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KILLAWATT CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: ABLETON LIVE

Dubstep/techno whizz-kid Killawatt chats about his essential kit...

“I’d like to be able to say it’s my Yamaha CS-80 that I can’t live without but I don’t own one, realistically it has to be my iMac and MacBook. This might sound obvious but I wouldn’t be able to produce 90% of my aesthetic without it. Granular synthesis especially is something I use very regularly, that I can only do in the box.

I have some outboard gear, e.g. MS-20 Mini, WeirdSoundGenerator, Eventide Space, which I use in pretty much every track, however they only account for a small percentage of each piece. I rarely record something in and leave it be, there’s always a long effects chain alongside it, but that’s where analogue tech earns its keep because you can process it extremely heavily before the sound turns into an inaudible mess.

“When it comes to translating an idea in my head into something that sounds good, my iMac, and more specifically Ableton are central to the process. I’ve only been using it for 18 months after Mønic persuaded me to switch from Logic, but it provides the perfect tools to realise that translation in the most efficient way.

It also provides inspiration when ideas in my head are lacking. Combined with a mammoth-sized sample collection and some wonderfully mad plug-ins from Soundtoys, FabFilter, Waves and Melda it’s incredibly easy to throw some sounds in, play about for a bit and come up with some amazing results, whether that’s a quirky synth line, a weird texture or a dysmorphic break.

“Aside from production, I will (hopefully) have a live set-up completed this year based around a laptop combined with hardware, controllers and MaxMSP. It’s this variety, power and flexibility that appeals so much when it comes to computers, and that’s why it’s the piece of my studio I can’t live without."

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