Richard Devine: Analog Live! Follow Up (Now with TWO pictures)

Hello all. I’ve skimmed through a lot of forums that link to us and there is a lot of slander and animosity even but hey, what’s new! I decided to re-interview some of our artists. Also, I made a point that I was not going to write these articles as a reaction to negativity nor a defense for our fellow artists. I was simply going to have an open dialog that would naturally address issues through personality, also I thought would be somewhat of an interesting read. Now onto the interview!

Can you talk about your endorsements? What do the companies expect of you when they sign you on?

Well, most of the gear that was given to me was like I said from the previous answer is from projects where I designed factory patches or internal sounds. I know a lot of people probably think that I am some rich bastard who just collects synths and piles them up in a room, when honestly they were all companies that I worked with in creating the sounds for each synth. Every synth you see in my studio was a project that I participated in and you can find many of my sounds in these synths. It’s really fun, I look at sound synth programming as one of my favorite things to do these days. I can really learn new hardware and technology and at the same time build my sound design library which grows a little more each week.

You mentioned you had heart surgery a while ago. Although we talked about it privately, can you divulge publicly what happened?

Well, I got what is called “bacterial endocarditis” which is basically a staph infection of your blood which then attacks your heart valves and outer lining of the heart. Its very bad stuff, and it almost killed me twice in the hospital this year. I spent a good two months rehabilitating myself back to normal from that. I didn’t get away unscathed as I now have a mechanical heart valve ticking away in my aortic opening. So I now click and tick like a real machine. I even have my own serial and ID number now. I guess I have turned into a real life droid=) It’s been a rough recovery to get back on my feet, and get my life back in order. It was a massive ordeal and I thank god that I am back on planet earth again. I was never faced with the idea of my own mortality until this all happened. You never think that you could loose your life at such a young age. I am only 31 so it was shocking to hear that I would have to have open heart surgery, and be on blood thinners (rat poison) for the rest of my life. It has completely changed my outlook on life. I really appreciate every day I have now.

Onto something more lighthearted…. PUN INTENDED
I know how you use modular but can you explain how you approach them for people who may not know? I usually separate people into two groups: there are the musical modulars and the sound design modular heads. (A good portion of people find themselves in both categories.)

Well, I would definitely consider myself a Sound Design modular head. I always use these systems for more non-musical things. Mostly for random generators, chaos frequency modulation, and creating alien modulated sound structures. I have always loved the fact that you can patch, multiply, cross feedback, invert, mutate, and divide, what you will of control voltages giving you lots of options for making complex sounds. Which is what initially drew me into using them in the first place? I still have all my old modulars synths, as I always love going back to them and messing around, and sampling them. You see that my collection of modular stuff revolves more around chaotic random things, like the Doepfer 149-1, 2, and two of Peter’s Heisenberg Generators. I am still building more, but I love using modules that generate random voltages and gates much like Don Buchla’s 266e (Source Of Uncertainty). I usually patch things around until I get something really interesting then sample it and then dump it into Battery 3 or Kontakt 3 for further manipulation and control.

Can you talk about how you saw yourself compliment the other artists and the analog live show in general.

I was asked to participate in the show about a year ago. I have been long time friends with Peter Grenader from Plan B modular (Ear Acoustic). He had been playing around with the idea of doing a show with artists and friends he admired. I have always loved Peter’s work. His music and the piece “The Secret Life of Semiconductors” he played is one of my favorite analogue pieces to date. I was very excited at working with Peter and doing a show with him. It turned out to be a complete success and I was extremely happy to meet the other artists like Alessandro Cortini, and Chas Smith who I have been a long time fan for many years. It was a very interesting to see how everyone approached using these new and old machines to make compositional works. I unfortunately couldn’t bring out my modular stuff, as I have strict weight lifting restrictions from only having my surgery months ago. So I had to play on my computers which I know many people might have frowned on me for, but it was the only way I could participate in the show. I was just happy to be there and experience the show.

Obviously modulars are limited in their capabilities for performance but have major advantages in the studio: What was your thought process in getting together your performance?

Yes, there are some definite limitations to using analogue modular gear for live performances, but I like that in a way. I like having only a few options and really making the best out of the situation. I have performed a number of times with my modular gear, and sometimes like to jam live on the old TR-606 and TB-303. I love that you can work a crowd with just minimal equipment and I try to really work at my musical composition and sequencing to heighten the experience.

You said, and I along with others agree, that having too much gear hinders you from being productive (programming, fleshing out ideas). Can you explain how you see your gear in your studio?

I totally agree with that. Like I said I work mostly from my kitchen table these days, with just my macbook and sony viao, and sound card. Its super simple I keep everything in one environment. I work mostly on sound design projects, working with major advertising companies, as well as other audio manufactures always creating new sounds. I do have a lot of keyboards, but these where projects where I design or programmed the sounds for each of these companies, so I acquired many hardware synths as you can see. It’s great to have them here as I like to compare notes all the time when designing new sounds for another company. I will compare thousands of patches on different machines, using different forms of synthesis. I use them all at one point or another. Everything gets sampled or manipulated to use as a layer or component in a piece or for a sound layer in something else that I give to users in sound libraries or other synth sounds.

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