Richard Devine On The Percussa AudioCubes

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Percussa’s Bert Schiettecatte has published a nice interview with Atlanta electronica artist Richard Devine.

A large part of the interview looks at Devine’s use of the Percussa AudioCubes:

Which elements attracted you in the AudioCubes when you got in touch with them?

I loved that they worked with the idea of sensors. That you could interact with them or have the AudioCubes react to each other and you have lots of interesting possibilities. Lots of room for experimentation, as the concept is so radical.

How did it go when you used them for the first time?

It took me a few hours to get the Cubes to work with my software, using the MIDI Bridge application. After I got my head around that, I was on my way, and I was totally sucked in. I was surprised to find that they had so many great examples on the installer CD. It really helped me see how many different situations you could use the AudioCubes in. I first went through the examples to see how many different variations and applications where possible.

I loved the Ableton demo they had using the Cubes as triggers to play samples, and loops. I soon started messing with some of my MAX/MSP and Reaktor patches, getting into more complex sound applications. In the meantime I found that I have been designing my software environments around them. I found that I have been triggering sounds and my approach to some of my old software applications has completely changed because of the AudioCubes. It’s an entirely different way to play and react to sounds. I think it’s an amazing step forward in alternate controllers. I love that it steps completely outside the conventional controllers, that usually deal with the knobs, faders and keys.

Do you use them in the studio, for live performances, or both?

I first started using them in my studio, and now I have started to use them in my live show. I see them working in both environments quite well. In the studio I have been using them with Cycling74’s Max/MSP and Native Instruments Reaktor 5. I have been recording my movements and triggers with them. They seem to work well with hand movements, and I am able to record very gestural movements, almost like a Moog Theremin. I recently used the AudioCubes on a new Sample Library that I created for Sony. We used them to control these custom Reaktor Drone patches, that were triggered by the AudioCubes.

Which other hard or software do you use?

I pretty much use everything. I love the Kyma System by Symbolic Sound, and I love the Elektron Machine Drum, and Mono Machine. My main sequencer is Logic. I also have been getting back into using Analogue Modular gear lately for sound generation.

How many times did you use the cubes already during your live performances?

So far I have used the AudioCubes twice, but I am starting to get more comfortable with them, and intend to use them for all my future shows. I have been using them with Ableton Live 7, Yamaha Tenori-On, Elektron Mono Machine, and Machine Drum. The reaction is always, whoa! What is that! Those look super cool! Everyone is totally fascinated by them. They also look amazing when playing with them in a live situation in a club where they glow in the dark.

Everyone loves them. They look so fun, and react to your hands and MIDI messages, and pulse to the music, which adds to the live performance. It really enhances the experience as the audience can see that the music is actually totally interactive with the performer and that he’s not just pressing a space bar on a computer which can be really boring. From the last two shows, I have gotten a flood of people coming up to me asking what they are, and how they work. The response has been amazing. I think it’s the most fun that I have had in years with any sort of controller device. Simply easy and completely interactive. You feel like you are completely triggering the sounds with the sensors and your hands, very responsive.

Check out the full interview, and Devine’s list of the 10 best records in the history of music, at the Percussa site.

2 thoughts on “Richard Devine On The Percussa AudioCubes

  1. I’ve been seeing more of Richard Devine on various sites, whether it’s sample libraries or experimenting with new gear — looks like he keeps getting higher-profile, and that’s admirable because of his aptitude to keep innovating! 😀

  2. Torley – I’ve noticed the same thing. Seems like he may have reached a tipping point in terms of recognition.

    Also – he’s one of the more interesting producers/synthesists in how he uses gear and creates soundscapes.

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