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Workspace and Environment: Yip-Yip

Hi.


Jason Temple and Brian Esser of Yip-Yip

Background
Jason: I was born in Connecticut. my family moved to Florida when I was eleven. Probably because there’s no state income
tax and it’s cheap to live here.
Brian: Chicago, IL. my family moved here (Orlando, Florida) when I was five.
Jason: March 31st, 2001 is when Yip-Yip started.

What is your favorite piece of hardware?
Jason: Korg MS-10. I’ve had it for five years or so and it’s the perfect synthesizer.
Brian: I just got a Moogerfooger freqbox, so I am pretty excited about that. My Synare PS-1 is probably still my favorite though.

What is your favorite software?
Brian: We only use Acid 4.0 and Sound Forge 7.0, that that’s basically all we have ever used, so those are our favorites.

How does your environment influence your workflow?
Brian: Being surrounded by gear and other fun stuff always helps. Since we moved to a new house, things have been great because we have more room. We can have everything out and ready to use, instead of half of it boxed up in the closet.

What was the first piece of hardware you remember obtaining?
Brian: My first synth was a Roland JP-8000. It was a graduation present from my parents. We used it for the first few years of Yip-Yip, until it died and I got a Moog MG-1.
Jason: I got my saxophone when I was nine or ten. I played in elementary and middle school. I played it again in high school for a few months when I was in a ska band. It sat in my closet for almost a decade after that. I just started using it again for Yip-Yip. My first synth was a Theremaniacs Theremin I got on ebay about eight years ago.

What is on your current wish list?
Brian: I’m not supposed to have a wishlist anymore according to Jason and Rachel, but I do still want a gong sheet, a working shin-ei surf/siren pedal (mine came broken), a crash cymbal, an Ace-tone top-1 organ, and the mfos mini-synth plus mini-controller kits.
Jason: Korg MS-20, MS-50, MS-02, MS-03, VC-10, SQ-10, Multimoog, Synthi, EDP Wasp or Gnat Deluxe

What does your live setup consist of?
Brian: Yes, my side is a Moog MG-1, a Galanti clipper combo organ, Boss SP-404 sampler, Moog freqbox, EHX Pog and frequency analyzer, Synare PS-1, mixer, cymbals and a gong.
Jason: Korg MS-10, MS-01, MS-04, Micromoog, Washburn ax:9 analog delay, Guyatone analog stereo chorus, alto saxophone, Synare sensor, a crummy cymbal, a crummy mixer.

How has your studio evolved?
Brian: We have had Yip-Yip rooms at the last 3 places we’ve lived. They mostly just get bigger, with more stuff.
Jason: We’ve recorded ourselves since we started. We’ve recorded ourselves in seven physical locations.

You can find them online:
www.yip-yip.com, or myspace.com/yipyip

Workspace and Environment: Everlovely Lightningheart

When your questions are longer than the answers you receive, you’re probably doing something wrong. I generally try to patch up answers, with the approval from the artists but I was pretty lost with the responses Faith gave me so I decided to just leave it. Everlovely Lightningheart actually might hate us, but were nice enough to send a picture and answers. It doesn’t matter because we love them anyway.

Faith Coloccia of Everlovely Lightningheart

How long have you been involved with making music?
12 years

What is the name you work under and where can we find your work?
Everlovely Lightningheart- Hydra Head Records, Weather Machine Records, HydraHead.com
everlovelylightningheart.com
Mamiffer- Dead Accents Records, Hydra Head Records
VUM- not released yet

What is your current favorite piece of hardware?
Piano hand made in Germany, and Brain. Piano- endless composition experimentation field. Brain-”

What is your current favorite software or plugin?
The mind. Cannot misplace

How does your physical space and surroundings influence your workflow?
Chris has sex on the left side, and Faith is currently homeless, for 2 more days

Are you involved in any other sound work?
The Calm At The Edge of The Sea, and another film. Coming up

Workspace and Environment: Tim Exile

Background
I began music in general from 5 (when I started to play the violin),
DJing from 14, making electronic music from 16. You can find me under Tim Exile, formerly just Exile. You can find my 2 albums on Planet Mu records and lots of singles on various drum n bass labels such as Moving Shadow, Beta Recordings, Frequency, Renegade Hardware etc etc. I also did an EP on Mosquito records, Cristian Vogel’s label. You can also check out one of my live improvised shows. Head to youtube and search for Time Exile for some examples.

Favorite Hardware?
Probably my live laptop… it’s lasted for 4 years, is still going strong, and bang for buck it’s probably been the most versatile over the years.

Favorite Software
I’m currently enjoying Pro Tools again after a dark period from 6.0 to 7.0 where it really wasn’t great. I know it back to front and it’s now very stable and simple. I like the degree of accuracy you can achieve with it.

