Hello

Interview with: Exige

by Exige, HNTR and the Launchpad-Pro Community 2015/12/17
HNTR — Hello Adam, We are really pleased to get you for this interview. You are truly a amazing person! And a lot of our members love you! I know they are eagerly awaiting your answers.. !
Well, thank you for your time! Stay awesome Adam.

Here are the questions from the Launchpad-Pro Community:

Exige — Hey guys, Excited to be here. Thanks for taking the time to ask your questions, and thank you for the invite HNTR.

Hope you all get something out of this interview, it’s been fun!



ULT1MOD — So first off, how did you discover the launchpad? Did you want to just mess around with it or was there a bigger meaning behind it?

Exige — I had seen both Pop Culture and Weapon, but had never considered doing anything myself. A good friend of mine owned a Launchpad that he didn’t use and suggested I make a video – so I did! Then the team at Novation hooked me up with my own gear.



ULT1MOD — Did you learn music anywhere or are you self-educated? I see you play the piano very well.

Exige — I had lessons every week from around age 6 to until a few months ago. I had a single studies scholarship from university for a couple of years when I was younger and then went onto a music-specialising high school – basically training to be a concert pianist, which is still a goal but not a career-focus anymore.



ULT1MOD — What is your process on making mashups? Like how are you gathering your songs, how do you set everything up, do you use either session or arrangement mode more than the other etc?

Exige — Just treating it similarly to an original or remix but with a more complex form, then cutting it up and exporting clips to be performable. Session mode only when I use it to perform, otherwise I’m all arrangement.



ULT1MOD — Will there be any collaborative work in the near future with other button pushers?

Exige — Nothing planned.



ULT1MOD — I really liked the "Back And Forth" remix you did and the setup you used. Will you be doing live performances in the future like you did in the video?

Exige — Thank you! Probably not, the reception of that video was underwhelming, unfortunately. However, live shows will be much, much crazier.



ULT1MOD — Does the "◈" symbol have any kind of a meaning to it?

Exige — Yes! Not only was it Unicode, but it’s a modern-ish take on Slovak folk patterns (I guess that’ll make more sense over the next two decades). e.g. 1, 2, 3. Check out some of the visual patterns in the 2014 mashup, began hinting at it there. In early 2014 a few other artists came out with similar logos, I thought about changing it completely but ultimately felt that would be untrue to what I was about.



ULT1MOD — What are your relations with other buttons pushers?

Exige — We’re all friends, I talk with some more than others, but we’ve all got a Facebook chat.



ULT1MOD — What is in your studio setup? Do you want to share a picture of your workstation perhaps?

Exige — Literally just a computer + piano + gear Novation has sent. Nothing incredible.



ULT1MOD — Did you make the M4L device that you use to make lightshows yourself or did you get help?

Exige — Yeah all myself, it’s basically a custom device for each performance triggering MIDI files. Began working on a custom ‘drum-rack-like’ Launchpad device that was completely flexible, never finished it 100% and don’t plan to anymore, here you go. Use it, deconstruct it, learn from it, do whatever your heart pleases with it (maybe someone can complete it).



ULT1MOD — Who is your favourite artist?

Exige — Way too vague, can’t really answer this, don’t think I’ve ever had one single favourite.



ULT1MOD — Thanks again for doing this and keep on pumping out your awesome vids. Cheers!

Exige — No worries!



Noodlearms — Where/How do you get ideas for mashups?

Exige — It’s like a puzzle that you have to create before you solve it. A lot of it is similar to writing something original, just messing around with ideas until one sticks.



Noodlearms — I love you.. :p

Exige — <3



EmileG — What are your best tips for creating mashups?

Exige — Don’t think about it too much, just try to realise your ideas in sound and filter out the bad ones.



EmileG — Did you already use the Ult1pad?

Exige — No but it’s in the mail!



officialkukas — Firstly, I would love to hear from you about tips & tricks or advices on sampling for beginner to intermediate Launchpad user as this is a common obstacle for users of these levels.

Exige — Learning to produce your own music will make this process 100x easier.



officialkukas — Secondly, when creating a mashup that consist of multiple sub genres, how would you find the balance point to not make the overall mashup too overpowered and complicated?

Exige — Try to figure out the overarching form, and then make sure the transitions follow a logical order and work musically. If the concept sounds like too much, the result will sound like too much.



officialkukas — Lastly, I'd like to ask if is Ableton Live 9 Lite sufficient enough to produce/arrange a decent mashup without purchasing any sort of plug-ins?

