Q – I recently saw your show in Cleveland and I wanted to know how you achieved such rich acoustics from a small laptop. Did you play instruments and then digitally record the music or was the laptop the main instrument?

A – I am running a program called Ableton Live on the laptop, it has a simple but flexible drum machine that I have loaded sample sounds from my records (and a few new sounds) into. Most of the synth sounds are from a virtual instrument that Ableton hosts – it is called Linplug Albino II. It’s all over Antidepressant. That’s about it – drums and synths for a few tracks behind the guitars. For the little instrumentals I’ve sampled some of my own record ‘plastic wood’ and then made loops to play along with, and the other pieces I made up in the van with headphones on. Ableton has a synth called Operator, and a tiny sampler called simpler that I’m using on a few tracks. Nothing is on ‘tape’, which is why it doesn’t always work.

Publication date: 11/15/06