Martin Solveig

Melancholic Groove in 3D


At the heart of the “future of audio” are people – inspired individuals who dare to give shape to their creative vision and artistic imagination. Decision makers who prefer to reach their audiences and customers through great audio. Audio lovers who work relentlessly on innovative projects, who redefine and recreate sound experiences that touch the very souls of their listeners. “People” is dedicated to all those musicians, artists, engineers, producers, decision makers, owners and audio designers who fill and shape our world with sensational sound.

With the help of AMBEO®, world-renowned DJ Martin Solveig has rediscovered his own music. He talks about his fascinating 3D experience and about the song he will be premiering for Sennheiser in Miami Beach.

  • Author: Gunter Ullrich
  • Photos: Martin Solveig, Florian Jürgs Photography, DJ Marketing Communication Ltd.

The famous DJ is sitting quite calmly for the moment. Martin Solveig - who spins for tens of thousands of party goers, who has produced several global summer hits and whose music videos have been viewed hundreds of millions of times -- is waiting. His eyes are focused on the person sitting across from him, who has just pressed stop on Solveig’s laptop. Gregor Zielinsky, Sennheiser’s tonmeister, is Solveig’s only audience on this warm September day in a suburban Berlin studio. He has only listened to the first few bars of the song, but Zielinsky turns to his left, laughs, pats Solveig’s shoulder and says: “Perfect.”

Since the mid-1990s, Martin Solveig has worked his way up from electronic clubs in Paris to become a fixture in the most important clubs in the world. Still he says: “When I produce a new song, I start without a big plan, without having thought a lot about it beforehand. When it’s finished, then I evaluate it very simply: Either I like it, or I find it ok.” The latter is more often the case and Solveig doesn’t release “ok” songs. But this one, the one that just finished playing, he likes very much.

The song Zielinsky described as “perfect” after listening to just a few seconds is a special one. It is the first song Solveig will mix in cooperation with Sennheiser using AMBEO® 3D audio technology.

“We are always looking for the best artists so we can further develop our technology and push it forward,” says Zielinsky. Following Robin Schulz’s production of “More Than a Friend,” Solveig is the latest renowned DJ to compose an AMBEO® 3D audio track. “We can pull an uncanny number of 3D elements out of his song,” Zielinsky continues.

In the studio
„AMBEO® 3D audio is impressive - more impressive than I had expected.“

Solveig’s song is called “Places,” and is a bit more melancholic than the dance beats most people know him for. His biggest hits, “Hello,” “Do It Right” and “Intoxicated,” were clear invitations to dance. “Places,” meanwhile, is groovy, catchy and underscored with typical French charm. But Solveig found the inspiration for the song in Norway, from Norwegian singer-songwriter Ina Wroldsen. In 2015, she produced a global hit with Calvin Harris called “How Deep Is Your Love” and now she has also collaborated with Solveig. “We met in a studio in Norway and began writing right away,” Solveig says. “I immediately had a special feeling because of her voice,” because, he says, it was so unique, so emotional, touching and powerful. “She inspired me to compose something more passionate and more melancholic than I normally would.” Two days later, the lyrics and the blueprint for the song were finished.

Solveig doesn’t collaborate with others too often. It often makes him feel uncomfortable. But his cooperation with Sennheiser was different -- “because Sennheiser makes the piece of equipment that I have used, and continue to use, the most: the HD 25.” In his last 20 years as a DJ, he has gone through around 130 pairs of HD 25 headphones. “In my opinion, they are the best DJ headphones in existence,” he says. “It may sound a bit strange, but I have to admit that I also often use them to mix and produce.” Because he is used to the sound, Solveig can use the HD 25 as a benchmark. He knows how a song has to sound on the headphones for it to have the right balance coming out of club speakers. “That made the collaboration with Sennheiser very nice for me.”

The only problem: He had never had the opportunity to listen to AMBEO® 3D audio sound. “Still he managed to immediately compose a multi-layered track,” says Zielinsky.

In early October, he invited Solveig to his studio in Hanover, where the DJ experienced AMBEO 3D sound quality for the first time. “It is really impressive,” says Solveig. “Actually more impressive than I had expected. A truly emotional, physical experience. You can do so many things with the AMBEO® 3D sound. You almost have to decide where in the room is the best place to listen to the song.”

New ways of appreciating visionary sound

He didn’t allow it to influence him while composing. “I would say it another way: AMBEO® 3D audio gives me the opportunity to remix my sound, to allow it to have an effect in a different dimension.” For Solveig, the project is an experiment in a totally new environment. “That has always been, and still is, exciting for me - especially when it’s about sound development.” He tends to believe that human ears have a specific perceptive faculty for a certain voice and music frequency. As a result, it’s always surprising for him to see that there are many more possibilities for experiencing sound than the normal perception our ears are used to.

Martin Solveig and the HE-1

For Solveig this also means an opportunity to change the future of audio. “Every big change in the way we listen to music can create a massive change in the way we make music,” he says. “I think the potential uses for AMBEO® 3D audio are huge. Just imagine that sound can be delivered in concert halls or cinemas in a completely new way.”

He can imagine shows where the audience is pulled into an innovative, new sound environment by way of AMBEO® 3D audio technology. “It’s crazy if you think about it,” he says. “People are naturally used to hearing sound coming from the front, along with the visuals and effects. An evening at a club is, after all, kind of like a show. But when you imagine creating a show with the help of AMBEO® 3D audio where the crowd is transported into a concert hall where the sound is coming from everywhere, from every direction, it’s hard to imagine, but it’s a fascinating and exciting thought.”

The ultimate sound experience, underscored by the sound of surf

On November 29, Martin Solveig will turn this idea into reality. He will premiere “Places” at the Audemars Piguet Party on the beach at Miami Beach. Under the open sky, underscored with the gentle sound of the surf.