Select – Sounds Soul Soothing

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

The best knob I know is the Cutoff of my Mother 32, its feedback is not even close to be equaled by any knob I own! In general, when I touch a synth, I try the Filter (Cutoff/Resonance). If the vibe is not here, the synth is not for me.

The Moogiest Knob known to humankind

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

I think u-he Diva is really huge, but it’s soooo CPU expansive! I wish I could load tons of Diva tracks for my Live session, but I can’t 🙁

U-He Diva

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

I always bring my OP-1 on holidays, but I never use it, because it’s the only time I do other things than music!

Teenage Engineering OP-1

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

I wish I could have a universal VST hardware, some sort of box on which we could load VSTs with generic knobs or something like that. I can’t even imagine making music without a computer if I can’t use VSTs.
And I really dream of a solid Korg Trident VST. I want to get the true Trident someday, but it’s a lot of money, so I’m waiting for the good Trident emulation.

Korg Trident

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

I bought the Behringer Deepmind 12D, and I quickly regretted it. The thing was completely soulless, it had no punch whatsoever, so I sold it.

Behringer Deepmind 12D

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

By far Ableton Live on my computer. If I had to keep one single thing to produce music: Ableton Live, even just with stock plugins, without VSTs. For real.

Ableton Live

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

Well, a computer with Ableton Live! Seriously, I always want to tell young producers to just stop buying gear! If you are not able to make something decent with a tool as powerful and simple as Ableton Live (or any DAW), you won’t with any piece of hardware. So stop with your GAS thing, and try to make actual music!

[Editor: I have to say, I kinda disagree. I always used to feel bad about GAS (gear aquisition syndrome)… but I’ve started to accept it. Even to the point of telling myself- “It’s fine. Buy a pedal. Make some music. Sell it again, whenever.” It’s all just… colors for a painter. Who are you really hurting? No need to feel bad about buying gear
But Benjamin also has a point too. So go ahead, make some tunes... and feel good]

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

The Doepfer A-190-5! It’s a simple midi to CV interface, but sometimes it completely freezes/bugs, and the thing has to be reloaded. So my whole modular has to be powered off. The real problem is that my live setup is based on the Expert Sleepers ES8 audio interface which is in the modular synth! So if I power off the synth, my whole setup is down, and Ableton output is offline… It’s kind of a big deal during live sets.

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

I think the most important trick I discovered is the ability to create sync tracks in every setup. Making a hard sync ping in a stereo channel is a very simple trick to do and it opens a large panel of possibilities, like playing with a Nintendo Switch and a modular in sync!

Nintendo Switch

Artist or Band name?





Benjamin aka. Select

Where are you from?

Paris, France.

How did you get into music?

I used to play some flute and piano when I was a kid, but I quickly gave up since I was way more hyped by video games!
I’ve always been more or less in computer music, since early 2000’s, I’ve been playing around with Fruity Loops, then Reason, then Live. But nothing serious.
Then I became a software engineer, and it was so boring, I wanted my life not to be that pointless anymore, so I started music production seriously when I was 30 (never too late).

[Editor: Whole-heartedly agree]

What still drives you to make music?

To be honest, I don’t really know. Music production is a lot of pain, I spend 99% of my time just complaining, suffering and finding myself completely useless. But, I don’t know why, I’m addicted to it. The 1% left is just pure happiness and it heals all the pain of the process!

How do you most often start a new track?

1. Open Ableton Live.
2. Load the crappiest synth (like, it has to be awful or extremely basic).
3. Try to write something catchy with it.
4. Try until something beautiful comes out.

This process forces me to actually write something I want to listen to before having any sound design research.
When I got my chord progression, I start to actually produce.

How do you know when a track is finished?

When I’m bored enough to stop!

Show us your current studio

Here it is (actually, it’s in the middle of my living room)

Best creative advice that you’ve ever heard?

“You have to make every single sound special”.

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

I recently have been live for the Bpm Contest on ClubbingTV, so here’s me playing a 30 min DJ set with an APC40 controller and eurorack modular.

[Editor: Benjamin also has an instagram with some lovely visuals for his tasty tunes]

Julia Bondar – Fearless One-Taker

1. Favourite knob/fader/switch on a piece of gear and why? Furthrrrr Generator Mood index knob

If you’ve ever heard the metallic scream from Furthrrrr Generator Mood index knob, it will not be difficult to recognize that I am a fan of it and even more during live performances.
MOOD INDEX knob allows thru-zero job by modulator or FG modulating the carrier that plays the lead melody and unite both sounds in one. Especially I love using it with the additional Furthrrrrr wavefolder and that particular metallic sound is achieved with the Strong Zero VCO core. I do use Mood index knob gently during my studio recordings, but I do not shy to put it on maximum at peak hour on my live performances. People tend to love more crazy, dynamic, untamed and raw sounds at the concerts. This trick became my signature sound at some point.

