This month, we’re kicking off a series of roundtables with today’s hottest producers. Each time, we ask a different question to a panel from
the electronic dance music or indie-pop worlds. Reach out to us by your favorite means with questions and names of artists you’d
like us to interrogate.
WHAT’S YOUR CURRENT GO-TO SYNTH FOR YOUR PRODUCTIONS?
At the moment I’m all over the Minimoog Voyager. I was lucky
enough to have Micky Slim lend me his, after which I had to
get one. No matter what I’m making, I can’t stop myself from
going to the Voyager. It’s packed with fat sounds,
and with three ocscillators with massive ranges,
there’s no limit to what it can make.
With all my touring, there’s no choice but
to have my laptop bemy studio. My go-to
synth is FXpansion Strobe. It generates sound using actual circuit models rather than plain DSP synth
modules. The results remind me of the fun I had in the ’80s with analog synths. Strobe is warm and
alive, a sound not often present in soft synths. The user interface is simple and inviting. They were
smart enough to have a basic “init” patch for control freaks like me. What’s more, this synth has one
of the best modulation systems I’ve ever seen. I can experiment with modulation possibilities that really
push the limits of traditional synthesis.
For a while now, my [Access] Virus TI desktop module has been my go-to synth. Although soft synths
have come a long way over the last few years, I’ve always leaned towards hardware. There’s a sonic depth
my ears don’t usually hear in a virtual synth. The Virus TI is extremely deep. The saw wave patches are
some of the fattest out there, and the built-in effects add such dimensionality that I do very little to fit sounds
into a mix. It also interfaces perfectly with Logic via USB. You can automate it like a plug-in.
Patch Park (Perry O’Neil)
I’ve been into [Native Instruments] Absynth since I discovered it a few years ago. Its versatility
at producing soundscapes is like no other synth. I strongly recommend it for new
techno producers, as it’s packed with crazy presets. Just a few clicks can turn a rather simple
pad into a neat chord stab or a nasty pluck. A feature called Mutator lets you create
new sounds based on characteristics of the presets you choose. For me, Absynth is really
the flagship of available software synths.