“I have the gear that I have be­cause I want it, not be­cause I need it” Hy­poxia|

Future Music - - TALKING SHOP -

When did you start mak­ing mu­sic, and how did you first get started?

“I started writ­ing and per­form­ing at a rather young age. It be­gan with play­ing gui­tar – typ­i­cal back­yard punk and hard­core bands, then pro­gress­ing to play­ing with drum machines and tape machines, and flirt­ing with in­dus­trial mu­sic ideas and in­flu­ences. It was about 1995 when I at­tended my first ‘rave’ and went down the rab­bit hole of elec­tronic mu­sic.

“This kicked off a life­long ded­i­ca­tion to pro­duc­ing elec­tronic mu­sic and re­leas­ing records. I got my start work­ing in record­ing stu­dios all over the greater Los An­ge­les area at the age of 17, hav­ing ac­cess to the gear in off-hours while slowly but surely build­ing my own home stu­dio – piec­ing it to­gether with bits found in pawn shops and early eBay pur­chases be­fore the in­flated prices of vin­tage used synths. I was also right on the cusp, in the late ’90s, of get­ting into the whole new gen­er­a­tion of soft­ware synths and DAWs.”

Tell us about your cur­rent setup

“I’m cur­rently work­ing in a home stu­dio – it’s been the same room in the same house for the last 15 years! It be­gan as a mostly hard­ware-based stu­dio with just a com­puter for mul­ti­track­ing. The stu­dio be­gan to evolve into do­ing al­most every­thing in the box. Dur­ing that pe­riod, I sold a lot of hard­ware and found my­self pro­duc­tive work­ing on a com­puter… but I’ve al­ways been a per­son who draws in­spi­ra­tion from in­stru­ments, and those dark days of work­ing only on a com­puter started to feel stale. Now over the last eight years, my hard­ware col­lec­tion has taken over the room, and I’m hav­ing more fun than ever.”

What DAW (or DAWs) do you use, and why did you choose it?

“I learned how to use logic when it was still a win­dows ap­pli­ca­tion, and it was al­ways my go-to DAW for every­thing. As I worked in stu­dios track­ing drums and other in­stru­ments, Pro Tools was what I was work­ing on for most of my ‘dayjob’, but within the last five or six years, I’ve been ex­clu­sively work­ing in Able­ton. I find Able­ton an in­cred­i­bly fast en­vi­ron­ment to work in, al­low­ing me to get the cre­ative ideas out of my head fast with­out bog­ging down the process with tech­ni­cal com­pli­ca­tions. Re­cently, I’ve also be­gun test­ing Bitwig out for live per­for­mance, and it’s a very seam­less tran­si­tion.”

What one piece of gear in your stu­dio could you not do with­out?

“To be hon­est, I don’t think I have one sin­gle hard­ware in­stru­ment in my stu­dio that I ab­so­lutely need. I have the gear that I have be­cause I want it, not be­cause I need it. At the end of the day, I can be just as pro­duc­tive sit­ting on a train with a lap­top and writ­ing mu­sic with mostly soft­ware, but I find hard­ware in­stru­ments in­spi­ra­tional.

“If my stu­dio was on fire and I could only save one thing, it would def­i­nitely by my com­puter, but if I had to se­lect one in­stru­ment, it would be my smaller mod­u­lar sys­tem – it’s a 12U/104HP Elite mod­u­lar case filled with 95% Make Noise mod­ules, and I get the largest amount of dy­nam­ics from it when it comes to ideas. It takes about 15 min­utes of mess­ing about with this sys­tem be­fore what­ever writer’s block I had is solved.”

What’s the lat­est ad­di­tion to the stu­dio?

“Just re­cently picked up an ARP 2600 clone, as well as an arp 1601 se­quencer. I’ve al­ways dreamt of own­ing an ARP 2600 but hon­estly, I just couldn’t jus­tify the price for another mono­phonic synth.

“A friend of mine owned a real 2600 as well as the clone, and felt he needed to get rid of one. It was one of those last min of­fers some­one calls you with and you just can’t pass it up. I grabbed it and fig­ured it needed the 1601 se­quencer to com­plete it! I ab­so­lutely love it.

“I’ve been able to iso­late the in­stru­ment in my stu­dio only us­ing the 2600 clone and my com­puter, and come up with tons and tons and tons of ideas al­most in­stantly.”

What dream bit of gear would you love to have in your stu­dio?

“An EMS Syn­thi AKS. I’m not even sure how I would prac­ti­cally in­te­grate it into my daily use of cre­at­ing mu­sic, but I would def­i­nitely fig­ure it out. I’ve also been itch­ing to jump into API lunch­box mod­ules, but i’m hop­ing to save my bank ac­count for the time be­ing!”

When ap­proach­ing a new track or project, where do you start?

“It truly de­pends on the project, if i’m work­ing on more Drum­cell ma­te­rial, then of the time I start with some some sort of rhyth­mic loop or idea –whether its some­thing I’ve cre­ated on a drum ma­chine or some rhyth­mic loop picked up from some­where else. Then the whole track is built around that par­tic­u­lar groove, or new grooves cre­ated from that. For my Hy­poxia ma­te­rial, those com­po­si­tions be­gin with se­lect­ing one in­stru­ment from my col­lec­tion, tak­ing it out of the stu­dio and iso­lat­ing my­self with that in­stru­ment, try­ing to cre­ate some­thing com­pelling within that in­stru­ment’s lim­i­ta­tions.”

What are you cur­rently work­ing on?

“I just fin­ished up a hand­ful of Hy­poxia re­leases that have al­ready come out re­cently – and there are more com­ing very soon. I also just com­pleted a full-length al­bum. For the time be­ing, I’ll be fo­cus­ing all of 2018 on all-new Drum­cell ma­te­rial.”

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