Workspace and Environment: Big Black Delta

Big Black Delta1

Jonathan Bates from Big Black Delta

Background
Born in Venezuela. Grew up in Miami. Lived in Boston. Hung out in LA and a woman bought me a drink. I never went back. True story.
I started playing guitar when I was around 13. I was good at it and could shred & shit, but it had no musical value. I didn’t really start listening to music and trying to write songs until I was about 19 or 20. Being a late bloomer is cool, cause I’m still freaking out about bands that people were over by the time they turned 16 (I’m 31). Besides jealousy, the prospect of a new sound or a simple song coming my way is the greatest motivator. The current name of the game is Big Black Delta and I also did stuff as mellowdrone

Currently
For Big Black Delta, Im planning to release an ep every 3-4 months. Im tired of spending a year and a half on LP’s. For this first EP, I’m giving a free mp3 download of a different song every couple of weeks. I’m using Topspin to do this. Down the road I’ll print up vinyl and CD’s but for now, I just want to get music out there. There will be AAC and every kind of format available once im done giving this first EP away.
My friend Caspar at Version Industries has been designing the visual media and website. As well as teaching me how to use Topspin. Could not have done this without him. While making the EP, Alessandro Cortini and I would meet almost weekly to trade each others music and critique. It really helps to get an objective opinion when making your own music. As all of us do, I tend to get lost in the wilderness and sometimes need a simple slap in the face.

Favorite Hardware
My Grado headphones, Akai LPK25 and a Shure SM7B. Not knowing where I’m going to record means I need a portable standard. These headphones help do that. SM7B cause it just works. I tried the mini controllers stuff from Korg, but I went through 3 of them in a month. The Akai is a lot stronger. Hate having stuff. Its just more shit to worry about, so the less hardware the better for me. I just end up bothering my friends.

Software
I write and record in Logic because of the ease and access. Its glitchy, but its worth it. The SoundToys suite has been a favorite as of late. Echoboy and the Decapitator are incredible. Michael Norris’ suite is great and free. Olga is a great shareware synth I use a lot. But what I use the most is the standard Logic compressor. When used incorrectly, its pretty neat. Besides that, I love collecting samples of non instrument-based sounds.

Workspace and Environment
The more isolated I feel, the better my imagination works, the better the music. So a space could be cocoon-like or outside in a field, as long as people aren’t around, I can create freely. It feels like my whole life, I’ve been recording in an apartment, or a friends house…

Ideal Location
In the woods, not far from the ocean. With lots of light and a quite bar nearby. I would like to try in Alaska one day. Or in one of those industrial-grade tree houses they have in Hawaii.

Ever Hear Your Music Playing In A Public Space?
Yes. It was like graduating from high school. I was like :”shouldn’t this be cooler or something?”

Extracurricular
I’ve had the pleasure of recently working with or producing/mixing: SONOIO, White Sea, M83, War Widow… and I just finished a Yogi Gong record.

Listen to Big Black Delta in the player below, or visit him at BigBlackDelta.com

8 Responses to “Workspace and Environment: Big Black Delta”

  1. James Arnold July 29, 2010 at 4:22 am #

    Loving the music so far, greatly looking forward to the rest of this ep and beyond!

  2. Bobby Hines July 29, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

    Interesting stuff. Mellowdrone is (was?) awesome. Looking forward to BBD.

  3. Joe A July 29, 2010 at 1:28 pm #

    Whoa! Sweet!
    Acoustic drums or sampled?

  4. Greg Lois July 29, 2010 at 6:27 pm #

    Huge fan. When you playing NYC again? Saw you at Piano’s (as Mellowdrone) with your Second-Biggest-Fan (Ralphy) and it was one of the best, if not THE best, show I’ve everseen.

    Come back to NYC!

  5. Crouton Seànce March 1, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

    Grado woody’s….great headphones!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks:

  1. Big Black Delta – BBDLP1 | Trash_Audio - September 26, 2011

    […] Black Delta, who was previously on our Workspace and Environment series, released his first album today called BBDLP1. The digital album is free for the next 7 days […]

  2. MISC – 07.29.2010 – Trash Audio (Workspace & Environment) | Big Black Delta Archive - March 21, 2012

    […] Trash Audio “Workspace and Environment: Big Black […]

  3. Popshifter » Big Black Delta, Tour EP - August 30, 2012

    […] of sounds on this Tour EP are diverse yet unified in spirit and ultimately thrilling. In a recent interview with Trash Audio, Bates said, “I’m planning to release an EP every 3-4 months.” […]

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