1. Favourite knob/fader/switch on a piece of gear and why?
There are two of them – I just can’t choose because they’re like apples and oranges.
The first is the big Level knob of some of Universal Audio devices. A big black knob to control the volume from a microphone! The best I can imagine.
The second is a protected switch you can find on Neve 54 series consoles originally made for broadcasting. It’s red and it’s do something you can regret later – like 1000 Hz tone to line or talkback to line. And you just can’t resist to try it!
2. Do you have an ‘almost’ perfect bit of kit? What would you change?
Off course I like my equipment and yes, it’s ‘almost’ perfect for me. It has a lot of limitations, but as many musicians I’m keen to explore new ways to make something with them. However since I’ve dived into the eurorack world I discovered how one single new module is able to change everything else in your setup, both in terms of working style and sound at the same time. For example, Synthesis Technology Morphing Terrarium was a whole new world for me and I changed some of my LFOs and filters. Later I moved to E370 which is pretty the same but has more voices, so I had to get several additional modules each with new options, then a new case because the systems gets bigger, and so on. That’s how I learned to control the size of the system.
Recently I’ve started experiments with quadraphonic sound and I definitely have to change my understanding of the mixing process, but it’s a different story and I feel myself at the start of the road again.
3. What setup do you bring on holiday/tour/commute etc.?
Every time it’s different: Lap steel guitar or Linnstrument and laptop or baritone guitar with looper. Last time it was a 92hp 6u case with eurorack modules I wanted to learn deeper.
4. What software do you wish was hardware and vice versa?
For me it actually happened once. When I was looking for an ideal sequencer for my system I found a description of Five12 Vector Sequencer. It was pretty close to the time of the start of it’s production. But it was not clear for me what is VS what it was capable of doing, and also which way it was going to grow by software updates. So I bought the Numerology software just to understand the developer’s way of thinking about sequencing. After that I was so excited about it and now the Vector is one of my best friends. Brilliant piece of gear by Jim Coker.
Also I think that hardware version of Ableton Live workflow would be revolutionary and is a ‘must have’ device for many many musicians.
5. Is there anything you regret selling… or regret buying?
I still miss my black and gold Make Noise Cartesian System. Almost every module in there is awesome.
6. What gear has inspired you to produce the most music?
Literally every piece of gear I ever had. It’s quite the same as musical instruments. Synths, guitars, amps, stompboxes… It used to be Oberheim SEM (I’ve started my eurorack journey with trying to find a synced LFO for), Linnstrument, Roland TR909 with SH01, BlackCorporation Decard’s Dream. When I get my Deckard’s Dream it was.. well, sometimes I was not able to stop myself even to hit the record button. I tried new things every day and constantly felt that I live in the science fiction movie (I’m afraid I still feel like that though) DD is the only synth I use now regularly – all the rest stuff is in eurorack.
I also should say that I am just delighted by the Strymon BigSky reverb guitar pedal. I can’t resist to use it everywhere – it’s crazy beautiful for ambient parts.
And of course there are so many really inspirational eurorack modules and cases (I have several MDR.modular and Doepfers – love it). Latest module I’ve got is the Dnipro Modular DOT – charming little trigger machine and really useful drum sequencer. In general, from sequencers to mixers – every new single module brings something you have to learn and experiment with. More time you spent – better results you get – it works for me.
Some of them:
- Doepfer – all modules I have
- Five12 – Vector Sequencer
- Synthesis Technology – E352, E370
- Roland 521
- Xaoc Devices – Batumi, Tallin
- Intellijel – Metropolis, Quadra with Expander
- Mutable Instruments – all I have from them
- WMD – Performance Mixer
- Malekko – Voltage Block (a masterpiece!)
- Eventide – EuroDDL (the best classic delay in euro)
- Make Noise – QPAS, Mimeophon
- Winter Modular – Eloquencer
- Hexinverter – Mutant BD9, Mutant Hi-Hats
- Audio Damage – ADM14 Boomtschak
- Noise Engeneering – Basimilus Iteritas Alter, Sync Bucina
- Dnipro Modular – DOT
7. If you had to start over, what would you get first?
Oh, It’s simple. Eurorack case 104hp 9u fully loaded and a decent recorder.
8. What’s the most annoying piece of gear you have, that you just can’t live without?
I think it’s my laptop. I definitely don’t enjoy making (or even just recording) music with computers, but sometimes I have to do it. For example when I am asked for stems, then I’m just not able to proceed with by preferred way (live recording of the only one stereo track) I have to manage a boring multitrack session and all that kind of stuff, just to recreate in software, what I’ve just played.
