Peninsula Repairs- LoFi Demolisher

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

I love the bass cut on my Fender Jaguar. I’ve personally found that switch to be extremely helpful in quickly solving some tone issues while recording.  

Fender Jaguar

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

I’ve fallen in love with the Digitakt over the last 7 months. I have been writing an album where almost every piece of gear is running through it one way or another. I do wish that it had a polyphonic play mode. 

Elektron Digitakt

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

I usually bring my OP1. There’s a lot to work with right in the box, plus I can create some samples or record into the box wherever I am! 

Teenage Engineering OP-1

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

I use the Waves J37 on all my recordings in some way. I absolutely love it. I know it’s originally hardware, but I wish it was something I could afford to use regularly. I’m not really sure what would want to go from hardware to software that hasn’t been covered by a company in one way or another already. maybe a virtual Chase Bliss Audio pedalboard  so I can use the ones that are discontinued or that I just don’t have. 

Waves J37

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

I had the moogerfooger ring modulator for about 10 years and sold it because I didn’t use it much at the time. I immediately regretted that. 

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

Even though I haven’t used it a lot in my current musical endeavors most of my ideas do stem from my guitar, the main one being a fender jaguar.

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

The first instrument I bought was a squier p bass when I was 13. at the time my friend and I were at our local Guitar Center and he spotted a used fender jazz bass which he tried to convince me to go with. at the time I wanted something brand new. I still to this day wish I bought that Jazz Bass. I’d probably still own.  

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

Can this answer be software? If so I would have to say Pro Tools. I’ve been using it for 14 years now and although it drives me crazy for many reasons I personally find it to be the best DAW for mixing and editing. 

[Editor: You’ve probably heard this a million times. But I gotta say Reaper is great too… If you’re only mixing music. Sound to film has gotta be ProTools coz of Avid MC]

Pro Tools

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

This past month I have been reamping through the Hologram Electronics Microcosm with the Mix knob at 100 where I feel a part is lacking something. After a bit of tweaking I typically end up with  something that has really enhanced the part for me. 

Hologram Electronics Microcosm

Artist or Band name?

Peninsula Repairs 

Genre?

Ambient/lofi 

Selfie?

Peninsula Repairs 

Where are you from?

Boston, Massachusetts 

How did you get into music?

The first time I ever wanted to play guitar was from seeing Dixie Kong shred after beating a level in Donkey Kong Country 2 on Super NES. I was also obsessed with Nirvana’s MTV unplugged performance at that time. About 5 years later my friends and I kept talking about starting a band, so I saved up for my first bass. 

What still drives you to make music?

Pretty much everything. It’s the one thing I do where I feel like I can completely escape. It’s pretty much become a form of meditation for myself. 

How do you most often start a new track?

I typically have one small idea from either a guitar, piano or synth and then just build from there. 

How do you know when a track is finished?

I’m not sure I ever do. I usually get to a point where what I’m doing feels forced and figure that’s a good time to stop. 

Show us your current studio.

Here’s just a section of the studio. I’m currently in the middle of rearranging and organizing. 

Peninsula Repairs  Studio

Best creative advice that you’ve ever heard?

It’s a pretty simple one, but one of my best friends and old bandmates told me to stop overthinking everything I did. I would hold up songs for weeks or months over something so slight. The advice has helped me over the years appreciate moments of imperfection or even something I cannot control.  

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

I released my first full length this past March. It is currently streaming on all platforms and bandcamp.

https://peninsularepairs.bandcamp.com


Andrew Black – Loop De Loop

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

That is a tough one but I think I have to go with the filter cutoff on my Moog Sub Phatty. I immediately fell in love with sweeping that filter, it is satisfying both sonically and physically. 

Moog Sub Phatty

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

My Op-1 is pretty close to perfect. At times I wish it had more keys, but the size is part of its charm.

Teenage Engineering OP-1

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

Op1, sp404, and a pair of beyerdynamic dt 770 s. It all fits comfortably in my backpack.

Beyerdynamic dt 770

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

I have a reverb plugin called Valhalla shimmer that I really love, but I wish it was in pedal form so I could have the tactile interaction with it. I use tape and 4 track recorders often and I truly love them, but they break, need maintenance, or shit out on you during a show (it was the worst! haha) so I would love if somehow there was a software 4 track that could actually capture the sound and feel of the real thing… but all the inconsistencies and frustrations with working with physical tape are a part of what make it magical… so maybe I wouldn’t change it after all.

Tascam 4 Track

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

I tend to hold onto all the gear that I procure, good or bad. My father is a musician though and his first guitar amp, a 1964 Silvertone 1484 would have been passed down to me but was accidentally sold in a garage sale by my uncle when I was a kid, so that is probably my greatest gear regret.

