Techno In 10 Minutes With Steffi

The latest Fact Against The Clock video features Dutch house and techno producer Steffi building a techno groove in 10 minutes. 

As with all the Against The Clock videos, the goal is not to create a product track in 10 minutes, but to get some insight into how different types of electronic musicians work.

Steffi has released three solo albums on Ostgut Ton, founded two labels and been a resident DJ at Berlin’s Panorama Bar.

Here’s a follow video, in which Steffi gives a quick gear tour:

64 thoughts on “Techno In 10 Minutes With Steffi

  1. Shame to see a roomful of beautiful instruments being totally wasted in the production of a drum beat we’ve heard a million times before accompanied by a few fart noises which I’m sure any of us could produce in Reason in about 30 seconds.

    1. Roll out the sexist Neanderthals who think steffi doesn’t know what she’s doing on the basis that she is female. And feel a desperate need to tell everyone so in a public mansplaining event.

      You all need to check yourself. Deny it as much as you want but you are part of the problem.

      Take a long hard look at how you treat women because they’re not gonna put up with you for much longer.

      1. Garak, as much as I disagree with the first poster, there is not a single element of sexism in anything that has been said and it frankly sounds quite unhinged to spout over-reactionary nonsense like that for no reason. And please spare the ‘mansplaining’ claptrap, there’s no point in acting like a warrior for the cause of gender equality while making remarks that discriminate based on sex.

        1. Nice try. You’ll note that almost every time a female is featured on this channel and then posted on this website people go crazy trying to undermine that female. What you’re expecting is overt comments. But sexual harassment doesn’t need to be overt. Nor does sexism happen only when intended. This is indeed an example of a need to tell everyone how wrong this woman is. That is essentially a variation of mansplaining.

          I am fortunate to have very good friends who are highly educated and versed in gender politics and the amount of crud that men and even women get away with in treating women worse than men in the same situation.

          And I will continue to call out this behaviour when I see it because female musicians deserve better.

          1. Gender has nothing to do with it whatsoever, I just don’t like these 10-minute techno things at all and am entitled to express my thoughts about that. I’m quite sure there are plenty of musicians who could go into this studio and create something much more interesting and enjoyable in 10 minutes.

            I work with many talented musicians of all genders and have equal respect for all of them. I’d suggest it might be best to calm down a bit. Fighting the feminist cause is admirable but this is not the way to go about it.

            1. So you work with musicians, nice. Surely you recognise this is a jam session then. She wasn’t making a song intended for a single of album. If you reckon you know better talent than Steffi please start posting videos of them jamming for 10 minutes, I’ll watch them.

              Mate, it’s a pretty bad look coming on a synth website & slagging off a woman making techno. Yes, you didn’t mention gender first but you did get the bad vibes started.

              1. There are plenty of other ten-minute videos which are more interesting than this. I don’t know anything about Steffi’s talent generally, it seems she’s producing stuff which lots of people love and that’s great. The issue was that I’ve seen a few ten-minute videos posted on this site and they all seem very uninspiring to me, especially in the context of the studios in which they’re filmed. I’m entitled to comment on that. This is nothing to do with “slagging off a woman”, Steffi’s gender didn’t even cross my mind. I’m sure she is quite capable of handling criticism and probably wouldn’t even care about my comment, and that’s fair enough. I’m afraid I’m not responsible for people making inaccurate assumptions on this site and posting histrionic nonsense as a result.

    2. “roomful of beautiful instruments being totally wasted”. How dare she! I’ve noticed that a lot of ‘gear enthousiasts’ fail to understand that the tools exist to serve the musician, not the other way around.

      As others have said, Steffi is a very capable musician with a huge track record. But even if she wasn’t… so what? Get over it.

  2. Hi Steffi

    I am looking for someone who could work on adding some drums and bass on my music tracks via VST connect on cubase . I saw your video and I though your style could fit my needs .
    If you or other persons are interested , please sent me a cv some links or examples of your music and your financial conditions and I’ll contact you .
    My name is Patrick Mimran you can email me at [email protected]

  3. Steffi is showing her mastery of the genre. Techno only sounds simple to the untrained ear. It’s full of rhythmic and tonal subtleties. Her trained ear is why she is a renowned producer, and holds a residency at Panorama bar.

    1. Yet she has the talent to be a successful producer and has the balls to work live on camera…..and you have the talent and balls to post anonymous comments on the internet as ‘Dick Song’.


    1. Google her name and accomplishments before talking BS…. you are welcome to share with us your name to google what yours are !! lol

    2. The sexist assumption that she is amateur because she is female despite the overwhelming evidence of her professional work demonstrates that you are indeed part of the problem.

      This is an incredibly sexist and underhanded thing to say. You should apologise for your callous error.

        1. Being an amateur is about working unpaid. As opposed to a successful professional which she is. You’ve made an assumption she’s an amateur. Unpaid. Without looking her up. M
          This is textbook sexism. Happens all the time.