9. Most surprising tip/trick/technique that you’ve discovered about a bit of kit?
Every session brings something new and seems like it’ll never stop.
- Most recent: combining two harmonically related sequences by sending them to the same MIDI channel of a synth and then playing with general velocity of each sequence and portamento (glide) slider of a synth. Some sounds will really surprise you and I think a lot of expression can be achieved that way.
- About a two years ago: clocking some stepped LFO by the same trigger as drum module (BIA for example) and modulate several parameters of the drum and Bass VCO and VCF by that LFO. Absolutely awesome with random LFO – every drum hit becomes different and the whole line instantly gets a personality and vibe.
- Some relatively simple things like directing ADSR envelope to VCF Cutoff CV input instead of VCA (so you need another free VCA again)
Artist or Band name?
TÆT.music – Vladislav Green
[Editor: Fun fact – ‘Tæt’ with that funny ‘a’, means ‘close’ in danish. Dunno what it means in Russian. Google translate was at a loss]
How about Modular Wave?
[Editor: Sounds good!]
Where are you from?
St Petersburg, Russia.
How did you get into music?
Short answer: singing songs, learning classic guitar, playing in a school band, learning piano, playing in Ned Hoper band, learning Kyma, playing as TÆT.
Long answer: my Mother was a music teacher she shared her love to classic composers with me and music was always near me. She used to play piano at home and we listened to some classical recordings quite frequently. When I was twelve my friend suggest me to form a band. We can’t play anything and have no instruments, but we found old drums just on the empty street exactly at the same day. We brought them at home and since that.. (see the short answer).
What still drives you to make music?
I often think about it, but I really don’t know exactly. There is some feeling inside me – like I’m hungry or something like that. I can’t resist and I’m getting upset when I can’t play.
How do you most often start a new track?
Sometimes I have an idea and it’s better to start working while it’s clear.
Sometimes I have no ideas and it is also better to start working just to get an idea.
There is no choice – I have to start working.
[Editor: That answer really appeals to me! Whether you have an idea or not… there is no choice… just get to work]
How do you know when a track is finished?
There are several markers:
1. Wow it’s great now! Time to record!
2. I’ve run out of patch cables – where is my box with consumer cables?
3. I can’t listen to it anymore – it’s better to record it as is and start something new.
You’ll need all tree markers to finish the track.
Seriously I never know – it’s more about feelings and mood.
Typically the patch is finished far before the point you start to think about recording. A good trick to check – mute instruments in different combinations – you can find that there is one needless or just muddy voice, and you’re fighting with the mix instead of cleaning or muting this voice. Just cut without remorse.
Show us your current studio
It’s a dark place, but I’ll try. I try to keep things as simple and clear as possible. My everyday recording setup: line output of my eurorack mixer into line input of my recorder.
But I keep more a advanced setup in case I need to record stems or just in the mood to experiment with some studio equipment. My favourite device in this department is my Neve 54 – an old twelve channel broadcasting mixing console modded with direct outputs and db25 interface. It has all i need – decent EQ with fixed frequencies, nice sounding preamplifiers and two pre/post aux sends. Also it sounds huge when overdriven. I set up a patchbay to manage connections with my Antelope Orion 32 interface and some outboard I have: three Distressors and API Lunchbox (with 4 API Pre’s and SSL GComp). I also love my TC Electronic 2290 – one of the best delays I ever had. I would add a Roland-201 and some big Lexicon reverb, but I’m pretty happy with what I have. I really rarely use all that stuff, it’s more like production headroom. But things are changing and I’m about to use it more in the nearest future.
Recently I’ve got four Dynaudio BM15A speakers with BM10S sub – they are not too expensive these days. It helps a lot to avoid mistakes, when I play and record at the same time keeping good overall volume to feel the vibe, if I need to play loudly.
Best creative advice that you’ve ever heard?
Nothing can motivate you to make music more then having a dedicated space. It’s far more important than a new synth or pair of speakers. If you have just a guitar and an amp in empty studio – it’s more inspirational then having thousands devices in a bedroom. Create your music space. Then just start and never stop.
Promote your latest thing… Go ahead, throw us a link.
I have a couple of albums on iTunes, but actually I invite you to visit my YouTube channel – I’m trying to start live streaming in a nearest future.
I also always have something fresh on taet.bandcamp.com
[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…]