5 More Questions

The last time I did a blog post asking my readers for their opinions on various topics (HERE) it seemed to go over pretty well.  It was a great way to get opinions from a really wide range of musicians, and not have it skew towards any one thing as typically happens on specific manufacturer forums. So let’s try it again, see where it leads this time.  I’ll add my own answers after a few other people have replied first.

1. If you could be proficient at any instrument, what would it be and why?  Bonus points if you don’t say piano!

2. What’s the one piece of music technology that you wish someone would invent. Again, let’s avoid the obvious brain to audio convertor.

3. What’s your favorite MIDI controller (hardware or app) and why?

4. If you could spend one day in the studio with any musician, who would it be?

5. What are you musical goals for 2012?

Thanks, and I look forward to reading everyone’s answers!

13 Replies to “5 More Questions”

  1. 1, Piano, sorry but that would just make my life so much easier for all things musical!

    2, The perfect headphones!

    3, Possibly Touchable on my iPad, It’s so portable and they keep updating it constantly

    4, Richie Hawtin

    5, To make the most of Maschine and to learn Finger Drumming

  2. 1. The cello. It’s a beautiful, expressive instrument and I always felt like strings were beyond me. I’m actually taking this to the bank: I’m a year into cello lessons and intend to stay with it for as long as I can.

    2. I want to see a device with the unregulated interface and creative possibilities we’ve seen from computer recording and production, but without the mountain of troubles that computers have thus far come with (buffers, sharing CPU/RAM with lots of non-music processes, incompatibilties, auto-updating, OS versions, etc).

    3. Novation’s Launchpad for Ableton Live. It’s not that it’s that amazing of a piece of hardware (althoguh it’s nice), but the software integration with Live, which my setup is based around, is fantastic. I’d say the APC40, but that doesn’t fit in my laptop bag and if I could only have one between them it’d be the Launchpad.

    4. Hard to choose, but right now I’d say Morgan Kibby of M83. Her previous bands (Morgan and the Hidden Hands / The Romanovs) have had an immeasurable influence on my band’s artistic direction and sensibilities. I’d love to pick her brain and see how she approaches making sounds like that.

    5. This is the year to break out from doing things on my own and start getting involved in steadily more ambitious collaborations. I have a couple in the brainstorming stage (one studio, one live) that I’m very excited about.

  3. 1. Guitar was my first instrument, but I really wish I would play finger-style on an acoustic. I can hack it, but I’d love to be really fluid at it eventually. Acoustics always feel too big to me, and I’ve been spoiled playing really low -action electric guitars all these years too. That doesn’t help.

    2. Professional grade MIDI controllers. This still amazes me to be honest. There’s no question that we’ve moved to a software based environment for almost all professional audio work, and we’re still stuck mainly with low budget MIDI controllers. Sure, there’s a lot with nice features, but the built quality is crap on basically all of them compared to a really nice synth.

    From a personal wishlist, I really want a 37-key MIDI controller that has only keys, a Korg style mod-pitch joystick, and two octave buttons. Premium quality keys, low profile, metal enclosure, MIDI and USB out. That’s it. I dont want knobs, faders, or drum pads, not even a display. Just a really nice, solid professional grade instrument.

    3. For me it’s probably the APC40. Feels soid enough, knobs aren’t loose, and you can get it up and running without the manual (there isn’t even one). Kenton Killamix KMX is a real close second, I just wish the knobs were quieter.

    4. Probably cEvin Key. I’d just love to see how he comes up with some of his sounds, and given his past times I’m sure it’d be a real chill and creative experience.

    5. I really want to get more high profile clients for the mastering business. Or better yet, see some of the really talented clients I already have finally break through like they deserve to.

