Mogi Grumbles

Who are you and what do you do?

Hello, my name is Alex Taam and I've been making beats since I was 13 and got my first pair of decks when I was 16, so 13 years and 10 years respectively. I also work at a record store in downtown Ann Arbor and have been doing so for 9 years.

What hardware are you using?

I currently have a Yamaha DX7-II, a Future Retro Revolution, and a SH-101. Sadly, I don't really use any of it anymore. I mostly just use software synths now. I'd like to get back into recording hardware keyboards in the near future though.

For gigs I swear by my Akai MPD32. I used to use the Akai APC40 for live shows but the mpd is more versatile with its simplicity. I also have a pair of 12's with a pioneer DJM-800. That pioneer mixer is absolutely my favorite!

Last but not least, a Tascam 22-2: a simple 2-track quarter-inch reel-to-reel tape deck. I used this to bounce down my final mixes for my album " End of Line". It's nothing short of amazing how adding just that little bit of analog distortion/hiss can really "glue" a song together.

What software are you using?

I first started using programs like Rebirth and Fruity Loops because they were the only thing avalable to kids like us. Later on I made the switch to Orion, because it was one of the only cheap sequencers that was able to use VSTs at the time. So having free user-made synths and effects was a big plus!

Now I use Ableton Live just like everybody else, but that switch didn't happen until a few months ago. So I'm still fairly new to it.

Some key VSTs I love: anything by Arturia, namely the MiniMoog V and Moog Modular V. The CS-80 V is dope too. But I still use some of those free plugins I got all those years ago. Can't forget about the old school.

What would be your dream setup?

I would love to have a massive collection of vintage synths, namely a Korg Mono/Poly and any of the JUNO series.

Where do you shop for and discover music?

I get introduced to new music from blogs mostly, that friends recommend to me. Some of my favorites are: ISO50, Waves at Night, Surfing On Steam, and Hey Kids!.

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

My first tip is everything takes time and practice. Don't be afraid to experiment. Not just with the "music" aspect but also the production side of things. "Mistakes" often get you were you want to go. Inspiration can come from the most unexpected places so keep your ears and mind open. For example, I got the idea for what I later found out is called parallel processing from the song "Cowboys From Hell." So…..yeah producing is pretty much always on my mind. I also ask my friends about how they get their sounds. I ask them what programs and plugins they've been using. So I pinch a bit from them and try to put my own spin on it.

Where can we find you on the web?

Mogi Grumbles / SoundCloud / Facebook / Twitter /