          You need to stop lying to yourself and other. Stop gaslighting people who tell the truth about you. Your nickname “dude” very specifically denotes your gender. Which suggests gender is your only purpose here.

  4. I thought it was interesting. Feels like she decided to start with a blank canvas and did not prepare tons of things in advance. I liked this video for this reason.

    To those saying they can do better, i’m ready to watch your videos when you post them here.

  5. Great groove. I prefer my unbridled gear envy to be wrapped in the self righteous assurance that “I could do better”. Alas, not this time.

  6. It’s outrageous how comments like some of the above are actually allowed in what is supposed to be a niche website for people interested in technology and music (supposedly intelligent people). Misogyny at its worst. Synthopia you should really step up your game.

    1. Mishpult

      Thanks for your feedback.

      Synthtopia, like any popular web sites, gets literally hundreds of thousands of comment submissions per year, most of them malicious. Because of this, we use a combination of tools to deal with comment screening:

      1) We use Akismet, the most popular comment-screening tool available, to do automated screening. This eliminates the bulk of spam comments.

      2) We also use rules-based filtering. This automatically flags comments for moderation if they include words common to spam, hate speech, etc.

      3) We also have our comment system configured so that every commenter’s initial comment gets flagged for manual review. This means you have to contribute something constructive before you will ever get a comment published on the site.

      4) We put a Feedback link on every single page of the site. This make it easy for readers to report problems or to make suggestions.

      5) We personally review every comment that gets reported via the feedback form. We will delete comments that are clearly a personal attack or hate speech.

      As you can see, this process does not guarantee that people won’t leave offensive comments on the site, or that you will not see things on the site that may offend you. That is impossible.

      It just means that there’s a time-tested system in place for dealing with the firehouse of comments that a site like this gets. As a result, Synthtopia is free of the worst of the toxicity, spam and hate speech that are dominant on many websites, forums and social media sites.

      If you have suggestions on how you think we could ‘step up our game’, please take advantage of the ‘Feedback’ link, which is at the top of every page of the site, and let us know.

      1. I understand that you’re trying, but dismissing a woman as n amateur, or saying she has too much gear and not enough skill is sexual harassment. Like if someone at my job told be I should stick to making coffee, or assuming I’m the secretary. Your definition ps are out of date and mean that women have to put up with hurtful comments that men don’t get. It’s not enough to ban the posts that name body parts, or suggest violence. Do you really expect women to put up with more than men? Do you support them having yo be told they are amateurs and have it insinuated they don’t know how to use their own gear and therefore don’t deserve it? Because if women have to put up with that every time their work is posted publicly, you are supporting a double standard.

        1. We delete comments that are clearly personal attacks or hate speech.

          This does not mean that you won’t see comments that are stupid or disagreeable. Or comments that fall into a gray area – offensive, but not clearly a personal attack or hate speech.

          Moderating comments is impossible to do in a way that will satisfy everyone.

          As an example, in this comment thread, you’ve expressed frustration that we don’t do enough to screen comments, while also expressing frustration that your own comments get held for moderation.

          It’s human nature to think that someone else’s comments are the problem. This is why making the call on what should be moderated/deleted is inherently difficult.

          The process we have in place has been successful in making Synthtopia’s comments being much less toxic than what you find on many sites, forums and social media sites. Is there room for improvement? Yes. If you have suggestions, please let us know via the ‘Feedback’ link at the top of this page and every page of the site.

          1. My point was that I’m seeing new offensive comments go up very quickly while mine were waiting over five hours. I understand you’re human. But think putting disqus on this site regardless of the platform would be preferable. No more anonymity. I guess you had a reason for turning it off. But more and more sites use it and it stops the flamers. And holds people accountable for what they’ve said. All I can do with your current system is keep the same name and email. So you know who I am.

            And I really think you need to research the definition of sexual harassment. I was surprised. And I made a very clear argument for why the stupid comments are actually sexual harassment.

            I’m not pulling this out of thin air. I’ve sat down and researched this and thought about the gender disparity with a clear eye using particularly recent male examples in the #metoo campaign that have confessed to the very simple ways women are undermined all the time. And it’s happening on this site. And you are defending it. In fact you are suggesting I am the problem. I understand my stance is frustrating for you. But your terms of reference are a little out of date and what is being said here is hurting not just the woman that is the subject of the post. But all the women who are quietly reading the comments without participating. You e got the numbers. How many people visited the site? Assume 10% are female.

      2. Thank you but still I find it strange how the women hater was able to pass through point 3 of you measures. About the feedback and stepping up the game, if you allow me to write it here (and with that I will stop being out of topic) because I would really like my answer to be visible for the other readers.