Silvertone amp

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

I would say most recently the 0-Coast by Make Noise, it inspires me every time I touch it. 

Make Noise 0-coast

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

I think Ableton. I have used pro tools for years, it gets the job done and I’m fairly proficient in it, but I have been told that Ableton lends itself more to the genre that I work in and therefore may facilitate workflow/productivity. I would really love to learn ableton someday but my patience with new software is short at times to say the least haha.

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

My microkorg. It was my first synth when I was 14 so I’m attached to it for that reason. It also does have great guts and can make some awesome sounds but accessing the oscillators and making fine adjustments isn’t particularly intuitive and can be frustrating when I have a sound in my head that I’m trying to get out. 

Korg MicroKorg

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

The vinyl simulator on my Sp-404 has been a go to for me lately. At first when I played around with it I felt like the crackles and textures it added were too much, but I started using it on sounds that would be turned into tape loops and I fell in love. The combination of the 404’s crackles, the analog tape hiss, and the tape warble give the sound a perfectly cryptic esthetic.

Roland SP404

Artist or Band name?

Andrew Black

Genre?

Ambient

Selfie?

Andrew Black

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Salem, Oregon, but i’ve lived in Portland, Oregon for the last decade.

How did you get into music?

My dad is a guitar player and music lover so my introduction to music was immediate in life haha. I started taking guitar lessons from him when I was ten and it has been my passion ever since.

What still drives you to make music?

It is the best way I have found to express myself. I’ve dealt with depression and anxiety all of my life and writing/making music allows me to process those unpleasant feelings most efficiently. I’ve also always just loved it. That combination keeps the drive alive and keeps me writing because it truly makes me happy.

How do you most often start a new track?

Most often the inspiration for a new track for me comes from just experimenting and playing around without any real intention or direction. When I spend some time tinkering with textures a tone or a rhythm will at some point give me an idea for a song.

How do you know when a track is finished?

It is really hard for me to know when a song is finished. I’m rarely if ever 100% sure that the song is done so I just try to trust work it until there isn’t anything obvious that’s bothering me, and then I try to trust myself that it is as good as I can make it.

Show us your current studio

Andrew Black’s studio

Best creative advice that you’ve ever heard?

”Make music you would want to listen to” My friend Sonny Diperri told me that. It kinda seems obvious now, but that advice really changed how I make music. It is how I know when I’m writing honestly for myself and from the heart.

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

My most recent album is called “Slow Blood” 

https://andrewrblack.bandcamp.com


Slow Haste – Chillwave To Taste

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

OP-1

The blue rotary encoder on the Teenage Engineering OP-1.  I actually cannot keep my hands off of it.  If you watch any of my Instagram jams featuring the OP-1, I’m constantly nudging and spinning it every which way to adjust the tape speed while performing — sort of a faux-master-pitch-vibrato.  Vibrato is tied with reverb for my favorite effect, it adds emotion, uncertainty, and imperfection to everything.  It makes the OP-1 sound less digital, and the OP-1 is unashamedly digital.  Don’t get me wrong, I love that about it.  But that blue knob gives it soul.

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

The Caroline Guitar Co. Météore.  It was my first reverb pedal, and I got it at Chicago Music Exchange the first time I visited Chicago (where I now reside!)  It’s also my only reverb pedal I haven’t sold or traded.  For the uninitiated: it’s a lo-fi reverb inspired by the sonic environment of a particular modern Paris Métro station.  It can get super super gritty and loud, but I think it excels at layering right behind the dry signal, spilling out little splashy puddles of your guitar tone. The only thing I would change is the switches — sometimes engaging the pedal can be a bit finicky.  But to be completely honest, I always have it on (literally all the time) so it’s a non-issue, really.

Caroline Guitar Co. Météore

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

My OP-1.  It’s really the only easily portable piece of gear I have, aside from individual effects pedals.  The OP-1 has an absurd battery life, is designed to travel well, and is perfect for killing time while sketching out ideas or just messing around.  Not to mention you can sample ANYTHING with it.  A laptop, an aux cable, and the OP-1 is a fantastic portable drawing board.  Some of my favorite OP-1 pieces have been built around random samples recorded straight to the onboard mic, too.  

OP1

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

To be honest, I’m not a huge software person.  I’m not a “hardware purist” or a strictly DAW-less musician, but I don’t enjoy making music with software nearly as much as with hardware; it’s just not as inspiring to me.  A DAW is a specific tool that fits into a specific part of my process.  That said… I think having software versions of all of my guitar and modular effects would be incredibly convenient for experimentation and playing around in Logic Pro X.  I think the Montreal Assembly Count to 5 would be particularly fun to play with in a DAW, automating parameters could get really wacky really fast.