  4. 1: Piano
    2: Much better hardware/DSP units with good DAW integration. Computers are not good hardware for audio processing, but there’s not anything akin to a GPU for audio processing. Having something vaguely like GLSL that’d allow generic VSTs to offload their processing to dedicated hardware would be ace.
    3: APC40, although I rarely use it in the studio
    4: Tipper or cEvin Key. They’re not necessarily producers in my own style, but they’re both amazing and I could learn a great deal.
    5: Getting four more original releases signed, ideally on Broken Robot or a similarly high-end label.

  5. 1. Trumpet. Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis, that’s why.

    2. A D-Beam generator version of something like an APC40.

    3. APC40. It’s what I have, and its highly adaptable to multiple programs.

    4. cEvin Key.

    5. Get a from-scratch produced track or two released (meaning, not a remix), start seeing some DJing opportunities happen.

  6. 1. Drum kit
    2. A couple years ago my answer would have been basically a description of the Octatrack, but that exists now, so maybe, uh, a new version of nord modular that has sampling capabilities?
    3. Tough one, because my favorite controller ever to use was the Trigger Finger, but I found they were constantly breaking under abuse. I’m pretty happy with my Novation Remote Zero mk1 now, and it holds up like a trooper.
    4. Justin Broadrick.
    5. Play shows outside NYC again.

  7. T- did you ever play around with a Roland keyboard that had a dimensional beam generator on it as a 2 (or 3) parameter controller? I think there was also a dedicated D-Beam device called the AirFX or something like that. Basically it projects an invisible beam above its surface that responds to different types of movement and changes the synth’s parameters accordingly. So I want one complex enough that it can do everything my APC does. Just think Tony Stark designing the Iron Man suit in the first Iron Man movie and that’ll do just fine. 😀

  8. I think the MC505 was the first place I ever saw/played with one. Man, I had such massive lust for the MC505 (until the day ReBirth showed up at the store). Used to fantasize about Live PA with one.

  9. 1. Like everyone else I’d love to be good at piano (and I’ve started trying to get more into it, or keyboard at least) but for the bonus points I think the sax would be an amazing one to play.

    2. Something better than MIDI. Or we could at least encourage manufacturers to adopt something like OSC more enthusiastically. My day job is in telecoms and it seems slightly embarrasing that we’re speccing gigabit links here and synchonous long-range protocols there then I come home to use a 1980s protocol with poor timing, low resolution and unnecessary complication.

    3. My Novation X-Station because it’s my only proper MIDI controller. Actually I hardly ever use its full capabilities of making templates for various hard/soft instruments etc.

    4. So much choice. I’m sure I could learn loads just from seeing how almost any experienced producer does things. Trent Reznor maybe 😉

    5. Previously it’s been solid things like “get so many gigs” or “get something released” which have been lofty and hard to back up. This year I’m keen to just get better at making music, full stop. A big part of that is just sitting down and producing as much as possible and fighting off the ever-present procrastination, resistance, frustration at not being good enough, etc. A lot of it’s probably the “mental game”, I often feel too under pressure when I’m producing because I know I want to be good at it, it’s a vicious circle, so I think this year I need to let go and just get on with it…

  10. 1. Gotta be the drum kit. I used to take lessons but I was really young and didn’t understand practicing. I’d like to approach it with some more discipline now. My music is all about funky beats so it would be more fun to play and to write.

    2. Some kind of midi controller geared towards drum step sequencing. I basically just want the part mute buttons and the step keys off an electribe and then some associated sequencer VST.

    3. Gotta be the Novation 25SL mk2. It’s been my main studio and live controller for 2 years. Even though one of the encoders has some issues and the drum pads are mostly useless, I don’t really need drum pads and I LOVE the firmware. It came with a template to control my Alpha Juno with sysex! Pretty awesome of them to support an ’80s synth out of the box.

    4. Monolake. His talks, interviews, and tutorials always get me thinking about music in different ways.

    5. Practice my live set more and get better at writing chord progressions. I want to feel really in control of harmony–my progressions have a little bit too much randomness to them, like I was just reaching out without listening enough in my head.

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