Nadia Struiwigh – Ambient Experimental Techno

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

4-axis joystick from the Argon8 of Modal Electronics

This is actually a harder question than I initially thought ha ha. Firstly I want to say that the knobs from DJ Techtools are awesome. I replaced my knobs from my TB-3 into bright Purple ones (love purple) but my all time favourite tool is the the 4-axis joystick from the Argon8 of Modal Electronics. I was a big gamer when I was young, and it reminds me of the good old days and it just feels like FUN. The joystick on the Argon8 can be assigned to many modulation possibilities which is ace for a live performance.

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

Desktop synths

I guess I can interoperate this as my perfect setup as I haven’t burned my hands on
modules yet. Well, my setup is always evolving and I am sometimes surprised by how many pieces of gear are in my collection. I love to use my gear rack as a library, so I can swap out elements and finetune my set for each performance separately. At the moment I am a big fan of my Maschine+, Korg Opsix, Korg Electribe EMX, Hologram FX, Big Sky FX, Elektron Analog Four, Korg Volca FM, Moog Sub37, and Roland TB-3.

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

I would love to bring everything haha, but unfortunately that’s impossible. I reckon it’s the setup I mentioned above, but for holiday time I would bring the Maschine+ and Modal Skulpt as it has batteries. Myvolts made a handy mini mixer so I can hook up some small devices to it. They also have incredible coloured cables which makes my holiday setup more fun – it’s all about the fun!

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

I’ve been working lately a lot with MNTRA plugin… it’s sample based and it has some
lovely FX in it as well. The layout and the layering works great for ambient pieces, and the sounds are really organic. If this is created in a hardware piece, I will be the first one to buy it. It’s already stunning as plugin, so I can imagine how it will look in an actually 3D product.

MNTRA VST plugin

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

I wish I had, because it would mean my studio was way more portable haha! I almost
never sell things, but when I do, it is jus time for the device to move on. I believe that gear should always be played and be loved (gosh I sound like a massive nerd now), so therefore if I’m not using something I will give it away or maybe sell it, but I will never regret it.

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

Nadia Struiwgh keyboards

My Moog Sub37 and Nord Lead A1. It’s hard to put this in words, but they truly opened up a whole new world for me. I started by playing as a DJ, Techno sets, and I still love it but I am always hunting for more depth in music. By creating music “freeform” you start to get in touch with your biggest creative part of your brain, and playing keys is doing it for me. I love how keyboards/ synthesizers look, the layout, the harmonies I can create by tweaking the Oscillators and filter it down into a warm sounding layer. It is just so hands-on, and it always invites me to play.

Korg Electribe EMX

My Korg Electribe EMX has showed me how to create a track with just one piece of gear. The crunch it has, FX, Wavetables, Drive, Tubes and the step sequencer is nothing alike other pieces of gear. It truly has a big place in my heart, therefore I have two of them. (I love writing love letters to my gear haha!)

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

I started off by getting a Doepfer Dark Energy, the store owner advised me this. Because of that… I had to learn immediately about synthesis as it’s a mono synth and it’s ready to patch up. I wouldn’t recommend someone this more complex device (I love it though). I would have start off with first some midi devices and maybe something like the Roland Boutique or Volca FM series. Just to try out what fits my needs. I would advice to pop in a store regularly and just try out stuff instead of buying it. For modular fans, maybe try out some plugins first and dive into books like Bjooks – they make amazing books with a lot of insights.

The Bjooks

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

My Yamaha DX200. I have a big love for FM synthesis, but this old man has some bugs and it jumps to presets and different settings when I want to turn knobs. I would never sell it, because it’s a synth that is really well made and kind of a classic. I also got it from a dear friend of mine, so there is a lot of emotional connection to it. DX200 my mate.

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

I think I just got the hang of making devices sound different than they are known for, I love that challenge. So I got the Korg Volca FM, which definitely sounds like FM, but I surprisingly got it sound like a deep Sound Bowl by slowing down the BPM and slowing down the Sequence. By combining it with the Hologram FX it got that deep frequency that really hits the spot. It’s insane!

Synth library

Artist or Band name?

Nadia Struiwgh.

Genre?

Ambient, Experimental, Techno. I like to combine all styles, and adjust it to my mood. I actually am not a fan of the word Genres, as I hear and feel music as… music.

Selfie?

Not feeling it right now haha, sometimes I do, but I am already so much online on
Instagram, that I become bored by my own face. My machines will do the job.

Where are you from?

The Netherlands 🙂 but currently a nomad. I live where my heart guides me to.

How did you get into music?

Long story short, I was a massive raver when I was young. You could find me at any
Electronic party, and it really got me. One day I asked myself, there must be more to it than only craving for a phat base. I met my mentor 13 years ago at a party, DJ Estroe, and I was amazed by her appearance. A WOMAN IN THE SCENE!! HELLO! So I wrote her a message, and I never left the journey. I practiced a lot at her house, started to play DJ sets and borrowed an old laptop from my partner in that time to make music with Reason. All my time and money was poured into music, and that’s the journey I will always follow.

My first setup was this:

Nadia’s first setup

What still drives you to make music?