Exige — I’ve been asked this a few times, and honestly looking at the limits, it would be no where near enough for me. Maybe if you’re extremely efficient you can make it work.



Beboy — Will you ever make downloadable project files?

Exige — The difficulty with this is copyright, I’m already taking a risk by having my mashups as free downloads – but I’ve changed enough musically that I feel they’re their own piece. Distributing project files (with original audio files) however is completely different.



Beboy — I'm 10, I know how to play the piano, do you think I could ever be as good as you?

Exige — The key to improve your piano skills is to never “know” how to play, but to always be learning.



Beboy — Can we be friends?

Exige — Sure.



Beboy — The Launchpad Pro is EXPENSIVE, do you know any way I can get one for cheapo?

Exige — I don’t think it works like that. You can always try to win one through a contest.



Beboy — Can you maybe listen to my music? @ soundcloud.com/beatthemusic

Exige — You’re 10, so it’s a good age to start working like mad. You’ve got nice concepts, but the execution of them will come with time and practice. Perhaps save up for some studio headphones instead of the LP Pro, the nuances of production and mixing will be much more obvious to you through them, and then your abilities will improve like crazy too.



Beboy — Maybe after the interview, wanna stay on the forum? it would be really cool to hang out with someone as cool as you!

Exige — Yeah I’ll drop by every once in a while.



Trilogy — Why are you so underrated?

Exige — If I knew the answer to that, I wouldn’t be so underrated. Internet success is a very chaotic process.



Safety — Are you planning on buying an Ult1mod?

ExigeNot after what he did to me.



Safety — Are you trained classically - piano? If so, for how long and what tips would you give.

Exige — First part answered above. Technique is key (I’m still working on specific areas), scales & Hanon are considered boring but are super important.



Safety — Talking about tips - How do you go about producing originals but also remixes and mashups? What's your process, your resources for tutorials, basically whatever comes to your mind about this topic.

Exige — It’s become a natural process to be honest. The main thing is being able to get the ideas out of your head and into the DAW/score efficiently. It’s such a cliché, but it almost doesn’t matter how you produce/compose, as long as you practice for hours and hours a day for a decent amount of years, you’ll be able to do everything you want to do.



Safety — Where are you from?

Exige — Australia.



Safety — How old are you?

Exige — 19.



Safety — Got any pets?

Exige — Nope.



Safety — What are your plans for the future?

Exige — I’ve got way too many. We’ll see what happens in the future, but even then I’m sure only a fraction will actually end up happening.



Safety — Did you see my pen? I lost it yesterday. … Nevermind, just found my pen.

Exige — Had me on the edge of my seat!



Safety — What was your path of education so far?

Exige — The standard – not too far off finishing University now.



Safety — Have you met any "famous" Launchpadders / Controllerists? e.g. M4SONIC, Shawn Wasabi, me, etc.

Exige — Yeah I’ve caught up with Throttle, M4 and Ravine. When I head over to the States one day I’ll catch up with the rest.



Safety — Obligatory "Collab bro?" - though i have no clue on what ^^

Exige — Always open to working on cool ideas.



Safety — Anything cool you've found on our forums so far?

Exige — I didn’t know ‘Slice2Midi’ was a thing. Explains a lot actually…



Safety — Got any cool announcements for us?

Exige — Nothing big I can announce at the moment, but something cool: I learnt how to code for web and made some websites for my projects (still works in progress).
http://v1.exige.net.au/
http://v1sounds.exige.net.au/



Safety — Favorite color?

Exige — Blue.



Safety — Favorite song (at the moment or alltime)?

Exige — Once again, can’t single anything out, but some all-times:
Chopin’s Op.35 and his Etudes.
Debussy’s Images.
Ravel’s Daphnis and Gaspard de la nuit.
Most Art Tatum, namely Yesterdays and his later performance of Tea for Two.
Skrillex’s SMNS album.
Zedd’s Clarity album.
Never Say Goodbye’s vox and most by Heather Bright are also some of my favourites, cannot stop listening to Throttles new ones either.
And too many more to name throughout all genres that I would rate equally with those above.



Safety — What are your hobbies (apart from music)?

Exige — LOVE skiing and just snow in general.



Safety — What do you like to do in your spare time (also apart from music)?

