1. Favourite knob/fader/switch on a piece of gear and why?
The ROLI Seaboard (midi-controller) has an X/Y-Pad which is very powerful because it connects with the software “Strobe2” that has a so-called “Euclid” processor. It’s way easier to show on a screen, but imagine that when you drag the “target” symbol with your finger on the ROLI, the small dot (orange arrow on picture) follows the target. You can program HOW the small dot should follow the target with different parameters like slew, damp and rate in order to create some pretty original soundscapes. So far I have only used it for film scoring.
2. Do you have an ‘almost’ perfect bit of kit? What would you change?
This is probably not very original, but just like clichés exist because they are usually true, the PUSH 2 (from Ableton LIVE) works very well for both music production and live performance. What would I change? The fact that Ableton LIVE does not include quartertones as a standard.
3. What setup do you bring on holiday/tour/commute etc.?
My setup is quite simple, actually. Even when I play with my orchestra, I can carry everything myself. My laptop, soundcard (Behringer UMC404HD), microphone (sE2200A||C), and headphones (Sennheiser HD 280 Pro) usually do the trick. A small midi-controller is useful too (AKAI MPK Mini). I once brought this with me to Beijing to visit my friend and we ended up inviting a vocalist from Tinder to jam with us.
4. What software do you wish was hardware and vice versa?
I would love to have the VsT-plugin “Manipulator” by Infected Mushroom as hardware. Manipulator is always in my effect rack when I perform live on my santoor.
Uuh.. Speaking of… A midi-signal santoor would give my music production wings!
5. Is there anything you regret selling… or regret buying?
Hmm… I really regret buying any “Waves”-VsT plugins. They tried so hard to prevent people from cracking their software that it ended up being a headache to use legally. I decided to boycut them some years ago.
6. What gear has inspired you to produce the most music?
Well… If software is gear I think “Nexus” from “REFX” inspired me the most. It is a so-called ROM synthesizer. The sounds are so delicate (yet expensive) and the software is very intuitive. I even heard that they programmed the sounds in order for you to combine them.
7. If you had to start over, what would you get first?
I started in “Music Maker” for Playstation (1998), then I changed to FL Studio (2003) and eventually Ableton LIVE in 2013. I definitely would’ve skipped FL Studio and gone directly to Ableton LIVE.
8. What’s the most annoying piece of gear you have, that you just can’t live without?
Hehe… That would be my cheap-ass in-ear monitor system that I bought for my orchestra musicians so that I can talk to them during a live show and they can listen to their own performance on a backing track. The sound is absolutely awful, but they’ve accepted it so far.
9. Most surprising tip/trick/technique that you’ve discovered about a bit of kit?
That would definitely be the world of Persian tonal systems through my santoor. They have 7 tonal systems in Iran. We only have one in the western hemisphere. Working with electronic music (and thereby frequencies) has made it easier for me to understand these systems.
Artist or Band name?
Persian Electro Orchestra
Hmm… Well… Downtempo/Techno/World/Organic/Persian
Where are you from?
How did you get into music?
No one in my family plays an instrument. The interest was kind of there from the beginning. I started borrowing cd’s at the library at the age of 10.
What still drives you to make music?
Music – and everything that surrounds music – is the reason I am alive.
How do you most often start a new track?
With a fat polyrhythmic beat!
How do you know when a track is finished?
None of my tracks are ever finished. I always make new mixes and arrangements for live performance, hehe.
Show us your current studio
Best creative advice that you’ve ever heard?
Finish your shit and get it out there – even though it is not “perfect”. It will only make you thirsty for more when you get your first “real” feedback.
Promote your latest thing… Go ahead, throw us a link.
There is a bunch of songs being released soon, but meanwhile check out “Losing My Impatience”:
[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…]