Micah Frank

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

My name is Micah and I work as a sound designer and sound programmer. I also share many of my personal projects on my site micahfrank.com. I have been working professionally for 11 years. I play the DrumKat as a solo live performer under the name Kamoni. I founded a company called Puremagnetik in 2006.

What is your educational background? Are there any schools, courses, or books you recommend?

I went to The New School University (back then it was still called Mannes) and studied Jazz with percussion as my major. I also went through SAE's audio engineering program in 2002. For those interested in electronic production I would check out Dubspot in NYC. However, I usually tell people your money and time will be much better saved buying a small setup and learning how it works. These days you can make perfectly acceptable music for under $500 (think netbook and Renoise) - the more you learn about whatever setup you choose, the more leverage you have moving forward.

What hardware are you using?

RME Fireface 400 - my A/D/A of choice for some years now.

Symbolic Sound Kyma & Pacarana - Possibly the most influential tool in my kit for the past year plus. It has opened up a lot of possibilities for me in spectral analysis, resynthesis and algorithmic composition.

Analog Modular (mixed manufacturers eurorack format) - when I first purchased the modular, there weren't many developers. Now it has completely blown up and it's hard for me to keep up with all of the new modules coming out. There's really some crazy stuff out there.

Elektron Octatrack - A completely different (and inspiring) way for me to approach pattern creation. In fact, I have made some pretty abstract odd meter stuff with it using recordings of mundane objects. I love getting out of the computer and moving to the OT for some ideas that I could never conceive of in a conventional DAW.

DrumKat - I'm originally a drummer so playing the Kat is a very expressive way for me to program percussion. But I mostly program synths and chopped up glitchy stuff on it. My site http://kamoni.net showcases much of my DrumKat work.

API Lunchbox with 512c preamps - sounds great, can't go wrong with API.

Klein & Hummel O300s - best, flattest speakers I've ever owned.

What software are you using?

Logic 9 - been using Logic since my jingle house days.

Ableton Live 8 - Well, Live has been my baby for some years now. It really changed the world of music production for myself and many others.

Kyma X - see above

Renoise 2.7 - my favorite new tool (well, new to me). It is a completely different way for me to work. Sort of like the OT but in software form. I've been hacking out some crazy stuff in Renoise, not all of it suitable for human consumption.

What would be your dream setup?

I don't have a "dream" setup. I like what I have going already. I suppose I could always use a Serge Modular or a Yamaha CS-80 but I'm doing OK without those.

Can you describe your creative process? Is there a particular routine or schedule you stick to?

No, there is not. Some people work very regimented. I have absolutely no schedule or specific method.

Where do you shop for and discover music?

I've been dumpster diving for vinyl lately. I cruise SoundCloud a lot too.

Any highlights from your latest musical discoveries?

I've been checking out a lot of "complextro". Mord Fustang and the crew are some badass producers.

What's brewing in your studio?

I haven't really been making any "tracks" - not for a while actually. Most of my recent work involves more real-time algorithmic composition. One of these is music generated by New York City taxis. Another is sound is generated by solar wind.

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

Make good songs. Production is secondary. Choose the right voices (instruments) and the right feeling. If you get these two things right, the "production" hardly matters. People will respond immediately to something that is real and has feeling rather than an amazing mix.

Where can we find you on the web?

Micah Frank / SoundCloud / Twitter /