Can you introduce yourself?
My name’s Robin and I’m a synthesis, creating and performing under the name of Mechanical Audio and lending my knowledge to other bands/artists to allow them to achieve their own desires.
How did you get started?
I actually started with drums; I formed a band called Through the Storm in my 2nd year of college. Due to living in a holiday park, we rehearsed with a Roland TD-6 drum kit. The kit was meant to mimic a standard rock kit, one pad was left over and that became an alt pad and I started to load electronic sounds onto it. When it came to our first gig, I had to somehow include the electronic sounds as well as the acoustic and I also wanted a splash and 2nd crash. I couldn’t afford to buy any of these things or even afford to buy book stands so instead I set up the electronic frame and the electronic brain to take care of all of this – it worked surprisingly well.
Time progressed, I became a huge fan of Public Image Limited and Bruce Smiths drum kit, I ended up saving up for a Roland SPD-SX and I also purchased a tiny Midi keyboard that came with Ignite AIR software. A strange environment but easy enough to create some weird sounds or basic synth leads to load onto the SPD-SX. I was the only one to use a click in my new band The Spitfire Project – nothing was quantised either, I had to launch the loops exactly in time.
Time moved on but I slowly learnt more about synthesis and wanted more, no longer satisfied with the basic Ignite Air. I also didn’t enjoy using Logic Pro X. I session played with a small band for a festival gig during which they covered the song Omen from The Prodigy using a Korg EMX-1 as a backing track for all the synths. I fell in love with the little beast and acquired one not long after and learnt it inside out. Ever since it’s been an adventure of finding the limits of equipment and finding what could either expand them or provide you with sounds that unit simply can’t.
I now use Ableton Live 9.7 to sequence and record my hybrid studio, and the Access Virus TI2 Polar is my weapon of choice for most things. I used to perform with Ableton Live but now the whole show is run via the Korg EMX-1 and the Korg ESX-1, sequencing the Access Virus TI2 Polar and either an Arturia MiniBrute or MicroBrute.
2 years later and I’ve just started, synthesis is a never ending world of sound and possibilities.
Why did you choose BIMM London?
I chose BIMM London because it’s situated in the one of the major music capitals, it’s a cut-throat environment but that’s how I thrive. Companies like Roland and Ableton hold evenings of synth madness here on a surprising basis and I’ve also gigged more in the first 3 months than I ever did outside London.
What has been your highlight at BIMM so far?
Convincing the principle to purchase almost the equivalent of my year’s loan in synthesisers and drum machines has got to be up there. While events for production are a little lacking, Michael from events is really trying and we now have a electro collective group that will be meeting every other Monday – the two that have already taken place have been awesome.
BIMM also held pretty much a whole Saturday dedicated to Ableton Live in the live environment, it was a really good day and I really hope there’ll be more like it.
What advice would you give to future students on your course?
Ask! Seriously, if you don’t ask you don’t get, just like the real world BIMM reflects that. Get stuck in with as much as possible; if you have an idea, mention it, you never know what could happen.
No-one knows tomorrow, the future’s there to find, so go find it.