Describe your songwriting and production processes and philosophies. What part does technology play? I use to use to technology to push my musical boundaries but now a days I use my musical boundaries to push technology. I rely on technology to go with my workflow. It should be technology supporting my creative process and not the other way around. Everything I do is pretty much inside the computer now. I start with an idea in my head and flush it out with some custom built midi controllers and tweak it till it is what I want. I also record all my acoustic instruments straight into the computer right off the bat. From there it is all mixed and mastered inside the computer.
Describe your personal studio and live/stage rig including all M-Audio gear. How do you use M-Audio’s equipment conceptually and procedurally? Why M-Audio gear?
I have a slimed down setup on and off stage. In the studio I have a Mackie 1202VLZ, 2 Event Studio Monitors, Soundcard, and Computer. On stage I use a MIDI DJ Controller, Trigger Finger, Soundcard, and sometimes an extra Oxygen8 Keyboard with 2 MPD16 Pads. I like M-Audio gear because it’s cost effective and agile. I can customize my setup very quickly and be ready to play in a matter of minutes. Are there any M-Audio products that have allowed you to replace any older or vintage pieces? Any highlights or positive experiences you’d like to discuss?
I love the M-Audio midi controllers and sound cards. They let me get rid of all my bulky midi keyboard controllers and outboard drum machines and synthesizers. I can do it all in the computer now.
When you tour, what does your laptop-based mobile studio consist of? When and how do you use it to keep up on current or on-going projects?
When I tour I like a very minimal setup for obvious reasons. I have a laptop, USB soundcard, MIDI DJ controller, and a Trigger Finger. I am able to still work on projects and remixes via my laptop and Ableton Live. I have a tiny external USB hard drive that has all my samples on it. All my gear fits inside of a small suitcase minus my Dinosaur suit. =)
How has using software like Pro Tools M-Powered, virtual instruments and effects plug-ins changed the way you make music? Which do you use? Have they helped you to better collaborate with other musicians and producers?
I’ve only used Pro Tools minimally but the plug-ins are pretty amazing. You can get some really good mixes if you know what you are doing. It’s not the same as outboard gear but it sounds just as good. You just have to know how to work with it. And Pro-Tools is the standard in almost every studio around the world, so you can open up a session practically anywhere.
What comments do you have about the aforementioned hardware and software you use? What usage tips can you share with other musicians?
You always hear the argument between digital vs. analog and plug-ins vs. outboard gear. But at the end of the day it’s about making good music and with today’s tools, such as M-Audio’s, we can do amazing things. Don’t try and make your $30 plug-in be an $8000 outboard compressor. Instead find what’s special about it and make the sounds that are unique to it. Make good music and have fun doing it.
How would you describe M-Audio’s role and accomplishments in the music industry?
M-Audio has given the ability to make amazing professional music to virtually anyone. With very little money you can complete a track from start to finish simply inside your laptop. This opens the doors to many avenues for creativity never before possible because of the high cost of sound production. It will be interesting to see how the music industry will change in the next 10 years from this.
What projects are next on the horizon for you? How do you see M-Audio products playing a role in them?
Having just finished a tour in Europe and America, I will celebrate the launch of my new record “Microphonepet” August 9th here in the Bay Area. From there I will do a tour of Asia and Australia later in the year. I will also start working on my next record tentatively titled “WANG” scheduled for next year. M-Audio will be with me every step of the way; I use it in the studio and on the road. I am currently working on a live performance interface with various M-Audio Midi Controllers and Ableton Live that will allow me to create and manipulate songs all on the fly, all live from start to finish. Stay tuned for more!,