Does your physical space and environment affect your music?
Hugely. I moved to Berlin so I could afford to have a separate space for my studio without having to make too many compromises. Having a room which is just for making music makes a huge difference to my output. I’m in an apartment block though, which sometimes hinders my sense of immersion as I know other people can hear my experiments and bad vocal takes! I also get bad back pain & RSI due to spending too much time hunched over a computer editing at the speed of light when I was younger. I now have to be very careful that everything is set up in an ergonomic way

First piece of hardware
A Sequential Circuits Pro One

Wishlist
A Faster Computer (as always).
A high-end mic preamp.
A high-end mic.
A false room for sound isolation.
Bass Traps.
A really good software solution for making all sorts of controller and HID devices talk to all sorts of software. A really good universal non-windows USB MIDI driver. A new version of Pro Tools with more audio tracks and freezing function. A new version of Reaktor with better usability . Protools TDM would be nice but it’s a way away I think.

Mobility
My live setup is pretty much a mobile studio. 2 laptops, MOTU 828, Alesis Photon x25, Doepfer Regelwerk, M-Audio MIDIsport 2×2, M-Audio MIDIsport UNO, Wireless headset mic, wireless logitech wingman joystick, Akai MPD16, Korg Kaoss Pad, Evolution UC16. Lots of leads, lots of things to break, lots of things to crash, lots of things for airlines to lose!

How many different setup have you had?
I’m now on my 11th setup! I’ve never counted before. That’s a hell of a lot isn’t it! Due to moving regularly my studio has actually shrunk over time. I still find it difficult to actually part with things I’ve owned but over the years I’ve sold all my hardware. My studio is now a museum of MIDI controllers, a couple of laptops and a desktop.

Tim Exile was born in Cheltenham, UK and ended up in Berlin for musical
reasons. His new album will be released within the new few months.

Workspace and Environment: Tobias Freund

If anyone has any tips on EVP recording, please send them to the e-mail the right. I’m going to a questionable place tomorrow evening and would like some insight if anyone has some. I’ll be back in Chicago on wednesday. Sacrificing hoodie weather for a place where your snot freezes inside your nose isn’t something I’m looking forward to. To the poor saps up there, don’t get used to me cause I’m going to Orlando for a few weeks. As for Tobias, normally I ask the artists to send me as many pictures as they wish and I reduce them to 3 with some exceptions. This is one of them.

Tobias Freund

Background
I was born close to frankfurt, and lived in frankfurt till 2003. i moved to berlin 5 years ago. I felt like changing things. I have several projects: „Sieg ueber die sonne“ together with Dandy Jack (Martin Schopf), „Atom™ & Pink Elln“ works of improvised live performances with Atom Heart (Ewe Schmidt), „Nsi. non standard institute“ with max loderbauer, former part of „Sun Electric“ and my solo project „Pink Elln, the electronic dream plant“. „Tobias.“ is my latest solo work focusing on dance music.

How long have you been involved with sound?
I bought my first synthesizer ( Korg MS-20 ) in August 1980. Since then, I am doing recordings and experiments. In 1983 I bought the Roland TR-808 rhythm machine. several effect units, sequencers and other little drum machines came along.
All mixed together in an 8 channel mixer from Boss. Over the years the setup changed.

What is your current favorite piece of hardware?
My favorite machine is still the Roland TR-808, but actually it is the combination with my analog effect rack, my Akai S 3200 sampler and the Pearl syncussions. This combination is full of surprises.

What is your current favorite software or plugin?
I avoid to use plugins. The only virtual instruments I sometimes use is the ES-1 in Logic and Battery. In my setup Logic 6 is more or less an extended “tapemachine”.

Workspace and Environment
It is very important for me to have a “good looking” studio, I need windows to be connected with the outside. It has to be kind of ergonomic.


Are you involved in any music/sound work outside of your own projects?
The only project of this sort T was involved in was a cooperation with the Berliner Staatsballett. My nsi. Partner Max and I were involved in a project called ‘shut up and dacne’ where techno or house producers would create or compose music for ballet. The whole thing was performed by the Berliner Staatsballett at the Berghain, a night club in Berlin. More information: www.ostgut.de/ton/


What is on your current ‘wish list’?
I am looking for some old analog effect units, on my wish list is the AMS Harmonizer and the AMS Reverb.

Do you have a mobile studio setup?
No I don’t, but i was thinking about purchasing a digital mobile recorder with a sensible stereo microphone.

Do you have a setup for live performances?
I use a Mac book with Ableton, an Akai MPD 16 pad controller and a Yamaha DX 200 for my live shows. Sometimes I take my TR-808 with me, but only for special occasions because it is too sensitive for club use.

How many physical locations have you had your studio setup?
I had a lot of different locations for my studio. Basically the setup didn’t change too much, except the change from an analog mixer ( Tascam M 3500 ) to a digital one ( Roland V 7200 ).

