To read the interview go here:
We're proud to announce that Don Turner will be speaking at ADC 2018. The title of Don's talk is "Winning on Android," where he will demonstrate how to get the best realtime audio performance on Android devices.
To read the interview go here:
The Caustic Famiy Youtube channel have really put in their work over the last year and anyone working with Caustic should go subscribe now!
Hope that Rej the developer have noticed how many people are using his app to make real high quality music with his creation.
God damn how soo many people have proved that you do not need expensive programs etc to make something as good with next for nothing (or int he case of Caustic on PC for nothing) money wise.
To hear or download a transcript of interview being made with the iREAL Pro creator go here:
This is an interview with the guys performing using four phones and Roli's noise app.
To read the interview go here:
One of the pioneer developers of generative music software with even Brian Eno releasing music using earlier software in the early 90's.
(Read interview for more information regarding how it started).
But now the software is released under the Intermorphic label and it just turned ten years.
For Android there is only one app but a deep one with a modular synthesizer engine and many tricks up its sleeve, the app being Mixtikl.
In either case here is the blog post they wrote for their ten years celebration:
To read this recently published in-depth interview made by Ashley Elsdon (Palmsounds) go here:
So did this interview after hearing the album "Russian Love" made with SunVox which I think is excellent and got curious about the artist. In the end of the interview it is possible to download the SunVox file for one of the tracks which is pretty exciting to see and hear up-close what is going on.
There is also an earlier track of his from the early nineties that can be fun to hear how things have changed.
Plus the possibilities to buy a four CD collection of earlier works...
What I understand is that you went to musical school in the end of the eighties. What did you study there?
I actually didn't go to musical school in the late 80s, but I went to a university and I studied music aesthetics there, the philosophical aspect of music and art.
How did you get into electronic music?
When I was 14 or so, I met some music of KITARO and YMO, and was attracted by their electronic sound and hypnotizing atmosphere. later on I knew KRAFTWERK, it made me crazy, and next Brian Eno, bla bla bla...
In the beginning what kind of equipment did you use?
I started making music with a small YAMAHA keyboard PS-3 and compact effects when I was 15. And I got my first synth Roland JX-8P when I was 19. At that time I was also using 80's digital/analog stuff such as TR-505, DEP-5, TX-81z, and a TASCAM multitrack cassette recorder.
What was the first software?
MuLab 3. I had been using hardware for long time, and got involved in the software world very lately.
Do you play any instruments?
Keyboards, and sometimes percussion.
How does that affect your composing and production?
I think many keyboard players are likely to be very chromatic, but I feel sometimes I need to get out of it. I was very lucky because I didn't became very good at playing keyboards in spite of 6 years education of playing the piano. I was very lazy and not so motivated to play instruments when I was a kid.
I understand that you was a DJ already back in the nineties how was the scene in Japan/Kyoto at that time?
At that time I was in Tokyo, that is a huge city and it has many groups of any kind of music. It is hard to know all of them. I think in the nineties there were many small groups of hard techno, drum'n bass, house, electronica, etc. By myself I was doing electronica, ambient, click and dub techno etc. using cds / groove box. And I also played classical music in techno parties as well.
Are you still DJ’ing?
I seldom DJ for parties recently, once or twice a year. Usually I do that just for myself or close friends in small parties.
How do you feel that the scene changed over the years where you live?
I think the club scene here itself became much smaller, because people do not spend their time in clubs any more. But some people still like to be in clubs, and they enjoy parties. I think club music is not so cool for many people any more, but it became a part of our usual lives.
How are the contact internationally and are there any collaboration with artists from other countries?
Japan is geometrically isolated and sometimes we feel difficulties in language, but some artists do international activities via internet.
For example, my music was released from some labels in other countries like Germany, US, etc., and remixed by other artists. I am also interested in artists abroad to release their music from my label.
Are you using SunVox exclusively nowadays?
Not exclusively, but I use it mainly.
What other software/equipment do you use?
Mulab 5 to use other VST instruments / effects.
Studio One 2 for mastering / editing.
How did you get to know SunVox?
When I was looking for new tools to make music some years ago, I happened to meet a guy who showed me some tracker-type software. I was fascinated and tried to use some of them, and I came to like SunVox the most.
For the readers how would you describe the advantages of a tracker interface to the more common piano roll interface?
I think piano roll is too much like music score, and it reminds you the academic way of making music. And when you use it, your brain automatically tries to figure out how the melodies are like. Sometimes it is annoying because you have to see the eternal chromatic scale there, and your brain might get tired seeing it.
In case of a tracker, it looks like a program, not like music score at all. If you have an allergy to music score, as your music teacher in your infant time was mean, it is good for you a tracker does not remind that experience. You just can get into how the music sounds, and can edit it as you correct word sentences.
What is the most common instruments and effects you use in SunVox?
And what instruments /effects makes you most confused?
To me SpectraVoice is kind of complicating and I can't expect how it sounds when editing, but I like it anyway.
What is your favorite trick/s in SunVox?
1C Cut note
20 Note probability
The album russian love, did that get mixed and mastered in SunVox?
It was mixed in SunVox, and mastered in Studio One 2.
I usually record songs via line out of the audio interface in real time, and give the recorded file back to my PC via usb cable, and master the file in PC.
Is there any other musicians that you know that use SunVox?
I sometimes recommend it to my friends, and I think some of them are trying to use it.
But I don't think it's very famous here compared to other tools like Ableton Live or Reason.
Can you talk a Little bit of your record label Easy + Nice?
I founded "Easy + Nice" last year to introduce any kind of interesting alternative music. It treats electronic, ambient, world, dance, field recordings, and other experiments. I try to make it experimental and cozy at the same time.
The symbol for the label looks occult. Is magick something you are interested in?
You noticed that...
It was made with sigil, that is the only magick I can use consciously.
I am not interested in magick a lot, but this time I used it, as I didn't think of other ways to make symbols.
And what does the sigil stand for?
an easy and nice life.
What is your future plan for the record label and your private music?
Basically same. I have released one album every month for the first several months since the label started, but now, as 5 albums have been released, I think I can make the pace slower.
Recently I am making techno for myself, and some music for movies.
Any last words?
Life is the sense of continuing, and the gradual / sudden change bring it. Music is the way to make it.
Thank you for reading this interview, and if you get interested in my activities, please visit Easy and Nice web page and my youtube channel.
There is also a collection of four CD's that can be ordered and here is what is said about it:
This 4CD box contains 3 CD's of the earlier work of Waki over the period 1995-2004. "Take you to the bottom" (1995), "Shuku" (2002) and "Life and space" (2003) were only released in Japan. The last CD "Special" is a bonus disc. The four CD's came along in a nice orange handbag.
This album is wildly eclectic and he used a variety of apps in a variety of ways to make this album, just take a look at this list...
TTS (text to speach)
Common Analog synth
Piano For You
....and many others
Felt that an interview was in order so he obliged interrupting his musical duties touring in China taking time to answer my questions...
Can you tell us a little bit of your musical background?
I started playing drums at the age of 13 in local bands.
We played mostly alternative, original music: punk, metal, hardcore and rock.
These bands were my first musical experience. (I've learned about the drummer's role in a band, music, people...)
Years later i was called to join a famous Slovenian percussion group called The Stroj. We toured around Slovenija, Austria, Italy, England, Latvia, Slovakia, Singapore and elsewhere.
At the age of 18 I was introduced to jazz music by the drummer Zlatko KauÄiÄ.
I became very interested in improvised music. So I decided to study jazz drums (Carinthian State Conservatory). There I've learned the basics of music theory, how to read music and become a better drummer in general. While I was studying I was playing in a lot of jazz combo situations (from traditional jazz to free/improvised music). Some of my early jazz bands were: Footprints trio, Free Willys, Cromatik 5, and others. At the age of 26 I've graduated with honors.
Now I am freelance musician, currently working with bands: Strojmachine, LitoÅ¡t, Cromatik 5, MiNiMe, dB duo, Samo Å alamon trio, Mak, Peter Ugrin kvartet, Bug.
You mentioned going on tour, so can you tell us a little bit about the band / orchestra that you play with now?
The band is called Cromatik 5. Pavle JovanoviÄ‡ plays guitar, Grgur SaviÄ‡ plays saxophone, Hrvoje Galler piano, JoÅ¡t DraÅ¡ler bass, and I play drums.
We play modern original music. A lot of songs from our repertoire are my own compositions. They can sound like a pop song or a complicated odd meter jazz tune, but at times even like punk music.
Do you use any applications live with the band?
I use bunch of stuff, but not with this band, usually in free improvised situations. I sneak in some weird sounds or I record short samples and play them back.
How did you get started using Android for music making?
As a drummer without a car, I have a lot of spare time while traveling with a train to the gigs and rehearsals, so I started playing around with android apps.
I discovered a new world of endless possibilities stored in my pocket.
The idea was to be creative with little things and not to buy and use professional audio gear. Just to be in the moment and create something fresh.
Nowadays people think they need fancy equipment so they can be creative. I think it is the other way around.
Do you jam using with other people using Android?
I had a private session with friends. They were using ipads and other professional gear but not android. Latency is still a huge issue with android.
There is a lot of apps being used and was wondering which virtual instrument apps that you like the most?
Tough question. Probably Caustic or Spc.
And also which would be your favorite synthesizer?
My favorite is EerieSynth.
How did you use Audio Evolution Mobile?
I edited, mixed and recorded my album with Audio Evolution Mobile.
I Like its features like Pitch Shift, Time stretch and effects: Reverse Delay, Tremolo.
When recording how did latency affect you and how did you deal with it?
