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.


The Galaxy Electric – Synth & Tape Duo

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

Big fan of the Rogan Alpha knobs used on some of the vintage Buchla stuff, namely the original Music Easel. I actually bought some to use on a DIY Video synth I am working on. They look great on those modules as well.

Rogan Alpha knobs

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

Perfection is not something we typically strive for with our gear. We actually appreciate the imperfections. So, the most perfectly imperfect bit of kit that we own is our Tascam M-308 8 channel 4 Bus mixing desk. It’s from the mid 80’s I believe. It’s a bit dark as compared to say, a brand new set of high end A/D converters. But it has character, warmth, and a thickness that we haven’t been able to achieve with a DI or vanilla Audio Interface. We typically use it as a front end for our tape machines.

Tascam M-308 8 channel 4 Bus mixing desk

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

For any musical getaway we would bring a portable Buchla rig, our vocal FX chain (space echo pedals!), some tape loops and our Tascam 4-track. This gives us all the textures and effects we need to have fun and get spacey. It also works for a live improvised drone, which is something we do pretty regularly on our livestreams.

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

I have the software versions of the Buchla 296e and 259e for Modular. Sometimes I wish I had the hardware versions. It would be fun to patch them with the rest of my system. I also wish Softube would port more of the Buchla stuff over. It would be great if I could completely duplicate my rig in software.

Buchla 296e and 259e for Modular

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

The way I see it, gear is an endless journey you shouldn’t be afraid to go on. I take a lot of risks when it comes to buying and selling. Sometimes I sell something to try something else and then sell that to get the other thing back again! Then I realize I’ve just gone in a circle. I don’t really have any regrets that can’t be corrected. Most things turn up eventually. Patience is key. If you are in love, don’t let it get away!

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

By far, the tape machines we’ve collected, mostly TEAC and Tascam reel to reel and cassette 4 tracks and the Buchla style synthesizer. Also really love different flavors of spring reverb! I have an old point-to-point wired Shure Reverberation Mixer I am quite fond of.

Shure Reverberation Mixer

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

I would probably build or obtain well built Buchla clone modules. It’s hard to say whether I would choose a 258 or 259 dual oscillator. Really depends on the day and mood.

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

Tascam Porta 02mkII

Tape Machines can be a real hassle to keep up. I have belts fail, heads get worn, channels stop working or act inconsistently. They cause me a lot of anxiety, but at the moment the two that we use the most, TEAC A-3440 and Tascam Porta 02mkII are acting reliably. Knock on wood!

Teac A-3440

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

I’d say the one that is the most fresh on my mind is that you can turn a multi-channel function generator (if it is the kind that outputs a trigger when the function completes its cycle) into a basic sequencer by cascading the stage pulse outs to the next channel’s input and the last stage’s pulse back to the first. Your decay rates control the timing of each channel and the cv output of each stage. You could connect other modules to make it a bit more interesting, but it’s a fun way to generate a sort of drunken pulse pattern as the basis for a patch. I made a video featuring this sort of thing called Patch and Tell – E1- Buchla Clones 280 266 – Pseudo Sequence – Source of Uncertainty -1979 DAO.


Artist or Band name?

The Galaxy Electric

Genre?

Cosmic Tape Music

Selfie?

The Galaxy Electric

Where are you from?

LA originally, now, the Midwest.

How did you get into music?

Both of us grew up feeling called to music and participated in school and church music programs. Eventually we decided a band was the only way to fulfill the artistic lifestyle we craved and stay true to our unique musical voices within.

What still drives you to make music?

Over the years we have honed our skills and have been able to narrow what we do down to something we call Cosmic Tape Music. Getting extremely specific about the type of music we make has made us even more passionate about our creative pursuits.

How do you most often start a new track?

It really depends on the type of piece but usually either a riff, a vocal, or a pre-recorded groove. Our latest album, however, is all improvisations that were made using synchronized loopers with the outcome going straight to tape.

How do you know when a track is finished?

The ideas stop flowing even after several listens, sessions. It’s kind of like a water soffit that is eventually dry. You have to trust that it is done when the ideas either slow to a stop or start to feel forced. Sometimes, we listen years later and hear more. That can be frustrating, but it’s rare. I think it comes with experience to learn to get good closure with a track.

Show us your current studio

Best creative advice that you’ve ever heard?

Be uniquely you, and do what only you can.

