95 - Minimal
Artist Interviews 🎶 Studio Tours 🎛
Hello music people 👋
I’m on vacation ⛵☀️🏖 so for the next few issues I’ve curated compilations that feature a specific attribute or type of gear.
On this issue we’ll take a look of G.A.S. Newsletter featured artists that keep their studios minimal.
What’s your ONE tip on music-production or creativity?
If you're just starting with music, or you're just lacking inspiration, make covers of your favorite songs.
I often start with video game music, or even 90s rock, and turn that into synthwave. Start from that, then make it your own. I took the Monkey Island theme and turned it into something completely different (track on Spotify).
Just remember, there is no need to reinvent the wheel, every song out there is a variation of something that exists anyway! Good artists copy, great artists steal (Pablo Picasso said that apparently)!
What's your process?
Some of the best seeds of ideas come out of a moment between other activities when I just fire the work station up and start improvising.
It's amazing where one weird chord can take you! In these cases I quickly record the idea (maybe using my Loop pedal to help sketch some parts) before coming back to it to work it up. That next stage usually starts with tracking a drum machine beat and then working out a rough structure. Once that structure is clear I will then just track parts from the bass up.
I'm currently using Reaper as my DAW and will often Master in SoundCloud or BandLab
How would you describe your personal style as an artist?
Lately I’ve been into lots of retro house stuff.
I try to limit myself to the elements that would have been used to make the stuff I like, so when I’m sampling I’ll limit myself to drum sounds of the era like the tr-808 and 909 or Lm-2. For synths I’ll typically use classic FM stuff like DX7 sounds for pads/ pianos or very analogue sounding synths from the poly/retro soft synths in Logic Pro. I also decided to buy a Volca Bass as a cheap method of getting a 303-esque bass sound in my music to further lend to the classic 80s style sound.
I would say the biggest defining trait of my sound currently aside from the stuff I sample is the sampler itself, using the PO-33 KO to sample and sequence these elements into tracks I get a LO-FI 16 bit sound that further lends to the thick warm old school sound I attempt to emulate on a budget.
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What is the least expensive piece of gear that gave you the most results?
Korg Monotron Delay, what a space machine!!
Cosmos is a big theme in my project as Trix2 is an abbreviation of singularity that I created. All topics about space and science fiction always have my attention.
Has building a hardware setup changed your perspective on music or life in general?
I'd say reducing hardware has definitely shaped my perspective.
In my experience, having 1 or 2 synths that you like and that you can really focus on is way better than having a ton of stuff that can paralyze you with too many options.
Look at all the iconic guitarists that have such unique playing styles from each other, though they're all just using their hands and 6 strings.
Even if you have a lot of gear, just deciding to focus on using 1 or 2 pieces of hardware for a period of time can help you focus and force you to be creative with it. If you only have one thing, you'll figure out new ways to really unlock it's potential - and yours.
To see all the issues that feature minimal studios click here.
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