Nicholas Semrad On Playing Both Halves Of The Keyboard

Sunday Synth Jam: At Yamaha’s introduction event for the new MODX synthesizer, they featured three artists that brought very different approaches to the instrument: Richard Devine, Domi Degalle, and Nicholas Semrad.

Nicholas Semrad incorporates all the controls of his synthesizer into his performance style.

The video embedded above captures the portion of the event that featured Semrad and The Lesson GK members Lenny “The Ox” Reece (drums) and Dave Cutler (bass). The video starts about 1:30.

The performance captures one of the unique aspects of Semrad’s performance style, which balances playing both halves of the keyboard – the keys at the bottom and the controls at the top.

Throughout his performance, Semrad makes expressive use of pitch bend, effects send and returns, side chaining, transposition, envelopes and more, resulting in an improvised performance that sounds highly produced.

In the second half of the video, Semrad explains how playing the whole keyboard has helped him carve out a unique performance style that helps to differentiate his work.

3 thoughts on “Nicholas Semrad On Playing Both Halves Of The Keyboard

    1. Yeah – this guy’s chops and style are inspiring.

      I especially like how he’s building a bridge between traditional jazz chops and sound design.

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