Artists & Arturia #55 – Walter Mair meets MatrixBrute & Pigments

Artists & Arturia #55 – Walter Mair meets MatrixBrute & Pigments

I’ve used it in the Netflix TV show on the Formula 1, I’ve used it in a high-end video game that comes out later this year. I’ve used
it in other projects at the moment. I’m working on a movie with Warner Music
and I’m using it there too. It’s got everything covered and this is why I
think, from a sound point of view, it is state of the art so it’s gonna live with
me for a long time and you can really use all the presets and everything that’s in
there, as it is. So, when I sit in front of the MatrixBrute it’s usually like sitting in front of a very modular synth set up. You’re there with your synthesizer, with your instrument and you’ve got this blank
canvas. So I usually turn on the synth and I only start with the initialized preset…
Nothing. So, after half an hour of programming, you end up with the sound
that is so unique and different, something that you didn’t even have in mind when
you started. This is what I really like. The MatrixBrute is unique because it has got the Matrix, where the name comes from of course. And this combined with
a modular synth set up, it’s just a dream. Because I can use the Matrix as my
center hub. So for his Netflix “Formula 1” show, I was asked to come up with a main theme, like an opening theme and I started with the MatrixBrute, just
to experiment. And the sequences I had already programmed then I went to modulation sources, and I thought “Okay, this blue looks really nice”, like the blue light.
And then I just hopped in F1 and it made the perfect sound that I had almost kind
of programmed, but with those extra few lights flashing. It was the perfect sound
for the show. I like to combine the easygoing of an
instrument, as often something like Pigments, and the world of MatrixBrute, which is
like endless and infinite. And both together are just a great kind of
combination for finding something that’s unique and creative. Gaming started for me after university, so everything was a bit open to interpretation and there is a lot of creative
space in that. I got the chance to work on a video game called “Grand Theft Auto”, and this started kind of my game career. Later on came Sega and Creative
Assembly, Sony Video Games in London, with a great game “Killzone”. The main difference between games and Netflix series for instance, is that games
are nonlinear. So you write usually tracks of 3 minutes in length. You deliver
certain stems, but then you have to give the developer enough creativity and space
to introduce certain elements at certain points, when the player’s doing something
that’s unexpected, or at a different timing than what you had it in mind. I guess inspiration comes from different sources. It could be the brief itself, you read a
brief and you’re inspired. Pigments is an absolute dream to write with, because you have everything from bass, to synths, to leads to
everything you need. And all the sound design capabilities too – and that’s what I
use most of the time. So, I just open up a preset or a blank
sound. And just draw something. You can really
hone into pictures or whatever happens on the picture side. You can mimic that
with the sounds, by automating for instance filter sweeps, or just movement
that goes up from a tiny movement to a really big, eccentric movement. So
just click through some presets, use one of them, tweak it a bit and
you’re there. So it’s a very easy way to find the right sound. You would have to look into your samples or your software instruments to find something that inspires you. I often go to my analog synth or into a software, especially Pigments
for instance with all the sequencers in there. You can easily manipulate sounds. Let me take that as a baseline, like the bass get here, and then you bring it back in
with some real instruments. When you mix them, and treat them with effects, sometimes the border is kind of blur, and you don’t know quite what you’re listening to.
I like this bit of intrigue, to have that in my music. So usually, for the projects of work, I am
being sent the first QuickTimes from the producers. For instance, this
“Formula 1” show that I just got, they sent me a QuickTime
outtake of some racing sequences and I would sit in my studio, usually for a few
days, and have ideas of: “What instrumentation do I use? Is it
electronic instruments? Is it analog?”. So I choose to use some of the bottom and gritty kind of synthesizers. I used the MatrixBrute, I used my modular synth set up, and of course, combined it with live recorded instruments. It’s usually
very hands-on, you start very early on, sometimes even before a film is being
shot, and you finish a couple of weeks before the film is being released in
cinemas. So it’s sometimes a very intense thing, but it’s very important I think to
bring in your own expertise and to really help the filmmakers to see their
vision through and to help them in the music side.


  • Lainer Martin says:

    MAtrixbrute is so awesome. The only thing I would buy over it would be a Baloran The River.

  • Dave Lordy says:

    I really want to like the Matrixbrute, I want to give myself a reason to buy it, lol ! It looks fantastic, the workflow and recall look amazing, but demo after demo after demo all you get is 90% random dissonant bleepy LFO synth landfill, random constantly changing synth mess . . . it's weird to watch a video about a £2k synth just to hear some glitchy lo-fi sequence I could put together on my £200 reface CS or yet another 2 bar clipped acid sequence with some wild filter sweeping driven by an LFO which itself is being modulated by another LFO . . . but where's the actual music !? Where are the inspirational tracks, if you look up a demo video for the Sub37 you are hit with amazing sounding music, cool leads and deep basses . . . rather than another 10 minutes of what sounds like a broken modem from 1997. I suspect the problem might be that as the Matrixbrute is so powerful and so flexible and you can route anything to anything else, and you can do this so easily, that people are tempted into doing just that, whether it adds anything to the sound or not, why stick with a cool sounding lead when its pitch can be constantly modulated by an LFO that is being driven by the resonance which itself is being driven by a second LFO . . . the result is demo after demo of weird 'laboratory' sounds that leave you thinking this thing is great at glitchy space sound effects, but I'm not sure how it'd help me make actual music.

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