Pedalboard of fun

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

I regret selling my Chase Bliss Audio Thermae more than anything.  I bought it on an impulse the summer it was released.  It was not a sound financial decision.  I used it on a recording project and sold it a few months later because I knew I didn’t need it.  But whenever I see any posts showcasing that pedal, I end up revisiting old recordings I’ve used it on and get pretty nostalgic.  As weird as that sounds, it definitely reminds me of hot summer days, since that’s when I was using it most!

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

It’s a tie between my modular system and the OP-1.  My recent album was almost entirely produced on the OP-1, but most of the songs came from modular samples.  I unintentionally started writing and recording the album the day that I got my first modules (Mutable Instruments Plaits and Marbles), just messing around and recording audio into the OP-1 tape tracks.  The modular inspired, and the OP-1 enabled.

Eurorack modular

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

No surprise here: the OP-1.  But can it come with a guitar?  I don’t need pedals or even an amp.  I can get by with the OP-1 and a guitar.

Sweetly colored Stat

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

Cables.  Not talking about patch cables here — I love modular patch cables, and physically patching my system is one of the most therapeutic aspects of creating music.  Any other cables though… mic cables, instruments cables, power cables, etc.  If everything could just connect wirelessly, I wouldn’t have to worry about the physical placement of objects or “setting things up” when I want to play and record.  I have a lot of stuff in a small space, so I try to keep things as tidy as possible.  Cables make this quite a challenge.

Cables

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

More of a creative/writing tip than a technical tip: one of my favorite “help I’m stuck and don’t know where to start creating!” solutions is to play a melody or chord progression into the Montreal Assembly Count to 5, lock a pitch shifted loop into place, and then record a fixed number of bars of that loop onto my Boss RC-30 Looper.  Hearing the instantaneous alteration of an improvised melodic idea repeated in a rhythmic manner gives me SO much to play off of.  It’s an easy quick way to create a new idea to build upon.  If you don’t like the result, it’s easy to give it another go.  I create most of my guitar loops this way, and end up sending them into my modular system and mangling them further with the Make Noise Morphagene.  

Montreal Assembly Count to 5

Artist or Band name?

Slow Haste

Genre?

Experimental Electronic, Chillwave, Ambient.

Selfie?

Slow Haste

Where are you from?

Born and raised in Windham, ME.  Currently based in Chicago, IL.

How did you get into music?

I asked my parents for guitar lessons when I was 6 yrs old, and then drum lessons at 8 yrs old.  I played clarinet in my school band, in a pop punk band with friends, and sang in an auditioned choir in high school.  Music has always been a part of pretty much everything I do, constantly evolving with me.  I also currently play guitar and sing in an indie rock band called Tired Driver.

What still drives you to make music?

It’s an outlet for expression, at the most vague level.  I’m still trying to figure this one out myself.  I tend not to fully understand the essence of a body of work I produce until it’s complete and I’m able to reflect on it from an outside perspective. I suppose I should work on being more in touch and intentional with my musical brain!  But seriously, the stuff I find most inspiring is the stuff that just spills out without having to think about it.  Once that foundation is down, I can use my logical brain to piece it together.  But the essence just happens.  Coffee helps, too.

How do you most often start a new track?

It’s mostly improvisational.  I will decide to play percussion, guitar, synths, or whatever else.  Once I find a beat/melody/progression/etc that excites me, I build upon that with other instruments.  Most of the time once I hear something I like, I can hear the rest of an arrangement in my head and will try to piece this together as I proceed. I’m the most productive early in the morning.  Generally, I thrive in the daytime and vastly prefer it over night.

How do you know when a track is finished?

When it makes me smile.  Sounds stupid but I mean it.

Show us your current studio

Studio

Hard to get it all in one shot with guitars/amp/pedals, but here’s my desktop setup! Also, here’s a shot of my old setup in a prior apartment, pre-OP-1 and modular.

Studio

Best creative advice that you’ve ever heard?

I don’t know if I heard this anywhere or if it’s just become a common practice of mine through trial and error: Don’t force yourself to try to create if you aren’t in the mood.  I’ve done that before and it makes me start to resent the process.  I never want making music to feel like a chore, so I never make myself do it if I don’t feel like it.  A lot of people will say “just sit down at your instrument and start playing, do this every day to get in the habit”, but I’ve never really gelled with that sentiment.  I have to be excited about what I’m doing to be able to be productive and enjoy it.  And I think it’s important to give myself space from creativity if I’m just not feeling it for whatever reason.

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

I released my first album, “Dandelion”, in March. Go give it a listen!