“It’s all about the joy of ex­plo­ration” Heinali|

Future Music - - TALKING SHOP -

Ukrainian com­poser and pro­ducer Oleg Sh­pudeiko has been at­tract­ing a grow­ing fol­low­ing in re­cent years with his gor­geous am­bi­ent synth work and metic­u­lous ap­proach to sound de­sign. As his lat­est LP,

Iri­des­cent, hits shelves, FM caught up with him to talk life in the stu­dio...

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

“Au­gust 2003. I had no mu­si­cal ed­u­ca­tion but, like most teenagers, I lis­tened to a lot of mu­sic. I don’t think I even knew the dif­fer­ence be­tween high and low fre­quen­cies, but I was pretty good with com­put­ers.

“I started with Jeskola Buzz, a tracker that was rec­om­mended to me by a friend. It clicked with me, since it didn’t re­quire any mu­si­cal knowl­edge to make mu­sic.

“I don’t think I tried to write mu­sic in a spe­cific genre in Jeskola Buzz, I was just mess­ing around, try­ing my hand at dif­fer­ent things, ex­plor­ing its fea­tures. At least, not un­til 2004, when I switched to Cubase and some­how started a ten year long pe­riod of copy­ing mu­sic I loved, be­fore I ar­rived at some­thing that felt like it was mine.

“As for in­spi­ra­tions, back then it was Coil, Nine Inch Nails, Cur­rent 93, Cis­fini­tum, Akira Ya­maoka, t.A.T.u., Reut­off, Sal So­laris and many, many oth­ers. I ac­tu­ally recorded an al­bum with Sal So­laris, one of my dark am­bi­ent/post-in­dus­trial idols, a few years ago. Back in 2003, I would never have thought it could hap­pen.”

Tell us about your stu­dio

“It’s cur­rently my home stu­dio in a one bed­room apart­ment in Kyiv. I’ve been here since 2016. It’s a very small room with a lot of com­pro­mises, since it’s func­tion­ing as a liv­ing space as well. I tried my best to im­prove room acous­tics with four HOFA bass traps and nine cus­tom-made midrange rock­wool ab­sorber pan­els. They make a huge dif­fer­ence in com­par­i­son with an un­treated room, but the sound is far from stu­dio-grade flat. But then again, I don’t do mas­ter­ing and mix only my own mu­sic so it’s fine for now.

“As for in­stru­ments, I have a Euro­rack mod­u­lar sys­tem mostly based on Make Noise mod­ules. I use it a lot, both for sound syn­the­sis and pro­cess­ing and spend more time with it than in my DAW. There’s also a Korg MS20 mini, an all-round workhorse Virus Ti2 Po­lar and a gui­tar pedal pro­cess­ing chain.

“The weird­est hard­ware in my stu­dio is an old post-Soviet dig­i­tal re­verb/cho­rus/de­lay unit that I got for 20 bucks, I think. It’s all crack­ling and glitchy and shitty – ab­so­lutely adorable. And it has a spe­cial but­ton for a mem­ory loop fea­ture, when it just plays what­ever is cur­rently stored in its buf­fer.”

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

“Cubase. I think it’s true when they say that a DAW is more about one’s habit than any­thing else. I started us­ing Cubase in 2004 and still use it. It feels like home, every­thing is in place and the work­flow is smooth and easy.”

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

“Thermionic Cul­ture Vul­ture, a valve dis­tor­tion unit. It’s not that rare or ter­ri­bly ex­pen­sive, but it’s al­most im­pos­si­ble to get in Ukraine. I think it has a cer­tain ‘aura’ around it. I love to lis­ten to the dis­tor­tion, nearly all of our Heinali and Matt Fin­ney stuff is heav­ily over­driven and dis­torted, and my pre­vi­ous live drone setup fea­tured dis­tor­tion in the mas­ter sig­nal chain. I would record huge amounts of lay­ers of sim­ple drones at dif­fer­ent pitches with the MS20 mini and two loop­ers, and then slowly ex­plore har­mon­ics with dis­tor­tion ped­als. When I found out about the Cul­ture Vul­ture it in­stantly in­ter­ested me. Any­way, two years ago I had to choose be­tween Cul­ture Vul­ture and Make Noise Sys­tem Con­crete. You al­ready know what choice I made!”

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

“For my per­sonal stuff, it starts with a patch on a mod­u­lar sys­tem. Ac­tu­ally, I’ve re­cently re­alised that the thing I love the most about mod­u­lar syn­the­sis is the same thing I loved about Jeskola Buzz. It’s all about the process of ex­per­i­men­ta­tion, con­nect­ing stuff, some­times in un­ex­pected ways that would lead to un­ex­pected results. It’s the joy of ex­plo­ration, both of your­self and your in­stru­ment, and in­ter­re­la­tions be­tween the two. That got me into mu­sic in the first place.

“Some­times I don’t even do any ed­its or ad­di­tional record­ing af­ter­wards, so it’s just a raw record­ing straight from the mod­u­lar, with just some com­pres­sion and EQ. A lot of tracks from my Iri­des­cent LP were recorded in this way. It was very dif­fer­ent a few years ago; my work­flow changed dra­mat­i­cally after I dug into the mod­u­lar realm.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.