Live Blog: A Day With Richard Devine

Experimental electronic artist and sound designer      11/10/13
Live Blog: A Day With Richard Devine

Richard Devine is one of the sound design superstars of the current age. His experimental music uses the both the cutting edge of modular technology (Intelijel, MakeNoise, AudioDamage,TipTop Audio, 4ms and others) as well as a vast array of plug-ins and software instruments. Indeed, he is an official Native Instruments artist with a penchant for Reaktor and Absynth.

He records and releases for Miami based Schematic Records with many of his recent works exploring algorithmic and modular generative music. In addition his sounds can be found in many current instruments, both hardware and software.

Recently he has released sound packs for AAS Chromaphone and the just released Ultra Analogue, presets for Eventide's Black Hole spatial processor, AirMusicTech's additive synth Loom and many others.

Some would consider his the dream job. He has kindly agreed to blog for us during a typical day in the studio - enjoy...

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Now taking all the loops and sounds and cutting them into different sections to be processed and arranged into different parts to make up the track. Its a long tedious process which will take many weeks to finish, but hopefully this was an insight full look into the beginning of what might occur on a typical day here working on a remix :-) I want to thank Nick and the entire sonic state crew for having me today, its been fun :-)


One final word from the modular :-)


Drum track running in reverse with Virtual ANS - slow mode


Also fun importing the recordings from today into Virtual ANS, that was just released for iOS, but you can run it for free here:


Displacement Map example - using Metasynth 5.3


Making some extra additive meshy beats using the  Displacement Map function in Metasynth 5.3 :-)


Displacement Map example - using Metasynth 5.3


More audio processing, this is a snapshot of my drone making channel strip. Turn any material into haunting dissonant atmospheres .


Taking the recordings from today and editing the files with Sound Forge, then taking my favorites bits and importing them into my remix logic session.


Trying out some of the edited percussion sounds in the Octatrack. Recording a few loops to be cut up later.


Moving some of the drum sounds over to the Elektron Octatrack for some proper mangling. Recording some more bits to cut up later in Logic.


Recorded a short snippet of the recording here. Maxed out the tumblr 5 minute video upload time for today, so using Youtube to link to the other content :-)


Next up is recording some resonating dissonant drones with the custom modular system designed by my friend Tim Adam's. The output from the modular is going into the Eowave Metallik Resonator Speaker. The output is then played through the gong acting as a speaker, then recorded with my Neumann RSM-191 microphone to a Sound Devices 744T.

Metallik Resonator Speaker


The rest of the vocal and synth parts will be processed by these 4 iOS apps. iPulsaret, Stria, Samplr, and csGrain. Exporting the best parts.


Having a bit of fun with the vocal sections, recording the results in logic.This recorded session will be later cut up and edited :-)


Imported Douglas McCarthy's voice tracks into VOCO. Doing some spectral phrase freeze passes and then exporting back into the computer.


Jumping over to the iPad to generate some drones, and atmosphere sounds. One of my favorites Nave from Waldorf. This patch was inspired by Bernard Parmegiani-de natura sonorum. Great for creating gestural sounds.


Still one of my all time favorite synths :-)


Jumping over to the Nord G2 for some generative drum action. Recording just a few sequences to use to cut up for the remix.


Image to sound translation. :-)


Back to the remix, now trying some things using Photosounder, creating some swirling spiral sound effects to add in as accents. Great for importing your own images and hearing what they sound like. Another great feature is some of the drawing tools to create interesting rising/falling effect sounds.


Taking a quick lunch break on the back porch, wife brings home food from Domin8 awesome Cuban food:-)



Its also a great tool for creating fast doppler fly by effects.


importing some more sounds into GrainCube, for some light granular processing and extra gestural effects. This is a free reaktor instrument:


Creating some extra granular noise fragments into Logic.


Spectral Repair used to create interesting spectral smears and meshes.


Jumping into Kyma for some extra sound processing, and adding in some granular high end noise beds to be converted into more Kontakt instruments.


Taking some of the sounds into RX for some processing using the spectral repair function but repairing different frequency points using completely different samples to create spectral swishes and effects. The before and after screen shots.


Creating Spectral like glitches.


Creating some more textural sound effects to add into the mix using AudioMulch's new Metasurface feature great for morphing through different preset snapshots and discovering new sweet spots with plug-ins. 


