Leon Dawson of LSD
I started playing around with loop-based sequencing (Sony ACID) when I was about 19. A few years later I started studying music production, this is when I got 'serious'; on my 21st birthday I bought a midi workstation (Yamaha RM1X) and switched from loop based stuff to midi based music. I'm 26 now so I guess you could say I've been 'involved' for about 8 years. What gets me motivated is hard to say, I get a rush whenever I hear something new... I have always, and I mean ALWAYS, been passionate about music. My record collection is measured in thousands and thats not including CDs, tapes and MP3... One day I was messing around on ACID doing a remix of some obscure funk track when my mums friend walked in and said 'you should study music production' the next week he gives me a prospectus and before I know it I'm studying Dance Music Production. Music is like a drug to me, I've been on an endless high for as long as I can remember. I'll be here as long as the music is, I'm addicted. Thats my motivation, music its self.
What is your current favourite piece of hardware?
That's a really difficult question, the first thing that comes to mind is my PC but that would be cheating. I guess I would have to say the Yamaha RM1X. There are so many memories connected with it and its so much fun to use, even though a lot of the sounds are dated it still has many uses.
What is your current favourite software or plugin?
Propellerhead's Reason. It's so easy to use & great for quickly putting down ideas. Also it integrates easily into my set up when running Cubase as host.
How does your physical space and surroundings influence your workflow?
I find it has a direct effect on it. Not only because of physical things like accoustics but on a subconcious level too. I find a cluttered/unorginised workspace hinders creative flow.
Are you involved in any musical extra curricular activity ?
I am currently in the process of building up a portfolio of work with a view to Composing For Games, this is an area I am very interested in at the moment. I have also joined a local radio station in an engineering capacity and will soon be hosting my own show 'Introducing'. I have previously and continue to work with/record local bands and master their albums. Another area I am interested in is Audio Visual Art, I have a lot of ideas but dont have the skills/expertice to follow them through. I hope to soon be working with a AV artist but as yet havent found the right one.
What is on your current 'wish list'?
An Akai MPC2500, A Moog rack (any), a CME controller keyboard, Propellerhead's Recycle (it would save me so much time), a good mic, a rack-mount PC case, a (hardware) 303 emulator.
Do you have a mobile studio setup?
Yes. (basic) 'oxygen 8' midi keyboard + Elderol UM-1sX midi adaptor + Laptop running sequencers + Zip drive for transfering samples to/from my S5000.
Do you have a setup for live performances?
Not as such, but it I do have some things I can easily deteatch and reorginise for live use:
Roland TR-626 + Korg Electribe ER1 + Yamaha RM1X + Akai S5000 + Korg Electribe ES1 via Steinberg MidEX8 - midi patchbay + Laptop and Soundcraft Spirit SX mixer.
Where were you born and how did you end up in the location you currently reside?
Born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland. Still reside here.
How many physical locations have you had your studio setup in over time and how have they changed?
I have moved house 5 times in the last 8 years (twice last year). It has changed a lot, its got bigger. It's become more orginised, thank god for patchbays! It's become part of the furniture. I started off with a PC, some crappy pc speakers, a groove box, a couple of turntables and a mixer... I now have a full on studio complete with out-board effects, patchbay, mixing desk and studio monitors. Every 6months or so I take the whole thing apart and reconfigure/organise it. It's always a struggle trying to find the 'best' location within any space for the setup especially when you dont live alone but I usually get away with a lot, my studio currently takes up about 1/3 of the living room and 10% of the bedroom.
Leons work can be found under several aliases: LSD, Counter Culture Consortium, Leon S. Dawson, Kid Chameleon, Pure Synthesis, DJ Dub and ElectroMondo. He was born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland where he still resides.