Sound Check Micro x MicroHeavy
posted by March 13 at 13:20 PMon
Who needs music conferences and stages to rock? The Nord Micro Modular is a four knob video-tape sized interface that lets you twist and tweak your way into rock, right there in the comfort of your very own bedroom.
Dr. Heavy (a.k.a. Mike Todd) is an engineer / tech / musician who knows the internal workings of gear and systems. Heís a synth specialist who isnít afraid to go hard and loud. The band in which he uses his Nord Micro Modular is called Phase 3.
Before you kick my ass, can you talk about something small in your world of sound that brings you joy?
Dr. Heavy: Yes, I can. And itís the Nord Micro Modular. I use it as a sound generator. Itís four knobs, itís small, and itís affordable. It works like a modular synth. You pick a filter or an envelope, choose your programming option, and go. The Micro Modular can make up to 99 patches. You can use it as efx unit, a stand alone sound generator, or hook a keyboard up to it and play it with MIDI.
And itís tiny right?
Yeah. About the size of a VHS tape. I go direct into the mixer, run it through an efx pedal and a looping pedal, and have all the gear in a backpack. Get your Nord Micro, a couple cables, a pedal, and you can do a whole show. It mimics what a modular synth would do. You create how the patches will sound. Instead of having the normal synth rules, you can come up with your own.
Whatís the Phase 3 set up?
Weíre a Turntable DJ who runs stereo out, two Kaoss pads, a Micro Nord, and a Boss RC-20XL looping pedal. One other person uses actual modular synth, an electro harmonics looper, and a Kaoss pad. Itís more ambient sounding. We do have some beats, but theyíre glitchy and electronic sounds. The DJ messes with kidís records and medical records, and educational records.
Did you say educational records?
Yeah, you know, stuff about fog and anatomy. He puts two needles next to each other, and plays two grooves on the same record at the same time. It sounds really twisted. He puts pieces of wood under the record to create skips on the vinyl and does rhythmic things with those.
All this gear talk, I knew youíd be talking about wood at some point. Is it good wood? What kind of wood does he use? Tell me about his wood.
No, actually, this is where I kick your ass.
Hereís a video of Dr. Heavy in action with his Nord Micro Modular: