David Rothbaum – Cross Town Patching

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

The octave levers on my Yamaha CS-50. They are very playable. There is also just something very satisfying about the aesthetic of them as well as the acoustic clicking sound.

Yamaha CS-50

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

I would say the combination of the monome grid and ansible using kria. To me this set-up is a perfect combination of thoughtful composition mixed with performance and improvisation. Honestly, it has fundamentally changed the way I think of composition. My only issue is the grid is near impossible to see in daylight. I do a lot of outdoor performances and this is always an issue. I often bring a beach towel to throw over the grid and myself to be able to see it.

Modular Field Trip

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

I bring my modular with me a lot. I compose and record on the spot in various locations and occasionally that included what was my daily 1-5 hour commute (pre-Covid). Doing this while driving is clearly a bad idea, would not recommend at all. To be clear I only patched while at a dead stop, which in Los Angeles is most of the time.

[Editor: Ha!… Make art anywhere]

Patching in traffic

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

Paulstretch in a module would be awesome. SketchCassette too. I honestly cannot think of any hardware I’d like to see as software.

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

I am generally not too precious about gear but I did have a Roland Jupiter 4 that I sold to fund more modular and I wish I still had my Tascam 388.  

Tascam 388

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

In the last few years I would have to say again the monome / Whimsical Raps eco-system. 

Monome and Whimsical Raps in a case

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

Good taste.

[Editor: Nah, good taste is overrated…. and anyway, it’s just a by product of the artistic process, that can happen to the best of us 😉 ]

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

The computer.

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

I think in recent years it would have to be manually manipulating the Marantz PMD-430 cassette deck while monitoring live on the tape. Being able to play the tape warbles is pretty great.

Marantz PMD-430

Artist or Band name?

David Rothbaum 

Genre?

Recently, I would say ambient-adjacent. I tend to write mostly melancholic ambient music but I often add more rhythmic elements (I have been obsessed with odd meters and tuplets since forever), which I think disqualifies me as really being ambient. That said, I have made music in a number of different genres. I had a solo project called Monsturo for quite a while. That was very minimalistic drone/noise music, I used to describe it as field recordings for imaginary spacecraft 🙂 I have also played a lot of metal, jazz, noise and free improvisation. I auditioned once for Donny Osmond when I was a teenager in the 80s. 

Selfie?

I don’t really do selfies without my kid so…

David Rothbaum +1

Where are you from?

Born in NY but have lived in Los Angeles for 30+ years and that is my home.

How did you get into music?

As a listener I became obsessed with music as a kid. At around 7 years old I got into The Beatles & Donna Summer. Then shortly after that it was The Eurythmics, AC/DC, Supertramp, Devo & horror film scores. I would make tape mixes from the radio (I had an entire tape with recordings of “Sweet Dreams”). I also made tapes from the TV, grabbing bits of music from horror movies and TV shows that I liked. I failed at saxophone in 5th grade (I did learn the “Pink Panther” theme, though), but when I was 14 I took up the electric bass and played heavy metal.

What still drives you to make music?

Cannot imagine a life worth living without it. 

How do you most often start a new track?

More often than not it will start as an exploration of a technical or aesthetic idea, be it teletype code; a rhythmic, timbral or harmonic thing; or a patch idea. 

How do you know when a track is finished?

When whatever it is I am working on transforms from the technical into something that carries some emotional weight. Or I have a deadline that has expired. 

Show us your current studio

David Rothbaum’s studio

The modular is not the only thing in my studio. I have guitars, hardware synths, an electric piano etc., but it is overwhelming the center of it.

Best creative advice that you’ve ever heard?

Not comparing your work with others.  This is exceedingly difficult but absolutely liberating if you can do it.

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

I will be releasing a collection of short pieces that I have recorded and posted to social media over the last 4 years. It is called “Miniatures 2016-2020” and will be released on cassette and digital by the awesome Mystery Circles label in early 2021.

