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..