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

Our new album Pre-Orders run from Aug 12 – Sept 8:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1511715045/the-galaxy-electric-is-releasing-new-music-on-reel-to-reel

And our main website and shop links:

https://thegalaxyelectricshop.com/

https://www.thegalaxyelectric.com/

Chris Petra – Ambient via metal & hiphop

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

Lyra 8

As of recently, the pitch knobs on the Lyra-8. They make the unit sound like it’s gearing up to combust, and they add such chaotic energy to whatever I’m working on. They’re also kind of destructive by nature since they’re nearly impossible to get back to the correct starting pitch without stopping what you’re doing and re-tuning. I both live in fear of and respect the pitch knobs on the Lyra-8.

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

I would say the Multivox Multi Echo MX-201 is about as close to perfect as any of my gear comes. It sounds fantastic, and the whole unit is so aesthetically pleasing to look at. If I could change anything about it, I would probably make it a bit smaller and lighter, as it dominates my workspace when I have it out (which is almost always). 

Multivox Multi Echo MX-201

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

OP-1, Koma Elektronik Field Kit FX, and a Zoom H4N are my go-to for when I’m away from my studio space. It’s a bit limiting, but like so many others, I really enjoy narrowing down my options sometimes. I’m also kind of obsessed with battery-powered gear, despite rarely being in a situation where I don’t have access to an outlet. 

OP-1, Koma Elektronik Field Kit FX, and a Zoom H4N

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

I really wish that Native Instrument’s Maschine was a stand-alone unit. I love the software, but lately, I’ve been spending a lot less time in front of the computer so I find myself using it less and less. I don’t know if NI would ever consider doing it since I imagine the production cost would skyrocket, but it would really be a dream come true for me.

Native Instrument’s Maschine

It would be pretty cool if there was software capable of emulating a tape loop accurately. There’s a lot of great tape emulators out there, but I’ve never come across anything that really captures the sound of a tape loop specifically.

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

I just sold my SP-404 a few weeks ago, and I’m already kind of wishing I hadn’t. I have to keep reminding myself that I love the idea of the SP-404, but in reality, I rarely found myself reaching for it.

Tascam PortaOne

I bought a broken Tascam PortaOne last year, and I totally regret it. To this day, I still have not figured out why it’s not working properly. I overpaid for it since at the time I was confident that all it needed was a belt change and some re-soldering, but I’m totally in over my head. 

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

I would say I’ve put more miles on my Korg Minilogue than any other single piece of gear in my setup. Among many other things, I really love its onboard sequencer. It allows me to work fast and sketch out ideas without menu diving and getting too caught up in the technical stuff. The Minilogue as a whole is just so intuitive and intelligently designed, especially for its price point. 

Korg Minilogue

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

I started out with a Tascam Porta02 and a Casiotone MT-540 and looking back, I don’t think I’d do it any differently. Having such a minimalist setup really forced me to get creative to find the sound I was looking for. Starting out with an OP-1 would have been pretty cool, though that would be quite the investment for my very first piece of gear.

Tascam Porta02

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

I have an old reel to reel that I inherited from my grandfather that drives me a bit mad at times. Processing sounds through it really adds some beautiful warmth and flutter, but it’s pretty clear that it wasn’t designed for recording music. The master volume knob doubles as an input gain knob, and it doesn’t have a meter to monitor the input level. It takes me an unreasonably long time to get my levels correct when I use it, but the end result is always worth the frustration. 

Reel to reel

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

When recording tape loops, I like to leave the front-facing half of the cassette off altogether. This allows me to physically mess around with the tape a bit, adding some really interesting artifacts and pitch fluctuations to the recording. 

Cassette tape loop on a Tascam 424

Artist or Band name?

Chris Petra

Genre?

Ambient / Experimental 

Selfie?

Chris Petra

Where are you from?

Long Island, New York

How did you get into music?

I started out playing tenor saxophone for the jazz band in grade school, then at around 13 years old I got my first electric guitar. I went on to play guitar for a Death Metal band in my late teens, then spent a number of years producing hip-hop.

What still drives you to make music?

The act of creating music has become very therapeutic for me. It’s also given me a sense of purpose that I’m not sure I would have found elsewhere. 

How do you most often start a new track?

I usually start out by working out a melody on whatever instrument I’m drawn to at the moment (most often my OP-1). I also keep a dictaphone in my car that I find myself humming ideas into from time to time. 

How do you know when a track is finished?

This might be what I struggle with the most. I’m currently working on an EP that is taking me an exceedingly long time to wrap up because I always find something I feel I need to adjust. 

Show us your current studio

Chris Petra Studio space

Best creative advice that you’ve ever heard?

Take any and every musical opportunity you can, no matter how big or small. 

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

I’m currently working on a record, but in the meantime, I have two tape loop sample packs for free download on my Bandcamp. I also update my Instagram with little tape jams pretty regularly if you’re into that sorta thing!

https://chrispetra.bandcamp.com/music

https://www.instagram.com/chrispetra/?hl=en