I recorded samples/grooves/sounds with a click track and then edited them in Audio Evolution. But I was mainly using sounds which were not tied to a specific tempo. When using the piano app (on tracks Ph4 and Rise Of The Androids) I first recorded piano parts and then added other sound effects. I didn't have problems with latency in Audio Evolution (the app measures and calculates latency when recording audio). When you try to play something in tempo with apps like virtual piano/drums and other instruments is when things can get problematic. So I tried to avoid that, and just make music with things that work.
How come that you wanted to make a whole album using Android?
It seemed like a good idea and a challenge. I like challenges, and being fresh and progressive.
What were the biggest stumbling blocks?
Latency, small screen, finding compatible apps, and running out of disk space.
How long time did you spend more or less on the album?
The Album was finished in 3 months. Sometimes I waited for inspiration or I had technical problems. Meanwhile I played drums with my bands, so it was a longer process that was planned.
What would be your advice for someone looking into doing a album similar to yours using a lot of live recording and many different apps?
Don't use an Android device! :) Buy an external audio card - things can be done much easier. But it depends on what you want to do. If you are into experimental/electronic music, you can do a lot of interesting things with Android. If you want to record a rock band, I wouldn't suggest using Android.
As the album are very eclectic I am curious if there is any style that you feel closer to and which songs you feel more happy with?
All of the songs are a part of me. I can be a very happy and funny person, but at the same time very dark - especially when I play. All of the experimental tunes have some humor inside. And all of the funky songs have some "dark forces" hidden somewhere in there.
What is your next musical project?
This year we are planning to release a new CD with my band LitoÅ¡t. It is an experimental/electronic/fusion trio. Here is our bandcamp link:
I am also becoming a father next month. So i am sure I will have a lot of new ideas and inspirations.
Maybe some music for children. (lullaby techno remix) :D Who knows...
If you were stranded with unlimited battery on your Android device and only could bring one app with you and no other instruments / technology which one would it be?
Probably Sunvox. It is the most professional app out there and one of the few apps that are compatible with PC versions. Also being able to make music in odd meters is a huge advantage of this app.
And if it were three apps?
Sunvox, Spc, Audio Evolution.
Any general music advice?
For non musicians: Take your time, go to live concerts, support Art!
For musicians: Respect other musicians and never forget to challenge yourself.
Any last words?
I would like to thank the people who helped me with this project: Jaka Berger, Vitja BalÅ¾alorsky, Domen Gnezda, BoÅ¡tjan Simon, Samo Pavlica, Rok DeÅ¾elak, Jaka Kumberger, UrÅ¡ka GradiÅ¡nik, Alen Gregorin.
So thanks a lot Bojan and may happiness shine on the reamining part of your Cinese tour!
If you happen to be living in China or visiting there is a possibility to see the band play live:
10.10 - Shanghai
12.10 - Guangzhou ( Fei Tv House)
14.10 - Zhongsha
15.10 - Shenzhen (4th OCT - LOFT jazz festival)
17.10 - Hong Kong
18.10 - Hong Kong
The album is for free so go download!!!
One of the first ( or the first ) more complete DAW's for Android was VuKNOB
( formerly called S.A.T.A.N ).
It is certainly the most complete application you can get for free and also being one of the few apps that can be called complete as SunVox / Caustic / G-Stomper Studio / Syntheogen / Nanoloop coming with multi tracks / sequencer / soundengines / effects.
Happy to say there is a continous development of the application and it will be interesting to see how it will develop.
Had planned too interview Anton for a while and finally it is done.
Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
When did VuKNOB start to be developed?
VuKNOB started out as "Signal Applications To Audio Networks" back in 2003 when my friend Johan Thim and I did a project in an Applied Signal Processing course at the university of Technology in Luleå, Sweden.
So how did VuKNOB ( S.A.T.A.N ) end up being a Android application?
At that time S.A.T.A.N was created it was a command line tool for Linux machines, written in C. Even though that was the last time Johan and I worked on that project I could not really let it die so I continued with it together with another friend, Ted Björling.
Him and I decided to rewrite the basic framework in C++, and do a more GUI oriented design. Still at this stage the target was a Linux based desktop machine.
Frankly, the idea of running this sort of software on a phone did not even cross my mind back then. The first stab at porting it to a phone was when the OpenMoko came out, it ran standard Linux and GTK+ based applications, so porting it was quite simple.
Unfortunately the OpenMoko phone was basically going nowhere, or at least nowhere interesting from my point of view, so I abandoned it after a while.
However, I learned a few things about doing signal processing on an ARM based CPU without a floating point processor. This came in handy when the Android NDK came out, so I started to play with that.
As it is an open source project how many people have been involved over the years?
There is basically zero community around the VuKNOB source code.
I wish more people would take advantage of it.
Before the Android port there were hardly any users of it,
and frankly it wasn't even useful back then.
The only people involved except me are a few of my friends who did bits and pieces
here and there.
The latest "contribution" to the code was when Sima Baymani, another friend of mine, created the sima_overdrive effect together with me.
Ted Björling also deserves credit for giving me the color scheme for VuKNOB.
The app was going in a much darker and depressing direction before he showed me the bright side of things.. Hehe.. :)
Is there any change in vision since the project got started?
Wow, yes definitively!
With every new target platform the basic vision has radically changed.
When the first version of SATAN for Android came out it was one of a very small number of apps of it's class. I'm not sure it was the first DAW for Android, but pretty darn close I would say. The first release on Play was the 22:nd of June 2011.
The vision was blurry back then, but crystallized soon.
I want to provide a tool with which is as easy to use as a toy,
but at the same time does not limit your creativity by removing the flexibility of a complex program.
What is planned for the future?
Since the inception of this app 11 years ago I've had so many cool ideas.
Many of the real cool ones are still not implemented.
I would like the tool to be more collaborative, and hopefully I'll be satisfied enough with the other parts to start working on that.
Less grandiose ideas are of course to add more synthesizers and effects, make it generally more usable and easy.
I still get quite a lot of complaints about it being difficult to use, but compared to the other equivalent apps on android and other platforms I am not convinced VuKNOB is so much more complicated than the rest of the pack.
The thing I've been working most lately is the JAM view.
Unfortunately that part of the app is only useful on phones and devices that properly implement low latency audio. This is not the case on like 99% of the phones out there. Only the last generations of the Nexus series does it, and a few of this year high-end phones from Samsung, LG etc. So, if you're going to do audio on Android - get one of those devices!
The JAM view let's you play with VuKNOB in real time. You can record multiple sessions which plays back automatically while you continue to play. This let's you come up with new ideas on the fly, and make instant recordings which is great.
I still got plenty of improvements up my sleeve which I hope to implement to make it even more fun and usable.
Also - I would like to have feedback from any user out there of what features to implement. I just created a Google+ community for VuKNOB where I would be happy to get this kind of feedback.
As the app was named S.A.T.A.N I have to ask if there was any Satanists ( which is fine by me ) involved in the making of Vuknob?
The first iteration of the project was named by Johan.
He thought it was a funny joke, and I guess we didn't have much respect for religion back then. Not sure if I would call him a satanist though. It wasn't a philosophical thing, just a silly twist.
Why did the name get changed?
The project had reached a certain maturity and there was no longer much resemblance to the original project.
I wanted to give the app a new graphical design and give it a more distinctive and recognizable name. SATAN was not a very unique name.
VuKNOB is maybe not the best name, but it's unique and recognizable and I'm pretty proud of the logo attached to it.
I'm still quite proud of the original logo that I did for SATAN too, actually... I love vector graphics. :)
What software if any was the inspiration for Vuknob?
I think someone wrote it in a review on Play Store -
Buzz Tracker by Oskari Tammelin.
That together with OctaMED for the Amiga has been my greatest inspirations for VuKNOB.
The GUI version of Satan started out as pretty much of a clone of Buzz, although it was free software.
Oskari made the mistake of only keeping the source for him self, and he also did not do backups.. So one day it was basically lost.
That could not happen to VuKNOB. The way you connect machines in VuKNOB is pretty much how it was done in BUZZ, but the tracker type of UI does not fit very well with a finger controlled device like a phone.
The JAM view was heavily inspired by the Korg Kaossilator, for which I think there is an app for iOS. Again, my version is free software...
Are there any other Android music applications that you use?
If so what do you like with it / them?
I've been playing around with a few synths and keyboards, and tools like Caustic, just to see what they are all about, but I don't really use anything but VuKNOB.
I would say Caustic is quite a program, powerful and solid.
I don't care much for the graphic design of the UI though, but that's just my taste.
However, the UI is usable and flexible but I would say it's at least as confusing as VuKNOB.. :)
Do you have any music that anyone made with Vuknob?
I just finished a track tonight, I wrote some beats and then I played around with the JAM feature. Here's a link to it on SoundCloud:
What is your favorite aspect/s of Vuknob?
I would say the aspect that I enjoy the most in VuKNOB is the JAM view. That let's me create complex patterns in a very creative way.
What do you feel is the weak point of Vuknob?
The development speed.
There are so many ideas I would like to implement if I only had the time.
I'm not making a living out of VuKNOB so I have to spend most of my time doing other things, but I try to spend a few hours every week with it.
What is your own background in music?
I've had schooling in classical piano and the drums, and I was always very interested in music. I started to create music in a program called Amiga Appetizer.
Here's a video of that amazing little program:
From that I moved on to MED and then OctaMED.
Here's another video of that:
Then finally Buzz Tracker with which I created some of my best work -
A few of my friends went on to actually doing music on a little more professional level and gained some fame, but my music really never left the hobby level.
What is your background in programming?
Before I got into music creation on the Amiga around 1989 I actually started to program on the Zinclair Spectrum that my dad bought a few years before the A500.
For the first few years most of it was done in different versions of Basic, like Blitz Basic,
but I switched to C later because that was a more serious tool.
I've programmed ever since, and programming became my profession.
I've mostly been working in the telecom space in Sweden.
What are your other projects in programming that you are working on?
Outside of work I've been doing a few other hobby projects.
Mostly computer graphics and game stuff, but for the last ten years it's only really been VuKNOB. If I could find out I would really like to know the amount of time I spent on that.
The number must be huge.
Any other creative endeavors?
These days I have quite a time consuming job, and also a family of my own.
This leaves somewhat less time for creative endeavors,
but I like to do graphics and create music when I got the time and inspiration.
I put stuff on SoundCloud - of highly varying quality...
So thank you so much Anton for taking time to answer questions and sharing!
Here is some screenshots of VuKNOBS earlier days.
Do not know why but I do like to see how thing started!
Play Store link:
Palm Sounds was mentioning a project called Soundlab and the website looked interesting but I did not really had a full grip on it all and the meaning was to wait and investigate a little bit further. Luckily enough yesterday there was a interview with Ashley Elsdon (the man behind Palm Sounds) on CDM where everything gets explained.
He is also the man behind the project and it started in lower capacity in 2013, now it has grown and it seems that it is starting to take shape with a nice website and developers and companies starting to involve themselves.
Soundlab is basically a focal point to investigate / use music software / hardware to interact with people that have disabilities. As is obvious mobile devices lends themselves for this and it would be very good if there was more developers (and of course other people to!) that got involved to help out.
So please read the interview and then go and see the website.
After seeing a trailer and visiting the website of Europe in 8 Bits about a year ago it made more impact on me than would be normal and my curiosity was peaked.
The film was not finished was the information that came out after writing and asking if there was a possibility to write a review of the film. I will gladly admit that the asking to make a review was more an excuse to be able to see the film.
Some time passed and during that time there was some time spent on their website where there is a lot of Chiptune artists being represented with biography and some of the music of each artist.
Then one day the film was released and after some emails back and forth with the director we both was surprised that we actually both lived in Valencia/ Spain and as luck would have it there was a early showing of the film in Valencia on a big screen.
So happily I went to see the film and did write a review that you can read here:
Review of Europe in 8 Bits
The film has featured in a lot of international and national film festivals and events in a short time and deservedly so as it is well produced and very engaging and as a insight into the Chiptune scene this film is outstanding.
Now time for the interview!
- So the starting point was with Fela Borbone? (One of the artists in the film)
No no that happened afterwards. The first thing that we recorded it was a gig that Culomono organized. In the beginning I did not know too much about the scene and after the concert I started to research for some time considering that there was not so much information available at that time.
- What year was this?
That was three years ago, in 2011.
The first year of the project it was done pretty much by me and my collaborators, without an actual producer company. Then when we had a trailer and the website ready, Turanga Films saw the project and they became a part of the team. Since then we have been working together. Working mainly with the producer Lina Badenes, we were able to raise some money and make some promotion.
- How much did it cost?
It is hard to calculate the numbers but considering the trips, three years of work and also spending four months with an editor in Madrid…. it is quite a lot.
We did a crowdfunding and made 5300 €... But we have hopes that in the end the money spent will be recuperated.
-What was your first contact with Chiptune music in your life?
First time was four years ago when I went to see Meneo but i didn't know anything about the scene and I did not take it too seriously at the time. I was there by chance, drunk and I saw a naked guy with a Gameboy.
After this I did not think too much about it until I spoke with a friend of mine that goes under the name Culumono as a Chiptune musician. He introduced me to the scene and made me interested. He organized a meeting with Ralp, Tonylight, Vesper On and Midiman and that is the beginning of my interest in the Chiptune scene and the documentary.
Its been a very long process but now it is finished.
(Meneo the naked guy with a Gameboy. In the film you have him going wild and driving everybody to dance with his high energy tropical Gameboy rhythms, yes of course naked there to, in a small place with no stage. It looks like a concert that you would never forget.)
- Or just the beginning... as you have released merchandise and the website is a good representation of Chiptune artists.
So is there any plans to use Europe in 8 bits as a base with the website and expound on it with for example music releases and more shorter films.
I have not thought too much about it. But the website will be maintained for another three years at least. The idea would be to improve it with more artists profiles. Maybe we will do some Web episodes as we did a bit more than a hundred interviews and only included 32 in the documentary. We want to keep the website in movement every week or two with new material. But we are really hoping for a sponsor to join as it is a lot of work and I can not afford to work for free.
But in the end I want to show people every artist that got interviewed as they all have been important for the film and they all deserve to be exposed.
The soundtrack will be released and we are going to make some downloads for free and some for a symbolic fee. We also have T-shirts, DVD and Blu Ray discs for sale for a very low price.
- Tell me the craziest thing that happened during the interviews?
Yeah there has been around a hundred interviews and all of them with pretty unique characters.
For example with Fela Borbone we could have made a whole documentary about what happened during the three days we filmed him.
(Fela Borbone in action)
One of the things I remember was being chased by guards on the garbage dump where he was picking up old devices, we got away and that was a lot of fun.
Well there is too many stories to tell and a lot of good crazy experiences.
- What cameras did you use?
We used a Canon 5D. A reflex camera.
This being cheaper than renting camera which would have been too expensive.
We had a variety of lenses and being a small handy camera it was a very good option.
I would definitely recommend this camera for doing movies.
- So did Turanga films help you with financing?
More than financing I got a partner to work with. They did not put money into the project but they put work into it and it really helped to make the film better. I was more or less alone the first year and the project was going to be less ambitious. Turanga Films gave me a lot of ideas and pointed me in the direction how to improve the film. They also helped with how to go about financing the film.
We tried to raise money from Spanish and European grants but I think that the year we tried it was the worst year to try to get grants from the Spanish government any other year it would have been maybe possible. We had a little bit more success with finding sponsors, Absolut helped us with the crowdfunding campaign. We tried other things to and some of them worked and some not.
We had meetings with TV channels as well and hopefully we are going to sell the film to other countries. Lina (from Turanga Films) helped a lot to promote the documentary in different festivals that are very important so that has been a very good thing.
Yes it has been difficult to finance the film and we are still waiting to recover what we spent. It has been a big effort and it is going to be a slow process to break even.
I do not even think about making a profit out of it right now, I am just happy if it recovers the money spent.
I do get rewarded in other ways like people writing and telling me how much they liked it and how inspired they are getting or how it made them change the way they think.
There is people that has watched it and now they want to express themselves and create music.
Even Bitshifter (a well known Chiptune musician) that is in the film wrote me a long letter and thanked me for being in the film even though he had a short appearance. He told me that he was a bit negative with the scene and with the process of creation and that the film made him feel strong and inspired again. That it reminded him of all the reasons why he started doing Chiptune music in the first place.
Other people got inspired doing music some that never tried before and never heard about Chiptune music and is now looking into how to do music with a Gameboy or a Commodore 64.
That is the best reward! To inspire people or make them change ideas about something. That is better than any money.
It also makes me very excited to show the scene to the general population that probably have never heard of it before, you never know how they will react.
- In filmmaking what what were you doing before this?
Before the documentary I made short movies when I was studying in the university and also some music videos that were a very good training for Europe in 8 bits being a music documentary so it helps if it has a bit of music video feeling to it.
After the university I started to focus in commercials in parallel to shooting Europe in 8 bits. That's where you can make some money. A short film you do it because you want to tell something and that is the same with a documentary. You will not get Rich, you do it because you feel like doing it. The commercials is how I get paid but I really like doing them as well. You can also be creative there and add your own style. I try to be innovative with the ideas and change the perspective of things.
- What will be your next big project?
Europe in 8 Bits has not finished yet as a project since we are still moving the film in festivals and there are also other things around it.
I will rest some after it calms down so I can recuperate some energy,
but I have written a script for a short film.
It has been sometime since my last short film and I had a few ideas that I put together which is a comedy story that I am looking forward to shoot.
There is also a new idea for a documentary that is brewing in my mind. I would like to finish another documentary before I am thirty being 26 now. This will hopefully be started next year.
I did really enjoy doing Europe in 8 Bits and am looking forward to do another one.
It is such a learning process meeting different people with different ideas of living and understanding the world.
It is a beautiful thing.
- Yes in Europe in 8 Bits you get to see a lot of interesting characters. People that you want to hang out with.
Each one is different to one and another. Out of the 32 in the film you wonder how you do not get distracted and I think it is because each person has his/her own flavor and each one is in the film because they deserves to be. Even though they share the same passion each one is distinctive musically and otherwise. So you see the film and you do not get confused because of the difference. It also helps that the characters are from different countries, cultures and languages. When you see how the Italians are different from the Spanish or the English, French or the Swedish it makes it more interesting.
- Is there any country that you feel is more open or into the scene?
Right now it is definitively in Netherlands. There are more shows organized. Specially through Eindbass (chiptune label / organisation) that do fantastic work there.
You can also feel it in Sweden. People have more knowledge about what chiptune is there.
It could be because of a strong background in the Demo scene that happened there in the 90's and in general there are a lot of programmers and a lot of people that works in one way or another with computers, more than in any other county in Europe.
The general public seem more aware of the scene if you ask around. This in comparison with for example Spain where you could ask twenty people and nobody would know what you are talking about. There is some more awareness in Finland and Norway as well but in Sweden it seems like it is more ingrained in the culture when it comes to programming, hacking and suchlike.
But then you find people in Spain like Fela Borbone that takes it to the next level.
