How did you get involved in creating music?
I was always in various choirs, bands and musical groups growing up, in and out of school. I found that I had more fun creating original music and writing songs, instead of covering other people’s music or performing music that was already written.
When I got my hands on an old version of Premiere, FL and Hammerhead, I was pretty damn excited about sequencing music. I eventually got hooked on Cakewalk and Midisoft Recording Studio’s notation abilities and focused my efforts on writing orchestral and symphonic chamber work.
You know what it’s like once you start down that path. Always trying to push your instruments and tools a little closer to what you hear in your head. So you keep looking for your next fix to scratch the itch of what your last package couldn’t do.
Eventually, someone offers you money to feed your habit, and then suddenly it’s called a career.
Who (& which albums) did you work with/for so far?
In the past ten years or so, I’ve done remixes, one-offs, b-sides and white-labels for tons of artists and bands like Fisher, Blue Man Group, Madonna, Nine Inch Nails, Linkin Park, Tweaker, Lenny Kravitz, Garbage, Pulsar Bleu, HIM, KYO, Emilie Simon and tons of others (currently working with some from India and Japan).
A lot of listeners around the globe know me by my remix moniker Empire of Modern Thought (EMT Remix).
My first symphony from 2003 is called “And Now We See But Through A Glass Darkly.” This year I finished up the soundtrack to “Out of Hell” a cool freaky mod coming out soon, and an electro/orchestral soundtrack called “Lord Retro”. There is also my Synaesthesia art/cg/music series (2005-present) that is worth a listen.
How did you end up using FL Studio?
Probably around '98, a friend showed me FruityLoops. I just thought it was the coolest piece of software. Before that, I was making my beats in Hammerhead and Premiere and whatever gear I had at the time.
I liked how FL emulated some of the hardware I had, and it was really simple to get my beat programming ideas down quickly and conveniently. Image-Line was ahead of its time.
I stopped using it for quite some time as hardware and software upgrades took over in other places and I started doing my live symphonic work. Then one day out of the blue a couple years ago, I saw an ad for FL Studio, and was blown away by how far the application had come. It went from a simple looping step sequencer, to a full-on studio experience. I was also impressed with the growth and collaboration of the forums and community. FL Studio is definitely one of the greatest pieces of software, and a full DAW to boot!
I’m now a very, very happy FL user, and the synths and effects that you guys dream up, are mind-blowing, forward-thinking and delicious. I credit a lot of my inspiration and advancement to FL.
What does FL Studio mean in your current setup?
I used to be a total gear whore. So much stuff in fact, that it nearly filled several rooms, but in the past few years, I’ve been living a much more mobile lifestyle, with a preference for Intel Core2 Duo type processors, which seem to handle all the different apps that I use nicely without fuss.
FL Studio seems to run the best on a laptop with nearly zero crashes for me, making it an important part of my creative process.
I do a lot of travel, and a lot of writing and recording, so FL Studio has to come with me everywhere. I use it in conjunction with other apps, but I’m finding that the more synths and effects that get released with it, the less I have to go to outside software to find cool sounds or satisfy creative knob tweaking adventures.
What are the advantages/disadvantages of using hardware & software for you?
Well with hardware, there’s a nearly zero latency no matter what hardware you are using, and instantaneous loading of samples, just by dialing on the knob. On software, the big problem is being forced to use strange audio drivers and ASIO just to get it to near-zero-latency to play a high-end piano library.
I dream of the day that ASIO is built into the on-board sound-cards that ship with high-end consumer laptops and we aren’t futzing around with drivers. Plug in, create. Period.