Roni Size talks about inspiration, hardware, DAWs & current projects in Create Pro interview
This Q&A will be the first in a series of interviews with some of our high-profile and interesting clients. Up first, Roni Size, a man who needs no introduction.
Roni Size rose to prominence during the 90s as the front man of seminal group Reprazent, their first album ‘New Forms’ won the much coveted Mercury Prize in 1997. A follow up album ‘In The Mode’ arrived in 2000, since then Size has released 3 solo albums, the latest, released just last year, is titled ‘Take Kontrol’.
Size’s sound is noted for taking inspiration from an eclectic mix of genres including Hip-Hop, Jazz & Soul.
Create Pro caught up with the electronic music legend to talk hardware, audio plug-ins, inspiration, current projects & more. Q&A session below.
First things first, what are you currently working on?
I am currently working on the 3rd Reprazent album titled ‘Do it For The Masses’.
You released a new solo album, Take Kontrol, in 2014, what was the idea behind this project?
Take control was an album full of special requests. I created this album for those who follow Roni Size the DJ, as well as for the new school kids who perhaps haven’t heard of Roni Size. The album would establish my name and commitment to being just as current as the new generation of producers today.
Can you let us know how non drum and bass/jungle genres have inspired your musical style?
I love all types of music, from Little Dragon, to Kasabian, to Kate Bush and then to James Brown. We always say that a good tune is a good tune. In the end though, I have to always reference my history, deep down I’m a B Boy and a sound system man in my heart.
If you could collaborate with anyone in 2015 who would it be and why?
I would love to work with N-E-R-D as I love the sound the band generate. I think Pharrel and Chad would get where I’m coming from musically.
The custom system we did for you was actually a dual SSD MacBook Pro rather than a Mac Pro. How important is it that you have a portable system for touring that is also capable of performing when you need to produce on the move?
My MacBook Pro with dual 1TB SSDs is just as powerful as my desktop system that I use at home. I have to transfer projects from system to system without having to worry about storage space or performance, my custom MacBook Pro allows me to do this. It’s also important to me that I have a system which can perform on the road and always be stable.
Your MacBook Pro has dual SSDs, do you have these set up in any particular way? Are they set up in a RAID or just used as separate drives?
I have two 1TB SSDs in my MacBook Pro, one is installed in the hard drive bay and the other is where the optical drive usually sits. They are simply used as separate drives.
Which DAW are you currently using? Have you used many others?
Currently I am using Pro Tools 11HDX, I was an old school Cubase and Notater (Atari ST) user. I find that I can use most DAWs and always find my way around a new workflow.
What are your 3 favourite plugins and why?
My three favourite plugins are:
1. Fabfilter EQ2: Because of the analyser freeze mode, this enables you to drag out awkward peeks.
2. U.A.D Voice of God: Just for the 200hz snare drum. It really sings.
3. Omnisphere: My go to plugin for everything from synths to bass and all things modern or futuristic. It has a really good sound capability.
Bonus: 4. Native Instruments Kontact
Bonus: 5. Native Instruments Komplete 10: It’s great on stage.
What hardware/controllers do you use when in the studio?
In the studio I have a Manley EQ, Rupert Neve Pure Path EQs, Alan Smart compressor, Eventide FX processor for vocals, 1176 Blue compressor/limiter and a whole bunch of other stuff, I’m old school.
What hardware/controllers, if any, do you use when performing whilst on tour?
I try to keep it simple when on stage. I have my MacBook Pro running NI Kontact running through my Focusrite Scarlet.
Create Pro would like to thank Roni Size for taking part in our first ever Q&A session, below you can find links to Size’s various social media sites as well as a stream of one of the tracks from his latest album, Take Kontrol.