This week brings the release of the latest collection from sample library pioneers Zero-G in the form of Warp Static – a unique library produced by electro-wizard Uwe Zahn, who operates under the artist name ‘Arovane’.
The multiformat collection is packed with Uwe’s trademark angular, electronic palettes and timbres, complex, crunching and swarming soundscapes, glitchy, distorted and disjointed sounds and much more. We got in touch with the man himself to find out more…
Hi Uwe, so before we talk about your new sample library, could you give us some background information about your career to date?
In 2013, my new album ‘ve palor’ was released on n5md after a hiatus of nine years. I’ve been producing electronic music for over twenty years and I’ve released albums such as ‘Tides’ and ‘Lilies’ on cco, ‘Atol Scrap’ on din and numerous other productions and remixes on labels worldwide.
Currently I’m working on sound packs for twisted tools and finished a sample pack for Loopboutique. I’ve created ‘dark doom’ soundscapes for Soundmorph and programmed presets for Ableton’s Dark Synth. Beside that, I’m working on my new album.
n5md described my music as a “juxtaposition of warm melodies with meticulously processed beat work“. It is quite hard for me to describe my own music. It is an evolving process of experimenting and learning. Currently my focus is on sound design. The production of electronic music is linked to the technical development of hard- and software instruments. The possibilities are endless.
It is very important to follow and to focus your musical idea(s). My music is sometimes quite “minimal” on instrumentation, like you can hear especially on ‘Lilies’ and ‘Tides’. Just a beat, a delay and the musical idea, a phrase combined with some field recordings. silence is very important to me. Silence in music is very important for me to create tension, to emphasise sounds.
What’s been the proudest moment of your career so far?
I was very proud of my first album/cd, released on din, ‘Atol Scrap’ and the huge positive response.
My studio is a collection of digital synthesizers, samplers and outboard equipment. The Tascam M2600 is my mixing desk and I’m using a pair of Monkey Bananas as studio monitors.
A key piece in the studio is the Yamaha QY700, a hardware sequencer with some very special features. It is quite intuitive to work with, record, play melodies and sequence beats. The QY700 is the control center of my hardware equipment, like the EMU e4XT Ultra, Waldorf Microwave XT and Q, Nord Modular G2, Nordlead2 Rack, Kawai K5000s, Access Virus Indigo2, Access TI.
Ableton’s Live 9 is my DAW and a host for a bunch of software like Native Instruments Absynth, Massive, Razor, Reaktor, Prism, Maschine, Akai’s MPC Renaissance, Little Endian’s Spectrumworx, M4L Instruments like the Granulator II, Dark Synth, Density, Pulsaret. To create a sound or to develop a musical idea I’m using all kind of equipment and synthesis methods.
Is this the first sample library you’ve produced?
Yes. I’m very interested in sound design, to program synthesizers, to create new sounds with all kinds of synthesis methods. I contacted Dom from Zero-G last year and sent him a few demo sounds. He was interested to collaborate and so I started my work.
I’ve produced a lot of electronic sounds and music, stored on Zip drives and hard drives, DAT’s, Tapes and programmed plenty of sounds on my hardware and software synths.
The incentive to create this sample library was to do what I usually do, when I record new tracks using this sounds and presets.
I played phrases into the QY700 with different synthesizer presets I’ve created, tweaked some parameters in the QY700 and the Synthesizers on the fly, mixed with effects and finally recorded the result in Live 9.
Tell us about Warp Static, what types of sounds can we expect to find?
If there is something like the Arovane sound, you can expect typical and unique Arovane sounds and phrases. The ‘Arovane sound’ is well known for highly syncopated, evolving, glitched beats combined with heart melting melodies, deep bass and digital soundscapes. It is a kind of DSP heaven, playful, experimental but with a clear cut course. You can also expect a bunch of experimental sounds I’ve programmed with the Nord Modular G2.
I’ve used hardware outboard equipment and my Tascam M2600 analogue mixing desk to shape the sounds. The Alesis Wedge, a small box with a huge and dense reverb and the TC Fireworx provides the delay and multi effects. Ableton’s Live 9 was used for recording, cutting and finalising the sounds and loops.
Were there any challenges that you faced during the recordings?
Before I started to create the library I thought to myself, what kind of sound will I create and what kind of equipment I will use? Hardware or software or both? What will work the best? It was a blank sheet of paper.
I’ve produced new tracks for the ‘ve palor’ album to that time and had some ideas for creating special phrases. The challenge was to keep it simple and beautiful. I recorded a few notes in the sequencer and stacked up three synthesizer voices. I’m using the ‘time shift’ parameter in the QY700 to shift the phrases to each other and mix the sounds with effects. I tweaked the synthesizer sounds and recorded variations of phrases into Live 9.
The product description describes the library as being ideal for film score producers (in addition to dance music), what type of scenes would these sounds be most suitable for?
The sounds are ideal for film score and game soundtracks as well as IDM/electronic productions. The phrases sounds ‘uplifting’ and energetic to make you feel happy, the experimental stuff will trigger your imagination and build up tension. Some of the more experimental, modular sounds will create strange moods and are ideal as source material for further explorations, with granular synthesis for instance, suitable for bizarre science fiction films or abstract soundscapes.
My intention was to create a collection of sounds, you can use as a source material and inspiration for creating new sounds. It is pure fun to use the Nord Modular G2 sounds in a granular synth or take the phrases and use some software to slice it and make something new of it.
The ‘phrases’ are my personal highlights and I like the experimental sounds of the Nord Modular G2.
Finally, what else is coming up for Arovane this year?
You can expect a bunch of sample libraries, a possible collaboration with a synthesizer company and a new album.