Showcase – Robot Eating Dragon
PK Simone is a classically trained pianist who has been studying music since the age of 5. His first stabs at producing electronic music were early house and trance tracks he produced at 15 years old. PK entered the live electronic scene playing synths in a Connecticut electronic jam band called The HippoCampus.
The moniker Robot Eating Dragon emerged 2 years ago when he packed up the studio and moved to LA to pursue a career as a solo artist.
Robot Eating Dragon is a nod to PK’s love for analog-heavy sound. His tracks proudly carry a love for the synthesizers of the 80s, but still hold a more modern electronic trajectory.
Massive has been a catalyst for the detailing of my sound timbre. The synth itself is phenomenal for taking a sound from in my head to into my project file.
1) Tell us a bit about your music (genre, inspiration source, goals)
Genre is hard, because I am not so sure myself. People have called it IDM (Intelligent Dance Music). I usually include some electro, dubstep and progressive house in my works but I have also studied a lot of classical piano, so elements of that usually come through as well.
I get inspired by certain melodies. There are specific tracks that I can think of that generate an energy in me that has me cutting things out of my life to get more time in my studio. Strobe by DeadMau5 is one. Coming Home by Armin Van Buuren got me going for a while too. Everyone should go download works by Ulrich Schnauss right now.
Live performances are very inspiring to me. I saw NERO this year and it blew my mind, they had live vocals and synths. My live performance is a mix of produced music and live instrumentation. I am on stage with as many as 5 synths as well as my laptop. I like to play my melodies right in front of my audience as they dance, this also gives me the power of improvisation and the song can change depending on the energy of the crowd at any moment.
My goal is simple, to get backed by a label and take my sounds around the world on tour.
2) How do you use Massive in your productions?
[aside title="Phenomenal Synth"] Lately I have been using Massive for some beautiful rises that really color the moment of drops beautifully[/aside]
Massive has been a catalyst for the detailing of my sound timbre. The synth itself is phenomenal for taking a sound from in my head to into my project file. I use it mainly for bass and heavy synth lead creation. Lately I have been using Massive for some beautiful rises that really color the moment of drops beautifully. But this is an ever changing animal for me, it seems like I am discovering more I can do with Massive every week. The best part is that somehow it doesn’t kill my processor and I can have a lot going on in one project.
3) Can you tell us about the creation of a specific sound in one of your tracks?
In the In Disguise remix I did for Dead Astronauts I created a rise for the first drop and the end of the track. I turned on all three oscillators and decided to keep it simple, I made them all Square Saw and turned the wavetable all the way to saw on all three. I turned on phase modulation to about 2:30 only for the first oscillator. in ENV 1 I drew a rising envelope with the Attack turned all the way up and the Release turned all the way down for a long slow rise. I attached that Envelope to the first two pitches of my oscillators, which were set at 64 The last pitch I kept at 0, which didn’t change. I gave it some Bright Noise and Feedback. The two Oscillators with the Envelope were sent to a Daft Filter where I also attached the Envelope to the Cutoff, I set that at about 6:30 and turned up the Envelope about 50%. In the FX I gave it some Dimension Expansion and Chorus, and that was that.
4) Tell us a technique in Massive you use not many know about?
I week or so ago MassiveSynth.com sent an article discussing the randomization tool. Since then I have been using it like crazy to find new awesome sounds. But I think the key to using it is being able to identify what you don’t like in the synth when you’re cycling through. Adjusting the LPF if it’s not big enough, or if an amp is turned down on one of the oscillators. That way you can get the most out of the tool. I have been creating an arsenal since I learned about randomization.
5) How has MassiveSynth.com helped you on your production journey?
It seems like every time I am looking for a new way to explore Massive I receive an email tutorial on new rise techniques, wobble creation, or global features to explore. I think most importantly it should be noted that these tutorials don’t propel my production skills by teaching me how to make other peoples sounds, but rather how to use techniques provided by other people’s experimentation to inspire me to come into my own sounds. MassiveSynth.com has pushed me to learn more, which I think is the most vital part of production. As new equipment is being rolled out every few months for us to play with, it is easy for me to get lost in other people’s sounds. When I take the time to educate myself and run into problems, and then emerge from those problems with knowledge, I jump to the next level as a producer. That process of discovery is what started this whole journey in the first place.