1. Favourite knob/fader/switch on a piece of gear and why?
The speed selector of the Uher 4000 Report-L. You have to push it down and drag it like a gear lever, so satisfying.
2. Do you have an ‘almost’ perfect bit of kit? What would you change?
The Tascam Portastudio 424. It’s a 4 track tape recorder, you can adjust the pitch by more or less 4 semitones, you can switch the speed from « high » to « normal » and to « slow », that’s pretty unsusual for a tape recorder, it distorts well when you record a hot signal, it has a good and effective EQ, panning for each track. Only regret is that there is no xlr input and no phantom power to use condenser mics with it – but this is not really a problem, I use a portable phantom power supply -.
3. What setup do you bring on holiday/tour/commute etc.?
For sure my Volca FM, a tape recorder or a dictaphone, my shortwave radio and a Zoom MS70. (However, when I’m on holidays (which is rare), I don’t do music that much (if I do, its generally field recording))
4. What software do you wish was hardware and vice versa?
I don’t use that much my computer when I produce music. Of course, I edit/mix my tracks with it, especially when tape recorders are too noisy using a denoiser or to compress a little bit using Klanghelm’s MJUC, or to arrange the stems. However I tend to say that iZotope’s Iris 2 would be great in hardware.
5. Is there anything you regret selling… or regret buying?
Not really a regret because it’s objectively a great synth, but the MS20 (mini) doesn’t really suits me. It’s the first synth I bought when I started – because it looked cool with the patch panel, I felt like a mad scientist or some shit – but I rarely managed to use it in my music, even though some patches are unique and amazing. Sold it 1 week ago because I’m low on money.
6. What gear has inspired you to produce the most music?
The Minilogue has definitely inspired me a lot, especially the mono voice mode – highly underrated imo -. You can bring a sub oscillator, detune you 2 vco a fourth, a fifth or just a little bit, affect your lfo to the pitch or the shape – to get some shifting in the sound – at a really slow rate and you get a massive sound on the lower notes. Also, the sweet spot on the Q of the filter is really nice. The built-in delay is incredible too, noisy as hell and dirty, absolutely perfect.
7. If you had to start over, what would you get first?
I would get the Yamaha VSS-200. The sampling section is insane on this one, I use it a lot in my music production. I sample basically anything and everything, from other synths to acoustic instruments such as flute, guitar, even my voice, and it sounds so gritty, lovely. I made this demo on my YouTube channel, to show how it sounds like: https://youtu.be/vxlvFDanYbo
8. What’s the most annoying piece of gear you have, that you just can’t live without?
The Casio CZ-101. I love this synth, great evolutives sounds and has a warm character for a digital one, but it erase all the presets you’ve done if you don’t use it for two days. It uses those big expensive batteries (type D I believe), and I didn’t figured out yet how to mod it so it can use standard AA’s batteries. It’s a pain to program too, especially the enveloppes, so I use my iPad and Patch Base to edit my presets and manage them.
9. Most surprising tip/trick/technique that you’ve discovered about a bit of kit?
The generation loss technique. It’s mostly known for vhs, but it works with regular cassette tapes as well. When you record something into a tape, and sample it back into another tape, you experience the generation loss. And each generation sounds « worse » than the previous one, with more artifacts. I use it a lot with my two vcrs, but sometimes I also use two walkmans and bounce my stem from one to another. Experienced it on this little snippet on my Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/p/CBLj1X9o4De/
(you can hear the dropouts and the subtle wow and flutter as soon as I engage the vcr)
Artist or Band name?
Where are you from?
How did you get into music?
When I was 17 years old, I watched on YouTube a drum solo by Joey Jordison, drummer of Slipknot, I was impressed and I wanted to play drums.
What still drives you to make music?
Making stuff that I would like to listen to, I mean, I put a lot of pressure on myself, I don’t want to share anything if I am not ok with it.
How do you most often start a new track?
I start by finding a chord progression or a melody. Then, I work the sound on a synth, depending on the type of sound I’m looking for I’m gonna use a different synthesizer or a different effect chain. Finally, I record it into my tape recorders, reel to reel or vhs, and if I want to give it some mood I resample it again and again, degrading it until I like the result. Then, I add other stems, like some noises, samples from my own stuff, some radio interferences, field recordings… Recently, I even tried to add subtle rhythm (recording real drums/various percussions mixed with electronic sounds) but I’m not really satisfied by the result.
How do you know when a track is finished?
Honestly, I don’t know, I am never satisfied by how my track ends.
Show us your current studio
Sorry for the bad light, its a very tiny room (less than 7 sqm) without any window, so no natural light. Lots of mess too, especially on the last photo, and the « light spots » I use for my videos are two Ikea’s light with tissue to avoid too much reflection (hmm I should buy proper lights at some point)
Best creative advice that you’ve ever heard?
Less is more. I often want to add too much but I realised that, sometimes, when I « clean » my Ableton session by removing stems, it sounds much better.
Promote your latest thing… Go ahead, throw us a link.
I released my first album on march, you can listen to it on every streaming platform you use – I put a Spotify link here but it is on every streaming services -.
[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…]