Who are you, and what do you do?
I am cinchel. I make music, sound art, paintings, videos and some photography. I started learning guitar at the age of 15 and have continued to use it as my main instrument to generate sounds. Almost all of my work focuses on abstracting the sounds of real instruments while still conveying the emotional idea of the performance.
I use Bandcamp to post my final works. Most of my visual works, painting and photography, are made as packaging for many of these releases. I keep a running log of works in progress, live sets and other sketches and ideas at http://demos.cinchel.com/. Videos can be found on Vimeo and YouTube. Of course I tweet @cinchel, Instagram and occasionally Tumblr.
I am also a parent to 3 cats (Jarvis Cocker, Broadcast and PJ Harvey) – they are cats #4, #5 & #6. RIP #1 Spooky, #2 Buckley and #3 Dr. Pirate. Being a cat parent and a musician, I created this Flickr group called "Cats on amps" in April of 2010 because they seemed to love to sit on them all the time. Sometime around 2014(?) I moved it to this tumblr. I unfortunately dropped the ball and forgot to grab the Instagram handle, oh well.
What hardware do you use?
My favorite guitar is my '65 Fender Jazzmaster. I also have a 2003 Gibson SG and I recently picked up a 2013 Fender Bass VI. Non-guitar instruments include a 1972 Fender Rhodes, an Arturia MicroBrute and a Critter and Guitari Pocket Piano. My main gig amp is a Sunn Beta Lead 2×12. I also have a late-80's Fender Champ 12, an early 70's Silverface Fender Champ, and a Sunn Beta Bass and 1×15 Emperor cabinet. My favorite tape delay is the Fulltone Tube Tape Echo but I also have a Roland Space Echo RE-201 that I'll use occasionally.
I still have my first 4-track tape recorder, a Tascam Portastudio 414. My wife and I married in May of 1999 and that following summer I worked on avg 60hrs a week as a security guard at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. At the end of that summer I treated myself to finally buying this 4-track so that I could try out all the musical ideas I had that only existed in my head. While I have more sophisticated tools to record with now, I will still often bounce mixes down to this 4-track while messing with the pitch control dial for that extra warped tape goodness.
The current guitar pedal chain goes like this: guitar – boss tuner – Mu-Tron Volume-Wah – Trex Replica – Mr Black TunnelWorm – Earthquaker The Depths – ProCo RAT – Boss Tremolo – MXR Analog Delay ('72) – DOD DFX9 digital delay – Danelectro Chorus – TC Electronics DITTO LOOPER – Strymon TimeLine – Digitech Whammy. The end of the signal chain is split and goes to the guitar amps and into the laptop. That DOD DFX9 was the first pedal I ever bought, at a pawn shop with my friend in high school in 1994. I really wanted to sound like The Edge on "Joshua Tree" so I knew I would need to start messing with delay pedals.
When I record guitar direct into the laptop (MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015)) I'll run it through a Model feT which boosts the signal and adds some punch. If I'm recording the amps I'll usually use Oktava MK-319 mics, plugged into a Black Lion Audio Auteur MKII pre-amp. My digital audio interface is a Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 (which I recently had mod'ed by Black Lion Audio). I'll usually monitor with Grado SR325 headphones and mix/master using Adam A5X powered monitors.
I never know what might turn into something I want to keep so I record a lot and save almost everything. I'm also an obsessive music purchaser/listener, which required me to finally setup a NAS. A Synology DS1517+ w/ DX517 expansion with all 10 bays full of 4TB drives at RAID6 should keep us happy for a while. My wife is a photographer, so between the two of us we have A LOT of data to keep safe.
I mostly photograph with a Mamiya C330 medium format film camera with the 80mm or 60mm lens. I borrow my wife's Canon 5D MKIV to shoot video using a 50mm f1.8 or 24-70mm f2.4 lens. I paint using watercolors.
Mix notes, song name ideas, installation sketches and general doodles are captured in Field Notes Graph Paper notebooks.
And what software?
My main recording DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) is Ableton Live 8, though I will occasionally use Audacity for some editing and generating 16/44.1 320MP3 from 24/96 AIFF files. I use the computer not only to capture sound but also to manipulate it. Outside of the plugins that come with Live (like beat repeat, delay, autofilter, all of which I enjoy using in ways that I am sure was not intended by the creators), I have a small collection of other VST's. I really enjoy the Freq Echo and Shimmer from Valhalla. All of the Freeware and non-free VST from Soundhack are pretty wild, as are the Soundmagic Spectral audio units from Michael Norris. When I don't have Andrew Weathers or Joe Panzner master my recordings I use IZotope Ozone 5 suite.
What would be your dream setup?
Infinite time and space. Like, I want to live forever and be able to go/be anywhere. I think 10 or even 5 years ago I would have probably just listed things. While I do like things and could use things (like a larger monitor, or just 2 reasonable sized monitors and a decent sized desk to put them on) things are not stopping me from creating or challenging myself and my ideas.