Making some additional processed sounds with the cut up drum kits. These sounds will get cut up and then be made into additional kits to be used in the song.


Next is making a few kits in Kontakt and Battery to play and program.


Experimenting with different channel strip patches I have made.


Files imported into Logic 9.1.8, listening to all the audio stems together. Now time to chop up some stuff and begin some ideas. :-) Note: using Logic 9 for this remix as some of my favorite plug-ins aren't 64-bit yet.


Getting the new Goike modular cases ready for recording today.


Looking through some notes I have made about how I would approach this remix. I like to make a reminder list of certain things to try through out the day. First is listening and looking at the waves of the stems that they provided, before importing them into my session.


Powering on the other stations, getting stuff warmed up. :-)


Powering up the different stations


Today's task will be to start working on a remix for Douglas McCarthy of Nitzer Ebb for his new project called "DJMRex". The track I will be working on today is called "Retreat". I will go through the process of how I start recording and putting the pieces together for this remix, and post stuff up as I go along


The start of every day here is Starbucks of course :-)


20 Comments...  Post a comment    original story
Dave    Said...

Another great insight, looking forward to some further updates

11-Oct-13 11:30 AM

Emmaha    Said...

Sweet setup, interesting to see a Yamaha O2R in there, a lot of people swear by them, how do you use yours?

11-Oct-13 11:31 AM

Steve    Said...

Pretty pictures; not much info, though. Couldn't find any mention of Richard Devine on Schematic records site...

11-Oct-13 11:52 AM

Richard Devine    Said...

Emmaha, the desk is actually a Yamaha DM-2000VCM, its used as a digital routing mixer for all the hardware you see :-)

11-Oct-13 12:05 PM

Steveo    Said...

Hey Steve, you must be blind. The record label's success was due to Richard Devine mostly.

11-Oct-13 02:26 PM

Mattsynth    Said...

This Dude has all the cool toys. I am jealous.

11-Oct-13 02:53 PM

Mattsynth    Said...

Richard, I believe you purchased that Clavia Modular with the expansion card from me on eBay. How did that work out for you?

11-Oct-13 02:58 PM

Richard Devine    Said...

Hey Mattsynth, I got both of my Nord Modulars from Clavia, I think your talking about my friend Surachai who recently bought one.

11-Oct-13 03:01 PM

OnImpulse    Said...

Great insights, thanks.

11-Oct-13 03:53 PM

Adrien    Said...

One picture id love to see, is your cable organization station.. that is, unless you have a basket, or everything is simply always patched in :)

11-Oct-13 03:54 PM

Montychristo86    Said...

I consider it an honor to learn from you, Richard. I have been into this kind of sound for a long time (and sound desin in general) and - while I never use that much hardware in my natural life - I will undoubtedly become a better musician.

11-Oct-13 05:38 PM

CR78    Said...


Hi. The first thing I looked at in your beautiful studio is the wall treatment; are these custom/DIY?

It looks like you did'nt go super crazy; just a few narrower pieces along the mixer wall and sides and then some corner bass panels(?).

If they're not custom: what company makes them?


11-Oct-13 07:57 PM

Richard Devine    Said...

Hello CR78, the room treatment is by Primacoustic. Its basically a London 16 kit but with a few extra panels.

12-Oct-13 09:45 AM

OnImpulse    Said...

Really great indepth live blog. Thanks, both to Mr.Devine and Sonicstate.

12-Oct-13 11:41 AM

Jack Schmaltz    Said...

great to have an insight of what goes on in a typical day for an electronic musician i respect so much. thank you for sharing this with us

13-Oct-13 05:05 AM

Jack Schmaltz    Said...

great to have an insight of what goes on in a typical day for an electronic musician i respect so much. thank you for sharing this with us

13-Oct-13 05:05 AM

Miles    Said...

Now to get the same insight from Autechre. Not a chance. Be great to see something like this from them though. Any chance of looking into it?

13-Nov-13 11:04 AM

Bobby    Said...

Hey Richard,

What's your two cents on the MS-20

21-Nov-13 06:22 AM

tri minh    Said...

very nice setup...wish one day can host R.D

21-Nov-13 09:50 PM

tri minh    Said...

In Hanoi, Vietnam

21-Nov-13 09:51 PM

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