Trifonic had a party yesterday in San Francisco promoting their debut album coming out in a few days and here we are with their interview. Rarely do I promote other people’s music [Buy it now - Justin] but this album is melodically and technically beautiful. Don’t worry I won’t do an album review, only the interview…
I started playing guitar when I was 11, so I’ve been involved with music for 14 years. I studied jazz guitar in college and began exploring electronic music production at the same time. I work with my brother Laurence under the name Trifonic. Our debut album “Emergence” will be available directly from our website, www.trifonic.com, starting February 26, 2008. It will also be available on iTunes, Amazon and the other usual suspects.
What is your current favorite piece of hardware?
The Virus TI is my favorite hardware piece at the moment. It can produce a wide range of sounds, and it has great digital filters and FX. The Virus is especially good for creating warbly, wobbly, nasty basses. I like to sample bass sounds from the Virus and process them with distortion, compression and then resample the sound. I typically repeat the processing and resampling a few times until I get the sound I want. I have a soft spot for those classic DNB Reece sounds, and the Virus is perfect for that as well as other synthetic sounds.
What is your current favorite software or plugin? What makes this your favorite?
Logic Pro 7 and 8 are my favorites. Sculpture, Logic’s physical modeling synth, is capable of all sorts of rolling and bouncing melodic sounds that are emotional, strange and unpredictable. We used to Sculpture on our track “Parks On Fire” to make the melody line that sounds like a marble rolling around. I also love Logic’s Space Designer convolution reverb. You can load any sound file as an impulse and get wonderfully unexpected results. Logic 8 has an amazing new plug-in Delay Designer, which is a multi-tap delay that gives you pan, pitch and filter control over each delay tap. Its pretty crazy.
How does your physical space and surroundings influence your workflow?
The vibe and ergonomics of a workspace are essential. Our studio is set up in a tiny room, which is conducive to working efficiently and taking advantage of all of our gear. Everything is within arm’s reach and very accessible, and we have most of our hardware running through a patch bay. So it’s pretty effortless to incorporate any piece of equipment that we want. On the other hand, our room isn’t big enough for a full bass response, and that was a problem at first. We work around that issue by using a second set of monitors with a sub so that we can compare the bass levels. I also spent a lot of time listening to reference music when we first set up the studio, which really helped me get a feel for what things are supposed to sound like in the room.
Are you involved with music outside of your own?
I worked for BT as a guitarist/programmer from 2003 to 2007. I worked on a film score with him recently for the movie “Battle In Seattle” (Charlize Theron, Ray Liota, Woody Harrelson.) I’ve also been doing some session guitar work for the video game composer Jesper Kyd. I find visuals very inspiring when I create music, so I really enjoy working to picture.
What was the first piece of hardware you remember obtaining?
In 1994 my parents bought me a sunburst Fender Strat that was made in Mexico and a Crate GX-10R amplifier I was in 6th grade. It was my first guitar and it was awesome!
What is on your current ‘wish list’ for new hardware or software?
Hardware: Cwejman S1 Analog Synth, Pedal-steel guitar, Mandolin, 5-string electric Bass
Software: Sonnox Oxford plug-ins, Live 7