129 - nedogled
Artist Interviews 🎶 Studio Tours 🎛
Hello music people 👋
Today in the spotlight, nedogled
Currently in Serbia, he started as a DJ playing in Goa Trance and Psydub partied. Currently he is making his own music, in his off-the-grid studio in the woods 🎶
Interview & Studio Tour
Who are you and what is your relationship with music?
I am Aleksandar and I come from Serbia.
My first dip into musical waters was in the early 2000s when I started DJ-ing Goa Trance and Psydub at local parties. I’ve always dabbled in DAWs, but my distaste for the screen and mouse workflow, combined with continuous travel, never resulted in more than a few mediocre tracks.
Fast forward to 2019 when I started building up my hardware studio on our off-grid solar-powered homestead in the woods, with the idea of producing music without a DAW.
My primary income comes from part-time business consulting, and I have no intention of forcing my musical efforts into turning a profit. If over time it becomes an additional source of income, that’s great. But music will forever be a primarily creative outlet for me.
Which piece of equipment in your studio is essential to your production process?
It has to be the Elektron Digitone Keys. It’s my main source of sound for pads, leads and bass, and it’s the main brain which controls my other MIDI gear. Since the recent addition of song mode, it’s become a complete package.
What is the least expensive piece of gear that gave you the most results?
I love taking notes to unburden my mind. I can break through mental blockades by writing down answers to questions like: where does this song want to go? What is the shape of the journey? What’s missing from this section? What is obscuring the main idea in this section?
Walk us through your process for creating and producing music.
It usually starts with a gnarly guitar riff or a wicked sound I’ve designed on the Digitone and which I now must force into my next creation by any means necessary!
Once I’ve established the hook, I’ll usually figure out the bass and drums next (always using samples of acoustic drum kits on my TR-6S).
Every song I make has a developed backstory behind it (the current album I’m working on is based on a book of short stories I published) so that’s going to inform the direction of the journey in a big way, and take the pressure off me for much of the decision making.
My recording setup is limited to 6 mono and 2 stereo channels, which helps a lot with finishing tracks by giving me a hard limit within which to deliver the message.
What is a production technique that you always come back to?
Lately I’ve been approaching bass in a similar way on a couple of tracks. I’ll lay down a 16th note pattern on the Digitone, always in 2-3 voice unison and then I’ll have the LFOs on random sample and hold set to modulate volume and filter cutoff or filter envelope depth by about 10%.
What this does is change a very mechanical bassline to an unpredictable, yet still relentless onslaught of tight staccato bass notes.
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How would you describe your style?
That’s a tough one. I like calling it Doomwave, but there are obvious influences from Dungeon Synth and Synthwave, all the way to Grunge and Metal - minus the vocals.
What is a big challenge you have as an artist?
Promotion used to be a big challenge, but I’m quite happy with the number of ears my music is currently hitting. As long as people are enjoying it and I’m getting some feedback, I can consider my music to be complete.
Time in the studio is my biggest limitation right now. I have way too many ideas that I want to put to use, but not enough free time to work on them. It’s definitely a challenge, but I try to look at it in a positive way: I’m always hungry and whenever I step into the studio it’s bound to be a productive session.
Has building a hardware setup changed your perspective on music or life in general?
First and foremost, I feel extremely privileged for having access to these sound devices, while the collective biosphere of the planet goes to shit (together with us in it). I take it as my responsibility to use them and help nudge the tides of doom in a positive direction with the stories my music tells, or at the very least help those of us who are living during the great dying cope with what’s happening around us.
One tip on how to spark creativity?
Do something new, using only what you already have.
Try a new or forgotten feature on a synth or drum machine.
Check out the manual or Reddit to see what others are doing, and see how you can tell your own story using techniques that others have discovered... and let yourself be surprised by what comes out of it!
A book, movie, article, or album that has inspired you?
The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories (VanderMeer) and The Ayahuasca Visions of Pablo Amaringo.
I feel that I can create an infinite amount of music just by tapping into those two books, which are endless wells of inspiration and creativity.
Anything else you'd like to say?
On December 1st my new album will be out, I’ve been working on it for 2 years. Preorders are already happening on bandcamp.
Thanks for running the newsletter! It's great watching all the colorful sound corners everyone has made for themselves and hearing about their approach to sonic storytelling.
Where can people find more of your music and connect with you online?
Elektron Digitone Keys
Tascam Model 12
Alesis SamplePad Pro
Fluid Audio FX50
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