Søren Dalsgaärd – Fairlighting Arpeggione-ist

1. Favourite knob or fader or switch on a piece of gear and why? 

Transformer Switch on Shadow Hills Mono Gama. One of the fastest ways to make a dynamic change to audio input is switching from Iron, Steel or Discrete.

Shadow Hills Mono Gama

2. Do you have an ‘almost’ perfect bit of kit? What would you change?

Fairlight Series 30A. Peter Vogel is the father of sampling and his vision culminated in the last iteration of the 30th anniversary systems. The only thing I would change would be the ability to rack mount the main frame. I appreciate the retro design but a standard rack mount setup would make the Fairlights easier to transport. 

Fairlight Series 30A

3. What setup do you bring on holiday or tour or commute etc.?

If I’m on holiday I will always bring a MacBook Pro with UAD Apollo Interface, SM7B with Soyuz Launcher, Roli seaboard and my Parker Fretless.

Arpeggione

Touring is a cargo company dream! I tour with my Arpeggione, Fairlight 30A, Roli, racked dual Mac mini’s with custom summing mixer built by Travis Schuster, Bricasti, Electronaut M63, isolated power and battery backup, Remic C5300 microphones. 

Arpeggione

4. What software do you wish was hardware and vice versa?

I immediately wished the U-He Diva was actual hardware keyboard and someone made a controller that was an exact replica of the GUI. I need to find that company and see if they still manufacture it. 

U-He Diva

There isn’t an analogue device that I would want as software. There are so many digital renditions of hardware already. I have so many plugins I never use because it’s a case of too many choices. The sound of a studio was always based around its design, set of outboard equipment, tape machine and its console. You either liked the room and brought in a few pieces of outboard gear, or you went to a different studio that was more conducive to your taste. I have been selectively archiving all plugins that I rarely use. My analogue gear mixes with specific plugins and creates a set system so that my room consistently produces a signature sound. Too many choices leads to the lounge and XBox 😉

5. Is there anything you regret selling… or regret buying?

I sold my brothers Prophet 5 when I was a kid. I looked at it as this old, clunky wood trimmed synth with three knobs missing. Big mistake. I bought a vintage unit to replace it and kicked myself for having to spend that much money when I could have simply kept my brother’s unit and replaced the three missing knobs. 

Prophet 5

I honestly haven’t regretted buying any piece of gear. I always think about the effort that people put into the design and development of a product. There is always something interesting locked inside of equipment. Many of the coolest sounds have come from unexpected products. 

6. What gear has inspired you to produce the most music?

A Realistic brand digital voice recorder. I now use my smartphone the same way I used to carry around these recorders.

Voice Recorders

7. If you had to start over, what would you get first?

I started out on my grandparents piano. If I had to start over I wouldn’t change a thing.

8. What’s the most annoying piece of gear you have, that you just can’t live without?

I couldn’t do without my computer systems. They are a constant source of “analogue” upkeep to stay current on software and hardware. Apple has been heading towards a more closed system which is not conducive to studios because it can cripple your entire infrastructure if you upgrade your ecosystem due to “end of life” hardware decisions made by third parties. Stability is the most important aspect for productivity. Occasionally my system will make me wish that I was 100% analogue, but then I remember how much of a hassle that world used to be and I’m happy that I work with a hybrid system.

9. Most surprising tip or trick or technique that you’ve discovered about a bit of kit?

I didn’t bother to fully read the manual for the DA-3000 DSD Mastering recorder. I found out that you could cascade the units together to create a multi-track unit. You can’t record individual tracks, but you can mixdown and archive 7.1 surround stems at 5.6Mhz DSD. I have created an 8 track mastering machine that (with a few custom bits of kit) is equivalent to mix down to tape.


Artist or Band name?

Søren Mikkel Dalsgaärd

Genre?

Contemporary Classical 

Selfie?

Søren Mikkel Dalsgaärd

Where are you from?

Yellow Springs, Ohio.
[Editor: Ha! I was certain you were Scandinavian, with your name]

How did you get into music?

My Grandfather was a professional musician and he spotted my abilities at an early age. I was guided through my early music career by my family.

What still drives you to make music?

Music is the reason I am alive. I try to honor that gift by creating art everyday. 

How do you most often start a new track?

Currently, I have commenced new tracks by drawing a waveform on the Fairlight. Once I hear a sound that is inspiring I form the music around that design.

How do you know when a track is finished?

At the point that it feels like the next thing added will ruin the piece… it’s finished.

Show us your current studio

Søren Mikkel Dalsgaärd Studio
Studio Desk

Best creative advice that you’ve ever heard?

“Sometimes your worst work to you, is the most favored by everyone else” -quote from Johnny Frigo.

Promote your latest thing… Go ahead, throw us a link.

https://www.sorendalsgaard.com


[Editor: Do you have a favorite tip, trick or way of working with any of the gear from this interview?
Then throw us a comment below…
]


Andreas Hald – Playful Filmic Composer

1: Favourite knob/fader/switch on a piece of gear and why?

Roland Space Echo RE-201

Ahh, that’s a tough one – there are so many! But – I like big knobs and I can not lie – so I’ll have to go with the Mode Selector on my Space Echo RE-201. It’s big and clicky, and it sits on one of my absolute favorite piece of gear. Sometimes I just turn it on so that I can hear the tape whistling around in there. So great.

