Friendly Ghost

Who are you and what do you do?

We are Ary Warnaar and Nathan Ritholz, recent graduates of the NYU Music Technology program, and active members of the music community here in New York. We operate under the name Friendly Ghost, providing commissioned music for creative and commercial projects, as well as collaborating with other artists (i.e. remixes and songwriting).

What hardware are you using?

We try to approach all projects with a similar level of creativity, whether it's a car commercial or a remix for one of our favorite artists. This directly translates to what hardware we use, and how we use it. We usually have an eclectic mix of music hardware around, since we come from heavily electronics-based bands. In our studio you'd find typical band gear like a collection of guitar effects pedals, guitars, basses, and amps, as well as less conventional instruments like Casio keyboards, circuit bent musical toys, and hacked Game Boys. We also have some fancier synths like the Minimoog Voyager and Yamaha DX-7 to counteract the more "lo-fi" hardware.

What software are you using?

We specialize in different softwares, so when we work together we end up with a wide range of options for how we want to work on a track. Ary works primarily in Logic, while Nathan works in Pro Tools and occasionally Reason. We also work in less common software if there's a specific sound we're looking for (eg. MilkyTracker, Little Sound DJ (tracker software for Game Boy), and Paul's Extreme Sound Stretch).

What would be your dream setup?

Well we are currently working out of our basement studio, so having a private studio in a loft somewhere nearby would be amazing. Most people in this profession work out of their homes, which has its advantages, but there's something nice about having a dedicated workspace without the distractions of being at home or dealing with limited work hours (because of neighbors).

Any production tips & tricks you'd like to share?

To start, having another person around as a second pair of ears and to bounce ideas off of is super helpful. The creative process can be a bit slower and occasionally frustrating, but your end result will almost always be more well-rounded. Also, in the midst of working on a lot of corporate jobs, it's nice to seek out like-minded and creative individuals to work with. Working on forward-thinking media projects has helped us balance the creative and commercial in our professional lives. We're currently working with Pummelvision, a new online video project. Most of the commercial work we've done consists of a fixed-length track that deals with one major idea or feeling. Pummelvision required a more non-traditional approach expressively and structurally. Not only did the track have to be adaptable to a user-determined time length, but it also had to fit with whatever the user's content implied emotionally. It's good to be open to projects like this, because advertising is constantly evolving and down the line you're going to see more and more companies use viral and interactive marketing strategies that may take cues from New Media projects such as Pummelvision.

Where can we find you on the web?

Friendly Ghost / SoundCloud / Twitter /