Workspace and Environment: Rena Jones

We’ll be a little slow on the NAMM stuff but, for now, you can check out some photos of our weekend some friends took: here and here and here and here. I’m still in L.A. soon to head up to San Francisco while Justin flew home today. I am entirely grateful for all the company I’ve had here but I won’t name any names, no I won’t play favorites. People like Mike Brown, Shawn Cleary, James Cigler, Scott Jaeger, Dieter Doepfer, Martijn Zwartjes, Jonathan Leonard, and Nik Reiman know they are already special.
My most amazing friends Justin, Leah, Scott McGrath, Toe Knee (Papa Bear), Roche, Ash, Devine, Baseck, Marianne, Willia, Captain Jon Ahab, Violence, Geoff, Sonya, Moe, Dirty and Memo don’t need reassurance of our friendship on some blog. Since they don’t need to know, you can head over and read about Rena Jones.

Background
I began piano lessons when I was 5, violin in the third grade, cello when I was 16 and began composing on a 4 track when I was 14. It wasn’t until I was about 20 that I had my own DAW but I interned at a recoding studio in Austin, TX and have been using Pro Tools since 1995. I never really felt there was a name that would truly represent myself as an artist so I just compose under my real name. Sometimes I feel like that works against me as most people associate a women’s name with a singer and not an electronic producer but I still prefer to use my real name. I was born in Fargo, ND of all places, moved to Fort Worth/Arlington Texas when I was 1yrs old, then to Austin for 5 yrs, San Francisco for 7 yrs and now reside in Portland, OR. I really enjoy Portland because it is an extremely nature oriented city, the people are lovely, there’s a good and diverse music scene and it’s a great place to call home. I tend to be on the road a lot these days so living in a slower paced cheaper city is ideal.

Favorite Hardware
That’s a tough one. I like different pieces of hardware for different purposes. Currently I have been into FM synthesis. I have a Yamaha FB-01 and a Yamaha DX7. I really enjoy the FM synthesis for their super rich tone and use them more for sourcing than for final composition. The FB-01 is really nice for bass tones and I love running them through an Electro Harmonix Micro Synth, Tube Distortion and random pedals. The nice thing about FM synthesis is you can get really unique sounds if you spend the time to program them. In general, I really love sourcing from real instruments to obtain a rich analog tone and tend to build all my tones and sound banks from real instruments and then manipulate them with granular synthesis or whatever I see fit at the moment. Also, my most important piece of gear without a doubt are my Dynaudio BM5’s. I don’t know how I ever lived without them.

Favorite Software
I have been enjoying Massive as of late but there’s no way I could live without Convolution Reverb. There are some amazing RT60 samples that can bring out the most amazing harmonics in my cello or turn a glockenspiel into the most psychedelic bell sound. yum… I also have been enjoying the Super Destroy FX plug ins, specifically Geometer for giving me that extra little crunch for my kits or bass. For those who don’t know, you can get them free here. http://destroyfx.smartelectronix.com/ (please donate if you like them).

Workspace and Environment
In every way imaginable! No really, I think I spend a lot of time honing my workspace. I am always adding something new, switching out my gear, or just rearranging my workspace. I really try to create a lovely ambiance that makes me feel like I am in a womb. My studio is in my basement so I get that feeling of being in a cave which I prefer that when I work. I really like the subterranean feel because even if I am working in the middle of the day I feel like I am instantly taken to that subconscious level where I feel like the real magic happens. I don’t always like that cave feeling though, if I am doing super critical editing I tend to turn all the lights on and open the windows but when I am in the more free form creative space I tend to turn the lights dim and dive in deep. I really feel like lighting can be a very influencial thing when working. I have special “happy” lights that produce serotonin for certain moods and then some lighting that produces melatonin for other moods.
I also think the most important thing is to have everything accessible. All of my gear is extremely organized, from cables to mics to connectors and adapters to hardware. When everything is easily available, I find that I am more willing to try something new and play with new toys then if they were just in a pile I had to sort through.

Extra Curricular
Currently, I just finished editing audio for a film by Dan Yost who wrote the script for Drug Store Cowboy and have done some work on a few Indie films. I try to get involved in film as much as possible and would love to go more in that direction in the future. As far as video games, I have written songs for Dance Dance Revolution and am about to compose for the next two versions of that game and have also done work on the game Lifeline and Karaoke Revolution as an engineer.
I also worked for Digidesign as a Testing Engineer and did a lot of Sound Design work for commercials etc. when I was a Sr. Sound Engineer for a studio called Wavegroup.

