Noise Engineering

Get out of the box -- and back in

Noise Engineering is a Eurorack and 5U modular synthesizer manufacturer based in Los Angeles, California. 

David Durst/D-tek

This week, we continue our series of guest posts, but with a twist. We are so happy to present this post by David Durst in both Spanish and in English. Although David is a native Spanish speaker, I am not, so any typos are my own -- please forgive any misspellings or words out of place. It’s been a few years since I spoke fluently, and modular in Spanish is an entirely new language to me!

If you follow NE, you’ve probably seen at least one post by David Durst. You may know him as D-tek.  David was born in Mexico City and started making music there over 20 years ago. He has studied audio engineering, and combined with his exceptional studio work, his professionalism as a DJ and producer, he has become a leader in the Mexican psytrance scene. David has published tracks on some well known labels.  He’s also the first Mexican producer to have a psytrance album in worldwide release. Earth Technologies (2003) broke sales records in Japan and was at the number one at psyshop.com for several weeks.

David came onto our radar because he got in touch to ask a few questions about our modules.  Then he began posting some really incredible music he produced using them and we were blown away. We asked him to talk to us about what he does, how he does it, and his brand new record label, Unipolar, created entirely for modular music.

Kris Kaiser: Hi David! Thank you for talking to us. I imagine with all of this success, you are able to dedicate yourself to music full time. What do you do these days?

David Durst: Yes, I am a full-time musician.  Currently, I’m working on various projects -- D-tek for psytrance, my techno project David Durst, I play out with DJ and live sets, and I also do sound design and post production for television and movies.

KK: Wow, that is a lot. I bet that keeps you busy.  With all of that going on, why modular? What is it that got you excited about modular?

DD: Well, I spent a lot of time producing with a DAW and synths....and eventually I got bored with it. This is when I decided to enter the world of modular and begin to experiment with new methods.

What I like about modular is that it is infinite. Each time you disconnect the cables and begin to create a new patch, you get new ideas. Sometimes it’s just something as simple as sending modulation to something else, and then to another and another...but it’s unlimited, and this is what I find interesting.  Working in a DAW is very...square, but modular breaks this form and creates other dynamics. I try to always integrate modular or do something entirely with modular. 

It’s been a three-year process to get a setup that I feel comfortable with and really fits my needs. I spent time going through modules learning new things every day, looking for the modules  that I felt really fit my sound. It’s a very extensive world.

KK: Definitely. I feel like I change my case every month, and have to learn everything again!  You made a video, which I love. What is happening in the video? How are you making this piece?

DD: In this patch, I want to show how to add a bit of dynamics and break up monotony using Confundo Funkitis

The CF basically mixes eight gates (4 per side).  What we have in the following patch is four gates on the right coming from the Tiptop Circadian Rhythm.  The outputs go to the Kick, bass, hats, and lead. On the left set of inputs, we have three gates from the Noise Engineering Numeric Repetitor.  I’m only using three: the hats don’t get an input from the NR. This way, when I move the crossfader, they fade out. 

As I move the crossfader on the CF, you can hear the change in rhythms.  The amount of variation depends on how much the crossfader is moved. The four sound sources are the Basimilus Iteritas Alter on kick, Manis Iteritas on bassline and hats, and Loquelic Iteritas Percido on lead. The bassline is being sequenced by Mimetic Digitalis set to a 4-step loop. The LIP lead is modulated by a second MD.

KK: You recently started Unipolar, a record label for modular music.  Tell me about that -- what made you decide to start the label, and how did you do it? Did you have assistance? 

DD: The idea for Unipolar came from a conversation with a friend from Guadalajara, Manolo Amézquita.  Our initial idea was to lower the barrier to entry for people so that people who are not in the music industry could get their music on the major platforms more easily. We were looking for distribution options with the original idea that we would just put out own music each month to start.  

One Saturday, I ran into a musician friend who has several labels, so I asked him what the best distribution option was for our label.  He told me to forget about searching -- we could create this within his group.

And so Unipolar was born within Wholestorymusic, which is the home to various labels for people who want to put their music on the major platforms. Unipolar is now more people. I’m the face of it, but there are more people who are in charge of contracts, releases, design, web programming there are people working in Mexico, Brazil and Belgium giving the same support as the other labels within Wholestorymusic.

KK: What do you see happening in the future with the label? 

DD: The future...well, we hope to grow with quality artists to create a whole genre of modular music in Beatport and support whoever is interested. 

KK: Speaking of people who are interested...how does someone submit to Unipolar?

DD: If you are interested in sending demos, it’s really easy and is done in five simple steps. Follow the link below for more information.

http://unipolar.label-engine.com/demos


Love David Durst/D-tek? Find him in on social media. 

https://www.instagram.com/david_durst1/

https://www.facebook.com/David.Durst.online/

https://www.facebook.com/dtekonline/

Want to know more about Unipolar?  Check out these links.

https://www.beatport.com/label/unipolar/80439

http://unipolar.label-engine.com/demos

Enormous thanks this week to Mig Gardo, friend of NE and part of the awesome A Million Machines, for double-checking my English translation and making sure the parts I wrote in Spanish are not too terrible.

Noise Engineering is proudly located in Los Angeles, CA