Who are you and what do you do? How long have you been a working musician?
Frank J.: Me is also no musician! I started as a DJ, and after I met Frank L. and Tobias M., they introduced me to the world of beat making. My first machine was a Roland W-30.
But let’s start at the beginning. SoulParlor is Tobias Müller, Frank Lotz and me, Frank Jensen. We actually met because of our sports affinity thru Skateboarding and BMX. Beside that we were also big music lovers from complete different angles. Frank L. was into Drum & Bass and Hip-Hop, Tobias listened to Metal and Techno, and I was an early House-Head. So yes, it follows that we were all seeking for something new, and so we found a kind of our own fusion sound. Till today we look back on more than 2 dozen releases on several labels like Sense Music, TrebleO, GAMM, Raw Fusion, OM Records, Fresh Minute Music, Bagpak and more. Since 2 years we are more than happy to have a new home at Tokyo Dawn Records. Along that way we also running our own Clubnight for more than 13 years now at the beautiful Red Cat Club in Mainz.
What is your educational background? Are there any schools, courses, or books you recommend?
Tobias M.: No musical background, it’s all learning by doing.
Frank J.: Same here, no schools, courses or anything like that. I learned all my basics from Frank and Tobias. The rest is trial and error.
What hardware are you using?
Akai S-5000: I like to use it for strings and sample playbacks
ASR-10: this one I use for sample manipulation, we love it for its built-in nice sound
microKORG: Lead-Synths, basslines and vocoder stuff
Fender Rhodes MK-II 88: guess what?
Roland TR-909: e.g. the Drums on SoulParlor feat. RepLife – Planet Sex
Analog-Console-Mixer: Mackie 32×8: Nice for putting it all together; the DAW stuff and the vintage side
Ensoniq DP/2: nice FX machine used in the Mackie, I especially like a ”env-follow Filter + delay” setup to create nice dubby soundscapes
Frank J.: At home I have just a very reduced to the max set up. When it comes to real work we doing it at Tobias’ place. Anyway my home studio looks like this: iMac, NI Maschine, NI Kore2, NI Audio8 Soundcard, Arturia Analog Experience Player, ASR10, Yamaha CS2x and a small 4 channel mixer.
What software are you using?
Sequencing: Cubase 4, 5 and 6. I started with Cubase on Atari 1040 st and still like it.
FX: Prosoniq Filter + delay (it’s free). It’s like the DP/2 setup I mentioned above…killer!
Drums: Native Instruments Battery 3 – that’s really essential, it nearly appears in every track we do…
Frank J.: Logic Pro, NI Maschine & Kore2, various NI Plugs.
What would be your dream setup?
Tobias M.: Most modulation tools are too static, I often miss fade-in, delay, and LFO-Options; yes one can work around these issues with automation…but it would be so nice…
Frank J.: It would be just perfect if your setup runs for years without any problems. No updates, no new software, no f… sync issues or anything like that!
Can you describe your creative process? Is there a particular routine or schedule you stick to?
Tobias M.: No there’s no particular routine, we are humans not robots, so we just do what we like .
Frank J.: We are all doing beats and sketches at home. So from time to time we are just collecting the ideas and figure out what is worth it to go on.
Where do you shop for and discover music?
Frank J.: Up to 60% it’s our worldwide music family! We are always talking about new music, directions and sharing our productions. 30% are various promo services. The rest is coming from flea markets, shops and websites.
Any highlights from your latest musical discoveries?
Frank J.: There is too much to mention. It has to be interesting, soulful and groovy.
What’s brewing in your studio?
Tobias M.: One can discover new things every time one sits in the studio, it’s all about awareness, mostly it’s the combination which brings the ”yeah-effect”…so don’t be lazy…
Frank J.: Currently we are working on several remixes and already started to work on our third album. Also we are involved in two different solo-album projects.
Any production tips & tricks you’d like to share?
Tobias M.: Start over again, every day.
Frank J.: Just do it.