First Piece of Gear
Fostex 4 track

Wishlist
The list is never ending! I’ll just say my basic big wishes first as we would be here all day. I would love some Valve Distortion specifically Thermionic Cultures’ Culture Vulture. Manley Variable Mu, Machine Drum, Neumann mics, Blue’s Woodpecker Ribbon mic, Moog Voyager, Jupiter 8, Juno 106 and as many Electro Harmonix toys that I can get my hands on

Mobile Setup
Mac Book Pro Intel Core Duo 2, Midi Controller, Mbox

Live Setup
I used to have a lot of gear when I played live but now I really feel like less is more.
Mac Book Pro Intel Core Duo 2, Midi Controller, Mbox (soon to be replaced), LoopStation, Mackie Mixer, Violin.

Studio Evolution
I have had my studio in 4 locations now. I tend to not move around a lot, once I find a place I stay there for years.
Two have been in my bedroom, my current studio in my basement and then I had an amazing studio in SF. The studio in SF was incredible, it was an old recording school that went bankrupt so me and two other guys took it over. There were three studios, A, B and C. I had studio C which was a wonderful room. There were floated floors, grounded power, full isobooth and amazi
ng acoustics. I have to say I miss that studio from time to time but it was in a really bad neighborhood so I don’t miss the crack heads smoking out front. lol. All in all I think my studios have changed a lot over the years. My first two studios were just on my desk crammed in my bedroom and now my studio is filled with a lot more gear, acoustically treated and has much better fung shui than my former studios. One of the nicest things about my current studio is that it’s in my home but fully removed from my bedroom. It’s nice to be able to take a break and cook a healthy meal in my kitchen or go for a hike in the beautiful park I live next to. I noticed that when I had my studio in SF, I didn’t have a kitchen, shower or fresh air and would work for days on end living a very unhealthy lifestyle. That was part of my reason for moving to the Pacific Northwest. I really wanted to create a more healthy lifestyle. Living next to a park has been great too because when I am working and need a break, I pop my tracks on my ipod and hike up the hill while I take a more noncritical listen to the pieces I am working on.
I find it very crucial to take regular breaks when working. It’s very easy to get lost in a track and no longer hear the music. Since moving my studio to Portland, I have gotten into a routine of taking regular breaks, eating healthy and having an overall healthy lifestyle around making music. I think that artists tend to get into a very obsessive way of making music and tend to forget about their health. I had a few friends have some major health issues this year so it has made me rethink the way I choose to work.t)

You can find her music and discography here: http://www.renamusic.com

Workspace and Environment: radicalfashion

Justin and I are both in California, finished our NAMM expedition and will meet back in Chicago in a couple of weeks. We have finished gathering all the content from NAMM and will post it up when we have time to piece it all together. Don’t worry, you can find the newest miracle products from any other music source. We’ll have pictures and videos of some of the great content NAMM had. We were introduced to many great products(both new and old) and met so many amazing people. To get away from NAMM a bit, here is a short and sweet interview from the man behind radicalfashion on Hefty Records.


Background
I started learning to play piano when at primary school. At first I didn’t like practice and soon quit it. About a year later, though, I began playing piano again. That’s the starting point. Besides, I have taken part in several bands, and I suppose that experience has helped me develop the sense of functioning as a part of the whole picture.

Favorite Hardware
It is a digital instrument called TENORI-ON. I’m interested in this kind of interface that allows quite intuitive manipulation, as it might enable you to capture the passing moments that you sometimes, quite unconsciously, bring about.

Favorite Software
Basically, I don’t use plugin…

Workspace and Environment
The moderate size of my working room is quite comfortable for me, leaving no wasteful space. I’m considering making a window these days. As you can see in the picture, the pianos are well arranged, aren’t they? This moderateness is convenient for choosing among the instruments. When I want clearer sound images I use the front one, for example.

Extra Curricular
I composed some soundtracks for film by friends made.

Japan’s radicalfashion releases out of the Chicago based Hefty Records. Be sure to check out their album ‘odori’.
Myspace

Workspace and Environment: 000 aka Axiom Crux

We’ll have full details about some gigs we’re involved with in the next week. Chaos is coming! Speaking of chaos here is 000!

Background
Ive been making music since I can remember, some of my first memories are recording sloshing my leggos around in their box and messing with the tape, and playing my sisters tiny vltone Casio, I loved casiochord mode. I played violin in elementary school, and was in choir for a bit (awesome, surrounded by girls, there was like 1 other guy in there). I also started animating very early as well, making flipbooks of sonic the hedgehog for my dads birthday. I think he still has it. My friend across the street, who was in high school when I was about 7, helped me learn basic programming and electronics, and I would program simple generative audio visuals and video-games. I also made a very simple keyboard. When I got a computer with a real soundcard I would spend days messing with my voice in soundedit16 or goldwave.

