Handling Covid 19, Imaging in the UAE and Future House…
I already had the pleasure to interview Vish for the benztown blog some years ago! He’s seriously one of the most profound imaging heads and one of the best in the game. Check out how he handled the Covid-19 crisis by expanding his home setup and his latest findings. Enter Vish!
1. How has Covid 19 changed the work situation for you? New workflows?
To be honest, not surprisingly work has really dried up, but the good thing is it’s forcing my to diversify my skill set, It’s definitely led me on the path of more experimentation. I’ve been dabbling with sound design particularly and also trying to improve my music production chops as well. I enjoy producing beats and playing around with samples and a lot of my imaging ideas come from music itself. I try add some of that musical experimentation workflow into imaging as well. It’s been a lot of fun honestly, I’ve spent loads of time learning new software too and also getting a deeper understanding of some of the existing tools I have like my NI Maschine and Komplete controllers and, some synths and plugins
2. What’s new since we talked last time? what stations do you currently working on?
Well honestly, Covid’s dried up a lot of the work so it’s been fairly quiet. I’ve worked on some IDs for a station in the Cayman Islands called Z99 such as a Top of Hour and some Alexa IDs. Was hard to find some apt Alexa drops cos there isn’t a text to speech emulation I found so went with a generic one just to add some color to the IDs in the hope that listeners won’t be able to tell the difference 😉
Z-99 Cayman Demo
3. Any new findings in terms of workflow, software, plugins, techniques..this is a loaded question, get into the weeds here.
Yes! I’ve been experimenting with some stuff. I got my hands on a lot of new gear too (I’m such a gear nut!) Apart from Pro Tools, I’ve been a longtime Logic user as well and I absolutely love it for its programming options and with the recent update they released, it’s even better. There’s an amazing new sampler in there and it’s such a cool feature especially if making beat mixes and cutting up samples of music and you can then convert those samples into loops which you can trigger into your session using the iPad app. It gives the whole production a very live and human feel, kind of improvised so it’s great. I guess some Ableton users will find it familiar, but since I’m comfortable with Logic I really dig it and going forward can expect some deeper integration into my broader Pro Tools workflow. Also jumped on to the Universal Audio bandwagon and I really love the sound. Plugin wise, been playing a lot with synths like Serum, Sonic Academy Kick & Ana 2. I love the Pure Plate reverb from UAD and the Manley Voxbox Channel strip, instant results!
4. How is the UAE dealing with the crisis, do you see changes in media landscape already?
UAE’s been amazing at dealing with the situation really. They’ve built pop hospitals and testing centers in record time and provided a lot of flexible options for people who’ve been hit hard with the crisis economically. There are certainly changes in the media landscape given its a fairly small market with few players. I think once the situation improves, there might be a spike in freelance requirements (hopefully) and limited full-time. I just have to be ready for that. It’s a matter of time till we ride through this as is the case everywhere. More than anything it’s important to stay positive and stay creative. Maybe use the time to broaden your skill set too.
5. Can we hear some of the latest you have worked on? any special things you used on that pieces?
Well you won’t be surprised if I’m being honest and say work has been very quiet lately. But I will share some of the Z99 IDs I produced. I had some fun with the Alexa bits in there. I just wanted to keep producing stuff to keep myself busy and creative so I’ve also produced a dance pop remix of a tune using a vocal from a sample pack construction kit. One of the things I enjoy doing is using a lot of plugin-automation across the session. For eg. I’ll automate the formant on a Pitch plugin or the mix control on a glitch or gate plugin to keep adding some element of movement. This works really nicely especially during transitions. Also automated the speed of the tuning fx on the vocal so that the autotune effect is strongest only on the first word of each line during the hook. Somethings to definitely think about for Imaging too.
Gravity – Future House
6. What is the first thing you are gonna do after Covid?
I’m going to go see my parents and my friends in Mumbai and spend as much time with them as I can. Despite us being on chat everyday and Mumbai not being too far a destination, the COVID situation has made it feel overwhelmingly far away so that’s definitely the first thing I will do when it opens up.
7. The best purchase you have made in the last couple of months?
I’ll start with what I have purchased – I’ve got new monitors – Presonus Eris E5XTs. They’re really nice, perfect for my home setup, have a good frequency range and are very flat for the size. Most of all I like the stereo image, sounds really good. The next thing I got is a Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol 32 key Midi keyboard. Compact, great keys and great set of features. And lastly, I’ve got the UAD Apollo Twin X (Duo). I love all of them, but if I had to pick one – it’d be the Apollo. I feel like I’m forgetting something. Oh yeah, got a new shaver too. I almost like that as much as the UAD 🙂
8. How do you get creative these days?
I spend a lot of time writing down ideas as they come, or record them into a voice note on my phone. If its good enough I just record it straight in to Pro tools. Funnily enough I’ve realised that I can create a bit of character of myself, so I’ll just turn on the mic and start speaking and hit the record button. I’ve recorded vowels, words, phrases, bad singing and full speeches at times and its great how you can mess around with recorded audio so much. Plus my teenage daughter sings and writes her own music, so she’s been pretty inspiring creatively. I’ll be sharing her first single soon which is nearly done.