Talking Shop: Ian Chang
The Son Lux drummer on his debut solo EP
Since moving to NYC in 2007, Hong Kong-born drummer Ian Chang has performed and recorded with artists including Matthew Dear, Joan As Policewoman and Moses Sumney, alongside his role behind the kit with Son Lux. His debut solo EP Spiritual Leader – which sees him using his kit to trigger and tweak samples – is out now. FM: Tell us about your studio… Ian Chang: “Currently, my setup is in its nascent stages. It's just my laptop, a four-piece mesh head drum kit with Sunhouse's Sensory Percussion attached, a MOTU 4pre (this allows Sensory Percussion to communicate with my laptop) and a pair of DT770 pro headphones.
“There's so much I'd like to change but it's a slow-growing situation. The next step is to find a space (I'm currently set up in my bedroom) that I can acoustically treat and put up monitors. I would also love to get a live drum-tracking situation figured out, but that's several steps down the line.”
What's the latest addition to your studio?
“I just got a bunch of FabFilter plugins that have been helping me up my game. I've mainly been getting into using Pro-Q 2, Pro-L, Pro-C 2 and Pro-MB, and I've been loving it.”
What dream bit of gear would you love to have in your studio?
“There is so much gear that I would love to have, but more importantly, what I would like to be able to do is to have a situation where I can record drum tracks on my own.”
Ian Chang's essential production advice Listen analytically
“Make it a habit to step back and listen to music, including your own works in progress, from a nonanalytical standpoint. It's easy to focus too much on the details and to lose site of the general emotional impact of music.”
Work with intention
“Do everything with intention. There's no right or wrong, so the best you can do is to make decisions that you can really get behind. When making creative decisions, don't forget to ask yourself why?”