Maybe because in Spain there is less shame picking up something from the streets that is considered to be rubbish.
- You included some people from outside of Europe as well...
Yes, Bubblefish, Bitshifter, Lautaro and Meneo.
How come that you decided to include them as well?
In the beginning it was focused on Europe but after a while I also wanted a perspective from the outside of Europe.There was also an interview with an Japanese artist Aonami that in the end did not make it to the final cut.
Anyway Chiptune is a universal, worldwide phenomena.
The name Europe in 8 Bits was given to the website as well. The idea was to unify the European scene in some way. Now I guess the name is a little bit misleading but we decided on the name three years ago and did not know that there was going to be artists from other countries as well.
The idea was like I said before something less ambitious... but the thing got bigger and bigger.
Was you ever in contact with the creator of the documentary Re-Format the Planet (another Chiptune documentary)?
Yes "Paul Ervine" which was the director. I emailed him and explained our project and asked for a bit of footage when Bitshifter was performing in N.Y and he was very kind and let us use the footage that we have included in the film.
Our films have different perspectives. We did not try to make a European version as a contrast to Re-Format the Planet being the American version. It is just a different appeal and approach and I do think that they complement each other nicely.
- Yes I agree and then there is a difference in time as well...
GOTO80 wrote an article trying to explain why this and that happened. As the scene has grown since the late 90's and early 2000's and now with the distance of time you can study the movement better than if you did it at the moment it was happening. (Link to the article-http://chipflip.wordpress.com/2014/04/16/wider-screen-authenticity-in-chipmusic/)
There is some important points in history. Micromusic.net was an important influence in the development as was the programs for Gameboy LSDJ and Nanoloop. There was also a Grammy nomination that brought Chiptune music to the attention of a wider public.
But yes distance in time to the subject is necessary to study it properly.
- What do you mean with the Grammy nomination?
There was a Swedish musician Tobias something.
I can not remember his full name but he got nominated with a song made with a Gameboy in 2008 I think. We did not mention it in the film but in my opinion it is something important. There is also other recognized artists that started using Chiptune sounds in their music like Beck who used some 8-bit sounds for some of his songs.
It is getting to be heard more and more in commercial music or in the music on the radio and in publicity all because of the scene that has kept it alive during the years.
What is in your experience the most used hardware/software used for Chiptune music?
The most common hardware is the GameBoy without a doubt. There are a few reasons for this. One being that there were sold around 200 million units around the world. Second being portable and small and not taking any space made the people keep it, they do not get thrown away. With Amiga and Commodore 64 they took space and was sooner seen as rubbish in comparison to the newer computers that came out.
And yes, LSDJ and Nanoloop being the most prevalent software in conjunction with the Gameboy.
Political / Social messages in the film?
Apart from the passion that people feel for the machines there is a rebellion against program obsolescence and the massive consumption for many Chiptune musicians.
They really try hard to create a different present and future. To build from something that was not supposed to be used for the purpose of music making. To use it as an instrument.
I would really like to point this out as I found it incredible that they are able to create music from something that's considered to be rubbish for the rest of the society. It is something that is changing what is music and culture. It becomes deep with a lot of message which I think is something that appeals to our generation.
I see parallels with cyberpunk, using cheap outdated technology and using it to do innovative things. Building a future that they want and that is remarkable and brave.
There is of course a lot of other reasons to as you can see in the film. Some people is involved because of the political or the philosophical side. Some because of the sound or just because the idea of using these type of machines or just the idea of recycling obsolete technology.
Different reasons but in the end some sort of rebellion against established norms. To see things in a different perspective. To hear that these machines are limited when they are not limiting at all. For me there is no limitation and it is shown in the film. You can go as deep as possible with just an 8-bit sound chip that is supposed to have no use anymore. But look it got thirty years and it is better than a lot of new things!
Do you feel that it is a lot of overlap with DIY circuit bending?
They share a lot of things in the way they view life. Making music with toys and things that are rejected by the mainstream culture. Some do both like Lautaro that uses both circuit bent toys and 8-bit sounds. The scenes go together like cousins, part of the same family.
Do you think that the Chiptune scene would have happened without the Demo scene?
That is an interesting question. The Demo scene really helped in some ways. For me the Demo scene was more competitive regarding technical abilities / skills. Suddenly it started to turn into art.
When Chiptune came it was an art from the beginning where you could express yourself. I find that the Demo scene was necessary for making the Chiptune scene possible, it is like a grandfather.
It created the tools so you could express yourself and when people started to express themselves thats when chipmusic was born.
There is people like GOTO80 that was part of both scenes but this is not too common, most people belongs to one scene or the other.
I do not find the Chiptune scene community competitive at all. It is very friendly and has no egos. People share their work for the love of music. It is very human and honest. This is something I hope gets expressed in the film.
I do think that it is something that really comes through and you can feel that it is something that you would like to be part of after seeing the film.
How do you see Valencia? Is there any Chiptune scene here?
There is Toy Divixion that makes some workshops and around 3-4 gigs a year. Which is not bad considering the situation.
Then there is Fela Borbone but he is doing his own thing these days, he was very active some years ago. It is not going to be something massive but it is alive. There are collectives in Sevilla, Barcelona and Madrid as well and they do work together. So there are events every three months or so.
So how many people would you say is involved in Valencia?
Around two or three people but hopefully it will grow. Maybe some more young blood will be attracted to it.
As mentioned GOTO80 straddled the Demo scene and the Chiptune scene but he also are part of the fine arts world doing exhibitions and working with galleries and museums. Is there any other Chiptune artists that have gotten into the fine arts world?
Raquel Mayers as well. Tony Light was performing with a violinist together.
Then you have people like Ralp, Snail or Degon that make a lot of installations and live soundscapes.
Around 2008/09 there was an exhibition in Gijon and in Brussels regarding video games, music and sounds.
Myself would like to make a bigger 8-bit event over a weekend in Valencia or in
Madrid / Barcelona. With the film, workshops, installations and music.
Yes! To spread the word as the scene is alive and make it last forever!
So a big thanks to Javier Polo for taking time to talk with me and share with us all.
There is two ways to see the film unless you are lucky and it gets a screening in your town.
You can rent it directly over VImeo or order a DVD/BLU Ray disc for a very agreeable price-
The DVD for 5€ / 6.80$ and BLU Ray for 9€ / 12.20 $
If you have any interest in music it is one of the more interesting documentaries that you can see. Think that it is intriguing even for people that have no interest in music as it gives you an insight into something that is still a relatively unknown phenomena.
Here is links to Vimeo and to the Website that you should check out and it is also where you can buy the DVD / BLU Ray... T-Shirts and soon the soundtrack.
Europe in 8 Bits Vimeo
Europe in 8 Bits Website
Peter Brinkmann is a man that works for Google and have a keen interest and have worked hard to get the visual audio programming language Pure Data (for free and very interesting) into the Android world building on something called libPD that can also be used to get Pure Data into other systems. LibPD is also usable in conjunction with the programming language Processing (The Two Big Ears developers have implemented this in their Android application Circle and written about the process). His latest news is of course Patchfield that can make audio apps interact with each other inside of Android. Sorry to say that since he released Patchfield there seems that there has not been too much interest from developers and so it is hard to get the ball rolling on Patchfield. So if you are a developer maybe take a look again at Patchfield or if you never heard about it take a look at the video that is part of the interview and go to Github and get involved!
It is open source god damn it!
The interview is from September 2013 but is an interesting read for anyone even slightly interested in developing Audio applications for Android.
So here is some links:
Two Big Ears writing about their work with LibPD / Processing and making their app Circle:
After hearing one of his songs some months ago and finding his Minimal Techno tracks being some of the best Minimal being produced with an Android app.
Oh yes everything made in SunVox and Android tablet.
So put other things to the side and focus on what he has to say about many things related to music, production, SunVox and other interesting issues!
And as a bonus there is one of his latest tracks as a SunVox Song file in the end!!!
Do you play any instruments and in this case which ones?
Well, I'd have to say I used to play guitar. Past tense, really. It has been up in the loft for nearly four years now and I've forgotten every song I could play. I can only play scales now and a rusty 12 bar blues. I always wanted to play an instrument. I tried to learn piano properly, reading music and all. I just found it too hard. I absolutely admire anyone that can get to a decent level at it!
What got you started producing electronic music and what was you first experience with Hardware / Software?
I was lucky enough for my parents to buy me an Amiga 500 computer in the late eighties, when I was a young teenager. A friend and I got hold of a copy of MED, before it became the better known OctaMED. We loved it and made a fair bit of music on it, mostly cliché ridden rave tracks based on samples discs (floppy, not CDs - this is the 80s!) that we would get in the post. My dad still has the only surviving recording of this work – on a cassette tape. He threatens to play it at family reunions every now and again.
After MED, I started using an early version of Cakewalk on a PC. I managed to get an AWE32 soundcard with some sample RAM on it, and later added a DB50XG card. I used that for a few years, getting distracted by general MIDI. My brother did a lot of music on that setup after I left home for university. I still have the source files somewhere if he ever wants a copy.
After I graduated and started working in London, I started putting together a (slightly) more serious studio. I got an SW1000XG card, a SB Live card running the KX project and a few bits of kit, notably a Kawai K1r. I used an early Sonar release to do a complete album on that. It was reviewed in the sound-on-sound magazine demos section in, I think, May 2001 or thereabouts.
After that my productivity went downhill. I got more kit (too much to list, I had a standing rack), loads of VSTs and spend almost all my time trying to make it work, which it never did. Perhaps the lowest point was the purchase of a Creamware Luna card which had all the promise and absolutely did not, ever, work properly. I got about five songs done in ten years.
