1. Favourite knob or fader or switch on a piece of gear and why?
The metal switches in general. Compared to knobs and sliders and all the other tactile elements of hardware, the metal switches feel the best to me. Every time I switch one, It’s like something SERIOUS is going to happen. They feel like there’s more decisiveness behind them.
2. Do you have an ‘almost’ perfect bit of kit? What would you change?
Hmmm… Actually, no.
But (and there’s always a but) sometimes when I ignore the purpose of a piece of gear and I find my own purpose for it, then something happens where it becomes mine. Of course, since it was not meant to be used as I am using it, it’s almost perfect but it cannot ever be (perfect).
To make perfect gear (for me), I should create my own, which I have no interest in at this point of my life.
3. What setup do you bring on holiday or tour or commute etc.?
Pen & Paper.
I do not own any portable gear so when I am traveling, instread I do this:
I find new artists whose music I like, and I listen with the purpose of deconstructing their tracks. Understand their arrangement and uncover their techniques. Most probably, I am wrong and what I am hearing is not what is actually happening in their music. But that’s exactly the point. I’ve got a new technique which might or might not be coming from another artist (A.K.A. inspiration).
That is why I don’t like tutorials. I don’t want specifics. The ‘incorrectness’ is the feature.
4. What software do you wish was hardware and vice versa?
I have no answer for this question.
5. Is there anything you regret selling… or regret buying?
I do regret selling… every piece of gear that I’ve sold.
Why do I keep conceiving my self that it’s the logical move? I should stop this nonsense.
6. What gear has inspired you to produce the most music?
It never is gear.
It seems as if they do (inspire us) but it’s not gear. It’s other people.
7. If you had to start over, what would you get first?
A fully-featured groovebox.
I actually recently started over (after selling all of my gear few years back) and it was with an Ableton Push. I sold it because I didn’t want to have the laptop ON to make music. So I sold the Push and when I was talking with the guy that bought it, I said “this is the best drum machine I ever had.” At the moment, I just said it as a way to tell him that if you’re OK with the laptop, this machine is amazing.
I went on to buy an MPC One because of all its features and the DAW-in-a-box thing. The experience of trying to have a DAW in just one tiny box (the MPC) is at least… meh. But then I thought about what I said about the Push. So I started using the MPC as a fully-featured drum machine and not as a one-stop-DAW-solution. The irony, is on Akai… OF COURSE the MPC is a drum machine. If you take it as such, it is one of the best. It’s a beast. But they went for the bigger market and marketed it as a hardware DAW. I also blame my self for listening to Akai for how the MPC should be used.
So my answer is: a groovebox where you can layer lots of effects.
8. What’s the most annoying piece of gear you have, that you just can’t live without?
9. Most surprising tip or trick or technique that you’ve discovered about a bit of kit?
It’s not new, it’s not surprising, and it’s not a trick, but it’s always magic.
Recording with my phone the ambience of the room, the street, the beach, or wherever I am, and bringing that into a track… oof! It could be just a kick with that recording and I am instantly transported.
Artist or Band name?
I don’t actively release music. So no names/aliases. But, I sometimes upload recordings on my YouTube channel.
Where are you from?
How did you get into music?
My father brought home a full blown hi-fi system, a lot of cassettes and later on, CDs. It was not conscious choice at the time, but I spent a lot of time listening to whatever was there. People noticed and the random gifts became cassettes, CDs, and headphones.
Many many years later, still in school, I walked into a friend’s room and he had these Numark CD-Players and a mixer. We did countless days-months of mixing and recordings. Then I found out about vinyl mixing. Many years as a DJ and then… Ableton… and then… hardware!
What still drives you to make music?
Exploration and pure enjoyment of the act.
How do you most often start a new track?
The drums and looking for a nice call & response.
How do you know when a track is finished?
I never do.
I have around 30 mins every day to make a nice loop with a quick mix-down. I do it every day, and at the end of the week, I revisit the loops. If the loop still excites me, I record a quick jam with it. That’s it. Most weeks end with a recording with of a few tracks. I upload the mix on YouTube, I share it with friends that like listening to my music and I take a walk with my dog and my headphones and listen to the mix.
Quick, fun, fluent.
Show us your current studio
Best creative advice that you’ve ever heard?
Focus and Diffuse modes of thinking.
That’s the birthplace of creativity. Learn about it and then, based on that knowledge, you will find what works for you and have creativity unlocked for life.
Promote your latest thing… Go ahead, throw us a link.
I run a newsletter where I interview music makers (hey :D) where they talk gear, creativity and show their studio. It’s gasnewsletter.com