Exige — Hopefully get a bit of sleep, hate how non-productive it is.



Safety — Which countries have you been to and what's the "coolest" one?

Exige — Too many, hard to single out a country. Zakopane was absolutely magical though.



Quentinover — Did Novation already send to you the ULT1nova?

Exige — It's on its way.



Quentinover — Also, so jealous of your skills.

Exige — Don’t be, all you gotta do is practice.



Ticki84 — Ohhh this question is a classical one, then are you planning to go to Ult1mod's Ult1mate Launch Party 2016?

Exige — Didn’t get an invite.



Ticki84 — How much do you practise a song before doing a performance video on it?

Exige — Generally a day or two depending on the length. The ‘Ultimate Mashup’ back in 2013 was a week, but since the intricacy of the performance didn’t really do much for people I just made the newer ones simpler to save me time.



Ticki84 — How much try do you give to some of your projects?

Exige — I don’t know? What is ‘try’?



Ticki84 — Are you quantizing notes of your recorded Ableton MIDI tracks (if you record the MIDI with Ableton of cause) to export the audio on your video?

Exige — Yes, most people do (it’s quite obvious when you hear the ones who don’t). Electronic dance music is a music of absolutes. It’s possible to create a ‘quantise’ MIDI chain that functions similar to session mode quantisation – used one in my 2014 mashup – it’s just much easier to quantise those milliseconds in post and it literally just gives the same result. A couple of milliseconds off in a live setting aren’t too big of an issue, but on a video their effect is magnified and can make it sound terrible.



Ticki84 — What are your favorite genre/subgenre and musics promoting channel (on Youtube)?

Exige — Proximity & MrSuicideSheep I guess, though I don’t really frequent any channels.



The3RDdimension — How much Mods can a Ultimod Mod if a Ultimod could Mod Ulti's?

Exige — I’m starting to see a pattern here.



The3RDdimension — How young were you when you got into piano (started lessons even)?

Exige — There were always pianos around so I taught myself as a young kid, had a couple of lessons at 4/5 but didn’t really start seriously until 6.



The3RDdimension — How many launchpads do you own?

Exige — 2 S’s, 2 Controls, a Pro and a Launchkey.



The3RDdimension — How many takes were recorded on your Zedd - Find you video?

Exige — Maybe around 10 at different angles? Only had one camera so multiple angles couldn’t be shot at once.



The3RDdimension — Any tips/secrets for beginners out there?

Exige — Practice like crazy.



DJNaroh — I don't have any questions that haven't already been asked atm, but I'd just like to say how much I appreciate your piano playing; it's truly inspiring (even though I don't really play piano).

Exige — Thanks Naroh, never too late to start!



ItZCrzY — When did you first decide you were going to be a producer?

Exige — 16 when I began electronic, but I had been composing piano & orchestral works for around 8 years prior so I had a foundation to work off of.



ItZCrzY — When did you first discover the launchpad?

Exige — 2011/2012



ItZCrzY — Who/What inspires you?

Exige — The goal of making a stable career doing what I love.



ItZCrzY — Your How To Be deadmau5 was amazing! Do you plan to do another one? (Madeon perhaps?)

Exige — Thanks, I had begun a lot of them and I learnt a fair bit from designing the sounds, but it felt like a gimmick and that’s not what I want to be.



ItZCrzY — How do your ideas translate into finished work?

Exige — From the beginning to the end.



ItZCrzY — What's the hardest part of music production?

Exige — Perfecting the sound design and really nailing the mix.



ItZCrzY — What's your favorite hobby? (other than music production)

Exige — Skiing, travelling, beach, etc.



ItZCrzY — What's your favorite food?

Exige — Anything that has a lot of flavour.



ItZCrzY — Cats or Dogs ?

Exige — Dogs.



XIRUS — Hey Adam love your vids, you are my favourite button pusher.

Exige — Thanks, XIRUS.



XIRUS — Have you got any advice for making your fingers more fluent because i am learning your "Find You" piano cover and i am having trouble with the tricky second run of the song and the solo right hand midway, the rest i got down pat, so i was wondering if you had any exercisers that you use especially for your runs.

Exige — As annoying as they can be, scales & Hanon are where it’s at. Chopin’s Etudes would also help out with some of the RH technique.




XIRUS — What do you think about when making a mashup (you've probably already been asked this but imma ask you anyway)

Exige — Just about getting everything to work as planned.