Can you tell us how you got into SunVox?
Eventually, I got married five years ago and had a son three years ago. Needless to say that was the end of the physical music studio. I was not sorry to see it go. My brother took most of the hardware. He is a lot better than me at running the physical kit. As my son grew up a bit and time returned, I started thinking about producing music again. This happened about nine months ago.
My commute to work is a 45 min train journey each way. Crazy as it may seem, I tried making music on this journey. I got a laptop up and running with an old copy of Reason and started having a go. Unfortunately, the seats are too small and the train is too crowded. There is just not enough elbow room to use the trackpad.
I had a think and I thought I could use a tablet on the train; there was enough room for that. It was at this point that I started to wonder if the android music scene was any good. It certainly was. I had missed a lot! I looked into tablets and quickly found a good, quad core tablet. I then found Caustic and a few other apps and downloaded them. I liked the look of Caustic because it was like Rebirth. A few days later I stumbled across SunVox and I knew instantly that was the one, no doubt about it. An old skool tracker combined with a modular studio designer on top of a totally superb arranger. I was immediately excited. I downloaded all the tutorial videos, read the instruction manual top to bottom. A few days later I was ready to start my new project.
Is there any other software / applications that you depend on?
Not at the moment, for now I am all SunVox. I am looking for a good sample editor in android and I expect to use it. I would love something that tags sample filenames with their BPM. I am curious about production in other android apps and I keep meaning to give Caustic a go too.
Could you tell us a little bit of how you start your compositions in SunVox?
I wish I could say that I have a vision of a masterpiece and then set about carefully creating it, but that is just not true. To be honest, I generally play with generators and effects for a little while on a blank canvas until I like how they sound. I know I need drums, bass, a pad of some sort, a noize, some acid-ish sounds and something unusual. If I have heard a song I love, then I will listen to that just before I start and maybe try to make similar sounds.
Once I have the basics, I will build up a 128 line loop, adding and adding to it until it sounds nice and full and tweaking the modules. That will be the 'meat' of the track. From there, I know I can arrange around it, do a beginning, end and breakdown without much need to change the core sounds. Just some automation, dropping out things and putting some fills in. I tend to switch between making sounds and doing the arranging.
I always have one or two ideas that I want to try each time, such as the reverb 'freeze' effect, note slides, the 'loop' effect, etc. There is always something new and tricky I like to try. Also, there are solid landmarks that usually appear in my tracks, such as the four to the floor beat, side chain compression on most things and a noise 'woosh' of some sort in the background. Of course, I'm always learning things all the time and SunVox is always being developed - it is sure to stay ahead of my abilities, which is ideal as it is hard to grow out of.
How much in your music that you make in SunVox is based on samples and how much is based on synthesizing?
I do use some samples. Not many, but if I find a drum loop or oddity that fits and enhances the track, I'll use it. The purist may that say it is not 100% SunVox if it uses samples, but I disagree. SunVox is a tracker and trackers started out with 100% samples! I never used a melodic sample or loop, just about every note you hear in my work is from a SunVox generator, I will say that.
You can hear the SunVox in my tracks, I’m sure of it. The FM and SpectraVoice generators are very distinctive, they are undoubtedly SunVox. The reverb too and the drum synth are also quite distinctive. Personally, I like to concentrate on making the music sound the way I want it too, not the tool so I don't worry about being 'pure' myself.
What modules outside of the sampler do you use the most?
The analog generator is the most common sound source for me and the filter the most used effect, I think. I tend to have long chains of effects. I have also recently made some of my own XI files for drum kits from various samples I have. This gives me some alternatives to the built in drum synth.
Are you excessive in your use of modules in your compositions?
Hard to say! My tablet plays most of my stuff with no stuttering, so I guess not. Also, I don't use the layers in the module view, at least not yet.
Any sound shaping tricks you want to share?
Well, if anyone wants to get a general EDM sound, try the side chain compressor. It’s great. Put it on long pad type sounds, trigger with a ghost kick drum and get it pumping a bit. Drop the audible kick drum, keep the ghost going and there you are – that sound you hear all the time. Another little trick to get 303-ish is to drop a slide on one or two notes in a busy acid loop, try values between 40 and 80. A good way to get sounds to sit well in the mix is to put them through a band pass filter. I love the LFO on the filter; it is a great and easy way to get some movement in a sound. In fact, I wish the LFO itself could automate any parameter. A triangle generator squared-off by a limiting distortion makes up many of my bass sounds. I also like to separate my automation from my notes in the arranger. That allows me to drag automation envelopes around and clone them. Finally, I always keep my individual drum tracks separate so that it is really easy for me to drop parts with no pattern editing.
Do you mix and master all in SunVox and if not what do you use?
I mix everything in SunVox, but I master outside. I have an old copy of iZotope Ozone which I run in an even older copy of Ableton Live as a VST. I don’t add anything in Live (I don’t want VST hell ever again). I take the ‘output’ modules WAV export out of SunVox on a laptop PC and import it as a single sample into Live, trim as needed and route through Ozone. It usually takes a few exports from SunVox before I don’t have any clipping, it always seems to come out hot. Once I have the levels about right I’ll start listening to the presets in Ozone. Once I find one I like I’ll edit it a bit more. I normally end up changing the compression bands a little, tweaking the parametric EQ and getting the levels right.
What do you think of the latest update SunVox 1.7.4 ?
Well, I guess it was a little while coming! I was worried that I had backed the wrong horse. Caustic 3 had come out and we’d not seen a SunVox update for a while. So it was great news when an update came through! It has some great stuff in it. The new ‘Sound2Ctl’ module is the main thing for me. I am already making use of it and thinking about what it can do.
If there was one thing you could implement into SunVox as a future update, what would that be?
SunVox is absolutely fine as it is, but I do have some ideas for it… which reminds me that I must log onto the SunVox forum and contribute something. I’ve been lazy and not done that yet. I want to be a part of that community too. One thing I would love to have is a way to write my own modules. The Buzz tracker (http://www.jeskola.net/buzz/) is similar in many ways to SunVox. It has so many amazing user-created ‘machines’ as it calls them – and they actually WORK unlike so many VSTs.
It would be jaw dropping, I think if SunVox could do that too. For sure, I understand the portability and performance concerns make that a daunting prospect to implement. But if there is anyway it can be done, if a community of great coders with great talent and inspiration can be let loose on SunVox at a lower level than MetaModules, then I think we can all stand back and watch SunVox take over the world!
Ok, if we can’t have that can we please have SoundFont support? Please!
For someone that is starting to use SunVox what would you recommend is the best way to go about learning it?
Watch the tutorial videos first, study the manual a little bit, listen to the excellent demo songs then dive in and make something of your own! If you know nothing at all about synthesis or effects, then you will benefit from some study of that, but it is not important. You can just try things out in SunVox to see how they sound. I still don’t fully know how FM synthesis works, but it doesn’t stop me from using the FM synth. Don’t expect too much from yourself initially. You will improve as you use it more. Certainly I think my later work six months on sounds better that my earlier work. Also, don’t go for perfection. Just try to get something out and heard. Try to be prolific. A great thing about SunVox is that the save files are 100% standalone. You can be sure that if you want to change a track in years to come you will be able to.
When did you first start to listen to Minimal Techno and what was your first influences?
Oh, I’m late to this game. Minimal Techno for me is one of those things I discovered rather too late in life, along with motorcycling. About a year ago I stumbled across a copy of ‘10 years CLR’ by Chris Liebing (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Chris-Liebing-Presents-Years-Clr/dp/B006OFMXB4) . I took a chance and bought it. There were no reviews and no links to anything else. I just liked what I heard on the previews. Listening to it was a seminal moment for me. I was like ‘where has this music been all my life?’. Ten years! I felt as if I had walked down a modern art gallery for the first time and ‘got it’. When I talk to people about this techno, few understand. I guess it is like looking at a Rothko painting, you either get it or you don’t, it does not work for everyone.
Now that I had heard my first route into this music, I loaded up on it. I’ve listened to little else in the last year and it rarely repeats itself. It is such a massive genre, so much excellent stuff out there of which I am still barely scratching the surface.
Any modern producers that you recommend?
From commercial stock, Chris Liebing and his CLR label as I mentioned earlier. This is some of the deepest and darkest stuff I have found. I like the stuff on Frequenza, too. I also listen to Alex Bau, Adam Beyer, Speedy J, Chris Fortier, Richie Hawtin, Luke Slater, Joris Voorn. Much of what I listen to is compilations and DJ sets. There is some good stuff on radio too. I often enjoy Drumcode radio (via Adam Beyer on SoundCloud), Slam radio (via Soma on SoundCloud), TM radio and Intergalactic FM.
Do you learn a lot from listening to other peoples work?
Absolutely, yes! When you find a track that you love, study it. Listen to it properly. How many different sounds are going on? What sort of sounds are there? How would you create those sounds? When and how often does it change? What changes? What would that look like in the arranger? I have in the past listened to tracks with a pen and paper and made notes. When you try producing something you want to sound like, put the track on your tablet or whatever and listen to it just before you start on your own track. Then listen again every so often as a check point. Isolate sounds in your own mind. Do your sounds match up? Are they fitting nicely into the mix?
Any tips for making / producing Minimal techno?
In a nutshell, play fewer notes! It sounds so simple, but it is something I have struggled with for over a decade. As an exercise, try making a full track where the only note you play is C. Any octave, any sound, but it must be a C. You will find yourself concentrating on the sounds more and on the notes less. You will have to automate, to use the filter LFO, concentrate on drums and have interesting arrangements to make it sound good as a track. The subtleties of the sounds are everything in this genre, I think. Small changes make a large difference to the feel of the track.
