1. Favourite knob/fader/switch on a piece of gear and why?
Currently its the Scan knob on the Instruo Arbhar. That giant skirt is so classic, and as a graphic designer the entire aesthetic approach of Instruo really appeals to me.
[Editor: I gotta say, I’m totally diggin’ the Instruo look as well]
2. Do you have an ‘almost’ perfect bit of kit? What would you change?
The ER-301 Sound Computer is very close to perfect for my needs. It does so much and really lets me bring my ideas to fruition. I wish it had more CPU power and a nicer reverb. Maybe more outputs too, but I’m just being greedy.
3. What setup do you bring on holiday/tour/commute etc.?
Occasionally the iPad. There are so many great granular synthesis apps like Borderlands and Quanta. I also put together a small portable modular centered around the ER-301, but I haven’t taken it out of the house yet.
4. What software do you wish was hardware and vice versa?
I don’t use much software, but I wish I could have hardware versions of some of those amazing sample instruments like Una Corda (NI) and Blisko (Felt Instruments).
5. Is there anything you regret selling… or regret buying?
I’ll always regret selling my MemoryMoog. I bought it for $150! It was the mid 2000’s and someone found it in the attic of a house they had just purchased. They couldn’t get any sound out of it so they brought it to my friend’s music shop. He called me and I waltzed in and bought it without even turning it on. When I got it home I discovered that all of the level knobs in the mixer section were at zero, so I turned them up and it sounded glorious! I sold it years later for a hefty profit in order to fund a move out of state, but I’ll always miss it.
6. What gear has inspired you to produce the most music?
Getting into modular really got me back into making/recording music after taking a break for many years. I love being able to build out multi-layered complex musical ideas all within one system. Working with grooveboxes was sort of close, but I always seemed to hit a wall of limitations.
7. If you had to start over, what would you get first?
Maybe a serious sampler/sequencer. In my early electronic music days I worked with an Akai S20 and Acid Pro on my PC, but I probably could have progressed much faster with an MPC or one of those old Roland boxes.
8. What’s the most annoying piece of gear you have, that you just can’t live without?
If something’s too annoying I usually just sell it, but I guess I’ll say tape machines. Maintenance is just part of the deal when you own one. I’ve learned how to service them, but when one stops working during a session its a real buzzkill.
9. Most surprising tip/trick/technique that you’ve discovered about a bit of kit?
This isn’t gear specific, but using noise (white, pink, etc) to modulate pitch, filter frequency, amplitude or whatever. When used subtly it makes sterile sounds more organic and can impart an analog tape vibe.
Artist or Band name?
Where are you from?
New Orleans, LA
How did you get into music?
I started playing bass at 16 and simultaneously learned how to record on a 4 track (Tascam 424) with my friends. I eventually got a Moog MG-1 and have been hooked on synths ever since.
What still drives you to make music?
The desire to find new sounds, learning a new piece of gear or technique, the need to create.
How do you most often start a new track?
Usually I start with a sound/texture that’s inspiring and build on it. I also do a lot of improvising, then edit it down to the interesting parts.
How do you know when a track is finished?
Show us your current studio
Best creative advice that you’ve ever heard?
“If you’re not making a mistake, it’s a mistake.” – Miles Davis