Workspace and Environment: Melt Banana

Hello world,
I’m starting to send out signals to artists again and in return have generated a lot of interest. Hopefully when I get back from L.A. and finish with Arlovski I will have some free time to really sit down and get the series going again. In the meantime, I was fortunate enough to play e-mail tag with Agata from Melt Banana! Enjoy your weekend!


Agata of Melt Banana

How long have you been involved with making music/sound?
I was born in Japan. I moved many times in Japan because of my father’s job and also lived in Thailand when I was a kid. I moved to Tokyo because I entered university. I’ve been making music for more than 20 years. I started doing this because I liked making over dubs using 2 cassette recorders when I was a kid.I still make music because I feel that it is not necessarily the case that I must be a super technical guitar player to make music or sound. Now, I play guitar in Melt-Banana.
You can find my work on Melt-Banana records and concerts. Also I did a solo album on Tzadik records called Spike.

What are your current favorite pieces of hardware?
Lightfoot lab’s goat keeper. I got this a few years ago, and I still like it. I also checked boss slicer which is a similar thing, but goat keeper makes me feel more natural when I use it for guitars. Also I can change patterns by myself.

What are some softwares or plugins you prefer?
I currently do not have favorite softwares or plugins. Maybe I had fun iZotope’s Trash plug in a little bit.


How does your physical space and surroundings influence your workflow?
I haven’t thought about it before. I live in the same place for more than 10 years now. I’ve changed arrangement of furniture in the room many times. And I have less and less stuff in my room. Doing these things makes me feel different even when staying at a same place. At band practice studio, for me, if the room is bigger, it is better. If the room is small and there are many room reverb, it is hard to recognize the real sound from cabinet.

Could you describe what you might think your ideal location would be?
I think the best location to write music is in a train during a peak rush hour with a paper and a pen. Melt-Banana singer Yako wrote many songs with a paper and a pen when she was working for a company and needed to take a train to go to work. Private big studios with our favorite equipment is nice, but I’m not sure if I can write music which I really like.

What was the first piece of hardware you remember obtaining? The last?
The first one was a handmade guitar which I made with cardboards and duct tape when I was a kid. I used rubber bands for strings. The last one is Korg Nano Pad.

What is on your current wish list?
Electro Harmonix Hog. Guitar made by Yuri Landman from Holland.

What does your live setup consist of?
It includes gibson SG guitars, pedal boards, sunn beta lead head, mesa boogie head, 2 marshall cabinets.

How has your setup changed over time?
When I was using Adat, there were some outboards, and many cables and also a mixer but I’m not using them now. Now there are only computers and a few amps and effects.


Have you ever heard your music being played at a random/public place?
Only a few times. We went to change oil of the van during the tour, they were playing our music during we were waiting..

Are you involved in any music/sound work outside of your own projects?
When I was at school, I recorded sound effects for amusement place where people shoot each other using fake laser guns. But the place went bankrupt before they replaced sounds from old ones to the version I recorded. So after all, they did not use it.
I also wrote demo’s for pop singer, but I don’t know what it was for. These days I’m not doing these kind of things.

Melt Banana Official Website
Melt Banana Myspace



Then you just need some good old positive encouragement!!! This set of CDs will change your life, I promise. If it doesn’t, I am sure there are other discs made by the same company that will help you out with the wrist cutting routine.

live_audio_Output: Aphorism and Millipede

Tomorrow night! Aphorism and Millipede are getting together for a one off dark/IDM/electronic performance at the Chelsea House Garden Ballroom. You can can find a free track from Millipede on the ‘You are Here‘ compilation we posted about previously. This should be a good time and the weather in Chicago is looking slightly better then usual, so come out!


live_audio_Output: Ambient at the Motion Graphics Festival

This Saturday, I’ll be joining some talented people at the Motion Graphics Festival in Chicago to lay down some live ambient music at Pixel Brothers Studio, which will have a ton of art/design installations set up. There are also a lot of other events going on throughout the week, so be sure to check out the full schedule.

Saturday, January 24th, 9pm-12am at Pixel Brothers Studio, 400 N Wolcott, Fourth Floor, Chicago, IL 60622

“MGFest09 begins a tradition of full-scale environmental design, bringing together a massive range of creative talents to inspire, awe, and activate your mind. Showcasing over 30 artists.”

Ambient Audio by: Lokua, Slava, Justin McGrath, OAO3

More Details

RSVP is required – visit to RSVP for event

Cost: $7 but this also gets you into all other social/art/performance events of the festival

audio_ Output: You Are Here

This compilation showcases the electronic artists in Illinois. Evidentially there is such a huge pool of artists in Illinois that between our projects, Justin and I composed one third of the entire compilation…. What the hell. Do people make music anymore? I guess I can’t think of a decent reason to make music other than to hush the voices to kill.
I haven’t listened to it yet but a couple of artists on the compilation have contacted me saying that it’s compressed to hell. So… do whatever you want. Uh, I mean… Go out and download it twice!!
More information here.

Killing Justin McGrath

I was in the middle of making a track for the next Arlovski episode and Justin jumps online and starts distracting me by sending me horrible youtube videos, I decided to tell him I had something important for him and that he should stay online for a quick minute. I tracked something over what I was working on and killed him with this: How to kill a Justin McGrath. Amazing how a vocoder can make someone leave you alone. I’ll delete this post eventually.

Sing along!
Justin McGrath – Play Xbox with me
Justin Mcgrath – We can accidentally
Polyfuse – Gears of War
Polyfuse – Thats what friends are foooooorrrrrraaaa


Pssst….. Bottom right. Just sayin…

NAMM 20….. Whoa… look at that!

We’re not there and neither are a lot of our friends but it won’t stop us from relaying some killer stuff.
MOTU is releasing a program called Volta that essentially gives you firm control over your modular synth via software. No word on cost but they’re saying around $250. Also, you’ll need one of their interfaces and some more money.
More pictures and information from where I stole this post from: Here
More solid information: Here

Noisesource just linked me to a video where Stretta shows us some basics! FUCK ME!

Volta First Look from stretta on Vimeo.

The Great Mundane and DJ Slouch: The Wires Remix EP

The Great Mundane and DJ Slouch have just teamed up to release a free Remix EP that is avaliable in both high quality MP3 and Apple Lossless formats. Definitely check out this release and also The Great Mundane’s Workspace and Environment article/video!

The Wires Remix EP
Workspace and Environment: The Great Mundane

Imperfect Samples: Schimmel Braunschweig Piano – Group Discount!

Going on right now, and only until January 19th is a group purchase deal that can get you this amazing sounding ‘Imperfect’ upright piano library for up to 50% of the normal price. Right now the current discount is at 30% off, two more orders will tip it to 40% off…

The Schimmel Braunschweig 24 bit multisampled upright piano delivers an unusual, dark and extremely dynamic range. This virtual instrument enables composers and producers a-like, to create a stunning and moving, intimate performances for piano passages.

Unlike most piano sample libraries, the sounds of the fingers tapping the ivory keys, the pedal, subtle mechanical sounds, and even occassional seat noise, has been recorded in order to preserve as much of a life-like performance as possible. This is what is referred to as “imperfect”.

Imperfect Samples
Group Buy Details and Status