Do you have any favorite producers / musicians that use SunVox?
The SoundCloud group SunVox is very active. There are loads and loads of superb musicians out there doing all kinds of different things. Join the group, have a listen to the producers, follow them (they won’t mind!) and give them your support. By doing so, they’ll probably follow you back and give you some encouragement on your own work. Being involved in the community is something that spurs me on to do more and more. Unfortunately I don’t get nearly as much time as I would like to listen to other producers’ tracks but I do try to set aside one evening a week when I will catch up with what everyone has been doing.
Any specific song you want to share with us?
Sure, I’ll share my current most-liked track with you all, ‘Waypoint Lost’. This track emerged from some seriously deep messing around with sounds over a few days. After the soothing tranquility of the preceding track ‘Interplanetary Cruise’, this track evokes a brooding uncertainty.
Any last words?
I’d like to say thanks to you Frank, for interviewing me! It has been fun thinking back through the past and also thinking about how I use SunVox. I would also like to mention in passing my brother’s latest project TimeDog (http://racketracket.co.uk/music/force-habit/). He is making some very cool ambient music now. I secretly want him to do something on VirtualANS. Well, I hope this has been an interesting read for you all. See you all on SoundCloud!
SunVox file for studying how he made the track Waypoint Lost:
If you are interested in reading what two of the main creators of Yellofier have to say about their application go here and scroll down to read:
Today Musical Android is proud and happy to present you all with an interview with the man of the hour!
Think for anyone that have any interest in Android music making or have been reading this website more than once will be aware of what Caustic is, if not you invest a small sum of money and buckle in for a big long kiss of mobile music making.
Without further ado.
Can you tell us a little bit of your musical background?
I did piano lessons from the age of 8 until maybe 12-13. Then my mind wandered to the cooler world of electric guitar so I took that up and played in bands throughout my teenage years.
How did you get started in programming ?
My dad bought a Commodore 64 when I was about 8 and of course it had a BASIC interpreter built-in. I managed to figure out the really simple commands like "print" and "goto" so I'd write these "programs" where the computer would ask what you wanted and you could choose things like a candy bar or instant noodles and the program would display some pretty ASCII art on screen and in my pretend world, food would come out. It wasn't really programming, but I was living in the future! I didn't do any programming after that until I started Uni in '96 and learned C++
What was your first more or less serious program/s that you did?
I have a whole pile of half-finished programs and games for Windows, but the first big one I did was a 3D editor. You could create models in 3D, apply materials, animation etc. I couldn't justify paying for bigger 3D suites and I wanted to make models for my games so I made my own editor!
How come that you choose Android?
My friend received an extra test device as part of a licensing deal for a game engine. It was a Nexus One. He already had one so he "sold" me his spare to help me get into apps. (I say "sold" because he never accepted payment for it, too nice a guy). His company has gone on to do great things and are doing really well too (www,defiantdev.com). The low barrier to entry for making apps on Android made it risk-free.
What is your advice for a budding developer of Android applications?
Hmm, that's hard. Probably the same thing I tell anyone who wants to get into any kind of programming. Start by finding a goal, a project that inspires you enough to want to finish it. I don't know how anyone could learn straight skills without practice or working towards a goal.
How did you get the vision for Caustic or so to speak what was your first inspiration?
I was brainstorming ideas with my friend after he gave me the Nexus One. My initial idea was because the device had a GPS, maybe I could create some kind of generative music app where the beat that played depended on your location and it would be unique for each location. I thought it would be cool because then you could tell your friends "come stand in front of my house and listen" or .. "try standing by that dumpster, it's a really cool beat". My friend then said my first step should be to create a simple synth, which I did and then he said: Why don't you just make a music creation app, there aren't that many good ones on Android.
What kind of programming language have you been using for Caustic?
Mostly C/C++. With all of its quirks, I love my C++. It's a like a quality, sharp knife that can do anything, but it's also really easy to cut yourself if you're not paying attention.
I've had to write some Java and Objective-C to wrap the app for various platforms, but it's usually just a few lines of code. I like to stay as close to the processor as possible.
How long time did it take more or less to put the first Caustic together?
From concept to release for Caustic 1 would have been ~6 months. I first wrote the subsynth as a proof of concept.Then of course Android's legendary latency made me reconsider a stand-alone synth so I focused on sequencing. I then wrote a simple drum machine to accompany the synth and wrote the pattern and piano roll editor for putting together a song.
Then came the early PCMSynth, which could just play 1 WAV file and pitch it across the keyboard. Later, I found some source code for a 303 synth and the bassline took off. At that point the app was looking more and more like a rack of machines than a simple groove box so I focused on that direction.
What was the biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge is keeping it all together. It's really easy to spread yourself thin over various support forums, email, Facebook etc. and until I can afford a PR rep. that takes a lot of my time. Keeping the app direction focused is also a constant challenge. Lots of users want different things from the app, so I try and find a middle ground that pleases the most people possible without blocking myself off for the future.
What has been the biggest challenge now with Caustic 3?
Calling it "done" and shipping something. After I broke free of the fixed rack with Caustic 2, my mind immediately wandered to the creation of new synths to insert in the rack. I've had countless prototypes and variations of new machines I'd like to develop, but at some point people want updates so you have to stop "playing" and buckle down to get something polished.
With the exception of the modular which of the synthesizers was the trickiest to get right?
The vocoder. Because it's so different than the other synths with the way it works, it has taken the longest to get running optimally and has probably had the most bugs during beta.
What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment with Caustic?
I'm really proud of how the app and its community has grown over the years. Mobile apps make it possible for one guy working part-time to slowly build up to something that's now placing next to much bigger companies, with a community that's closer and friendlier than anything I've seen on big websites.
Is there any specific smaller function that you feel extra proud of?
I really get a kick out of code optimization and I'd like to think people are impressed with how much this app can run at the same time, in real-time on such battery-sipping devices. As far as features within the app: I'm really happy with the new WAV editor. It's still very basic but it has lots of room to grow. Like the modular, it's a great avenue for expansion.
Is there anything that you would change in the basic setup that you feel have been nagging you after these years?
I wish I could easily rename the beatbox. You know how each DAW or plugin gives cool names to their synths, I wanted to avoid doing that. I just wanted to refer to the synths as to what they are. Unfortunately "Drum computer" was too long to fit in the machine label field so somehow I settled on Beatbox, even though it has little to do with acapella rap beats.
So what is the next step in Caustic 3?
I still have platform builds to put out for 3.0 and then after that it's Caustic 3.1. More connectivity options (especially on iOS), more MIDI fun and who knows what else. ;-)
Think that one thing that is very special for Caustic is the active forum and all the help and sharing going on. Not to forget about being able to share and upload presets, sample instruments and the song files for Caustic. Do you think that this has influenced in the success of Caustic and in this case how much?
I'm sure it has. I got an email one day from a guy named Mike saying he really liked the app and wanted to help build around it. The first thing he offered was to build a website and has been maintaining and improving it ever since. Since it launched, the community has grown to over 2500 users, with many of them quite active in discussions. This has saved me countless hours in email support and has grown into a great place to share and hang out.
What is your advice for somebody that start to produce music using Caustic?
If you've never used a DAW before, I'm confident this is a good place to start. I spent hours and hours making tutorials on all the basics and I hope people watch them and learn from them. If you're used to DAWs, especially rack-inspired ones like Reason, most of Caustic should be a breeze.
In your eyes what would you say is the most under appreciated function of Caustic?
Probably SoundFont import in the PCMSynth. There are thousands of free .SF2s still on the 'net and it opens things up to natural instruments, and wacky stuff you just can't make with a synth.
Do you have any other projects going on outside of Caustic 3?
I've got smaller stuff to keep me distracted like my falling sand game (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.singlecellsoftware.sandpremium), but most most of my attention is focused on Caustic and its expansion. Writing code has become my creative outlet and I'm having way too much fun to stop.
What do you think will be the future of Android in about two years time say?
Who knows, I'm sure mobile devices will continue to expand and I'm confident mobile apps are the fastest growing segment as far as programming goes. More power, more pixels, the usual.
Is there any other Android music applications that you use or that you find interesting?
I honestly barely get the time to use my own app, let alone others. I have noticed an pleasant increase in quality looking synths being built for Android. Apps that show a bit of love as far as UI is concerned like Mikrowave, Heat Synthesizer, Zynth and Syntheogen are examples that come to mind.
Okay so please leave us with some last words?
Go buy my app?
Ok, more seriously: enjoy making music. If you're not having fun, stop.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------As a bonus here is some images from the first weeks of prototyping He felt a little bit embarrassed to show them but it is nice that he let us see them as we can see how everything great has humble beginnings.
Many thanks for Rej to take the time to make the interview in these days when he probably should be concentrating on the release!
Let us all wish him a big break after this year of getting Caustic 3 ready and released.
A great person and a fantastic application.
Now it is up to you make great music as with Caustic 3 there is no more excuses!
Do you play any instruments?
--Not really but I like to sing.
What musicians or bands have inspired you in your music making?
-- Well besides my dad, the Caustic Warriors who make really cool music.
How long have you been using Caustic?
-- about a year now....
In Caustic 2 what is your favorite module and why?
-- I like the PCMSynth because you can have lots of cool sounds, like flutes and drums and other stuff.
Was Caustic hard to learn?
-- Ummm haha not really.
What was the hardest part to understand?
-- probably making my patterns sound right.
What is your first impressions of Caustic 3 Alpha?
-- Wow! It's really amazing! The new machines! especially Pad Synth, I can make my sound just right very quickly to then make a pattern for my song!