[Editor: Check out David’s lovely instagram or his website for more info]


[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…
]


Vincent Ligny – Analog Gr’ Owl

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

Moog Filter Knobs

It’s more emotional than technical. My first machine was the MOOG Mother-32. Experiencing the Moog sound in such a small object, put me in a certain state. The first knob turned was the cutOFF (not boring at all) and resonance. Discovering this sound palette, its depth confirmed to me, the idea that musically and emotionally, I had made the right choice.

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

Moog Matriarch

I recently acquired the Moog Matriarch which to my eyes represents the perfect synth. A sublime musicality, a grain that is both historic and modern and semi-modular! Accessibility is total. The stereo mode, combined with spacing, stereo delay and modulations, allows you to create beautiful sweeping effects without external effects.
A rediscovery every time.

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

For the holidays, OP-Z, OP-1 and my Master and Dynamic MH40. Travel light for a maximum of possibilities. 

OP-Z, OP-1 and Master and Dynamic MH40

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

I fantasize about the Valhalla VST in a physical multi-effect box. We know their precision, but aesthetically, putting steel around these effects would be magical.
Surely the OTO Biscuit as digital software would be great! Unique ability to mute or invert each of the 8-bit converters, not to mention the effects sections: Waveshaper, Delay, Pitch Shifter and Step Filter … a beast.

[Editor: I’ve just been told on instagram that there is in fact a software version of the Biscuit by Softube … All hail ye great internet brain!]

Oto Biscuit

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

I sold a few years ago a Fender Coronado 2 Rosewood Sunburst from 1966. Ultra thin neck and a fantastic clarity in sound, crystalline even. A twinge of heart every time I cross paths with a photo. I’m trying to find one in lake placid blue.

Fender Coronado 2

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

My Moog Matriarch and modular system. It is just easy to get lost with these two machines and I easily arrive at hypnotic sequences, percussive arps, pads without necessarily messing around. I like it to be instant and not overly thought out. The best often happens through mistakes, little misses.

Eurorack modular

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

I think I would turn to the Korg Minilogue (XD).
An easy to understand deck, a clean, polyphonic look.The pleasure is immediate.
The OLED oscilloscope shows you, in real time, how your waveform changes as parameters change, giving you visual feedback on how to shape your sound. Perfect for beginners.
Considering all of its features, this synth alone unites all the advantages of a vintage synth, but with an elegant and practical interface that is decidedly modern. The price is also within the budget of a musician today (very affordable).

Korg Minilogue XD

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

The Yamaha Portasound PS-1, piano, organ, clarinet, sustain > (deplorable) but coupled with a Microcosm (Hologram Electronics) and / or an OTO BAM reverb, you get to draw sublime ambient pads. I love it, I bought it for my son, I hope he will love it too.

Yamaha Portasound PS-1, Oto Bam and Hologram Electronic Microcosm

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

The Midi/config Shiftmode allowing onto to completely destroy the pattern and do lots of soundscaping, press then FUNC + No to reload pattern and we are back to the original. The ultimate live combo, but it’s also just an ergonomic pleasure. Thank you Elektron.

Elektron Digitone

Artist or Band name?

Vincent Ligny

Genre?

Ambient / Cinematic atmospheres

Selfie?

Vincent Ligny

Where are you from?

France. Bois-colombes, small town next to Paris.

How did you get into music?

My grandfather played classic guitar, my father played folk. I naturally started bass and guitar.
I listened to a very wide spectrum, different musical genres, but I crossed into electronic music and started to experiment with that, about 6 years ago now.

What still drives you to make music?

It’s just inexplicable. It is inseparable from my way of living or rhythm of my daily life. It is a need. Electronic music opened me up to wider fields. There are no limits.

How do you most often start a new track?

There is nothing written, nothing parameterized. The first notes are imperfect. I ask myself, I run a sequence, then I develop, I make mistakes. Sometimes it doesn’t work, sometimes it’s a wonderful surprise.

How do you know when a track is finished?

When I hesitate to bid, to drown. Now is the time to stop.

Show us your current studio

Home Studio

Best creative advice that you’ve ever heard?

It is not necessary to know the music, only to feel it.

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

I appeared on a vinyl compilation from a young german independent label Deeptape Records: 
Deeptracks Vol1
Vincent Ligny – Velvet
https://deeptaperecords.bandcamp.com/album/deeptracks-1-2
 
I’m working on a 3 track EP – Pio’s journey which should be released normally at the start of 2021.


