Seventeen year-old Nick Katz must have a genetic predisposition for a career in music. His father, Zev, is an acclaimed bassist for artists such as Roseanne Cash and Hall & Oates. A senior at New York’s famed LaGuardia High School, Nick has been playing bass and keyboards since age four. He plans on attending music school for classical composition and film scoring.
First memory of hearing keyboards and being intrigued: I’ve always loved ’50s rock ’n’ roll and New Orleans-style piano. Keyboards have taken on an increasing role in my musical life since I started composing.
Musical heroes: The Rolling Stones, the Band, Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Little Feat, Dmitri Shostakovich, Sergei Prokofiev, and Bernard Herrmann.
Worst gig nightmare? I once had to perform with severe food poisoning. Fortunately, by the time we actually got onstage, most of the reaction had subsided. I still felt like crap, though!
How important is traditional music training? I think that it’s an essential part of becoming a well-rounded musician. Understanding the academic side of music allows you to make sense of your own musical instincts.
Favorite keyboard equipment: I love the Native Instruments soft synth Massive. It lets you build sounds from scratch and polish them in minute detail, and also has a fantastic template bank from which to choose. I work at Euphoria Productions in New York City, and they have a Nord Electro 3, which is one of my favorites. I’m partial to Wurly and Rhodes sounds, and the Electro mimics them perfectly.
Role recording technology plays in your music: I use Sibelius, Pro Tools and Ableton Live regularly. I use an Edirol PC-300 with Ableton to sequence MIDI tracks, and I use an Avid Mbox to record into Pro Tools.
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