My soul and community.

How do you most often start a new track?

It really depends on my mood and it really changes each time. Sometimes I start by using pads, mostly I do actually, and sometimes I just love to start off with crazy beats. It always starts by just jamming and sitting down to have fun. If I don’t do it like that, I force something which will turn into a big frustration.

How do you know when a track is finished?

When it feels, when I have no doubts, when I have no questions. I learned in life, when there are no questions, it flows and it makes sense. And it really applied to music as well for me. When you feel the “YES” feeling it’s time to let it go.

Show us your current studio

Nadia’s happy place

Best creative advice that you’ve ever heard?

“You Do You”. And I still listen to it everyday again. I try not to watch what other people do too much, because it distracts me from my path and it influences my music. I learned to keep the focus within. If you are happy with what you are doing, there will always be someone around that will be happy with what you are doing too, so keep the drive, keep going, keep learning and keep celebrating life.

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

instagram.com/nadiastruiwigh – and for bookings please send my agent a message 🙂 Marcus@lb-agency.net


Søren Vestergaard – Go Vest

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

Roland Space Echo 201

I really like the feel of twisting the gain knob on my 1073 vintage
design preamp! It has fixed gain so the little “clicks” when twisting is
so satisfying. It could also be my Roland Space Echo 201. Nice big
buttons.

Neve 1073 Mic Preamp

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

It could be many things… but i really truely love the Boss RV5
reverb unit. (I own 5 units right now…) The mod setting sounds just
perfect for anything… but it would be even better with a preset
button… The newer Boss reverbs doesn’t sound quite as good. In
general i think the opportunity to store presets in stompboxes would
be great.

Boss RV5

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

My jazzmaster and my pedalboard are always with me. Maybe my
laptop and a midi keyboard for sketches.
Sometimes I bring something like the microkorg just for fooling
around.

Pedalboard and Jazzmaster

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

I wish that Sugarbytes Effectrix would find its way into a stompbox.
That would be awesome. And the Boss RV5 should be a available
as a plugin as well. It would be great if Soundtoys did a multieffect
unit as hardware! The Zvex lofi junky looper would be great as a
plugin as well.

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

I only keep gear that really makes me happy, I’m not into collecting
stuff any more, so a lot of things have been in and out of the studio. I
recently sold my Juno 6. I might end up regretting this… But it is about
chasing sounds, and sometimes selling something, leads to buying
something else.

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

My Gebr. Neumeyer piano or my Fender jazzmaster are my go to
inspiration stations. Combined with a lot of stompboxes, they keep
amazing me with fresh inspiration and sounds.

Gebr. Neumeyer piano

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

A jazzmaster, 10-12 stompboxes, a good microphone, laptop and
interface and a midi keyboard and some speakers too.

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

My pedalboard. Everything runs through it, but its a never ending
story, It changes from week to week and sometimes its a mess and
keeps me up at night in pure frustration. But on the other hand it
just keeps on giving me inspiration and the feel of twisting
stompbox knobs never gets old!

Guitar Pedalboard

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

The Roland MX1 is a brilliant mixer for adding fun stuff to any sound
source. It has some really unique master FXs, that can do things i
haven’t found anywhere else. I use it as an effects unit just before
the DAW. Its a bit noisy with hiss, but to my ears it means even
more grit for the source. Seriously, try it!!!


Artist or Band name?

S.Vestergaard

Genre?

Crossover / Electronic / Indie / Score music

Selfie?

Søren Vestergaard

Where are you from?

Denmark / Vordingborg

How did you get into music?

My dad and brother are musicians as well, so I grew up in a house
filled with music. But I found my true call back in the 90’s listening to
stuff like Portishead, Massive Attack and the entire grunge
movement. Actually I discovered quite early that music production
was more interesting than just playing the guitar, so I have always
been a huge fan of great producers, which may be my overall
lifelong inspiration.

What still drives you to make music?

Finding new sounds is what my life is all about. I love producing
all kinds of music and everyday is a gift being blessed with the
opportunity to work with music as a living. And of course new
gear…

How do you most often start a new track?

It mostly starts as an iphone recording of me singing or trying to
explain an idea. Maybe with a small piano/guitar part that supports
the overall idea. Then it comes to life in the studio.

How do you know when a track is finished?

I’ve trained this thing a lot. Let it go when you are tuely proud of it.
If not, keep going untill it feels right!

Show us your current studio

Sørens Studio

Best creative advice that you’ve ever heard?

Stop overthinking! Its the number one creative killer. Never go down
that road. Stay open, positive and focused and leave all the stupid
concerns away from the studio. I have never once experienced bad
energy leading to good music. Always positive!

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

svestergaard.com or
instagram.com/vestergaardtheproducer

Spotify


Hissquiet – Blissed Moods

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

Chase Bliss Mood

I’m always fascinated by the range of knobs that there are, but I think my favorite knobs are the ones on the Chase Bliss stuff, I currently have the Mood. They are just so smooth with the ideal amount of tension. They just feel sturdy a well made, like I’ll fade into an effect perfectly every time.

