Christoffer Berg – programming the Delta Machine
Release Music Magazine has an interview out with the programmer behind Depeche Mode’s latest album:
Swedish musician, producer, mixer and programmer Christoffer Berg, 31, had already made a name for himself on the electronic music scene because of his involvement with The Knife and Fever Ray. The rumour about his skills finally reached the Depeche Mode management and, all of a sudden, Daniel Miller was on the phone… Peter Marchione talked to Mr Berg in Gothenburg – his and Release’s hometown – and Fredrik “Schlatta” Svensson took some photos in Svenska Grammofonstudion.
Coast to coast
During the past year Christoffer Berg was hired full time to manage the programming on the latest Depeche Mode full length release “Delta Machine”. A massive production that took place in two different cities, one on each coast in the US where Martin Gore and David Gahan reside these days: Santa Barbara and New York.
When searching for information regarding Berg’s background you may find him rather anonymous. Apart from his own projects, Hird, and the Dreijer connection there is not a lot to find. So, how did this all start; did he just pop up out of nowhere?
– My parents were both professional musicians. My mother was a member of a female musical collective and my father was a producer with his own label, releasing children´s music among other things. He also recorded radio children’s programs for Swedish national radio.
So, music was a part of your life from the very beginning?
– It sure was. When I grew up I got to hang around with lots of different musicians and I myself started playing the drums at the age of 6. I then played in different big bands and later on, during high school, I had a lot of own bands. During this period I also worked semi-professionally as an assistant for other engineers and producers. What I learned most from was assisting at mobile recording sessions of classical music. I used to set up microphones at large events around the Gothenburg area.
This is pretty far from electronic music. How did synths, sequencers etc. become your thing?
– I was into electronic music already during my high school days. My father bought me one of the first Macs that were able to record multitrack audio and we also had a PC with a soundcard that allowed onboard RAM sampling. I could then use the computer pretty much like a sampler and started programming songs. Later on I got a Kurzweil K2500 sampler. Back in those days the standard kit was an Atari computer, a sync box, a couple of hardware synths and a mixer… and some rack effect unit, if you were lucky. However, soon after I got the Kurzweil sampler, Swedish software developers Propellerhead released their first version of their Reason software. I then understood that things were going to change and that software synths were the future.