van Dyk grabs sounds from the Logic Studio library and records riffs from his old gear. “Most of the stuff is not samples,” he says. “It’s all tweaked synthesizer. In Logic I use the ES1, ES2, EVP88 and the like.”

“It provides the perfect surrounding for searching for the right sound,” says van Dyk. “It’s great how you can dive into the synthesizers, grab those different sort of resonances and look through the library to find exactly what you need. And once you’ve found what you’re looking for, there are a lot of possibilities to produce a unique song. You can use filters—put a gate on it or use the envelope or compression to make it crisp and shine through whatever else is going on.”

Paul Van Dyk’s Touring Rig

On tour for his latest album, In Between, Van Dyk uses two 17-inch MacBook Pros running Logic Studio and Ableton Live.

“One computer is for the audio library, the other computer is where the software synthesizers are for sequencing,” he says. “The computers are connected through an interface and an Allen & Heath 3D mixer, which is also a MIDI controller. I have 19 software synths installed and I have two MIDI keyboards, so I play a lot of things live. I also have a UC-33 controller, an Akai controller and some other things that I can play with when I’m up there. With all these things I’m able to do some crazy stuff.”

Van Dyk essentially creates remixes of his tracks live, tweaking them to suit the vibe. “I could play your favorite tune and it sounds completely different—different bass line, different drums,” he says, “but it would sound so much better at that particular moment of the set.”

New remixes are often born out of that spontaneous intensity. “Some of the remixes I’ve done in the last few years are basically the outcome of me playing a certain track live,” he says. “Then I just redid exactly what I did live in the studio and it was a remix. The live performance is influencing the production work and vice versa. When you go to the studio to do a remix you think about it a lot. When you create it in front of people, it’s part of the set, an element of the journey. You don’t really think so much about it, you’re just influenced by the vibe. You may do things that you never come up with [in the studio] because you’re in the flow. It’s very inspiring.”

It’s a far cry from the days of vinyl. “I’m so busy when I play now,” says van Dyk. “The other day I was wondering, what did I actually do once the record was playing? Wait for eight minutes to mix in the next one? How boring.”

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