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

It was a long way of trials and errors to build my live system I have now (left on the picture below), which I feel like it is ‘almost’ perfect.

The only thing I would change is the size of some particular modules. The features they give for my set up are not that significant and I still love and need them but the size and weight make me want to get rid of some particular modules. I also try to avoid thru-hole built DIY modules and they add a lot in the final weight of the case. I think with modern DSP powers manufacturers have to rethink the formats of previous editions to make them more ergonomic and at the same time reduce the use and waste of components needed to produce new gear.

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

It might sound offbeat, but I would not bring any set up on holidays for a number of reasons.

First, if it is not a laptop, it will add a few more kilos to your luggage and will make you dependent on belongings. When I travel, I prefer to have a minimum of things with me to move around and discover new places. It is also related to my main job as I am dealing with modular gear on a daily basis, which I am happy about. In those rare vacations moments, I want to disconnect from the electronic world.

Another reason, I have a hard time focusing unless I am in my studio. Maybe it will change one day. But if I would have, lets say a month of vacation, then I would bring with me my 6kg live system… which I still plan to reduce to at least 0.5kg less weight. I could still make sketches, rehearse and advance the live program and train on better transitions and will still be able to give occasional live concerts.

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

It is impossible for me to answer this question, as I never ever used any software for producing my music. I mean of course we all use DAWs for multitrack recording and with plugins for mixing/mastering, but every track of mine you have heard was recorded live in one take. I love real interaction with the instrument.
I know many musicians want to have more modular gear available in VCV rack, as it brings more opportunities at less expense. The fact of interaction with real instrument and aesthetic pleasure is immense. Moreover, the musician can reproduce his/her work on stage with real raw sound, instead of playing your own track as a DJ.  

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

Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien.

6. What gear has inspired you to produce the most music? Shuttle system and Roland system 1M.

The Shuttle System was the first, it’s where I started my journey. As it has all the  double blocks and lots of controls, I found out a way to make a two-voice patch.
I’ve used one part for the bass and another for the lead. I added a drum kit from iPad’s Patterning and voilà – I had everything I needed to make a proper minimal composition. With this approach, I recorded my whole album Blck Noir.
Later, Andreas, my boyfriend brought me a Roland System-1M and I did not like it at the beginning, as it was not easy for me to get used to new a interface. It always takes a long time to integrate new gear into my music. Once I took a risk and brought the System-1M to a performance and it worked out super well in a club. It is a dedicated bass voice, so it can do its job, while I can advance the Shuttle System patch.
Since then these two pieces have become the skeleton for my music.

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

A better studio layout.
A comfortable setting is what every artist has to have to be productive.

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

Strymon Magneto

Magneto from Strymon. It is too big for my travel case, but it creates this perfect, moody rumble, that I just can’t get rid of.

9. What is the most surprising tip/trick/techniques that you’ve discovered about a bit of kit?? 

Eurorack is all about surprises, but you have to be a real gear junkie to find the easter eggs.
Manufacturers usually hide many nice utility features in the modules and the more you work with it, the more you discover. We did a hidden noise generator in our Godspeed+ module and even described that feature on the first page of the manual, but still received many support emails, why sometimes there a noise coming out.

My new live performance patch involves many of my own pre-recorded sampled loops, layered along with drums, all synchronized by CV. It is probably a few per track, so around 15-20 samples per program to be triggered at the proper moment. I have decided to automatically change them according to CV retrieved from velocity of the note that triggers the sample start. That immediately brought the problem, as samples triggered immediately and only afterwards, did they change under CV. Some research and an update of Erica Sample Drum introduced trigger delay. Just a random 20ms delay immediately solved the issue.
This was a big revelation for me to discover this. I could not even imagine it was possible and I spent a week researching and programming it to make it automatically played with the change of each pattern.

Artist or Band name?

Julia Bondar.


Techno, Electro, EBM.


Where are you from?

Ukrainian-born, based in Barcelona.

How did you get into making music?

Desire to make creative friends.

What still drives you to make music?


How do you most often start at new track?

By finding a nice groove between bass and drums.

How do you know when a track is finished?

When it starts to be annoying. [Editor: Ha!]

Show us your current studio

Julia’s Studio

Best creative advice that you’ve ever heard?

Learn by doing © David Lynch.

Promote your latest thing… go ahead, throw us a link

EP “I Want Forbidden”

For more, go to:

[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…