Workspaces and Environments : Richard Devine

Hello from both Justin and I. We’ve scrambled for the past couple weeks trying to find artists that were interested in sharing their workspace and insight into how they work. We were both surprised at the amount of enthusiasm and interests that the artists responded with. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank them!! We have over 40 interested artists lined up so far. We will release two or three articles weekly. To officially start off the Workspace and Environment series at trash_audio, we tricked one of our friends into it: Richard Devine.

Richard Devine:
I have been working on music for almost fifteen years now. I started when I was 16 just recording tons of strange sounds and things to tape, then I eventually moved to working with digital samplers in the early 90’s. From there I progressed to working with computers and digital signal processing. I have always considered my self more of a sound collage artist. Dealing more with sound design, and creating an unusual space or experience for the listener.

Regarding Hardware
I have so many favorites its ridiculous. I have really been digging the new Roland V-synth GT. Some may think that sounds a bit odd, but I have been getting some unreal sounds with it. It is using totally new AP (Articulate Phrase) Synthesis technology models the performance behavior and nuance of musical instruments. Playing a sound of a recorded whale or bird and playing it like a violin or guitar. It’s interesting to see how you can apply acoustic instrumentation simulation to totally unusual sound sources and textures. It allows you to shape and manipulate the sound in new ways I haven’t yet explored. The Elastic Audio Synthesizer engine is amazing as you can spectral blur and mesh the frequencies of samples with the Chaos controller or D-Beam controller. It’s really interesting when you mix two different samples and layer them then mesh the frequencies and mess with the time trip function, which warps and beaks apart the sounds. I have been getting some really spooky vocal effects and surreal textured pads. Its an amazing piece of new technology and I have so much more to explore.

Regarding Software
Well, I love Native Instruments Kontakt 3 that was just released. I have been a long time fan of the NI software, and the new update to there virtual sampler is amazing. I have literally hundreds of plug-ins that I use on a day-to-day basis, and it would be nearly impossible for me to list all of my favorites. I really like Composer’s Desktop Project for Spectral FFT processing and sound coloration. I also really dig the Kyma System by Symbolic Sound. I have gotten some really amazing sounds over the years using that system. Some of my favorite plugs are VirSyn Cube and Terra, Reaktor 5, Max/MSP, pluggo, GRM tools, and Battery 3.

Regarding Workspace and Environment
I have been working lately in my kitchen a lot. I know that sounds funny, but I have been really experimenting with trying to isolate myself with just the bare essentials and try to force myself to get new sounds with just the plug-ins and my software. I have a crazy studio of hundreds of keyboards and hardware modular systems, but it all gets bounced down and manipulated in the computer in the end, so my studio usually just gets used as a recording room, with my desk and processing equipment. I will do my mix downs in there, but all the song writing and programming is now done in my kitchen. I think I can be more creative if I have fewer distractions and fancy lights to deter my attention.

Additional Projects
Oh man! That has been what I have mainly focusing on lately, working primarily doing boutique sound design for commercial companies. I have done music and sound design for video games/websites/TV spots/Film Scores/Audio Content for other audio companies. It’s been so successful that I decided to start my own company this year called DevineSound. Me and my fellow mate Josh Kay (formerly of Schematic Records) plan to launch the site and company next year 2008. Opening our doors to other ad agencies and companies who want really cutting edge sound design and music.

First Hardware
One of the first synthesizers I got my hands on was the Arp 2600 modular. It was the old battle ship gray model v1.0 with the 3604P keyboard. It was the first piece of equipment that I bought that really opened my ears to a whole new world. I was completely blown away with it. It was the basis for my first explorations as a sound designer. I learned so many things by patching the 2600 in different configurations. I learned about frequency modulation and control voltage feedback. I love all the various combinations and routings you could make. No rules, and no right or wrong way to go about, just how music should be.

Wish List
I have so many things that I would love to have. First off would be a full-blown Buchla 200e modular. I would get the Multi-Dimensional Kinesthetic Input Port, the Source of Uncertainty, and Arbitrary function Generator. I would go all out, and build the most bizarre system ever. Just for making the most unusual sounds on the planet. I would also like to expand on my current Doepfer modular setup. I would like to get more of Peter Gerenader Plan B modules. I am currently building a crazy system for really odd ends and bits. I should be done by the end of 2008. I also love Mike Brown’s stuff (LiveWire). I am greatly anticipating his new VCO which I want to get 3 of, and incorporate into my setup now. As for other gear, I am looking forward to the new Yamaha “Tenori” Controller, and Max/MSP 5 from cycling74. So much cool new stuff I could talk to days.

Mobile Workstation
My mobile setup is pretty simple. I have two laptops one Sony Viao and Macbook pro. I have a RME Fireface400 soundcard, and M-audio Oxygen-8v2 keyboard that I use. I also use the Ultimate Ears UE-10’s in ear monitors to mix to when I am on the go. I must say that these in ear’s are one of the best investments I have made in my musical career. I also usually travel with a hand full of portable recording gear, like the Sound Devices MixPre, and M-audio microtrack 24 recorders. I always bring a bunch of microphones with me to do any on the spot field recording. My favorites are the Rode NT4, Sony ECM-5, Beyer Dynamic 930’s, and next for me will be the Sennheiser’s MKH-418S-P48, and DPA 4017 shotgun microphones. I am getting more into field and foley recording lately, so I have been investing more and more into proper microphones and mic pre’s.

I keep my live setup pretty simple these days. One Mac book Pro, and my Sony Viao, running Nuendo and Logic Studio. I have two controllers that I like to use for my live performances. The Xession, and the UC-33e. I sometimes bring out my Allen & Heath Xone 3D when I DJ. It usua
lly depends on the gig.

I have only had my studio in two locations. First was at my parents place, then I moved out and setup a new studio here at my new house. Nothing has really changed other then the fact that I have this horrible addiction to getting more gear. It never stops, my quest for new sounds will never end.

Richard Devine was born in St. Louis, Missouri and now lives in Atlanta, Georgia. His work can be found on Schematic Records, Sublight and Warp records.

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One Response to “Workspaces and Environments : Richard Devine”

  1. dalek April 26, 2010 at 9:51 pm #

    Is that an MS20 legacy controller???