With collaborations alongside various artists such as Julien Roy, David Fafard and Vincent Lemieux as part of his association with MUTEK, and his third full length album, “TWICE AROUND THE SUN” set to be released through Circus Company on 8th October, Berlin based Guillaume
Coutu Dumont has been unstoppable since the release of his debut album in 2007.
Here in the next of our 15 Questions series… Guillaume talks Sonic Academy through everything from his typical workflow and idea development, to his current live/DJ and studio set-ups…
Where did you learn your skills from. Self-taught or education route?
All of the above I would say. Some theoretical knowledge from my studies in electroacoustic composition, some practical and technical knowledge from my experiences working in studios, and by composing for other people and and hell of a lot of self teaching.
What is your current studio set-up?
A mix of analog and digital. TL Audio M4 mixing board, 2 RME Fireface 800 linked together, Nord Lead 2 and 3, Moog Voyager, SH 101, Jomox drum machines, external effects, Mpc, Wavedrum, Handsonic 10, other synths, other drum machines, K&H 0300 monitors, Mackie HR824 monitors, Mac computer and a great UAD card with all the trimmings.
What made you decide to use your current DAW?
I had been using traditional sequencers for quite a long time before starting to use Ableton Live. And then it was over for the others. I really love the hands on things that Live offers… it just changed my way of composing music. I couldn’t go back to a straight linear sequencer anymore. I use it in Rewire sometimes… but for me it’s just THE arrangement tool.
Talk us through your typical workflow from idea development to conception…..
Hmm… if only I knew. I really try as hard as I can to change it every time. It’s the only way I know how to avoid repeating myself. That’s for composing the raw material. Then comes the “playing” of it and then the work on the arrangement. That step can be long and painful. I usually work on a track until the mastering studio is calling the label to let them know I’m late for the mastering session.
What part of the production process do you find the most challenging?
Handing out the “final” version. Plain and simple.
How do you deal with 'hitting a brick wall'?
I usually let it simmer for a while. Put it on the back burner and forget about it. There’s not much you can do.
What piece of software and hardware could you not live without?
Well Ableton and now the UAD stuff. Really love those plugins. As for the piece of hardware… at the moment I would say my TL Audio M4 board. I really love the way it can bring dull sounds to life.
What piece of equipment would you most like to own?
A Fairchild… An Amek Mozart… A Jupiter 8… man the Christmas list could be long.
Is there a piece of equipment you regret getting rid of?
I never get rid of them. If I don’t use it, I usually keep it. I am a strong advocate of keeping your stuff for a long time and just trying to squeeze the most out of it as possible. By then the equipment is really a part of my sound… so I can’t just let it go.
What piece of software or hardware are you most looking forward to launching this year?
Err… don’t know. I sometimes feel sorry for myself in that regard. I don’t keep up to date with the tools. For me tools are tools. Don’t get me wrong, they are great and always open up doors. But I usually don’t look out for them. They find me.
What's your current live/DJ set-up and why have youchosen this over everything else available in the market?
Computer, Ableton, Motu Ultralight, Handsonic 10, Akai pad controllers, Icon mutli-sliders controllers, Eventide Time Factor Delay pedal, Jomox MBass drum machine, Xone 92 DJ Mixer.
I went along adding pieces over the course of the year. It’s basically what I need now to deliver what I want. It also all fits in a roadcase… Nothing else would fit in there for the moment.
Is there too much choice in the music technology market these days?
Yes there is for sure. But again, I love new toys… but not as much as making music. So I wouldn’t spend all my time shopping for gear. I’m the least gear addicted producer I know.
How do you think the technology affects the music producers release?
As I said, I think every piece of gear helps opening doors and refining sound. It’s great, it’s fun, it’s all good. But the idea has to be there. So I’m all about the gear serving the idea and not the other way around.
What's the secret to good mastering?
Wow, I don’t know. You should ask this question to a good mastering engineer. Hehe. Good ears I think.
What projects are you currently working on and what can we expect from you in 2012?
Well my third full length album, TWICE AROUND THE SUN is coming out on Circus Company next week. Some remixes and tracks on different labels in the upcoming months as well. Other than that, I’ll be releasing a Destination Danger (me and Oleg Poliakov) 12” on Montreal’s Musique Risquée. We also did together a remix for my personal album that will be released alongside a remix by TRUS’ME. There will also be some new stuff from Chic Miniature (a project I have with Ernesto Ferreyra). Finally I am also working on an ambient project called MUSEUM (alongside Frederic Aubourg and Gabriel Coutu Dumont). I’m very excited about this one, so keep your ears opened.
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