Workspace and Environment: Distorted Memory
Started out about 10 years ago. A friend of mine installed Fruity Loops on my computer and it was all downhill from there. At that time I wanted to write EBM / Industrial music (which I still write). I always had music in my head that I really wanted to hear but could never find it so I set out trying to make it myself. In certain aspects I've succeeded, especially recently, but for the most part I still haven't written the music I want to hear so I keep writing. I've got two projects, the main one that I've been doing since day one is called Distorted Memory which is my Dark Electro / EBM project The other project, which is probably more interesting to the readers of this blog is called CAKEBUILDER which is my more bizzare and experimental project. The place where I can use all the stuff that is too fucked up for clubby industrial music. Most of the stuff is Breakcore oriented, but some is more dubstep or even dark classical in style.
What are your current favorite pieces of hardware?
Either my Virus C or Ti. If I want a certain sound but can't get it on anything else I can usually make it on the Virus. Plus they look like something off the fucking death star, so you can't go wrong there. I also have to give props the the Blofeld, that thing is great, it can make some extremely noisy and evolving sound fx, has a wicked arpegiator, and is actually fun to program despite being mostly menu based.
What are some softwares or plugins you prefer?
For the most part I use the NI Komplete suite, especially Reaktor and Massive. I use quite a bit of VSTs in the studio some of my other favorites are Nexxus and X-Treme-FX. I'm planning on getting Omnisphere soon which to me is one of the most exciting VSTs I've ever seen.
How does your physical space and surroundings influence your workflow?
A LOT. For years my studio was confined to a bedroom or musty basement with no windows or airflow. I always found that to really take away from my work flow. One studio I had in a basement would actually cause me to get light headed and nauseous if I worked down there for too long...sometimes I would come up with some pretty interesting stuff under those conditions, but for the most part it sucked nuts. Now I have a nice studio that I gutted and redid in the master bedroom of our new house, lots of space, two big windows, plus lots of plugs, that really helps. I also find your surroundings in life play a big factor. I find I'm always the most creative when I spend lots of time around other musician friends or creative people in general, but when I go through phases where the career takes over and I don't spend much time with friends my creativity really declines.
Could you describe what you might think your ideal location would be?
Where I live, anywhere inside is ideal. Winnipeg is so fucking cold and miserable half the year.
What was the first piece of hardware you remember obtaining? The last?
Yamaha CS2X and a Roland MC-303 FTW!!!! Both were completely fucking useless, especially for a beginner. By the time I had figured out how to do anything cool with those two pieces of crap I had moved on to better machines. The last purchase of mine was actually my custom Mac Pro and Cinema display, probably one of my best purchases to date.
What is on your current wish list?
Modulars.....I'm selling off a bunch of stuff and am going to build a eurorack system, loaded with a few Livewire modules for good measure. I think I'll probably get myself a Machinedrum at some point, but at this point I'm focusing on getting a modular system started, and realistically after I get it most funds will go towards new modules. Also like I mentioned before I'm pretty sure I HAVE to have Omnisphere...in order to live.
Do you have a setup for live performances?
It depends on which project I'm performing with. For Distorted Memory I run tracks off a Macbook running Cubase 4. I have my vocals running through my Virus C for tempo synced delays and EQ and a keyboardist playing one of my synths, which depends on where the show is. For local shows I'll bring out something big like the V-Synth, but for out of town gigs it depends what the promoter can get me as I don't like flying with keyboards. Usually I'll ask for a JP-8000 since it does the trick, I know it well, and it's pretty easy for the promoter to get a hold of locally. For CAKEBUILDER I've always just run tracks off CD decks and mixed live, sometimes I've brought circuit bent stuff into the mix that I've made but I always end up smashing it on stage and haven't built anything recently. In the future I'll probably move over to using the macbook live with a controller or two.
How many physical locations have you had your studio setup in over time and how have they changed?
If you count the first set up in my parents' living room, then 5. Each time I've moved, the equipment has always improved, but the biggest change is the room itself. Went from parents' living room to bedroom to mom's basement to my own basement to a custom renovated master bedroom.
Have you ever heard your music being played at a random/public place?
I've gone to see movies at the indie theater and heard my music in the previews for other movies or film festivals. I've also heard my stuff on college radio and at our shitty goth bar quite a bit. But the coolest was randomly coming across a repeat of a 1/2 hour documentary the local news channel did about breakcore in Winnipeg and seeing me playing live.
Are you involved in any music/sound work outside of your own projects?
I do a lot of short film work. I've scored a few short films and am about to start my next one which will be the most complex and ambitious film project I've started yet.
Distorted Memory Myspace