Workspace and Environment: Stereo Total

Ask me to do an interview in French and/or German and I am screwed. I must say that I’m completely humbled by the overall correspondence that takes place between international artists and myself. Their capacity to communicate in English is a reminder that I ONLY speak English…. and Thai… and a bit of German. With that out of the way, we will be uploading some videos of our time at NAMM soon. I think we spent more time harassing other people and ourselves than finding out anything useful. Anywho, here is Stereo Total!


Brezel Göring of Stereo Total
How long have you been involved with making music?
Since I was 15. I was born in Kassel (which I hated) and I ended up in Berlin, which is – for a German city – not bad.

What is your favorite hardware unit that you use?
4-track Tascam cassette recorder: It is easy to handle, small and sounds very good.

What is your current favorite software or plugin?
Retro player, which gives everything the sound of a 78 shellac record

How does your physical space and surroundings influence your workflow?
We have these pictures (see photo) all over our studio/rehearsal room: This definitely influences our workflow


Are you involved in any music/sound work outside of your own projects?
I made two one hour radio plays (one about Patty Hearst, another based on a novel that Francoise Cactus wrote). My music was used in several movies, a game, a tv show and in a comercial.

What was the first piece of hardware you remember obtaining?
A Korg Mono/Poly

What is on your current ‘wish list’?
The further away from computers I am the happier I am: so my wish list is to stop using a computer for music

Do you have a mobile studio setup?
A four track, a Neumann mic and a Focusrite pre amp and a Yamaha SU 10 Sampler

What is your setup for live performances?
A Boss dr sample 303, a Yamaha SU 10, a Doepfer modular synthesizer and a self-built midi trigger machine, a Midiman mixer and a Zoom guitar pre amp and a guitar. Francoise has a drum set and a trumpet.

How has your studio evolved?
The place shown in the picure is the first and only work space I ever had. It is in the cellar of a squat and we are in there since 15 Years (1993)

Stereo Total is Françoise Cactus and Brezel Göring.
They can be found on myspace.com/stereototal or www.stereototal.de


Sightings: Mark Romanek Documentary

I realize this post belongs more on Matrix or another gear porn site as it’s nothing more than ‘LOOK!’ A friend let me borrow some DVD’s since I’m not leaving my apartment today because the high for today’s weather in Chicago is 2. TWO!
I’m a few years overdue to watch The Director’s Series second series, which includes four more directors to the already inspiring three. The first series is mandatory watching and realize that between Gondry, Cunningham and Jonze, Bjork is their play thing. As a piece of useless trivia: Spike Jonze went to my highschool in Bethesda, MD and we hang out alllllll the time(repeated letters denote sarcasm). The videos are artistic, iconic, beautiful, etc. but I’m particularly interested in the production/behind the scenes/interviews of the work. In the 40 minute documentary on the DVD I saw somethings I’ve never seen in these series. As a segway, Flea states he ‘fucking hates’ one of Romaneks videos and if you’re distracted by his face, you’ll miss a nice Doepfer A-100 system in the background. In another shot it has multiplied by two in addition to some patch cables. From my limited experience I say it’s a hybrid between one of the suggested setups and some random modules.

Later on when Trent Reznor is talking about his work with Romanek there is a lonely Sherman Filterbank II under a rig of Pro Tools interfaces. I’m sure this is before he bought one of everything at Analog Haven.

But most importantly there is Shannyn Sossamon. She’s dreamy. What? No. You’re the stalker.

L.A: Lust 4 Lace

If you are in L.A. on valentines day and you are reading this, it says a few things. One: you will not be snowed into your apartment. Two: you are probably single because you enjoy reading blogs about dude’s tools. Three: you’re smart enough to know that women get increasingly desperate and lonely as Valentines creeps in. Not only do you take advantage of this, your middle name is ‘the cherry picker’. So as a person who can walk freely outside but preferably behind men and in the shadows, I invite you to Lust 4 Lace. I don’t know much about the event other than it’s some sort of indie sex party. BUT it’s in a museum, so that makes it ok. Right? I composed a three part …. composition *sigh* for a short film my beautiful friend Willia shot and it will premiered among the dozens of films shown that night..

The following review is by Gabriel Solorio:
“You say you want to try, for several days perhaps.
Perhaps for several weeks.
Perhaps even for your whole life.
Try what? She asks.
Loving, your answer.”
(The Malady of Death by Marguerite Duras)

Inspired by Marguerite Duras’s novel ‘The Malady of Death’, artists Willia Drew and Carlos Zamora have created a beautiful and deceptively sensual short film that addresses subjects that will indeed resonate with and confront the viewer. ‘A Kind of Ache’ is simultaneously an exploration of the yearning for love through sexual contact and an interrogation of both conventional ideas of who ought to be intimate with each other and established sex roles. As a whole, the piece is a tribute to romanticism and a critique of simple traditionalism. The film’s rich colors along with its polite settings and softcore porn-esque quality provide a particular sensuousness that make delving into the critical and intellectual aspects of the work that much more compelling and what are found in those parts cleverly surprising.

[‘A Kind of Ache’ is a new video piece by Carlos Zamora & Willia Drew. Music by Surachai. Performances by Pete Borboa, Maurice Harris, Ceri Z., Cindy Conde, Chris Zeischegg & Prince Willia. Full running time is 11 minutes. ©2008. The piece will debut at the Lust 4 Lace show on Valentines day.]

Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibits (LACE)
6522 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028 [map]
Phone: 323-957-1777
http://www.artleak.org/
Hours: Wed-Sun 12-6 Fri 12-9
Event Date: Feb 14th 8:00PM – 11:00PM

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

Selected Stills From California

A condensed summary of our pornographic gear expedition in L.A. and Anaheim/NAMM. Catch the picture where Justin is using my Sherman Filterbank as a pillow. I had to throw something at him to get him to move off it. I’m starting to document where my Doepfer has been through pictures. It’s survived a lot of mayhem: L.A., Chicago, D.C., Paris, Nurnburg, Vienna, Hamburg, Berlin, Barcelona, Madrid, London among other places beyond my memory. The last two pictures are by Sarah Sitkin using only our(Tony Welter of Eustachian and Surachai) horrid bodies and her great vision. She rules!


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.

Interview with Dieter Doepfer

As promised, our NAMM coverage is not going to be about the latest gear that is out or photos of every product on the floor. Rather, we thought we would find some very interesting people and talk to them about who they are as a person and what drives them to do what they do. I present a candid interview with Dieter Doepfer……

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

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