David Frank

music production

Bassnectar in EM, Sonny Rollins,New York Philharmonic rehearsal, my favorite softsynths

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I just saw a great article/interview  in Electronic Musician Mag from a master of modern synthesis and sound design: Bassnectar. He gave some particularly great advise at the end of the article. My understanding was that one of the most effective ways of being sure your compositions and performances  are the best they can be is to limit the amount of gear/samples/instruments you are using as your palette to a trusted few. Understand all the ins and outs of these and spend the vast majority of your time writing and or performing. I agree. Basically if you are spending too much of your time accumulating more and more gear, software and samples you might never get around to creating meaningful compositions or reaching your potential as a performer.

Here is a link to a list of “Musicradar’s idea of the top 20 softsynths. Choose 3 or 4 and try getting to know every detail. Diva is also great…as a matter of fact there are many others including the instruments within Logic, Ableton,PT,DP, etc

The 20 best VST plug-in synths in the world today | MusicRadar asked, you answered | MusicRadar.com

My faves from that list: Zebra 2, FXpansion DCAM synth Squad, Massive(which I have not mastered…hmm gonna take my own advice) Ace, Reactor (I like Razor within Reactor) …I do have most of them but there are a few I don’t have…I’m so curious.. .. gotta stick to my own advice..no new instruments until I know the ones I have!!

My Musical idol when I was 18-19 was tenor Saxaphonist Sonny Rollins who, legend has it, practiced 12 hours per day for years on the brooklyn bridge. He was always in the process of developing a new “Style” of improvisation.  That is creating and making new musical patterns/riffs part of a new vocabulary. He succeeded over and over again. I memorized his solo’s and was obsessed with his stylistic changes  He actually changed my life because I modeled my music and piano study habits on his legendary work ethic. (thank you Gary Harris for pointing out that Sonny Rollins is triple winner at Jazz Awards

Also, Omar: ‘I’m chuffed to bits over my MBE’ | The Voice    Omar is one of the most uniquely talented musicians in the world today. He deserved this award from the Queen like no other. Check him out ! I was lucky to be able to work with him on 2 of his albums on RCA.

While I was in New York working with Mic on The System material a couple weeks ago we went to a NewYork Philharmonic rehearsal. Wow!! now that was awesome. We got to sit directly above the stage. Talk about stereo imaging,nothing can match the sound of a full orchestra bouncing around Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center. To trigger some new ideas on what to do with that newly gained fluency with those soft synth instruments check out composer Erich Korngold Concerto in D major for Violin and Orchestra. He makes full use of the textural and special FX capabilities of the Orchestra. Leonidas Kavakos was the incredible violinist. Sometimes the best performances are at the rehearsal!!

6 Comments

  1. Yep, indeed… Omar is the Bomb. I only heard about him after your work with him (was following your work, post-System). Great work on the For Pleasure album…’Saturday’ is an awesome track, albeit too-too short. Ha. I used to (and still do) hunt for projects that you and/ or Mic worked on… I never am disappointed when I find any such projects.

  2. Pardon my error, as I meant the track ‘My Baby Says’ is too short.

  3. Sonny Rollins did not practice on the Brooklyn Bridge. It was the Williamsburg Bridge, and it was during a “sabbatical” he took in the late 50s.

  4. Thanks for so much great music, remember listening to the system in the 80’s and 90’s great influence on me musically. Then and now. Can’t wait to here you guys for 2012 sure you will inspire me. I’ve waited to here you two again total genius.

    • Good Choice! Took me a long time to get Sonny’s sense of irony with the whole cowboy/standards thing. Pressing sure looks oriignal one of these days you are going to have to add a shot of the engravings in the deadwax. As regards the tri-colour, its not known to me with our Contemporary Vogue European pressing. I doubt anyone could hear any difference.

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