This weeks installment of Discovery Fridays features an artist that everyone should know about, someone that brings an authentic 80’s vibe into synthwave when it seems that every new artist wants to be as dark and heavy as possible, Computronic is a bit of light in the cave. As well as being a fantastic producer, he is a moderator of the most active synthwave Facebook groups which means that he sees all the trends, the highs and lows in the scene and all the insider tricks and tips to create some of the greatest music around.
I posed a few questions for Computronic and invited him to talk about himself.
My producing name is COMPUTRONIC and I’m signed with TimeSlave Recordings
I was born in 1972 so I was a 70s/80s kid. I’m married. We have 2 kids. I’m a partner in a marketing agency where I’m the Creative Director for the video side of the company. I shoot, edit, design and animate (2D/3D). One of my favorite things to do (when not making music) is creating my own promos. I love trying to insert my stuff in to existing movie scenes. I love the challenge of trying to get everything to match. It’s not so much about trying to make an awesome image but making your part look shitty enough that it’ll match the scene it’s being placed in. It should look so realistic that people almost don’t even notice it’s there…until they do 😉
Music influences so much of my life (even though I can’t play an instrument). I feel like life should have a constant soundtrack and mine would definitely be 80s pop music.
I’m not in to dark synthwave very much. I’m more of a Moroder guy than a Carpenter one. I prefer music that makes me happy. I grew up with Muchmusic (Canadian version of MTV) and pop music on the radio. At no point did I sit back and say “Man, I wish they were playing the soundtrack to The Thing while I’m riding around on the bus.” It just wasn’t something that you really thought about. Music was something you danced, broke up, worked out and drove to. Instrumental soundtracks just didn’t fit into any of those categories for me. So my influence has always been, happy, melodic, fun music.
I write soundtracks to movies that I wish existed in the 80s. The fun movies. Other people are doing great at writing Sci-Fi and Horror movie soundtracks so I feel like the other genres just aren’t really represented. Most people remember, and love, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off but nobody writes a soundtrack around that genres. Why not? I feel like those are the stories that we can relate to because they’re anchored in a time and place that seems plausible. Those are the type of movies I want to write about because I feel like they connect a bit more with audience. The best compliment I’ve ever got was from someone who said they always run 4 miles on the treadmill but the day they ran while listening to “Even The Score” they ran an extra mile just to see how the story would end. That’s where the story part is important. It’s more than just the music.
Computronic was nominated for a Toronto Independent Artist award in the electronic category last year based on Even The Score.
I didn’t win but it was pretty cool just to be part of the experience. It was also a great acknowledgment considering that Even The Score is my first album. That type of encouragement makes you sit back and say “Well I guess it wasn’t a fluke. Maybe I’ve got something here.”
I use Ableton Live and a Push 2. The Push is a Godsend because you set the scale you want to work in and it makes sure you can only play notes that are in key.
My go to synths are Diva, OPX Pro, Lush 101, Repro 5 and FM8. I have a bunch more (too many) but those are usually the core of any track. Drums have usually been VPROM, and Addictive Drums but I’m switching things up for this album and going with VHS Drums. I’ve been having a lot of fun playing with them so far.
His links can be found here:
Even The Score – distribution label
Even The Score
Love Is Innocent