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Madhavi Devi - Technical Interview on Synthspotting

Madhavi Devi was interviewed recently about the various technical, equipment and production aspects of her new album "The Truth of Being" on #Synthspotting, Paul Darlington's blog for all things synthesizers and other studio equipment. Paul especially appreciated the additional descriptions of HOW the expansive multi-dimensional sounds were created in Madhavi's album "The Truth of Being", not just providing a simple descriptive equipment list. Madhavi is deeply appreciative of both the interest in her new album and Paul's awesome interview... Here's a transcript...(also to be found at

"#synthspotting featured artist #026: Madhavi Devi ‘The Truth of Being’ joined by special guests Howard Givens (ambient electric guitar, modular synthesizers, effects) and Stephanie Britten Phillips (Viola). Journey into the realm of a collective consciousness that unifies all, sharing space and time in a lush and complex field of mystery and revelation. ------------------------------------------------------------------ What synths/software were used in your release? ------------------------------------------------------------------ “On Madhavi Devi's new release, THE TRUTH OF BEING, we used quite an assortment of synths and textures, blending and layering them, post-processing them and sculpting them to explore the depth of sound colors necessary to evoke an abstract sense of the theme of this project. So for most of the release, like all the releases we work on, the list of instruments hardly suggests the nature of the final sound due to the amount of layering involved. As it is predominately electronic in origination, most parts found there beginnings from sketches in Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2, and then heavily augmented with hardware synths like the Dave Smith Instruments Sequential Prophet 6, Roland sh-201 and Waldorf synthesizer Streichfett, Roland Jupiter-50, Roland Jp8000/8080, and an assortment of Eurorack Modular Synthsand the Doepfer Musikelektronik Dark Energy I. Some though, began from acoustic performances with concert grand harp and viola both mic’d and recorded live, or with electric harp passages expanded with additional MIDI orchestrations. Besides Omnisphere, other software synths and apps were used including the Moog Music Inc. Animoog, a strange no-longer-available app called Spacewiz by Wizdom Music, and a little of NATIVE INSTRUMENTS.” Madhavi Devi

------------------------------------------------------------------ What is your favourite hardware/software synth and why? ------------------------------------------------------------------ “It’s hard to pick a particular synth as an overall favorite, but there’s no doubt that certain synths become the backbone to much of the productions such as Moog Animoog, due to it’s fluid expressiveness, Omnisphere as a solid tool kit for laying out the framework and basic orchestrations of a piece, and the Roland SH-201, as a melodic voice to help develop a continuity throughout the work. The SH-201 has an auxiliary stereo input with a full featured filter on it, so we run the Waldorf Streichfett through it, to get better control and the layering potential.” Madhavi Devi

------------------------------------------------------------------ Tells us a little bit about your production technique and studio ------------------------------------------------------------------ “In addition the the above mentioned synths, various passages would get some additional tracks from Moog Little Phatty®, Eurorack modular beat-based rhythms incorporating the ARTURIA Beat Step Pro with a Make Noise Tempi driving a variety of modules including the Noise Engineering Basimilus Iteritas Alter and the Make Noise DPO, Moog Mother-32, some electric guitar, Tibetan singing bowls, and a few computer-based samples. The key to making it all work comes in the blending and processing of the sounds. Even if an Omnisphere part seemed appropriate for a section of music, we would pass that sound through a series of Strymon effects such as the Timeline and Big Sky and others, as well as various outboard compressors to give it more authenticity and dimension. Many parts were comprised of two or more sounds from different synth sources, again to obtain a sound that would be more expressive, less flat than if just one source was used. Reverbs are also layered in this way, using a hardware Lexicon Pro 300 and Eventide DSP7000 in conjunction with plug-in reverbs from Eventide, Lexicon and Waves Audio. Everything was tracked in Avid Pro Tools and mixed using outboard summing through a Burl B32 Vancouver, so that the soundfield could be as deep and rich sounding as possible, and all monitoring was through Focal Trio6 Be monitors, which are just outstanding speakers. “ Madhavi Devi

------------------------------------------------------------------ About ‘The Truth of Being’ ------------------------------------------------------------------ “THE TRUTH OF BEING resides in the space between a more structured and melodic electronic work and an abstract ambient impressionist sound experience. Some sections have developed rhythmic elements while others, breathe into passages of an organic meditative space. Even the package design is derived from original artwork by Madhavi Devi that was created using a similar compositional approach as the music, lending an additional connection to the overall project. THE TRUTH OF BEING is available now on Spotted Peccary Music through the Spotted Peccary website, Bandcamp, and most all digital streaming providers.” Madhavi Devi

‘Madhavi Devi - The Truth Of Being’ is currently on sale at Spotted Peccary Music’s website and also available via Bandcamp…/the-truth-of-being"

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