What was your biggest surprise?
-- Everything looks sooo different, but in a great way, and all the new synth machines were great too!
Is there anything that you miss in the new version?
-- well no! Hello! It's new! It's just more of everything!
To work with music is that something that you want to do when you are older?
-- Well I like to do art and things, I like to draw and write stories, and yes also like to make music, but I'm still learning.
What do you feel is missing from your musical knowledge that you would want to study more?
-- Music theory which I really haven't learned much yet, but I really want to.
If there are any tips for someone that just is starting with making music, what would that be?
-- Take your time and learn.
As a final note, of the music that you produced is there one specific piece of music
that you want to share with the readers of Musical Android?
-- Oh yeah! Drum Break!
So am happy to have interviewed the only eight year old doing serious music using Caustic for Android!
Love the Artist name, it could be on repeat to wake up slowly...
mniip mniip mniip mniip mniip mniip.
Would work as a name for a record label-
Have you heard the last album from mniip records?
But mniip is neither a alarm clock or a record label but in his words:
I am a male 16 year old student from England and I have just finished secondary school,
I love to make music and I consider it a hobby that could have a lot of potential in my future.
I really love caustic, it is a wonderful app that has allowed me to express my musical creativity!
So here is a nice interview where you can get some insight in how he creates his music and there is also possible to download the Caustic file to study closer.
It is nice to see is how he uses the Automation...
Which leads me to another point on the Caustic Web page you can access and download a lot of the songs that people are making and lately there is a active amount of material being remixed in between different users. Users also being super friendly you can easily contact them directly for questions etc.
This can be an interesting way to use Caustic -
to learn music production even if you rather use other application / Software, as the application have all the basic music production tools that you need so you can see it as taking a very cheap class in music production. But for sure you would end up using the application for work later too in some or all of it's aspects.
SHUT UP AND LETS GET TO THE INTERVIEW FRANK!!!
So you used Caustic to do Fading Entropy, did you use any other Android applications?
Nope! :D everything you hear in Fading Entropy is entirely made in Caustic, with exception to the drum samples which I think we part of the default kit sets available. But yes, all the synthesised sounds you hear are made using the subsynth machine and one bassline machine.
What other Android applications have you played with?
I have experimented with a few apps available on the android market before I got Caustic, particularly synth emulators took my interest ( I have a keen interest in synths).
Do you use any software and in that case which?
I do not own any mainstream music making software however. That's something to consider for the future, as I am really happy with Caustic :)
I do not own much music hardware, I have a 61 key Yamaha midi keyboard, but it's standalone and I only really use it for playing. I have a good pair of headphones for when I am making music though (Samsung in-ear).
If there was one feature that you could implement in Caustic what would it be?
One thing that I would love available in Caustic would be the ability to control automation instantaneously. The way I do this currently is by decreasing the tempo extensively. And then manually, I quickly change the setting of the parameter, which takes a bit of effort, but the intended effect is achieved somewhat.
What do you like the most in Caustic?
That's definitely a good question. I really do love every aspect of Caustic. But one thing that I have always enjoyed is the subsynth because of how much freedom I have making sounds. Just the ability to draw a wave on a screen and hear it play fascinates me. Finding a good virtual synthesizer was what led me to finding caustic in the first place.
Could you talk about how you went about making Fading Entropy- Was it melody or drums first or... Also how you work with Automation during the song or in the end or..?
So fading entropy basically began with a quick 1 bar bassline segment I came up with, and then I built on the idea by adding compressors side-chained to the drum beat to make the pumping tune. Before I started making fading entropy, I realised what a compressor actually did and associated it's function with many upbeat dance music, and so I was inspired to continue to make the song. I experiment with automation during the making of patterns and then I will fine-tune, or add various other automation parts once the song is fully sequenced. I will probably spend half of my composing time adding and experimenting with automation.
Any tips in production that you use regularly in your music making?
I have never really had to give advice, but one thing I would advise keyboardist trance makers is begin your ideas in A minor, but transpose your musical ideas up or down until you are satisfied with the overall effect of that key. You will know what I mean if you have played a piano, the white keys are all part of the C-major scale, which is parallel to A-minor. I just find it easier to arrange all of my ideas in a familiar key... Also, try to balance the amount of minor or major chords within progressions so the song is both uplifting, but also has the edge to it.
So on Soundcloud you already have a substantial amount of music made. Which one of those songs would you say is your favorite or one of your favorites?
A few of my most recent songs I would consider my best. But I would definitely say that Pulsar is my favorite so far because of the contrast in ideas and the general uplifting sense created by the melody. However, I think wrath of the strawberries is a pretty close runner, I like the harshness of the sounds.
Read that you want to dedicate your life to music do you have any plans or ideas/strategies to make that happen?
Okay, I definitely will continue to dedicate myself to making music. I am taking music technology in college, which should give me a really good deal of experience in mainstream music software. After that, we'll just have to wait and see! ;)
Have you managed to get any serious interest to what you are doing outside of friends and family?
Apart from the people on the Caustic forums, and a few followers on soundcloud, no not really. But I am looking to expand that. I have thought about uploading my creations to Youtube to promote myself further.
Do you play any instruments?
I play the keyboard! Infact, I have played the keyboard as long as I remember. It's something I have always loved to do and has influenced my passion for music.
Do you think that it has helped you with your music making and if so how?
Yes definitely, most of my ideas begin at the keyboard before being compiled into caustic. I normally play around for about an hour every day experimenting with different chords and melodies, as well as playing existing songs too.
Can you mention some musical artists that you like?
A few I like their music: Deadmau5, Imagine Dragons, Avicii, Skrillex... though I do like rock music too, so also Led Zeppelin, Deep purple, Rush, Boston...
Who influenced you the most in your music making?
Nobody in particular influences me most. I think my inspiration is the result of the collaboration of many electronic names like Euphoria, system F, Royksopp from the 90s onward, to some of the pop music heard today.
Any other Caustic users that you want to promote here?
Yes definitely! I apologize if I forget anyone, but I definitely am feeling the groove with AndyBones, Skarabee, ImpulseGame, Pan65 and Bojeroo
What are you working on now music wise?
At the moment, I am concentrating most of my work on a piece that I am "finishing off" inspired by a fragment written by a user called Lorwy. But I also have a few other projects that I wish to continue when my exams are finally over.
Any last things you want to share?
I think thats about it!
So hope that gave you some inspiration!
It gave me some... and thanks a lot to you mniip for participating in the contest providing great music and taking time to share with us your thoughts in the interview...
Interviewed by Frank Malm / Musical Android
mniip Soundcloud page
Caustic on the Playstore
The Caustic Song file:
Happy to be interviewing the Developer/Programmer/Creator
of one of the more bad azz applications for Android.
And the most complete usable one made for live performance.
This is what he says himself about his app:
G-Stomper is a highly optimized Beat Making Application for doing Electronic Live Performances on the move. It's a feature packed, Step Sequencer based Drum Machine/Groovebox, a Track Grid Sequencer for Beats, a Note Grid Sequencer for Melodies, a Piano Roll, 24 Drum Pads, an Effect Rack, a Master Section, a Line Mixer and a Live Pattern/Song Arranger.
But that is selling himself short as it is also a DAW for your samples with a very flexible modulation system of many parameters. It started as a Groovebox for Android but with the latest updates it have turned into something more but still keeping the original Groovebox single window aspect if you so desire...
Well there is a Demo version of the app so try it out if you haven't!
And if you did try it before and found it confusing/ hard to use try again as with the new Step sequencer for building your beats and the note sequencer window it is a whole new user friendly experience.
So now for the important stuff!!!
To start off the interview I asked Andreas to introduce himself-
Planet-h.com, based in Switzerland, is just myself, a passionate and sometimes obsessed developer, since around 15 years in software development and bored of business applications (as mentioned in the interview now he is full time G-Stomper, ed), a synthesizer and groovebox fanatic, a mountain freak, a climber,
and of-the-wall thinker and last but not least, an EDM lover.
What inspired you to start working on G-Stomper?
When I got my first Smartphone, a Nexus S, around 2 years ago, there was almost no music making apps on the market. Since I was (and still am) a passionate user of hardware grooveboxes, it was pretty clear that a step sequencer was the thing I wanted to build. The first few weeks it was just playing around a bit, but once the first sequencer was in alpha state, it made so much fun to create beats with it, that I decided to pack it into a full app.
How long time did it take you to finish the application from beginning to the first working version?
3 Months from the beginning to the release of V.1.0, and 2 years to the current state. Since April I've switched to full time, before it was beside a regular job.
Can you show us an image of an early prototype and what were the functions of the first version released?
There’s a YouTube clip, which was recorded from G-Stomper 1.0: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4N6g5N9C3E
Key features of the initial release 1.0:
9 Drum Kits
3 chainable Effect Processors
17 Effect Types
Pattern Set with 16 Patterns
PCM WAV 16bit, 44.1kHz, Stereo export
PCM WAV 16bit, 44.1kHz, Mono or Stereo UserSamples import
(The core audio engine is almost unchanged until today)
What kind of programming language has been used for G-Stomper?
It’s all pure Java
For programming audio application for Android what would you recommend or what is your preferred way?
Forget everything you know about coding style, especially when you use Java. Since you have to develop for the very last bit of performance and memory, things are much different than in a non-mobile environment. An excellent article about this is
‘The 10 principles of Assembly Java’ at http://blog.javia.org/assembly-java/
Read the code of existing audio applications, as more as better, there are plenty available on the web. For me, an eye opener was the blog ‘Mind the robot’, which was actually owned by Ivan, the developer of Supreme MPA.
