Density & Time performing at Mission Synths for Piqued 43

Mixing and recording engineer, Density & Time started the legendary electronic music meetup Resonant Frequencies, hosting at the Grey Room, and Balboa theater.

Richard Hogben
Cofounder of Piqued // Los Angeles
Density & Time performing at Mission Synths for Piqued 43

We're very excited to have Density & Time back for Piqued 43, which is happening April 15th, 4PM at Mission Synths in San Francisco.

Mixing and recording engineer, Density & Time started the legendary electronic music meetup Resonant Frequencies, hosting at the Grey Room, and Balboa theater. Bringing together video and audio artists in the Bay Area.

Density & Time also performed way back in 2019 at Piqued 2. During the interview he and Korey talked about his performance and Eurorack gear.

In the following interview transcript, Korey started off by asking Density & Time about the set he played that night.

My set, you can see a little bit up there. So bottom row is sequencers and mixers and basically hands on control. The middle row is pretty much Make Noise skiff in the middle with DPO and Maths and Function. There's an Erb Verb on the left of the case, and then on the top, you'll see the top left is pretty much Noise Engineering. Then it moves on to Chaos Devices and then some Mutable Instruments stuff. And yeah, so the voices are the BIA and the Manis are the kick and the snare. The Erb Verb is the hi-hat, so it's just feeding back, and then we're kind of sending envelopes to it to open and close it in different ways. And then we have the DPO as a complex oscillator voice and the Lacroix, like the Li P from Noise Engineering, as another voice. And then Clouds is a effect on us in return.

What's one of the prime modules you've been using most recently that's new to the rack?

The most recent edition is the Manis, which is using as a snare drum. And really been digging into pitched percussion and really making it quite distorted. So it's fun, and it gives you kind of hand on control to where I'm using the kick drum and the drums as a base, and that's solid. And then I'm able to, on the fly through quantization, change those pitches while the melodic sequences are going on their own. So it's kind of fun to have a route and then kind of solo it when you want to have more hands-on control and then go back to kind of a pallet as I like to think of it, like drums and melodic stuff are separate.

And when did you get started in modular?

I got my first modular about two, two and a half years ago, I believe. It was a Mother-32, which was a semi. And I had a bunch of fixed architecture synths before. And was that the last Moogfest in Nashville and was able to pick one up right when they came out. And then yeah, it's just been the downward spiral from there.

Have you been building any modules, or are you not building at all?

I've done a little bit of DIY for Eurorack stuff. I've built some pro audio stuff DIY, but they're a little bit different. I don't do so well with surface-mounted solder paste stuff. I do normally through-hole stuff. And yeah, just trying to keep things within one case and so, this is my limit, as big as I'll go. But I've just been defining smaller cases for specific purposes and being able to limit myself and explore that. Like, the limitations I find, I get more out of a smaller set of purposeful modules.

You know, like that idea a lot, because I'm personally all about downsizing my Eurorack at home and doing as much as I can with as few modules.

Well, I built it one module at a time, you know. I started with the Mother and then I got one thing in addition to that. So, it really was exponential as far as how the modules started influencing each other. And I definitely believe in getting one module at a time, or just a few, and really learning those inside and out. Because it's helping me develop more complex ideas off of those simple building blocks.

What have been some of the most essential modules you've used over the years?

Function modules, modules like logic and attenuators, things utility modules that are boring, they have opened up so much more hands-on and playability and control over the seemingly uncontrollable. So, lots of utilities.

So, for example, there's last month we had Matt Biddulph play and one of his modules that he's that was new to his rack was DivKid's mutes. I was curious if you're using something like, you know, as you said a lot of the utilities are even more useful as you said.

Yeah, I use a mixer in the rack, the Qubit mixer which is four mono channels and a stereo send/return or if you don't use that in that way, you can send a stereo channel into there. And then I use a little bit of groupings of sub-mixers, but the Qubit mixer, you can see here, has mutes and solos. So, you can have like one channel already muted and then solo that and everything else will drop out. And then release the one button everything else come back in. So, definitely, mute are very very useful. Just for simple things like bringing the hi-hat in and out, or snare drum, not to mention routing cv to other things. That's one thing that I think I need to get more of is like a sequential switch.

Are there any modules that you have that you're thinking about that you don't have yet that you want to incorporate into your set?

Yeah, that's a loaded gun.

What do you got your eye on lately?

Well, I'm trying to squeeze more out of the HP that I have, so looking at Monsoon to replace Clouds, which is essentially the same thing but a slimmer footprint, as well as a little bit more control over the blend parameter. And then yeah, trying to bring some things that are not in the rack back in. So, I've got another Noise Engineering voice that I wanted to live in there. And then, yeah, hopefully I can keep it in the case.

Well, Kevin, thank you very much for playing tonight. It's really a fantastic set.

Thank you it was my pleasure.

Watch the full performance and interview with Density & Time and Roy Shade.

We hope everyone is excited to see Density & Time at Piqued 43. You can let us know if you plan to attend on the Piqued Facebook page or grab free tickets on Eventbrite.

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