        I think you should spend more time on original content with maybe less articles but more authorship. That would give you more time to monitor the discussion closely, as well as allowing you to contribute more yourself in some kind of fruitful discussion. As a moderately informed fan of electronic music and gear, I have already seen around 80-90% of the articles you post from their original sources and often I end up thinking why I actually visit Synthopia. I know it’s been like that for a long time and that’s your way around and it could be just me with that impression, but that’s how I think you can improve the situation. I see your way forward:
        A) as a link depository a-la Matrixsynth (which you are not because of the sheer volume that they provide)
        B) as content creators with authored articles that contribute with the added value of your comment / opinions and discussions.

        IMO, currently you fall somewhere in between which isn’t in your favour.
        Thank you

        1. “Thank you but still I find it strange how the women hater was able to pass through point 3 of you measures. ”

          Every commenter’s initial comment is manually screened, before it goes on the site. This validates that they are human and not a spammer. This doesn’t prevent a commenter, once approved, from going on a random rant at a later date.

          Pre-screening every single comment 24×7, or screening comments in batches a couple times a day, are not viable options. This is why we have steps 4 & 5 in place.

        1. Garak

          You’re comments are not sent to moderation because they are from an iOS device.

          It’s because our screening system holds for moderation comments from people that have a history of leaving comments that required manual moderation.

  7. Techno? Bwahaha.. give me a break. It seems Steffi suffers from historial amnesia. Techno music officially died on 24 July 2010, when a crowd disaster happened at the 2010 Love Parade electronic dance music festival in Duisburg, Germany. It caused the death of 21 people from suffocation. At least 500 more were injured. Ask (former) techno acts like Westbam, Carl Cox, or Laurent Garnier. They would all confirm that.

  8. Liked it. It is obvious she doesn’t have time to goof around and truly went into this with a blank slate w/ no qualms about potential ridicule. As far as all the hardware, to some the subtle sound quality differences and workflow are advantages, especially if you do this for a living.

  9. Naysayers bedammed, this is some good shit. A bit old skool in the feel department (fast with no swing), but the groove is tight enough to fit in anywhere.

    The point of this series (to me, anyway) is to demonstrate the different workflows of established artists. I like Steffi’s setup a lot.

  10. That Pearl synth/drum machine sounds dope!!! , never heard of it…googling it now haha, whats the synth used for the chords?
    Amazing studio and talented Artist , she’s recording it on the iMac, would love to hear the ending result is after arrangement

  11. Well done Steffi. I am amazed realizing I can do similar work with only my Fingersonic EXP-1 I just bought. Incredible how far dsp technology have gone.

  12. I am still unsure about the point of these videos. I understand that it is to get into the process by which particular producers work, but maybe its just a disservice to their talent trying to do something in 10 minutes. The results are almost always just a multilayered beat with some chords played over the top. It doesn’t make sense musically. If the point is improvisation with a bunch of equipment I look more towards something like this: or

    with more musically interesting results. It’s all about what you can create in 10 minutes…an improvisation. I have my own examples but I won’t shill them here.

    1. Mate, you understand the point the point of these videos. The first half of your 2nd sentence confirms it.

      So you prefer composed & completed music? Good for you! The rest of us who’re interested in the creative process & gear porn love FACT’s Against The Clock series.

    2. It’s about how people start, how they switch from one idea to the next, how they interact with their tools and which tools they reach for first. This stuff is difficult to capture in words, but 10 minutes of watching it can be insightful or at least entertaining.

  13. I don’t do Techno, but it is cool to see someone put something together on the fly like that. Saying it’s “too simple” or “easy” is the same stupid remark I used to hear about rock and roll forty years ago, and have had to listen to from keyboard Jazz snobs about my doing ambient/drone/soundscapes for twenty years. Insulting what someone else is doing or trying to do doesn’t make you better, it makes you rude.

  14. Mesmerizing. Hypnotisch. Steffi gets more done and sounds better than many producers who have taken that challenge. @Steffi wenn du uberhaupt so eine seite anschaust: sei so nett und die ganze möchtegern produzenten hier ignorieren. Du bis toll!

  15. I’d like to point out how absurd it is to hold these artists to the expectation that every 10 minute jam produces something good by the listener’s judgement, in a genre the listener appreciates, and in the manner the listener expects.

    Mature people don’t judge completed music if it’s not in a genre they like, by how long it took to produce, or what gear was in their studio (especially the gear they didn’t use).

    Responding to a hater with “let’s see you do it” misses the point. It’s not about how good you can be in 10 minutes; it’s about what you do when you have one 10 minute shot and it starts RIGHT NOW (and no, no do-overs).

  16. It’s actually very impressive, working really fast is one thing, but — 10 minutes? Heh, way past hard.

    Trolls gonna troll. If you don’t like this music or genre, and you can’t keep your opinions respectful, well we know what to think about that. Really there’s no use feeding them, but a little defense of the artist is always in order imo.

    She knows her gear, she knows how to get a lot out of very little time, and clearly knows the genre. Take this track, remix it, and you have something that would be great on the club floor.

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