1. Favourite knob/fader/switch on a piece of gear and why?
Knobs on my Nagra feels very nice to my fingers…. I mean, the whole machine looks aesthetically pleasant. I look at every single detail of it and appreciate all of the design decisions which they made, as well as the rigid construction. And of course it sounds amazing. It records and plays with wonderful tape sound that no software plugins can emulate.
2. Do you have an ‘almost’ perfect bit of kit? What would you change?
I think that’s the essence of the eurorack system! My case never stays the same; it’s always evolving with my taste and creative directions. I can’t put in whatever I want, since the space is always limited, but that’s the best part of it; I use my brain, not computers that can accommodate everything.
3. What setup do you bring on holiday/tour/commute etc.?
OP-1 would be my first choice. Mine is full of samples I recorded, and it’s nice to use along with my eurorack system, but of course you can even write a whole song in it. It’s such a rare combination of powerful sounds and nice design. I got mine before the price change…, which was one of the best choices I had ever made.
4. What software do you wish was hardware and vice versa?
I like Borderlands Granular…., but I think it’s just impossible to realize it on anything other than iPad platforms.
5. Is there anything you regret selling… or regret buying?
I used to own a Martin HD-28. It was a custom design model from the 90’s that came with a bigger sound hole. It had an amazing sound, but I had to sell it for my moving purpose.
6. What gear has inspired you to produce the most music?
Eurorack. Every single module I have.
7. If you had to start over, what would you get first?
There’re too many…, but I think I’ll pick ER-301, because it helps me achieve so many sounds with my eurorack, and I know it’ll never leave my case.
8. What’s the most annoying piece of gear you have, that you just can’t live without?
Taylor T5. It’s an amazing instrument that does pretty much everything… As an acoustic guitar, it sounds pretty authentic, and as an electric guitar it’s very versatile. With EQ/Preamp knobs on it, you can have both a powerful humbucker sound and a strat-y single-coil sound. I like to browse new guitars and watch demos, but always come back to my T5 and think I may not have to buy anything new… (see photo 5).
9. Most surprising tip/trick/technique that you’ve discovered about a bit of kit?
It’s really small thing, but I recently discovered that the Gozinta, a preamp eurorack module, has jumper switches in the back, and it can push up the input signal up to +36 dB. I often use it to increase input from line-level instruments to eurorack level, or just to crank it all way up to add distortion.
Artist or Band name?
Hiroshi Ebina aka. He_soundvisual
Where are you from?
How did you get into music?
I bought my first guitar when I was 12.
What still drives you to make music?
Tons of good music, regardless of genres, that people today keep making.
How do you most often start a new track?
I post videos on my Instagram, and they’re often about seeds of my new ideas. If it turns out well, I record it for my future works.
How do you know when a track is finished?
That’s very tough to say, but I don’t think I can really finish a song within a day or two, since I need to leave it for a while to really decide if I’m doing it right. It could be a few weeks, a few months, maybe a year. I need some time to leave it under a bed to look at my own work from a different perspective.
[Editor: I really dig how Hiroshi’s visual and sound aesthetic ties in so nicely with his concept of using time to create perspective]
Show us your current studio
Best creative advice that you’ve ever heard?
Limit your choices, or something like that, said by Brian Eno. I definitely agree with his ideas, that a lack of options is the best tool to get inspired to set a direction for creative works, not an abundance of options.
Promote your latest thing… Go ahead, throw us a link.
I’m releasing a new album very soon via KITCHEN. LABEL (once this virus outbreak settles down…)
[Editor: Do you have a favorite tip, trick or way of working with any of the gear from this interview?
Then throw a comment below…]