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

Bastl midi looper

I think probably my latest bit of kit, the Bastl midi looper, does almost exactly what I wanted it for, which is to more organically make sequences with midi and overdub CC parameters. It perfectly pairs with my hydrasynth which doesn’t have a sequencer, but I wish it recorded the polyphonic aftertouch of the hydrasynth pads on the initial record. Idk maybe it does and I just haven’t spent enough time tweaking the settings, but that would be really really nice. But other than that it’s brilliant.

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

Elektron Digitakt and iPad

I think my favorite things to bring, are my digitakt and/or my ipad. With a myvolts power cable, a portable charger and some samples, I could really make a whole album on the digitakt. Ipad also is very powerful and has so many music apps that I use in my recordings all the time. Some of my favorites are Spacecraft, Tardigrain and Fugue Machine.

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

Spacecraft app

I wish the Spacecraft app was a pedal or a feature of some groovebox. It’s this granular synth that you can record anything into and make beautifully textured ambient or noise soundscapes. You can get a wide range of sounds out of it. I seriously oftentimes don’t even bother with hi-fi samples and just use the ipad mic, because it just adds extra texture.

VCV rack

This one is kinda silly, but I wish VCV rack was hardware, like, it is hardware right? But the part of it that I want to bring into hardware is the low cost (haha) and also the ability to save patches and arrangements. Which I guess is the point of a modular synth, but still. I haven’t gone down the hardware modular synth rabbit hole yet, but I’ve been using VCV Rack as a way to learn exactly what I want from a system some day.

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

I regret selling my Digitone. It was a really great groovebox synth. I made a whole album on it, Sublunar Reverie, so I decided it was time to sell it and try something else out. Selling stuff is how I justify getting something new and making sure I actually really want the new thing. It went towards the Hydrasynth which I definitely don’t regret buying, but I just wish I had them both haha.

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

Hologram Electronics Microcosm

Hologram Microcosm for sure. I almost don’t want to bring it out when I’m working on something because I’ll spend hours tweaking the modes wondering if the next tweak might be even better than the last, but it all just sounds really great! I have a bit of a thing for granular gear can you tell?

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

I think learning a dynamic instrument like the clarinet was super important to the way I do music, even if I rarely bring it out now. Some folks have said that I have a sort of classical music dynamic going on with the kind of music I make and I probably agree with that. Second though, I’d probably get into synths rather than a guitar, maybe a groovebox like the Digitone or Digitakt if something like that had come out then.

Clarinet

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

Any piece of gear with cat hair on it, haha, no but for real though any connectivity stuff, cables, midi, bluetooth. I think I spend 1/3 my time reserved for making music just making sure things are connected correctly. My studio is not only used for music, but I do my freelance graphic design work there as well, so I can’t really have it all out and connected. In an ideal world things would just work ya know!? 

Cables of all colors

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

The random button on the Hydrasynth is wonderful. It will create a patch for you or you can tell it to scramble up a patch that you already have based on percentages. Sometimes the patches are too wild and I have a blast reeling them into something more palatable to use, but you can end up creating something that you wouldn’t have easily come up with any other way.

ASM Hydrasynth

Artist or Band name?

hissquiet

Genre?

Hmm… maybe ambient music that isn’t really background music? More dark ambient, drone or sometimes I like to get noisy and cinematic.

Selfie?

Ash Farrand aka. Hissquiet

Where are you from?

I grew up and live on the East Coast of the States currently, but I’ve been all over the States. The East Coast feels like home though.

How did you get into music?

I did the whole orchestra/marching band thing when I was younger, but more recently (5ish years ago) I got into music, because I found folks like Hainbach, Anne Annie, and Amulets back in the day when they were doing more “no talking” hardware jams and quickly got a DAW and a midi keyboard and the rest is history.

What still drives you to make music?

Music is my therapy, it allows me to express myself. I really enjoy getting lost in a moment while I’m improvising sound and everything else in the world kind of goes to the wayside for a few minutes. I do it for me first and if others happen to like it that’s a definite bonus.

How do you most often start a new track?

I can start with a sound that’s interesting to me which can kind of evolve into a certain mood all on its own or sometimes I already have a mood that I want to try to capture with a sound. From there I think about how adding effects or layers could elevate or evolve or contrast with what that mood. That’s usually how a track emerges; it’s very emotion-based.

How do you know when a track is finished?

There are 2 criteria for this. When it sounds perfect and there’s nothing I want to change about it or if it’s nearly perfect and I’m simply done working on it. Some might call that laziness, but I can be a bit of a perfectionist on some things so sometimes it’s just best to let go, nobody will notice.

Show us your current studio

Hissquiet studio
Hissquiet studio 2
Hissquiet studio 3

Best creative advice that you’ve ever heard?

I had a rad guitar teacher that really introduced me to the idea that everything can be music. I remember he started riffing off of a fan that was making a rhythmic sound and it really opened my eyes to the possibilities of music.

Slot Drum

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

I’ve got some tapes available of my latest album Solastalgia with Mystery Circles: https://hissquiet.bandcamp.com/album/solastalgia

All the links are here on my website: https://hissquiet.com/