Round Table Knights

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

My name is Benjamin Fay. I am a music producer (known as Benfay) and I am working as a member of the Round Table Knights since 2008.

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

I am a trained musician. I studied double bass and composition at the College of Music in Bern. Next to playing in orchestras, small ensembles and jazz bands, I started creating electronic music in my bedroom studio already during my time at the college. My first synth was a Yamaha DX-7 and I owned an Atari with Cubase 1.0.

Books: I recommend Mastering Audio: The Art and the Science by Bob Katz. I visit a lot.

What hardware are you using?

I use mainly hardware synths by Moog, Nord, Access Virus, Doepfer Modular, Dave Smith, Elektron. I still use an Akai MPC, have some filters by Sherman and own a Tape Delay by Roland. I have set up my studio so that I can switch easily between producing and final processing.

I am able to record every sound source at once through an ADC M-32 into a RayDAT (both RME). In the final process the mix is done outside the box. My DACs are two Egrets by Crane Song. I run the buses through several compressors (GEM Audio Preceptor, dbx 160SL, API 525, Drawmer, UBK Fatso) and EQs (API 550b, Little Labs VOG), and record the 2-track mix into a Burl Bomber B2 ADC.

My monitor controller is an Avocet by Crane Song. Speakers are Adam S2.5a with an Adam SUB. I also use several small speakers driven by a Mytek DAC. I like gear with an attitude and I especially like the products by Crane Song because they are just amazing. What else can I say. Thank you Dave!

What software are you using?

I use Ableton Live on my PowerBook on the road or at home. It's a great program that I use on stage as well. I got myself a CNTRL:R by Livid Instruments, which allows to produce or play live without limitation due to the programmable interface in conjuction with Max for Live. At the studio I use an older and very stable version of Cubase running on a self built DAW Win32 computer. I don't like Windows, but I get native support with the RME Digicheck, which is essential. Most of the internal sound processing is done on external DSPs such as SSL Duende and UAD. I don't have so many plugins. I want to know each plugin inside out. That gives me way more power, than always buying the latest stuff, not knowing what to do with it.

What would be your dream setup?

My dream setup? I think I have it! On top of it my studio (see photos below) is located outside Bern on the countryside. So I get free workout cycling there every day. What more do I want? Mhhh… I might would like to expand my modular synth with many more modules, maybe get a second lunchbox from API and maybe an Eventide H9?

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

There is no routine to producing. It can be that I create a new beat or a song on the road, at home in my kitchen or start working on something new at the studio. There is always a point when I will switch to the studio, because of the hardware synths that offer more attitude and bite than the plugins. Marc and Chris (the two faces of Round Table Knights) will often bring their ideas, samples and sometimes advanced tracks, that still need final arranging and mixing. In the studio we spend a lot of time on automation of volumes, additional sounds and effects in breaks and throughout the track. This is very important to give it natural feel. There is a lot of industrious work involved in making a song really stand out.

Where do you shop for and discover music?

I am really no digger. I listen to classical music a lot. Fortunately we keep a Round Table Knights Dropbox were Marc and Chris drop all their recent discoveries. That keeps me up to date. I must also say, that I really enjoy the quiet and often don't listen to music at all.

Any highlights from your latest musical discoveries?

I really like the new song from David Bowie, " Where Are We Now". I recently rediscovered the album " Closer" by Plastikman who I really like.

What's brewing in your studio?

We just finished a new EP " So Good" for OFF Recordings which is out this week. Also, we have a new EP coming out on Exploited Records in April. There are also some other projects we're working on, but it's a bit too early to talk about it. Sorry!

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

Keep attention to the tuning and the time domain of the sounds. While I compose I try to already have an idea were I want to place a sound in the final piece. That means we're in time and space as well as in its frequency dependency relating to the tonal centre of the composition. Personally I see a great challenge finding a good balance between being spontaneously wild and knowing what I want.

Where can we find you on the web?

Round Table Knights / SoundCloud / Facebook / Twitter /