So, Second Wave Assault has arrived!
Yes, it’s been a fairly mad ride since Colonisation. Been doing a lot of remix work, which is starting to trickle out. Second Wave Assault was the first music I’ve made in this period that felt like actual work. Was very pleased to deliver it and unleash it into the wild.
What’s changed in the last 6 months?
Lots! Really wanted to focus on a harder dance sound for the second e.p. think I’ve achieved that, but had to stray outside of the iPad to do it. All the tracks sounds are iOS, it’s all put together in NanoStudio, but then the stems are mixed down separately and sent over to Logic for final mix down. I’ve been banging my head against a wall trying to keep within the iPad, but unfortunately the raw firepower isn’t available yet. At Christmas I upgraded to the iPad 4 thinking that would allow me to have more scope in Auria, it was soon evident that 40 tracks of audio were still way out of its capability.
What does Logic give you that iOS based DAWs can’t?
It’s firepower, processors, the ability to handle serious compressors, limiters and monitor it real time. There’s nothing about VST that I miss, in fact when playing with a few VST instruments I got bored pretty quick. iOS is far better to interact with instruments, even in its relative infancy, we’ve got some pretty unique sounding synths and effects. I certainly won’t be migrating to the mac book pro for its synths. Another thing that bugs me about iOS is the sheer difficulty of moving files about, once I’ve NanoSynced over to the Mac, I can batch normalise, throw it into Logic and its all plain sailing. We still don’t have an all singing DAW yet, it’s always a switching app game. NanoStudio does all of it so nicely but still no MIDI out, that’s a big minus. So you go to Cubasis, great for the MIDI, but it’s audio tools suck, so you open BeatMaker, and quickly get out of before its interface makes you want to hurt something, so you go back to Auria and everything stops and you lose days of your life. I know that this will improve, got big hopes for NanoStudio 2, because Matt really nailed it the first time round, funny that Steinberg, with all their experience are still lagging behind. And bringing this back on topic, the iPad itself just needs more engine power. Would love to see some hybrid mash up of the MacBook Pro and the iPad. Bigger screens, loads of ram, haswell processors. It’s time for an iPad Pro!
Are there any plugins, apps or VSTs you’d like to see on the iPad?
We go back to the previous answer there, what we really need is hardware to make iOS music take the next step. Like I mentioned before, I find VST stuff pretty tame after out lovely touch screen, gyroscopic synths, but one synth that really got me excited was Cyclop from Sugar Bytes, that thing thinks well outside the box. I love stuff that’s not emulating systems from the past and Cyclop is the most futuristic synth engine I’ve ever used. It’s the only non iOS synth on the e.p., I used it in the banging club sequence in Soundwaves. So, as you can imagine, when I saw Turnado appear in the App Store I was a bit giddy. To me, Turnado represented the next wave of sonic power for iOS, this thing was no longer a joke. I emailed Sugar Bytes the morning I bought it, shaking with its awesomeness, asking if they would consider a Cyclop port. I got a favourable answer. There, until recently, was always a perceived problem with mastering, nonsensical to a point, since taking a stereo mix into Auria wouldn’t make it fall over and it has a pretty robust master channel strip. We’ve now got some other options, but I still can’t see a viable option over some of the desktop solutions available.
Has your workflow changed?
Yes, quite a bit. I’ve always been a very careful mixer, but knowing that I’m going to do a final pass in Logic makes the iPad mix more analytical. I’m much more tight on samples, kind of second guessing the problems later in the pipeline. I’m doing a lot of remix work for the label, and that’s all going through this process. There’s no way that I’d go pure Logic, still do a lot of it in public transport, for a start! The best thing is that it’s all still totally portable, I can travel with my iPad, MacBook Pro and a thunderbolt drive and make quality final mixes anywhere…
Talk us through the E.P.
Ok, well, the tracks are familiar to the SoundCloud audience, so I wanted to take it all up a notch. When I was mixing the first version of Soundwaves, I had it in mind to just make an arrangement that worked, but was keen to learn more about Logic. The demo of Soundwaves and the Second Wave Assault versions are vastly different. It was the tune that almost broke the camels back. I would do a night on it and send it to the label, then do another that was totally different. It must of given Spencer the fear, because I was freewheeling. Finally, 4 weeks later I had something that reflected exactly what I wanted to present, a tense ride with the euphoric highs in the right place, that never got cluttered or too aggressive, it’s the most focused JinxPadlock tune to date. Pinhead Safari is probably my favourite tune I’ve ever made, lots of old school fun. Did a lot of it after the Audiobus update to the Addictive Synth, that synth is ****ing awesome, really iPad specific, love the gyro tools. I built a couple of patches, then performed them live into Audiobus, that drop bass was captured live. Lots of fun. The breakdown was a lot of Animoog stuff. I’ve been accused of using a lot of presets and loops, think this proves otherwise! I Feel Dark is the oldest track on the EP, it’s a welcome relief in the scheme of things. It’s not the easiest of tunes to get on with, it’s got some sting in the tale! Done when Magellan was just released last year, I went mad with that synth, it’s still one if the best available on iOS, the last section of the tune is all Magellan, it sounds awesome. The Mighty Drom was the wild card, thought it was a tune to drop to other labels. Made it overnight in December, instantly thought it had underground club vibes. It really fitted at the end of this EP so there it is its basically a load samples layered to the hilt. The best part is when it breaks to the trance section, loads of iMS-20 stuff all came together. I was so happy with the NanoStudio mix that I was really cautious about the logic transfer. As soon as I had the izoptropic stuff going I was sold. Massive mix in Logic!
So, what’s next in the Jinx Padlock story?
There’s a lot of stuff going on, and it’s becoming less public. The next release will most definitely be a vocal tune, been working with a very talented vocalist in the states, a very productive collaboration so far, we’ve got a couple of absolute killer tunes in the wings. I’ve started gathering the parts I need for the album – that’s a much more prog-rock affair, there are serious hints on SoundCloud as to where that’s going, given myself a deadline to complete Project UTU, so there’s a sort of pressure on. Hoping to do another long form project based on the remix work I’m doing for Tactal Hots, again, early days, but plans are forming. Still want to take it live, but there’s only so much juggling of plate I can handle! I recently took a film job out in China, so that’s competing for my time a lot more than my usual posts! And, as always, more new iOS toys become available, so trying to get them incorporated into they JP sound. Nave turned out to be even better than I first imagined, Thor is awesome, I’ll keep spinning those plates and try and share as much as I can. Good times, let them roll…