[Editor: Possibly the greatest knob on the greatest fx ever]

2: Do you have an ‘almost’ perfect bit of kit? What would you change?

I don’t think so. What comes the closest, is my old trusty Juno-60. To me, it’s the most musical sounding synth I know of. It’s perfect with all its imperfections. Warm and noisy – “brown- and round-sounding” to be cliche, it so inspiring to turn on. Instant greatness. It would be fun to add some of the features from a modern synth like the Prophet 6, but again – the limitations that this (and others) instrument has, is what I like about it and keeps my fluids going. In my line of work I need limitations, so I welcome them.

Roland Juno-60

3: What setup do you bring on holiday/tour/commute etc.?

Well, back in the days I always towed a guitar, amp and ALL of my pedals to any vacation, but ending up not really playing it. So I don’t bring that much anymore. It’s more than often an instrument or synth of a kind that I want to check out further and haven’t had the time to do so. On my last holiday I ended up bringing my cello and a drum machine. I have this weird sickness, that I can only do proper work in my studio, so I try to avoid working elsewhere and don’t bring computer or anything. I need too much hardware to do my work.

Prophet 6 and Juno-60

4: What software do you wish was hardware and vice versa?

In software to hardware – Xils 4, an “Analog Matrix Modular Synthesizer” from Xils Lab. Would love to have that as an enormous beast in the studio. I love that plugin, but mainly use my (hardware)modular synth now. But that plugin tickled me in all the right places. I’m really a big fan of hardware, so I wish that all software was hardware and that we from birth learned to write music on paper and record on tape ;-). That being said, I’m obviously a slave of the modern world.

Xils 4 VSTi

5: Is there anything you regret selling… or regret buying?

I only think I’ve sold three pieces of gear actually, and I regret all three. A Fender Hot Rod Deville 4×10 amplifier. A Bogner Shiva head amplifier and a Custom made Fender Stratocaster. Especially selling the Fender amp is a regret. I’ve listened to some recordings from back in the days when I had that, and it sounded awesome. I sold it to buy the much more expensive Bogner, which I then also sold. So because of that, I’m never selling anything again. I still have a Bogner amp though, and I’ll post a picture of it – just because it’s so cool looking. Can’t think of any regrets in buying.

Bogner amp

6: What gear has inspired you to produce the most music?

Pianos. There’s something incredibly satisfying in playing a real piano. Hard to beat. Instantly something sounds as proper music. I haven’t always had a piano at a studio, but I have now – and I would love to get a Grand Piano one day. But for now, I’m really digging the intimate and noisy sound from this upright. Just got it serviced, and it’s so good now.

Upright piano

7: If you had to start over, what would you get first?

Hmm. Good one. A cello or a pedal steel guitar. I want to be good at those and would (now) have loved to have played something else, that every kid on the block didn’t also play (guitar). I would also tell myself to buy the best equipment. Quality over quantity. I have a pedal steel with humbucker now and love the sound of it.

Cello

8: What’s the most annoying piece of gear you have, that you just can’t live without?

Maybe my Kemper Profiler. I use it all the time and love and adore it, even though I should record amps instead. I do both, but the Kemper is just so convenient. It just looks cheap – like it jumped out of the 90’s – and the menu scrolling is horrific. But sound and work-wise: Love it. I could add my computer to the list. Love/hate relationship – but I just can’t live without it.

9: Most surprising tip/trick/technique that you’ve discovered about a bit of kit?

Hardly a trick – but making my monophonic Korg MS-20 sound like an awesome stereo synth by using the headphone out in the external signal processor and then having two outputs from it, to plug into a mixer with panning possibilities and adding effects. Great revolution for me personally. I used that synth ALL THE TIME on a feature Netflix movie.


Artist or Band name?

Andreas Hald, composer for film and media. NBrigade – music teams for film, television and games.

Genre?

Filmmusic (which means all kind of weird genre-less music).

Selfie?

I don’t do selfies, but here’s a picture of me playing the pedalsteel!

Pedal Steel and film composer Andreas Hald’s silhouette

Where are you from?

Skagen, the very top of Denmark. Very small town.

How did you get into music?

Started playing rock music with a buddy when we’re 10, renting our own rehearsal space when we were 13 (one where we could do parties, drink beers and skip school without our parents noticing).We discovered and experimented with music together, and I’ve never let go of it. 

What still drives you to make music?

The moments with zen-like qualities that you can’t get elsewhere. They don’t occur daily, but when they do – it all makes sense. 

How do you most often start a new track?

With a weird sound created on a synth. Other times at the piano.

How do you know when a track is finished?

When I’m passed deadline. I need the deadlines.

[Editor: I also like the wooshing sound they make as they go by]

Show us your current studio

Here you go, a few pictures of studio and gear. My modular synth setup is connected with my guitar pedals most of the time, and i use Intellijell modules to do that. I didn’t have a 1 unit space in my rack, so I drilled them into a plate myself.

Best creative advice that you’ve ever heard?

“No matter how good you get, there’s alway ten Swedes better than you”.

[Editor: Ha!]

Promote your latest thing… Go ahead, throw us a link.

I’m currently working on two tv-series, one called Friheden ll (Pros and Cons) – which is the second season of a Viaplay Original series, and a series for DR (Danish Broadcasting Corporation) currently untitled.

Andreashald.com


[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…
]