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Erik Rico

Artist Info
Erik Rico

Base of Operations:
Los Angeles

multi-instrumentalist, writer, producer, singer and DJ

M-Audio Gear :
Axiom 61

Official website

Multi-instrumentalist, writer, producer, singer and DJ Erik Rico was born into a family of musicians in North Carolina. As a child, Rico was exposed to music by a Jamaican-American uncle who was a professional touring musician. His uncle played saxophone, flute and percussion and performed with many notable artists. Growing up in the 1970’s and 1980’s made for a very interesting musical dynamic due to an oncoming culture known today as hip-hop.

Rico’s production credits include Tupac Shakur’s 2001 release The Rose That Grew From Concrete LP, Planet Asia’s Life As It Is LP, Jurassic 5’s Linguistics single, and Ladybug Mecca’s (Digable Planets) The Return of Mecca LP. Rico has also collaborated with artists like Carmen Rizzo and Doc (Esthero) and scored the feature film They Call Me Sir and the documentary One Night at the Grandstar.

Rico has continued to evolve as a producer and artist and now fuses elements of live music and electronic music into a style of music that can best be described as “electrosoul”. “I see our generation as the last ones to bridge the gap between the organic human feel of live musicians and the computer generation.” Rico’s philosophy is that having the best of both worlds to extract from makes it easy to truly explore all the limitless options that art has to offer.

Erik Rico
Erik Rico has produced music for a variety of artists like Tupac Shakur, Jurassic 5 and Ladybug Mecca

Rico on M-Audio hardware: “I'm a producer that comes from a singer/songwriter background, so my setup is more musical and less technical. My production rig includes quite a few pieces of M-Audio gear—I use a FireWire 1814 for studio recording which is connected to BX8a reference monitors for playback and mixing. Currently there is no mixer/console in my setup because I'm finding it a lot easier to just plug in and go—I like to work at a quick pace. The M-Audio FireWire interfaces allow me to power up, turn on, get Pro Tools M-Powered in session and be on the move.

“My Axiom 61 keyboard controller makes it easy for me to audition sounds if I don't feel like reaching for my sequencer. I also use the Audiophile USB for connecting external gear to my FireWire 1814 and re-routing soft synths. The Axiom 61 and soft synths allowed me to replace all of my hardware synths and keyboards, which has been very freeing!

“While performing on stage I use the Axiom 61 and Oxygen 61 controllers with laptop computers for synth playing and live keys. I also travel with the FireWire 410 for a mobile recording rig to capture song ideas and grooves built while on tour. The Audiophile USB, Axiom 61, Oxygen 61 and FireWire 410 all come in handy because sometimes I stumble onto something great during a performance and capture the audio to use after the fact.”

Rico on M-Audio software: “Pro Tools M-Powered has really changed my creative life in so many ways. It's allowed me to become as flexible as I want to be through digital non-destructive recording and allows me to layer and bounce as much as I want—the ease of use is terrific! I can be as introverted as I wish or collaborate via the Internet using various file transfer formats like mp3, wav and aiff. There's no limit at all to what you can achieve these days with modern technology—you can pitch your ideas to anyone anywhere and collaborate worldwide.

“All of the Pro Tools M-Powered plug-ins are fantastic, with maximum flexibility and very low CPU usage, which is one of the most important things. I’ve had quite a few clients, A&R and management people listen to my productions and they found it hard to believe that I'm using software to create it. My musical approach and textures lead them to believe that I'm working with a lot of vintage outboard gear.”

What he is proud of: “I'm very proud to be able to make my living doing what I truly love, which is artistic expression through various musical forms—producing, DJing, writing, live performance and anything that involves being creative via music.”

His songwriting process: “For me there's no one set way that I begin the creative process, which is why technology is so important—it allows me to capture things on the fly like a moment’s inspiration. Anything that gets in the way hardware-wise and disrupts my creative process cannot serve as a mainstay in my rig—it has to be completely transparent so that grooves and ideas can be captured without a lot of technical drama. The main reason why I enjoy using my various M-Audio products to create is because they help me to get down my ideas quickly and effortlessly!”

Why M-Audio? “M-Audio products have changed the way I record, produce and even write and construct my music. There was a time not so long ago that if an artist didn't have the budget to afford studio rates for a ‘professional’ room they didn't stand a chance at getting a good recording done. Now, thanks to M-Audio they can have the tools they need for a reasonable investment. M-Audio is leading the way in the mobile audio field.

“M-Audio technical support has really been helpful. I recently had a technical issue and was walked through it over the phone by a very helpful technician who also emailed me the Pro Tools controller layout for my Axiom 61. I was very appreciative of their help.

“I was at the Winter Music Conference in 2007 and let me tell you—DJs, programmers and producers—everyone was rockin' something M-Audio. We're all using the gear to its maximum potential, as the quality and price has empowered us like never before.”