Favorite Hardware
My favorite would have to be my infusion systems ICUBEX sensor kit. I was given it by the Museum Of Contemporary Art in trade for doing a performance for their Merce Cunningham dance series. We hooked this awesome dancer, Ana Mendez up to it and had her movements control the audio and visual. Its really great because it gives me direct intimate control over sound and visual design, in a way you could never draw automation or design sounds with a keyboard or sliders. It allows me to create organic, synchronized audio and visuals at the same time, live. I have some videos of it up on my site (Internal Reflection, E-Merce at MOCA, and [http://www.axiom-crux.net/video/Sensor_test.html]). I own a cello, sax, flute, and a bunch of other instruments that I love, I find organic played instruments can be more soulful then sequenced.

Favorite Software
I love logic 8, I feel like with a good mac and logic 8, and the Native Instruments Komplete bundle, you could make anything. Max/msp/jitter is something that I felt a serious connection with since I was first introduced to it. I feel unlimited when I use that software. I’m liking the free Michael Norris spectral plugins, and the grm tools are always classic. Metasynth, I love the swishy spectral quality, and you can get so detailed with a single sound. I was also circuit bending and building some custom electronics stuff a few months back. It’s insane what you can do with raw electricity. So much different then the sound of digital, feeding back parts of the signal into places they aren’t meant to go, it can get insane very fast. I’m also designing my own software that I plan to make into a commercial product. Its very different from anything I’ve seen on the market. It will be for sale through my website.

Workspace and Environment
I feel that this is one of the most important things about working. When I lived in Detroit in a cold basement, it provided a totally different type of inspiration then living down here on Miami Beach. I used to go to Cranbrook art community campus, amazing forests and lakes, installations and walk around for my inspiration. It is so immensely beautiful there. I would love to have more nature around me, right now Im living in basically a tourist mall of sorts, on Lincoln road, and I can look out my window and see these art deco pastel buildings, one of them looks like its from greece, but when you go closer to it, the facade is all painted on, haha its so great. I would love to go down to the beach and write a track, but sadly the logistics of that are problematic, all the sand, water, and bums don’t make for safe computer use. Though we did have an amazing DMT drum circle. I think I would ideally love to have a studio in Tokyo, in a crazy downtown area, or the total opposite, like a minimal contemporary style building in a forest… maybe a futuristic solar powered tree-house?

Extra Curriculars
I did some stuff for a japanese game earlier this year. I can’t speak japanese that well so I don’t even know what its called. I do sound for TV commercials right now, all pre-production stuff though, My day job is making animatics for the worlds largest ad agencies. I did music for one feature length indy film, and one animated short film named “Tristella’s Tears” back when I was in college, I ended up winning best original score in the chicago film fest for “The Passage”

First Piece of Gear
My violin, as a little kid. as far as electronic gear… I got a jp8000 in highschool. I love the feedback oscillator on those.

Wishlist
Buchla 200e, Just a minimal setup, 2 oscs, filter, phasor, and their midi translator would be plenty, then I could control with my sensors and max/msp sequencer. Kyma, Nord modular g2. UE10 in ear monitors. A Synthi aks.. I also wouldn’t mind getting an SH-101 or a real Korg MS20.. something full discrete analogue. And a reel-to-reel for warming my masters.

Mobile and Live Setup
MacBook Pro and Novation remote sl 37, mbox, a few nice mics

Where were you born and how did you end up in the location you currently reside?
Saginaw>Lake Orion>Royal Oak>Bloomfield/Detroit>Miami
When I was born, my dad was working at GM, he worked his way up at the company, and then we moved to a bit bigger place in Lake Orion. He started his own company doing robotics training manuals, and made a load of money on it, so we moved to a really awesome house in Bloomfield, where I spent my formative years. I went to school at CCS in detroit for animation, and played tons of raves out there, and after I graduated from college I decided to move someplace that isn’t depressing and cold. I rented a Uhaul and drove down to Miami, it just so happened that during the middle of my trip hurricane wilma hit and I had to stay with Richie for a few days, we went on this really strange mini-tour around Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina. We stayed with these really cool cats who had hens for pets, and played at this biker bar that was straight out of a David Lynch movie. It ended up that my mom that I hadn’t seen in a year or so lived half an hour away, and she drove out to see me play, we all sang her happy birthday… strange adventure. I finished my trip to miami through the post havoc of the hurricane. What a twisted introduction to miami. I couldn’t even get gas because all the stations were out of power, I made it to my new condo with the red light of the gas tank blinking. I may end up moving to California soon. There’s tons of motion-graphics and sound work out there.

Studio Evolution
The basement in Michigan that previously housed my studio is now under a foot of water, the guy who bought our house didn’t pay the mortgage and went into foreclosure. I went back there during my close friends wedding, it was a foggy night, right out of twilight zone, we found a way in and walked through the house, there was still pumpkin pie and gallon of milk still on the table from 2005 when I moved out. I tried to go to my old studio in the baseme
nt, and it was in a foot and a half of nasty sewer water. My gorgeous mural that adorned the vast walls, created over many years by my close friends and I was trapped, it was rather strange feeling. You really can never go home again.