XIRUS — Why don't you have many subscribers? You should at least be 500k+.

Exige — My videos aren’t exactly viral material – I’m more concerned with producing quality content than memes or rushed covers of popular songs. That being said, after the video is released it’s all YouTube’s elusive algorithm that does the rest. I haven’t been lucky.



XIRUS — Finally, any collabs coming soon?

Exige — Mostly with vocalists, no video collabs planned.



XIRUS — No not finally I just got back (literally found out while typing this) the results for my 8th grade piano exam i had last Thursday where i played your Find You cover (my edit to simplify the first drop and right hand solo) and i am the first person in 30 or so years to get 100%.

Exige — Congratulations!! Keep on improving your piano skills. Also you should record the piano performance and send it over, very curious to see it.



DJRender — Will you ever release projects to the community?

Exige — See above answer.



DJRender — Have you made original tracks before?

Exige — My music is 99% writing and producing originals/remixes and 1% Launchpad (which itself is mostly production until the final recorded performance) - the Launchpad just attracts more attention.



ProdiG — How many recording attempts does it take you until you get one your happy with? For me it could take 7-10 times before I finally record something I'm okay with uploading, it seems like you do it perfect in one shot!

Exige — The very first mashup took like 100 takes, session mode makes things extra difficult. Some can be done in one, like the Gifony video, but mostly they do take around 10, especially with different angles.



ProdiG — Any pre-recording ritual? Do some finger yoga? Feed your goat? What do you do before you start recording a video or start a new track?

Exige — Setting up the space to be able to record is quite a good warm up.



Siinon — Will you ever release projects bb 3;

Exige — Mashups are difficult to release as explained above. Makes it easier when there’s no copyrighted content.



Siinon — How do you come up with making such guud lights ?

Exige — I just do what comes naturally.



Siinon — What camera did you use for you're "Exige - Proximity Launchpad Mashup 2015"?

Exige — Canon 650d.



Siinon — Are you ever gonna do something like the "Proximity Mashup 2015" again?

Exige — Don’t really want to repeat a style of video.



Siinon — Will you be doing any collabs anytime soon. *cough* nev *cough* :3

Exige — Not that I know of.



NoahDoesLP — What do you think about Nev, M4SONIC, and Shawn Wasabi?

Exige — All great musicians and awesome guys!



NoahDoesLP — What cameras do you ask?

Exige — I can ask but they won’t reply maybe.



NoahDoesLP — Can I has your Gifony project file?

Exige — Sure. Should be fine in regards to copyright. Here you go.



NoahDoesLP — Favorite Plugins?

Exige — Kontakt, Fm8, Guitar Rig, basically everything in Komplete.



NoahDoesLP — DO A COLLAB WITH NEV, M4SONIC OR SHAWN (OR BOTH, RECOMMENED)

Exige — Woah that’s an aggressive question, it’s not even a question, it’s an aggressive command (that was three btw).



NoahDoesLP — Join this group: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/LPUMC

Exige — I don’t have steam.



NoahDoesLP — Can you say Fuck You Trilogy (it's a joke going around)

Exige — But what did he ever do to me?



NoahDoesLP — Y U SO AWESOME?

Exige — y U so awesome?



NoahDoesLP — What do you think: https://soundcloud.com/noah-does-music/what-do-you-think

Exige — Could use a few more wobbles.



NoahDoesLP — What is that sound?

Exige — Definitely Throttle.



NoahDoesLP — What is this song:
I can be the rain in your desert sky? My favorite song of all time.

Exige — Something I need to finish an extended version of…



NoahDoesLP — Did you see that people remade some of your projects?

Exige — I’ve seen a few, but they only cut up the audio. Don’t see the point if you don’t remake the music too.



NoahDoesLP — Why does your remix of Back and Forth sound like Don't you worry Child?

Exige — Interesting question, I didn’t make the connection until after release. But essentially, it uses the same rhythmic foundation (which itself is incredibly minimal, used many times long before DYWC). There are certain ‘islands of stability’ in harmony, melody and rhythm; elements we enjoy and tend to gravitate towards as musicians/composers. There’s a whole section of the brain that tries to guess what comes next in music, and rewards us when we’re correct, have a look into it if you’re interested – fascinating stuff.



NoahDoesLP — You're awesome! Keep up the good work m8!!!!

Exige — Thank you!!

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

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