What would be the first step to programming Android applications?
Don't start with your main application, create something unimportant
(but related in some way) first.
I've created a simple ‘Simon’ game at the beginning to get familiar with the Android and audio basics … and to get the development environment up and running.
Also a good start is to take a look at the Android Developer Guides at http://developer.android.com/develop/index.html
Did you imagine that G-Stomper would grow to what it is today?
No, not at all. At the beginning it was all just for fun, and right before the release of G-Stomper 1.0 two years ago, I thought it was more or less complete. But one week before it went live, Rej from Singlecell released Caustic 1.0 and I saw its user interface, which was actually light-years away from the G-Stomper UI. Since then I've released 67 updates, and number 68 is already in progress;). If you’re interested in the release history you’ll find it at http://www.planet-h.com/gstomper/#releasenotes
What is your musical background?
I was never a full time musician. I played guitar a few years, sometimes in a band, sometimes as a singer as well, but I’m lucky that there are no recordings of it, lol. Since I was a pure blood programmer from the beginning, even if I didn't know then;), it was just a question of time to move to electronic music. I’ve started in the 90s with some software called ‘Hammerhead’, a typical step sequencer based drum machine. Since then really love to do live jams with drum machines and synthesizers, as more knobs and faders to fiddle around as better. This definitely inspired me a lot during the development of G-Stomper Beat Studio.
Can you share some of your music?
I've uploaded some tracks I've created a few years ago, most of them created as jam sessions and then cut together in a daw.
Are there any other Android apps that you like and use?
Not really.. I'm still addicted to hardware;), on the move, I use almost only G-Stomper, sometimes RecForge for quick recordings.
RecForge is a great tool to grab samples in a good quality, when you're on the move.
Have you been thinking about creating any other applications?
I dream of a modular Synthesizer.
What software do you use outside of Android?
I use Wavelab from Steinberg for almost everything around sampling and mastering.
And what hardware do you use for music?
As you maybe already guessed, I'm addicted to the Korg Electribe boxes and any kind of Step Sequencer. I'm also using the Clavia Nord Lead and Nord Modular Series, Access Virus and analog stuff from Jomox.
Do you have any favorite tricks that you want to share regarding G-Stomper?
Although this is maybe the most annoying task for an experimental soul ... I really recommend to take a closer look to the PDF UserManual at
It’s a very useful reference, which provides detailed descriptions for every single feature.
What do you think is the most important quality to have as a music creator in your opinion?
Having fun, I guess!
Apart of that, I have no Idea… maybe you would better ask me for the quality as a programmer ;)
Is there any musician/producer that uses G-Stomper that you want to promote?
Fugo CH was the very first G-Stomper user, long time before it got released. He helped me
a lot with beta testing and improvements during the development. He also was the first guy who did a fantastic (public) live performance with G-Stomper 1.1 on his Nexus One and a Galaxy Tab 7.
Also these guys are doing amazing stuff using G-Stomper
Karl Lost: https://soundcloud.com/user6242343
Dirty Morris D: https://soundcloud.com/dirty-morris-d
Any other musician/band/producer?
These guys are doing really excellent stuff, especially their live sessions are outstanding.
Evolent Zurich: https://soundcloud.com/evolent
And also: https://soundcloud.com/eisentanz
What is the next step regarding G-Stomper?
Even more control for live usage, more Sample Packs, and definitely better tutorials;)
Anything that you want to add?
I think, that’s it...:)
That's cool right!
I like that he gave a lot of directions for how to develop for Android
and for new music to be heard!
Just go and support the man, we don't want to find him back in some dusty office
coughing grey dust plus that we want that modular synth to be developed to..!
And being easy to support by buying the excellent application (if you're device is up to it)
and for sure you will find use for it in your music making...
as for many it is the only application they need.
Interviewed by Frank Malm
G-Stomper Beat Studio
The other day this got posted on a website called http://createdigitalmusic.com it is an article/interview/overview by a man calle Ashley Elsdon that is behind the website-http://www.palmsounds.net/
It was a very interesting read for me as he talks about Palm OS and Windows Mobile music making.
When these devices was used I was living in the Caribbean Jungle outside a village of about 150 people with an access of two telephones and electricity that was coming and going.
So for me to read the article was to read about forgotten history that never was part of my consciousness, and guess that it also holds true if you are young enough.
But what is interesting for making music on Android is that it gets mentioned in the article the existence of a program that makes it possible to run Palm OS applications on Android and that there is existing some pretty funky applications for making music.
So if you want to find some old school hand held freshness it is definitively worth to check out.
The program that makes it possible to run Palm OS apps is called Style Tap and is relatively expensive but then you get access to a lot of applications that is for free and possible to encounter around the internet.
So here is the link to the article:
Here is just links to Style tap and one of the better music apps for Palm OS:
It is an interesting read you will not regret it...
It is coming, unless these developers start to mysteriously disappear,
to be found poisoned by bitter apples...
So it is with pride that I present a interview with the first winner of a first ever
Android Music Contest!
Skarabée and Musical Android creating History!
How long time have you been using Caustic?
I think I really started one year ago. I followed the updates and have been one of the beta testers for 2.1X. Rej is an awesome dev, and he made a really good app.
What do you like about it?
Very intuitive app, good sounding synths, the ability to tweak sounds, to load my own samples.
I first used it to put some drafts on the road, but after creating a soundcloud account, I tried to put some tracks made in pure Caustic, as a challenge, just to see how far I could push this little beast.
I'm always impressed with the results, coming from a phone app.
And the community around Caustic is very cool.
Is there any other Android applications you use?
I think I have tried almost every musical apps on my Acer 500, but the only one I really play with is Caustic. No other daw or composition tool can beat it. I also use Pitchlab, a chromatic tuner, and I played on PlasmaSound during a concert: with my band, we were playing a Led Zep cover and I used it as a theremin.
What is it that you like about them?
Plasmasound is a fun tool and a new sort of instrument, and can produce some crazy sounds. Pitchlab is reliable and as a multi pitch screen, every note is displayed, you have 12 tuners! very useful for open tuning on guitar.
What other software are you using and why do you like them?
I often use Reaper and Cubase. Both are big daws and complete production systems. I think all big daws offer the same, it's just a matter of workflow.
I also tried Reason, Live, FL studio, and recently Mulab: I was impressed by this one and buyed Mux, the modular part of Mulab, as a VST synth/fx. I like to tweak and build my own FX chains. I even made plug-ins with Synthedit: You can find some for free on my Skalooper site.
I also use Addictive Drums (VST), connected to my Roland TD6 E-drum, and lots of freeware VST: some are really good. I remember a blind test in a guitar forum, where I fooled everyone with a free VST amp.
Any Hardware you would recommend and why?
All depend of your needs. For the Android side, I think its a good choice to have a midi keyboard. I know that Caustic don't allow real time recording and Android is not very good on latency, but things are going better, and we can expect reduced latency soon. So, a good little keyboard with some knobs and faders for those who need to tweak ;-).
I was able to connect my Korg NanoControl to my Acer 500, as well as a M-audio Keyboard with internal audio card. Yes, we can also connect USB audio interfaces to our devices! (try USB audiotester for compliance). It means reduced latency and more channels soon. For playing live with VST instruments or multitrack recordings, I rather choose a laptop for now.
I know that you are a musician- what is your main instrument?
I started a long time ago (I mean a really long time ;-) with violin, but I am known as a guitarist. I also like to play drums, bass, and keyboard. In fact, I can't see an instrument without trying it!
What does your musical life looks like?
I should say: all my life is based on music...
Actually, I spend most of my musical time in my studio, making records for bands or in collaboration as arranger with solo artists. I didn't made gigs with my band for 3 or 4 months, but I played for TV shows as guitarist. Most of the time, I follow the artists who worked with me on stage.
What is the music that you play the most with others?
Since last year, I played with 2 bands, one for the Funk/Jazz/Groove (Soul Power), the other (Covers) for the Pop/Rock/Blues side of my soul. Some years ago, in 2008, I made a Pink Floyd tribute with Covers, on a small island in South Pacific, with video screens and fireworks. This was really magic, and we had to do this again in 2009 and 2010. We also made a Jimi Hendrix tribute in 2010.
I want to try something different and mix some of my musical sides in one concept: This means adding electro stuff to my band and mix it with my bluesy guitar.
The song that you did- summer beach dub
do you feel that would have been done if you were living in a nordic country ?
Almost everybody here in New-Caledonia love reggae music, but I'm not a big fan.
In fact, I made several dubs in winter when I lived in Paris, during the 90's...No matter where you are, when the music catch you. I just try to decorate some space-time around me, no matter the style and the climate.
On the opposite side, it's rather difficult for me to play angry music now, like metal or urban rap. Maybe it's the "Pacific effect", maybe it's my state of mind now.
And another reason is that I started a set called "Seasons" on soundcloud, and I needed a summer theme, having already autumn and winter. Hum, seems that spring is a little late, this year...
Any tips on making music that you want to share to a budding producer / musician?
Learn to listen, and listen to all kind of music: from the birds singing in the trees to the weird indus-noisy electronics, including classical and ethnic music.
As a producer, always have a look (an ear) to the intention of the artist.
Understand the technical rules before to break them. And don't focus on gear. Gear don't make music, only sound. Sound don't make sense by itself, you have to give it sense and/or emotion.
Make your dream longer than the night.
Any tips for the Caustic users out there?
Be patient for the next update ;-)
Frank Malm interview with Skarabée
Link to Skarabée Soundcloud page:
Link to skarabées software page
Pitchlab guitar tuner
And as bonus a dub documentary. It is French but so is Skarabée so a big part is in French..
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