1. Favourite knob/fader/switch on a piece of gear and why?
The Davies 1600 on my spring reverb drive/recovery box. It’s a clone of the large knobs used on the old buchla modules. Great size and grip.
2. Do you have an ‘almost’ perfect bit of kit? What would you change?
My Les Paul is my favorite instrument. It’s got a 50’s style round neck, which is just the best thing I ever played. It’s hard to keep in tune and makes weird ground noises sometimes, but I have no plans to change anything on it except the knobs which I switch out at least once a month.
3. What setup do you bring on holiday/tour/commute etc.?
This summer holiday I brought a mic, mixer, reverb, looper and a recorder. I’m staying at my parents house for a few weeks and there are a lot of instruments here, so I only brought “utilities”.
4. What software do you wish was hardware and vice versa?
I have a lot of digital recreations of classic compressors that would be great to have in real life. Of course they are all crazy expensive so that’s never gonna happen, but generally I wish I had more hardware compressors, both pedals and rack gear.
For software I would love a “crappy speaker” simulator type thing. Like a combination of eq, distortion, compression, noise and whatever else. Maybe with an overdrive or a “slash the speaker with a knife” option.
5. Is there anything you regret selling… or regret buying?
I think both apply for my Lyra 8. I don’t really regret buying it, it’s great and sounds amazing, but I never found a way to use it in any of my setups. I was convinced it would be perfect for me, but I never really became friends with it. It’s been with me for a year now and I think it’s time to let it go soon, but I know I’ll regret selling it. Buying the wrong gear isn’t necessarily a bad thing, you’ll learn about what fits you and what doesn’t.
6. What gear has inspired you to produce the most music?
Loopers. Ditto x4 is my main one at the moment.
7. If you had to start over, what would you get first?
Guitar, amp and a DD-7, just like the first time around!
8. What’s the most annoying piece of gear you have, that you just can’t live without
The entry level Acer I’ve been mixing on for the last 8 years. The amount of hardware errors and lack of processing power justified switching it out maybe 5 years ago, but I’ve made it a challenge for myself to keep old computers alive. I can spend money on more creative equipment and as long as it does not slow me down too much and I’m still outputting a fair amount of music, I’ll use whatever switches on. That said, I plan to build a proper production computer this fall.
9. Most surprising tip/trick/technique that you’ve discovered about a bit of kit?
Relating to the previous question, mixing with very little resources teaches you a lot of tricks. E.g mixing vocals and music for one song in different project files. I do a hip hop project on the side with my friends and it’s just not possible on my crappy computer to mix all the tracks of a hip hop song in one project. What I do is mix in parallel in two different project files, so I do the beat in one project and the vocals in another. Once I have a rough mix of the vocals I export that as one track into the beat project, then do adjustments to the beat, export just the beat and put it in the vocal project, then do adjustments to vocals based on the new beat. And I go back and forth like that several times.
Bonus: I just discovered a new stereo spread mode on my DD-7 after having owned it for maybe 15 years.
Artist or Band name?
Experimental and Ambient
Where are you from?
How did you get into music?
Started with guitar when I was 13, playing rock.
What still drives you to make music?
The reasons to make stuff change all the time but I still get the same feelings now when I’m making something new as when I first started writing songs.
How do you most often start a new track?
Practically, it’s different every time. Sometimes it’s inspiration and sometimes it’s necessity.
If a sound is inspiring, I start from that. If something just needs to be made, I usually come at it from a mixing perspective, probably starting with drums.
How do you know when a track is finished?
Depends on the project. I’m usually happy when there is no element in the mix that can distract you or take you out of the experience, and there is a distinct sound and atmosphere.
If I do deep and long mixing processes it’s mostly for the learning experience, but that’s a luxury I rarely afford myself.
Show us your current studio
My 30m2 apartment functions as both workshop and recording studio. A lot of stuff gets packed up and down from storage boxes on a daily basis, so I don’t have a permanent setup. This is my current writing/playing stand:
Best creative advice that you’ve ever heard?
Something that television creator Dan Harmon said in an interview really resonated with me.
It’s about writing for television but it can definitely apply for music as well. He talks about how one source of procrastination can be that you have too high expectations of yourself and on which level you should be able to produce. Working a lot with music but creating very little output was definitely a problem for me for a long time and I think he hits on some great points that I have thought about a lot.
Listen to it here: https://youtu.be/u6DDCA0GwU4?t=292
Promote your latest thing… Go ahead, throw us a link.
Besides making music I also make music equipment under the name Tilde Elektriske Kretser. I’ve made a lot of guitar pedals, but the latest thing is the Fjærlett – an audio feedback instrument using reverb springs. Check it out here:
[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…]