OOO (axiom crux) can be found on Planet Mu, Sublight, Detroit Underground, Melted Mailbox, Rolax, Circuitree, and a bunch of other compilation appearances. Videos and music can be found at his website: www.axiom-crux.net

Workspace and Environment: Richard Lainhart

Update – 1.4.12
This is the worst update we have to make this post, one that puts finality to Richard’s life but also purpose and meaning. Richard passed away December 30th, 2011. Read about his life on Wikipedia & Matrixsynth.

Justin and I are off to NAMM next week and hopefully we squeeze in a few more articles between now and then. We will have word on some gigs we are performing at next week and I will be asking for help for an upcoming European tour. Until then, I present the prolific Richard Lainhart!

Background
I started playing electric bass when I was 15, so in a few weeks it will have been 40 years. I was born in Vestal, NY, outside Binghamton (the Forbidden City), and ended up where I am by first going to school in Albany, moving to New York City to find work, and moving to Rockland County to escape the noise and density of NYC.

Favorite Hardware
Right now, it’s the Buchla 200e, although I’d really have to include the Haken Continuum as a part of the whole system. The 200e is an extraordinary instrument in its own right, but I think it’s the addition of the Continuum that really takes it to an entirely new level of expression and control. So I’d have to say both are my current favorites, in equal parts.

I started my life as composer by recording and manipulating sound on tape, and soon afterwards, in college, was able to work in a series of well-equipped Moog synthesizer studios. My first real compositions were created with modular synths and multitracking, and I got quite adept, if I may say so, at modular synthesizer programming. In the MIDI era, though, I completely gave that up and devoted myself to computers. What you could do with MIDI and computers, especially in live performance, went so far beyond what was possible with modulars that there seemed to be no reason to ever go back.

However, when I started working with Jordan Rudess on our live improvised electronic music project, he on MiniMoogs and I on laptops and softsynths, I really came to miss the immediacy and direct expression that he enjoyed working with true analog hardware. In our project, Jordan typically plays his MiniMoogs with one hand on the keyboard and the other on the knobs, and continually generates new sounds as he’s playing – he doesn’t work with presets, but just starts in an open state and goes where the knobs take him. With a softsynth, you have to start from a preset, and have to control the parameters with a multitude of pre-programmed MIDI controllers if you want to approach the same flexibility and ease of expression. And still, there are layers of interface between you and the sound.

At the same time, though, I love harmony and polyphony, so a monosynth isn’t for me. And the fixed signal path of something like the MiniMoog does, I feel, limit full expression when compared to a completely patchable system. On the other hand, a standard patchable system isn’t very practical for live performance if you want to work with many different sounds. The 200e is, as far as I know, the only currently produced analog modular synth that allows for polyphony and patch memory, so you can start with a basic patch in performance, and through presets, create many different basic variations on the basic configuration. From there, you can work with higher-level functions like controlling several voices and parameters at once with the multi-dimensional expression of the Continuum, but also lower-level functions like twisting knobs and throwing patchcords around. It’s nearly the ideal system for me, and I’ve come to love it.

Favorite Software
Adobe After Effects, actually. I work with a lot of music software, including some wonderfully creative apps like Max and Kyma X, but my favorite program is AE. I’ve used it since it first came out, and all my visual work starts and ends there or at least goes through it at some point. It’s the most flexible and creative motion graphics app I know.

Workspace and Environment
This studio is the first I’ve had where I’ve been able to set up all my mallet instruments, so just from that viewpoint it’s been a blessing. But it’s also inspiring on other levels, too. My property backs onto a land preserve, which in theory at least can never be developed, and I can’t see any of my few neighbors from the large window that faces the preserve – just trees and sky. I often spend long periods at my desk, just looking out the window and watching the clouds roll by, and I never tire of the beauty of it all. It’s quiet here too, and so I can live in my own sonic world without hindrance. The structures on which I base my music come from nature, and I happen to believe that the best music comes from a calm center, not a position of strife or chaos, so living here has, I feel, been only beneficial to my work.

Extra Curricular
My day job is Technical Director at Total Training Productions, which produces video-based training for Adobe, Microsoft, and Apple digital media software, among others. I used to write all the theme and interstitial music for those productions, and still do occasionally. Other than that, no. I’ve created music in the past for film, commercials, CD-ROM games and magazines, Web sites, and so on, but I’ve pretty much gotten away from that kind of work – I find it increasingly difficult to let others make the final decisions about how the music I create should sound.

