Who are you and what do you do? How long have you been a working musician?

My name's Trent Gill aka galapagoose (or occasionally simply goose). I've been making music since I was 6 years old and discovered the world of electronic sound around 2002. I also make software for electronic musical performance and have been doing so for the last 6 years. I made the move to professional, full-time music work at the very end of 2010 so am pretty fresh to the stresses of this life. I do sound design for art installations to pay the bills.

What hardware are you using?

My home studio is also my bedroom so hardware gear always has to be pretty minimal. I just inherited a Mac Pro desktop which handles most of my recording tasks, and run an RME Fireface for all my audio ins and outs. The RME is built like a tank and has withstood many a live show stage dive! I use a Monome controller primarily for live performance which has become quite central to my process, and also have a couple generic USB/MIDI controllers for keys and drumpads. I also build outboard hardware and am currently constructing a mixing console based on an old API desk including a few handmade processors (SSL bus compressor & Pultec EQP-1). Finally I have a few microphones, guitars, percussion and wind instruments that I record a lot of.

What software are you using?

In the production world I mainly focus on Ableton Live for the ease of use and workflow. It handles most of my compositional tasks really well and I'm sure influences a lot of the things that I create too. I use a handful of plugins (Abbey Road's Brilliance Pack, Audio Damage's Dubstation & Roughrider, and Airwindows plugs are some standouts) but end up just using Ableton's built in processors most of the time. In the live setup I run a program called mlrv which I develop with my friend % from the states. It's a sampler built around the grid of the monome that allows me to load the different elements of my tunes across the array of buttons and then re-sequence them to create new compositions. The setup allows a highly improvisatory approach to the live context and I think / hope it gives the audience a heightened influence and involvement in the performance.

What would be your dream setup?

While a part of me would love a room full of analog synthesizers, a REDD console (from Abbey Road) and a concert vibraphone, I can't help but think it would go to waste on me! I spend so much of my time and energy developing software and working with a computer that I think the workflow benefits probably outweigh what slight sonic imperfections it might impart. What I'd really like is a few months without obligations (or desire to make music) for me to finish the console I'm building, and turn out a new piece of software I've been brewing away in the back of my head for months…

Where do you shop for and discover music?

These days so much of the music I listen to is that of friends and colleagues. Often the hyper-connectedness of the internet makes us forget to look locally for new and surprising sounds. Beyond the local scene most new music comes from word of mouth, SoundCloud and few select music blogs/sites I occasionally follow (eg. RCRD LBLdublab).

Any highlights from your latest musical discoveries?

A local collective //THIS THING// that I'm loosely involved with just put out a great beat tape by Baba-X and previously a mind-melting split by Wooshie and MikeKay. Also check this beautiful EP from Guerre.

What's brewing in your studio?

I've just recently finished my debut album which is off in the ether (ie. being mastered), so everything is stripped right back for the minute. I've got my 'beat' setup going with monome, MPD and turntable churning out sub-two-minute jams being dubbed straight to cassette for simplicity. I'm not saving any settings or samples for now, just trying to get back in touch with my beat-maker side. I'm hoping to bring out this tape of beats online, alongside the album.

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

For me the greatest way I have expanded and intensified my production methods is through collaboration and discussion. Not necessarily making music with others, but rather the process of sitting next to a friend and watching their process. Every time I'm 'helping' or 'teaching' a friend something, they always seem to surprise with something as simple as a keyboard shortcut I didn't know, or perhaps an elaborate compositional device. Beyond that my biggest suggestion would be practice, practice, practice!

Where can we find you on the web?

galapagoose / SoundCloud /