How and when did you start working with computer-based instruments and software in general?
learned the hard way after being so broke when there was no more studio drumming and I refused to keep up with the times - the industry changed but I wouldn't change with it. Now I don't let anything pass me by. Technology is here to stay, so one might as well keep up with the program or get left out. I have always been interested in music and how it all comes together, and being a singer as well as a drummer, I was always writing songs on piano. So I just started learning about sequencing and computers, starting with the MPC 60.
What is your history with E-MU and what products are you using now?
I have been using E-MU products for the past 15 years - it all started with the drum pads and triggering sounds from samplers. At the time I was touring around the world with Whitney Houston, and the E-MU sound was always my favorite because it was an honest sound - very full and they never became thin or washed out when you put on effects. I must admit that it was very hard for me to stop using my old E-MU E4XT's because they have been with me since the beginning and they are very easy to use. I really don't like to spend a lot of time trying to get to know samplers and technology because I like to spend more time creating - the old E4XT and the E5000 let me do that. So when Ichi (E-MU Product Manager) showed me the new EX2 software sampler I really didn't want to know about it - but it only took 10 minutes and I was a complete believer. The sounds are amazing and the possibilities are endless.
The EX2's pitch stretching is great and so easy to use. I recently took an old Janet Jackson song and pitched it up in order to use it as a part of a beat that I had created. It was so easy and I just saved it as a sample in the sample library, but put the song away because I didn't like where it was going. After some time I decided to work on it again, but needed to add some more parts of the Janet song to it. So I went back to the CD and the tempo was all wrong - I had totally forgotten that I had pitched it up to fit the beat that I initially created it for. So I went into the EX2 and there it was - all saved and ready to go. Nothing had changed and it was like I never left the project. I also use the Z-Plane filters - they work really great and adds some dimension to loops, synth parts, anything.
I also use the USB Xboards. I was recently trying to find a keyboard that I could position beneath my computer screens and I went into the store to look around. The only one that worked was the Xboard. I like the feel of it, it's very user-friendly and it's out of the way of the music - a very beautiful instrument.