First Piece of Equipment
A really terrible Hagstrom electric bass – the strings were almost an inch off the fretboard, although I didn’t know any better, so I thought it was pretty cool. Fortunately, soon after that I upgraded to a German-made Hofner Beatle bass, which was actually a very nice instrument. Around the same time, my father gave me his old Ampex semi-pro stereo reel-to-reel recorder, which had three heads. The three heads meant that I could do tape echo and sound-on-sound, and I soon started experimenting with running my bass through it and setting up screaming runaway echoes, along with some very primitive multi-tracking. The combination of the electric instrument and the tape deck was what really started me on the path to becoming a composer of electronic music.

Your Wishlist
Very little, really. I’d like a set of 4 matched powered speakers for performance, so I can play in quad (which is what the Buchla is really designed for), but so far, running in stereo and using house systems has worked out well. Beyond that, I have enough to work with for quite a while. A vanderPlas four-octave vibraphone or Marimba One five-octave marimba would be nice, though….

Mobile Setup
I do not have a formal one, but I’ve done some live recording of friends’ concerts with the MacBook Pro, the MOTU Traveler and the Shure KSMs, and that’s worked out well. The addition of an Evolution keyboard and headphones would give me a reasonably complete, compact system, I think. I have several different setups for live performances, depending on the situation. The most basic is a MacBook, MOTU Traveler, and an Evolution keyboard, controlling Moog Modular V. The next level up is the MacBook, the Kyma hardware, Line 6 Pod Pro, Traveler, and guitar or lap steel – I have
a number of pieces that use that configuration. Finally, there’s the full Buchla/Continuum/MacBook quad system, which includes a Mackie mixer, Niche fader controller, Lexicon MX-400, Roland RE-20, and MOTU 828 in the rack. You can see it in the “Studio Right” image. I’ve been performing a lot with it lately, but moving it around is a two-man job, unfortunately.

How Many Locations Have You Had Your Studio?
4 different locations. The first was in an apartment in Albany, NY, and consisted of a Korg DW-8000 and SDD digital delay. I used that for my first album, with a couple of pieces of borrowed gear. The next was in my house in Albany, and was much expanded with a Mac Plus (running Digidesign Sound Designer, Intelligent Music M, and Opcode Sequencer), 3 Emax samplers, Alesis digital reverbs, JBL speakers, and several delays and reverbs. That was my first performance system, and I used it for my second, unreleased, album. I sold most of it when I moved to New York City to upgrade to a Mac Quadra 900, SampleCell cards, a Yamaha DMP-7 digital mixer, and a Panasonic DAT deck, and used that system for most of the commercial work I did at the time. Then, when I left the city and moved north to Rockland County, I sold it all again to upgrade to a PowerMac and a largely software-based studio. So, basically, every time I moved, I upgraded.

Richard Lainhart’s personal website with old and new music can be found here: www.otownmedia.com
Collaborations with Jordan Rudess are available here: downloadplatform.com/richard_lainhart
airglowmusic.com
jordanrudess.com/download

Richard is also on the XI Records and Ex Ovo labels.

Workspace and Environment: ddmf

The term ‘artist’ to me (I can’t speak for Justin) is simply a creator. Whether this creation be audio, visual, mental or physical, it could leave the interpretation that everyone is an artist. While I believe that everyone has the inherent capacity to be an artist, this blog limits itself to those involved directly in the audio field. I’m saying this because we have and will feature instrument makers like Folktek and The Harvestman, programmers and anything we find inspirational (NOT Wii controlled anything). I present the programmer behind ddmf plug-ins, which has follows the ‘any price you like’ trend recently picked up by musicians such as the artist we previously featured, The Depreciation Guild. So, blah blah, (but blah blah). BLaH. Here we go..

Christian of ddmf Plug-ins

Background.
It started probably about 28 years ago when learning how to play the wooden flute :-) then came the clarinet, both taught by “real” teachers with emphasis on classical music. At about 13 I started to learn guitar, which soon became my “main” instrument. I played in various enthusiastic but unsuccessful bands (haven’t we all…), the last one being a rock’n roll cover band named “Rex Dildo and the Ladyshavers”. Go figure… the 10th anniversary of the last concert of this wonderful formation has just passed. I’ve only picked up doing music electronically about 4 years ago, and since then I’m trying to combine the electric guitar with electronic sounds. And, probably the reason why I write here, I’ve started to develop my own audio effect plugins. It’s a one man show going under the name of ddmf.

His Software
It all started with the LP10. I have a background (see PhD) in theoretical physics, so as a musician the question of signal processing naturally sparked my interest. I had used Fourier analysis quite extensively in the description of physical processes, and I wanted to see whether I could achieve something that would be of similar quality as existing EQs. I was quite pleased with the result and decided to try and sell the plugin. During the process of designing the LP10, I also got interested in Infinite Impulse techniques and consequently developed the IIEQ short afterwards. Now obviously I can’t tell what other developers are doing different since I haven’t seen their code, but I guess my experience in programming scientific applications has really helped to produce highly optimized plugins with a very clean signal treatment. And from the feedback of the users, this is also what the EQs are usually recognized for…
Apart from my own stuff… uhe’s Zebra is quite amazing, at least I use it a lot. It sounds very good, still it doesn’t take away all the sound space so you still can group other instruments around it without things getting too muddy.

