AEF (Starless Domain)
SPB: What electronic equipment/synthesisers do you use and what led you to those in particular?
AEF: On the album EOS I went fairly simple with synthesizers and only used a Roland JP-8000. This was mostly due to my gear being in storage and, since this was our first run writing music for Starless Domain, I felt it best to utilize this synth first due to its familiarity and ability to reach some fairly spacey sounds.
The JP-8000 is a beast of a synth! After owning it for several years, I’m pretty certain that some of my inspirations in black metal have also used this synth. It’s cold, it’s spacey, and if you want to produce some classic hardstyle, there really is nothing better.
For ALMA I ended up digging out a couple more synths from storage. One being the Yamaha TG33, an FM synth from the early ‘90s. It has this really interesting vector control knob which allows you to sort of morph through 4 different voices. There are a lot of dark potentials with this synth and I have always considered this to be great for dark ambient music.
The other synth I dug out of storage for this was the DSI Tetr4. Typically, I have seen this and much of the DSI line utilized in tekno and of the likes. Truth be told, this is why I got it. It’s an affordable 4-voice analogue synth and very compact. There are a lot of limitations with it, but its rich analogue sound was really something I wanted to bring to the table of Starless Domain. I had worked on some pad-like designs for it over a year ago and hoped that maybe it would sound well for ALMA. I felt it did. It ended up being the primary synth in ALMA.
I also brought along my favorite reverb Eventide’s Space reverb for guitars. The TG33 and the Tetr4 don’t have keys for playing therefor making Arturia’s Keystep a handy midi controller to incorporate with our recording session. Not to mention it gave me an excuse to add an arpeggiated synth line occasionally.