[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…
]


Laura Katić – Caperooza

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

My favorite knobs are the ones from my Modular Synth. Starting to build my own machines was a great achievement for me and I definitely have a special affection for the knobs of my Eurorack type modular system, which I built piece by piece from scratch in CIRCUITO SONORO LABORATORIO a workshop laboratory I started with a colleague where I investigate modular synthesis and perform sound experimentation.

DIY Eurorack modular

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

Drumbrute Impact allows me to flow creatively and take advantage of those moments of inspiration to the fullest, it is the most important thing for me. Having powerful rhythms and sounds to create the beat is time won in that process. There are no pauses to make settings or edits and that’s where I can find the perfect sound.

Arturia Drumbrute Impact

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

COMPUTER AND MINILAB MK2 Each new place I visit has its unique magic, traveling is opening my mind and I cannot miss the opportunity to be inspired by that journey, so I bring my computer with virtual synths, Arturia’s V collection is very complete.
To have control of the Daw and Synths, I also carry Arturia’s Minilabmk2, it’s small and everything fits in my backpack. As a plus I also use the cell phone to record ambient sounds and some concrete sounds I can use later as samples.

Laptop and Minilab MK2

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

I would like to have an app version for cell phones or tablets of the pocket operator, I use PO Speak and even though its a small machine I achieve sounds with a lot of character and create powerful beats.

Teenage Engineering PO Speak

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

TC HELICON VOICE PROCESOR – MINITAUR
The TC helicon Voice live touch, not so much to regret selling it, but I would buy it again. I sold it to buy the moog minitaur so it wasn’t that painful haha…

Moog Minitaur

The Tc Helicon is a vocal processor that I really enjoyed using, I used to loop my voice layer by layer and create entire songs adding effects and transforming it into an instrument more like a synthesizer, I came to create my own processes for the voice, very fun.

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

Sequencers are a “must have” for me. This year I´ve been fortunate to be sponsored by ARTURIA and one of the machines that I use the most to produce now is the Key Step Pro, i was using the Beat Step Pro before, so it was very easy and intuitive for me the change. To Control analog and digital hardware in real time is pure creation i just connect all my synthesizers and I flow, the music takes over me.

Arturia Key Step Pro

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

I studied music as a profesional career so i was used to compose my music more in an academic way through sheet music then pass it to the computer in a Daw, recording each instrument track by track until a had a whole structured song and that was it. Now i would say that having Vsts, a good computer and a controller is the easiest way to start. Make your music “in the Box”

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

Cables

CABLES!

That is a tiny part of the gear hahaha

Very annoying!!

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

There are no rules, we are rhythm, we are a constant beat by the pulse of our heart, interpreting those vibrations within us and taking them out into the real world is what has led me to make “broken beats” more amalgamated rhythms and finally to feel them as an extension of what music makes in me.

I have many ways of making rhythmic patterns, I use samples, drum machines, I use sounds, I record noises and process them, but in the end the thing is to decide what textures you want to create with all those tools and I always try to create a different atmosphere that reaches the person who is there listening.


Artist or Band name?

Laura Katić / Caperooza

Genre?

House Progressive / Indie Electronica

Selfie?

Laura Katić

Where are you from?

CALI, Colombia.

How did you get into music?

I was involved in choirs and local bands from my town, then i studied music as a career more focused on teaching.

What still drives you to make music?

Self transformation

How do you most often start a new track?

I work as a music teacher and a freelance music producer, also have a project called
CAPEROOZA in which I produce all the music, so I start tracks very often.

How do you know when a track is finished?

When I feel i can dance and enjoy it without thinking of any technical issues. With the music i make for others when they feel happy about the result.

Show us your current studio

Laura Katić home studio
Laura Katić home studio

Best creative advice that you’ve ever heard?

Never stop making the music you love, the music that comes from your soul.

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

https://open.spotify.com/track/0npGMjDVMoUYFneiPi0n3K?si=AuFf_EBpRba8n4WMs3OR0Q


[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…
]