Workspace and Environment
It’s simply a room in my apartment and this appartment has very thin walls. So I’m somewhat constrained concerning the loudness levels. It also has a resonance at G… but apart from that, I feel really comfortable with it. I think that’s the main thing: I can sit there for hours without getting tired, having back pain etc… the light is good, and the chair as well :-) Small but important things!

Free
I started selling the LP10 and the IIEQPro (an improved version of the IIEQ) for 40, later 50 Euros. Already from the very beginning I thought that such a static pricing scheme for a product that you sell worldwide over the internet is maybe not the best solution; after all, prices for cars etc. vary a lot between different countries. Also I had to deal with piracy problems like everybody else, but didn’t want to waste half of my time just to win another day or so before the EQs appear on emule anyway. So when Radiohead published their CD for “any price you like”, I thought, alright, in principle this is exactly what I want. It doesn’t make sense to pirate my products, and if somebody is really broke/from a really poor country he can still give me a dollar or so, which is still better than nothing. On the other hand, I counted on the fairness of more senior people who, as I expected, would acknowledge the quality of my plugs and therefore give a little more. And so far, I haven’t been disappointed…

Favorite Hardware
Since I’m still mainly a guitar player, my favourite piece of hardware is the Line6 PodXT. It’s still not the real thing, but it’s damn close…

Extra Curricular
I’ve started to collaborate with GLGP (http://www.glgp.org), which is a small company currently very active in the Amsterdam sound/vision scene. I’ve produced a few small things for them and there’s definitely more on the agenda for 2008!

Find the plug-ins here: http://www.ddmf.eu/

Workspace and Environment: Le Mépris

Hello all. We’ve reached over 30 thousand hits from 6 thousand countries in around 2 months. Ok, 6 thousand countries really means: too many countries to count and I honestly don’t know how many. I’d like to steal a little space to thank you all for coming, supporting and sending e-mails. Even if it’s just a hello, we respond to all of them. Although we don’t generally receive 30 thousand e-mails, we do get a bit so please excuse any late responses. Anyways, have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by!

Background
Reiko Matane of Le Mépris started playing guitar in ‘noisy, shoegaze-style wall of sound bands’ in her teens. She has a new self-titled mp3 release on Aerotone. You can find a link to it at the end of the article.

Hardware
I think it is my white/red Fender Jazzmaster Reissue (Japanese edition). I like the Tremolo. I use guitar mostly without too much “dry” signal and also do not worry about analog/digital too much. I don’t know, I do not have space or money to go completely analog and I am afraid I am too much used to editing on the screen that I am not patient enough anymore to do anything with tapes, although I love the sound you get.

Software
Host is Ableton. The drumrack is good for other stuff too.
Also my Piano Plugin http://www.truepianos.com/ is of course essential. I am a bit afraid to tell that I do not really own a real piano. I also record the midi with my microkorg as controller. So all the professionals out there will raise their eyebrows.

Environment
Rent is high in Nakano, Tokyo, at least for me. Working 3 days and making music for people free does not allow me to have a fancy big space.

First Piece of Gear
It was a cheap Sunn o))) Stratocaster copy. I still have it, but it sits here a bit unused next to a Fender Telecaster and Fender Jazzmaster Reissue…

Wishlist
Always more effect stomp boxes. I love delays (Line 6 DL-4, Digidelay, also Digiverb but I think that the Ableton Reverb and Delays are also good, also Ohmforce Stuff is used…).

Mobile Setup
It would be my Laptop, M-Audio Fastrack Pro, Microkorg as a controller, and sounds routed through my guitar boxes plus some ebow live guitar through my small Fender amp.

Studio Locations
Rent is high in Nakano, Tokyo, at least for me. Working 3 days and making music for people free does not allow me to have a fancy big space. So basically my room is quite packed and I mainly use my headphones for mixing (AKG 271). I love my small flat but I have to take care of not being too loud which is sometimes a problem. I would really like to integrate more guitars into my stuff but I have to record this at daytime… My flat is basically two very small rooms. So this is basically a bedroom producer situation which might also explain why my music is a bit narcotic, hihi… Actually I would like to have a small studio place and be more organized as I tend to let stuff lying around unused because I might be too lazy to plug it in… Sometimes I hate chords and power supplies, it kills me. It is hard to keep a small space tidy.

Le Mépris was born and currently resides in Tokyo, Japan. She has also lived in Nakano and spent 3 years in Berlin, Germany.

www.myspace.com/lmprs
Aerotone

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