Who are you and what do you do?

My name's Dan Goldman aka JD73. I'm a keyboardist/bass player and I produce and remix my own and other people's stuff under the JD73 alias. I also write for Future Music Magazine reviewing high end studio gear and I am a panel expert in their ask their experts monthly colum. First and foremost though I'm a musician and producer and I make twisted soul and funk with a hint of jazz and I'm a songwriter/lyricist too. I started off learning piano when I was 5, went on to do classical grades 1-8, then studied for a jazz degree at Leeds College of Music (my hometown in England, UK). I then went on to work as a keyboard player in the studio and on tour with Morcheeba, doing 3 world tours with them and co-writing tunes on their " Dive Deep" album in 2008. Those were some amazing times and I was lucky to get to see a lot of the world whilst playing to some great audiences at places like Glastonbury, The Hollywood Bowl, on the Jay Leno show in the States and many more! I now focus on my JD73 project and have released 2 albums under the JD73 name: " Zeros and Ones" on US label Ropeadope (2008) and " Pure Gold" on Joey Negro's Z Records (2010). I've also played keys with and remixed many artists including Nightmares On Wax, TY, Shlomo, Corinne Bailey Rae, Bonobo, Domu, Cool Million and many others.

What hardware are you using?

Ahah!! Well I don't use any samples in my music apart from for drums so I play all the keyboards and bass myself. I use many keyboards including the Minimoog Voyager, Little Phatty (my go to bass machine), Memorymoog Plus (killer for pads), Moog Source (sounds like a 2 osc minimoog), Alesis Andromeda A6 (amazing analogue polysynth), Korg MS-20 (for sound effects and noises), plus I have a suitcase (studio) and stage Fender Rhodes for gigging. I also use an ARP Solina string ensemble, a 1958 Hammond B3 and Leslie 122, Nord Stage 2, Yamaha Acoustic Piano, Hohner Clavinet D6, Yamaha DX-100, Prophet '08 and I process all this through various bits of kit including Moogerfooger Delay, Filter and Phaser, and a Boss RE-20 tape echo pedal. I also use an MPC1000 and 3000 for drums as I find them more hands on and inspiring to make beats on than just working in the computer. For vocals and instruments I track with a Neumann TLM-103 into an Amek Purepath channel in a box and I also use a Shure SM57 both for vocals and instrument amping. I used to own more outboard hardware including a UREI 1178, Lexicon PCM60 but since I own plugin recreations of these I hardly switched them on so sold them to fund other purchases and I'm very happy with my decision. As long as you've got good ears and know how to get the best from plugins, you can get so close to the hardware models, plus mixes are so much easier to recall which is a godsend if time is at a premium, which it usually is!! All my hardware runs into my Mac using a Prism Orpheus interface and is then output through an Amek BC3 36 channel desk with Neve designed pres and monitoring is through Focal Twin6 Monitors. In essence, the Prism and Focals give me the most transparent tracking and monitoring path I could hope for really which saves a lot of time on mixes. What I put in is what I get out and that's a big deal for me. Nothing worse than hearing bass and mids and treble being cut by subpar converters or mixes that are a struggle to get right because your room or monitors aren't allowing you to get the best from your mixes. I try to pick synths that have something inherently soulful about them, so that when you play them they really inspire ideas and all my keyboards fulfill that criteria. Moogs are so rich and controlled for bass that they have become part of my signature sound really, and I can't get enough of analogue synths, something to do with their raw and organic quality. I love digital synths too but generally the analogue stuff inspires me more when I play it and I feel more connected to the circuits somehow!

What software are you using?

Software wise, I run Logic 9 on a MacBook Pro which fits in well with my workflow. I basically track into Logic like a tape machine then process parts using various plugins including Waves plugins, Lexicon, and I also dig the bundled plugins that come with Logic. My MPCs are synced up to Logic too. I love MOTU BPM for its great drum library as well. Generally I master my own stuff using T-RackS 3 which is killer, just adding a tiny bit of compression and limiting and small low cuts and high boosts. I like to get it right in the mix rather than rely on mastering to put things right. To me mastering is the icing on the cake but the mix is the cake and it's got to be right!

What would be your dream setup?

Well, I'd keep everything I've got here. I'd like to add some nice valve outboard in the future and also a couple of Empirical Labs Distressors or a FATSO and some more vintage mics but other than that I've pretty much got my dream setup which I feel very lucky to have.

Where do you shop for and discover music?

I buy music from iTunes and Traxsource mainly and generally find out about new music from friends, bandmates, fellow studio heads and facebook in the main, plus I'm on a few mailing lists too for certain labels and bands I'm into.

Any highlights from your latest musical discoveries?

When I'm making music I generally don't listen to music much as I don't like to be influenced too much by what I'm listening to, but right now I'm loving King's new EP, Photek's new stuff, and gotta plug the remixes that Sean McCabe and Tornado Wallace did of my JD73 tunes currently out on Z (shameless plug!!). I'm also loving Teddy Pendergrass' " You can't hide from yourself" at the mo!

What's brewing in your studio?

Currently I'm working on my next JD73 album, a couple of remixes for Mullet Records and the Universe Media label, I've just done a Cool Million remix, bits can be heard and are continuously being updated on soundcloud.com/jd73 or on facebook.com/jd73fanpage. Enjoyed using my Fender bass on the Cool Million remix and gonna be using the Alesis A6 loads on the remixes I'm working on plus been reviewing a Korg Kronos for Future Music Mag that I'm loving and I've sneaked onto a few tracks before I have to give it back!

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

For me the best investment you can ever make is to putting time into learning your art-listen hard and study what your musical or producer heros do on records that you love. Let those guys inspire you and keep trying new things in the studio, be creative and try to get everything set in your studio so it's all plugged in and ready to go at a moment's notice so that inital creative spark is captured-that's often where the real magic is, in that first take or idea. Get great monitors, treat your room so that you can rely on what you hear in the room and along with that, the best two equipment purchases you can ever invest in are a top notch set of converters and monitors which removes 90% of mix issues in one swoop! Don't over compress things if you can help it but certainly use compression creatively for giving drums, bass and other instruments a more pumping feel. Try to track without compression or effects if possible to give more flexibilty at the mix stage plus wherever possible try to get a pro mastering engineer to master your stuff as a second set of experienced ears can really help put the icing on your musical cake so to speak! Further to this, learn how to play keyboards well as it will stand you in good stead as a producer and player. Also, practice along to a click so that your timing is good and to help you know if something is grooving well in a track or not. Mix quietly and not on headphones to avoid ear damage. High and low pass filters are your best friends in the studio too for cutting unwanted frequencies that you may not even be able to hear but will really open up your track's bandwidth and size once removed. Use short reverbs and delays to add front and side to side depth to your mixes. Experiment sidechaining bass to kicks to really lock grooves together in the low end…there you go, I could go on but gotta get back in the studio! haha!!!! :o

Where can we find you on the web?

JD73 / SoundCloud / Myspace / YouTube / Facebook /