Benn Jordan is an American modern jazz and electronic musician. Since 1999 his most widely distributed and eclectic music has been released under the name of The Flashbulb. Other popular names Benn has released as are Acidwolf, Human Action Network, and FlexE. We caught up with Benn and asked him about his music and relationship with FL Studio.
Tell us about your music, yourself and The Flashbulb project?
It isn't a terribly interesting story. My earliest memory was desiring to make recorded music, and I guess sticking to that desire long enough led me to become a professional composer/musician. I write music for television, film, and games as part of my job, and that enables me to do whatever I want with my own projects such as The Flashbulb. I like to balance the two careers because I can separate my own ideas from money, marketing, and fame. It keeps it pure and 100% enjoyable to write music.
How did you come to use FL Studio & what were your first impressions?
Compared to other electronic musicians in the early 2000's, I was actually a bit of a late adopter for using a computer for music. I originally used Fruity Loops as more of a toy that had a familiar interface to old drum machines that I was using. Over the years the arbitrary rules and interface limitations of programs like Nuendo and Pro Tools wasted a lot of my time, and I started noticing that FL Studio was blossoming into a fully capable suite. In present time, the interface is brilliant and the ability to automate and chain anything I am looking at, even 3rd party plugins, is honestly revolutionary and invaluable. Now, when I open Nuendo to bounce out an old session or something the difference is like night and day. A software interface that was made to be learned versus a software interface that was slowly developed over time to do what it's users want it to do.
Benn & the New Millennium Orchestra
Benn's music used on a Dove commercial
Tell us about your production environment & toys?
I still really like hardware and instruments. I'm not an analog hipster or anything, but I definitely feel like my work trademarks on getting my hands dirty and using the computer as a tool rather than the entire factory. I have a lot of tape machines, old and new, clean and filthy, that I bounce tracks back and forth through. For electronic drums I usually use a Roland V-Drum kit and clean it up in the piano roll. Then almost any melodic synth input is coming from a MIDI guitar or a weighed piano controller. I like that you used the word toys because that's kind of how it feels around here in my studio. A workstation and a giant room with shelves and shelves of toys.
Benn improvising on his MIDI guitar
Do you have any links you would like to share?
My record label is www.alphabasic.com, with lots of other artists to enjoy there.
You can hear and view some of my professional composing work at www.bennjordan.com.
And of course my Facebook music page is here https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Flashbulb/42029274877
Forthcoming album teaser