About the sounds

I became interested in electronic music as a teenager in the early-to-mid 80′s, when the last of the ‘great’ analog keyboards were being released (and the first ‘revolutionary’ digital ones were appearing), and I got kind of addicted to the complex textures and infinite possibilities of synthesized sound. Over the years I owned a series of ever-more powerful beasts, from the humble Moog Concertmate I bought on layaway from Radio Shack, through the mighty Yamaha CS80, 200 pounds of hand-wired insanity, to the years-ahead-of-its-time Kurzweil K2000 which I used exclusively on my first ‘solo album’, Passage.

When computers became powerful enough to become involved, I knew I had glimpsed the future, and I wanted in. I took a few courses in the electroacoustic department at McGill and then set out boldly on my own. Since then I’ve gradually built up an arsenal of synthesis, effects, and other music-making software, and I’ve gradually honed my skill at using them. While there are lots of shiny toys ‘out there’ that I haven’t yet got my tweaky little fingers on, I have several universes of sonic possibility at my disposal here at Sound Fascination headquarters.

The process goes something like this: I will choose a starting point, whether that is a preset or an original patch, a beat or a recorded sound, or even a previous piece from the series, and see where it leads me. Sometimes I will improvise on the sound, maybe layer one or two more in, maybe tweak and twist it with an effect or five, recontextualize or reconstruct it into something completely different.

I’m not shy about using presets, though I know that some electronic musicians prefer a more ‘purist’ approach using completely original sounds for every piece. I don’t mind taking advantage of the excellent work of professional sound designers; I’m really more a musician than a sound designer, and for me the interesting part, the part where I feel I have something unique and valuable to offer, is in playing these sounds, perhaps tweaking them a little to suit the purpose, and finding novel combinations of them from which to build a unique sonic and musical landscape.

Here’s a rundown on some of the tools I use a lot (I’ll give some personal notes on them over time, and all more as I think of them ans/or acquire new ones… so stay tuned!):

Cakewalk:

- Sonar X1 sequencer / Digital Audio Workstation

- Rapture

- Dimension Pro

- Z3TA+

- Galbanum Piscis library for Rapture

 

Native Instruments:

- Kontakt 4

- Absynth 5

- Massive

- FM8

- Reaktor 5.5, and all that that entails

- Spark, Prism

- Kore 2, including hardware controller

- Kore libraries: Acoustic Refractions, Sonic Fiction, Absynth Twilights, Absynth Spectral Expansion, True Strike Tension

- Kore effects libraries: Deep Reconstructions, Deep Freq

- Effects: Guitar Rig 4, Spectral Delay

 

Camel Audio

- Alchemy (player)

- Luftrum sound library

- Biolabs sound library

 

Applied Acoustics Systems

- String Studio VS-1

 

Propellerheads

- Reason 4

 

Wusik

- Wusikstation 6, all sound libraries

- Eve 3

 

IK Multimedia / Sonic Reality

- Sonik Synth 2, SampleTank 2

- SampleMoog, SampleTron

- a bunch of sample packs, too many to list

 

Sample Libraries:

- Ethno World 4 Professional

- Sonicouture Novachord, Extended Piano

- Tonehammer Pan Drum, Propanium, Zitherette, Bamboo Sticks

- Microhammer Imbibaphones, Seahorse

- Hollow Sound String Synths, Vintage Samplers

- Nine Volt Audio Duo Mbira, Ten Man Taiko

- DB Anomaly 1-5

 

Hardware:

- E-Mu 1616m interface

- Frontier Design Alphatrack controller

- Kore controller / interface

- Nord Stage 88 keyboard

- Dynaudio BM-5 monitors

- Beyerdynamic DT-990 headphones

2 thoughts on “About the sounds

    • Hi! Well, thanks for your interest and kind words! I finally have a few hours free in the next couple of days to set up the CD versions of these, so you shouldn’t have much longer to wait…

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