Hi-fi Q&A Hero

Artist of the month: piccadillyCircus


piccadillyCircus is a 2nd generation contributor that truly defines the word prolific. In a very short period of time piccadillyCircus flooded into the community and built a formidable portfolio of quality tracks that modulate from fun to dramatic. Throw in some quirky cool and you have a pretty good picture of piccadillyCircus. His portfolio is always on the grow and is a solid destination for buyers looking for great content.

Could you give us some insight into your musical history: What is your earliest memory of connecting to music and how did you find your way into producing music?
Recording came before music in my life. I remember being 8 and writing and recording my own stories about robots and mice. My first music experience was writing Basic language code for my first sequencer on a Commodore 64 when I was eleven. Soon after I was playing some flute at school which led to having my first guitar at 14. Guitar has changed and ruled my life since.

Producing music started with a 4 track cassette multitrack I bought at 19. At 22 I enrolled in sound engineering school where I was taught old school analog way. Signal to a magnetic tape with 8 compressors and not 80 instances of todays digital plugins. working this way forced me to invest more time in listening to the source sound, tuning instruments, performance and microphone placement rather than correcting the sound later.

" source sound, tuning instruments, performance and microphone placement rather than correcting the sound later."

You came into iStockaudio in what one might call the second generation of contributors. You composed, procuced and uploaded at an unbelievable and successful pace. How did you first hear about iStockaudio and what drove you to jump in with both feet the way you did?
Three words to answer all: my amazing wife. In 2009 when I quit my previous job, she told me iStock had began accepting audio and that I should give it a try. How could I jump in with both feet? We managed to live with just my wife's income during my iStock startup. This allowed me to treat iStock like it was my day job. Even though the initial income was very little. That's why I kept me pushing so hard. I needed to take the weight off her shoulders as fast as I could.

Tell us about your set up. What platform, plugs and gear are at the core of your studio?
My studio is in a constant state of transformation by adding new toys and experimenting with diy modifications. I am currently achieving good results for acoustic instruments with a pair of modded 87 clones used XY and placed over my head and fed into my modded ART preamp.

I prefer recording each instrument from multiple sources, meaning amp simulators, real cabs and obviously the direct signal thru a DI box. This gives me choices in the mix or the option for re-amping later on. What I cannot play live is programed with NI's Komplete. When I need a whistle performance I call my dear friend softpiano.

I am a Nuendo user, and the standard plugs that come with it are still more than enough for me. If i want more magic I just assign to a dedicated output and feed signal to my analogue gear. Perhaps a sweet old Lexicon verb, or a modded ART compressor for punch or some crazy combination of analog stomp boxes thru my patchbay. There's nothing like turning a real knob to make you feel as though you are holding the sound in your hand.

" Its amazing what you hear when you come back to your unfinished work with fresh ears."

What are one or two of the tips or tricks that you feel make your work stand out?
Use real instruments and limit, as much as possible, the use of samplers.

When working acoustic, I love to match recordings made using distant stereo condensers with close miking techniques. This gives instruments both natural dimension and warmth.

Keep unfinished projects open to revisit them few days later. Its amazing what you hear when you come back to your unfinished work with fresh ears.

Name a band or album that changed your life and tell us how it did that?
Oh there would be so many, but you just can't forget your first love: Queen is the band who let me understand that I needed a guitar in my hands to change the world. The world didn't change actually, but I definitely found my path thanks to Brian May. I am yet to find another guitarist whose solos are so musical that can hear them once and then recall and sing them note for note the next day.

Your Studio is about to explode. You have just enough time to grab one instrument, one microphone, one preamp and one plugin. Which ones do you choose and why?
The only irreplaceable thing in my studio is the handprint of my baby Viola at the age of 1, right there on my desk. And eventually my backup hard disks, if there is still enough time. You only need money to get your gear back, but nothing can buy you back time and such unique memories. Plus, having your studio exploded could be an amazing opportunity to build it again from scratch, right?

Listen to piccadillyCircus' Portfolio

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