Talent is the road that will lead you to success, hardware is the wheels that you’ll ride in on, but your setup, the integration of talent, hardware, and design, is the vehicle that will drive you to your final goal. The road may be rough and your tires may be flat, but you can still reach your goal so long as your vehicle works. However if your vehicle won’t move, you will never reach your destination in time.
Although extended metaphors are very poetic, they’re not descriptive nor precise, especially when used to elaborate a very technical issue like a Live EDM setup.
My musical talents reside in hyper-active bass music, notably Complextro, and Moombahcore, which presents an initial problem of having too many sounds playing at once. The easiest fix for this is to make all sounds mute all other sounds, which actually isn’t very easy to do. Then for each sound there needed to be basic parameter controls, like note frequency, synth selection, and synth modulation. Combining all these parameters together using manual controls would not be possible, as I’m not a 12 man band. So for my live setup, multiple midi loops interact with each other to create the total synth outcome. Synths are then processed through audio effects, e.g. ungodly amount of hotdog limiting, or mandatory sidechain compression.
The hardware is just the physical interaction with the computer. 3 launchpads are used to trigger the midi loops and drums, the LPD8 is used to control the audio effects, and the Nanokontroll controls synth modulation. The largest piece of equipment used is the MPC1000, which, ironically, has the least amount of system control, BPM only.
In reality, the setup is actually really simple. In fact any engineer could probably design it in 3, 4 months TOPS.