Creating ‘Nonlinear Times’ with Florian Meindl

Producing for over fourteen years, Florian has become known for his deep, grooving powerful techno. His productions are characterized by his love.

From early in his electronic passion, Florian Meindl defined his own sound. After over a decade refining his craft along with a label of his own, Meindl has carved out his own slice of electronic production. Continuing to learn and progress as all students masters must do, this Austria-born musician has a keen ear for quality soundscapes. Once describing techno as ‘half music half engineering’, his approach to production is scientific. As he returns with a four studio album, it’s clear this artist loves to experiment behind the board. 

‘Nonlinear Times’ marks an apex in Meindl’s studio focus as he showcases his analog passion more than ever. As a long time student of sound design and engineering, he wields a deep quiver of modular racks heard across the gritty and powerful LP. Somewhere between the driving warehouse percussion and ominous industrial leads, the statement is clear that the album is made for the floor. 

The physical world we are perceiving with our senses differs from the perfect mathematical model in the sense, that it is affected by small anomalies and errors and an incredible depth of detail. The same applies to analog gear, so the interferences, distortions and noises make the music how I do it, more physical and organic – even though it sometimes is very machine-like and mathematical.

Given Meindl’s stellar setup in the studio and dedication to combining analog and digital production, we had to learn more about his go-to’s in the lab. Knowing that his deep catalog of releases means lots of time to refine his setup, it’s no surprise that Meindl has a drool-worthy rack and much more lining the walls of a Berlin workspace. After giving the 1-track double vinyl a rinse, we asked Florian to share a few of his go-to hardware during the making of ‘Nonlinear Times’. 

Dig into five hardware components that were essential in making the new album. Could you hear any of these working out in your studio?

Eurorack Modular Synth

The majority of the sounds come from my Modular Synth. The modules used most often are Tiptop Audio Bass Drum, Make Noise Telharmonic, Noise engineering Loquelic Iteras Percido, 4ms Pingable Envelope Generator and the Roland 531 Mixer Module.

Arturia Matrixbrute

This big ship is my favorite analog synth for rough analog monophonic 70s melodies. It can do so much more but on the album, I created the melodies for “Surrealist” or “Opposite Dream”

Dave Smith OB-6

For all polyphonic sequences I used the OB-6 from Dave Smith. It’s outstanding sonic richness and strength is remarkable, especially the filter and it’s onboard effects make it a true studio weapon! I also own the Virus TI for instance and even though this is also good for pads, it cannot do those bold rough but sweet lead lines I think. By large parts because of the filter, I think.

Nord Lead

This very widespread studio classic is perfect for either more classic slightly cheesy leads. Also perfect for dreamy polyphonic things with a subtle pitch modulation but also for effects like filter resonances. It sounds quite thin but if everything else comes from the modular system or other analog gear it’s a nice high fidelity contrast.

Manley Massive Passive

I mastered everything myself with the Manley Massive Passive and gear from Tegeler Audio and this gave the final polish and shape to all tracks. I find that the Manley can tidy up the subbass and the Tegeler Audio Schwerkraftmaschine, which is a tube compressor, adds a small amount of warm bass. This way I round up my tracks and take away the harshness or give it more body and weight.
Admittedly an evolution in his typical setup this fourth studio album is undoubtedly a hybrid approach. By first becoming an expert on the in’s and out’s of how sound is created and perceived, Meindl poised to make an informed approach. The sheer volume of techno producers these days naturally pushes the boundaries. The process has come a long way from Detroit influences. Meindl and a few other’s have taken a calculated approach to progression. He combining a long-time affair with digital arrangement. But the results really shine when he lets a handful of legendary synths do the heavy lifting.

I went back a bit to the digital domain (Cubase and Native Instruments Komplete) in order to combine the best of both worlds. I figured out that working completely analog, with endless possibilities within the modular synth, distracts me personally too much from the musicality

A true artist, he knows it not all perfect in the world of production (and shouldn’t be). Meindl’s pragmatic approach the composition is a refreshing indicator of the current industry. By learning every step of the way, he’s defining a legacy in techno. 

I will try to master every single piece of equipment as good as I can and at the same time I will continue to give errors a room to happen.

‘Nonlinear Times’ is out February 22, 2019

Pre-Order the Album Here