Up next in the Three Questions Series is the talented music maker, Brad Oberhofer.
Synth History: What kind of sounds are the most inspiring to you?
Brad: All kinds! Upon answering this question, I immediately think of instruments and sounds that give you a glimpse into the evolution of synthesis and sampling (i.e. Micromoog, Optigan, Solina Strings, MS-20). I gravitate towards sounds that are imperfect, natural and unpredictable. Instruments rich in tonal quality that are often not quite functioning properly.
Synth History: What are some of your all-time favorite synths?
Brad: I love the Moog Model D for its functional purpose: it is the ultimate glue.
I have a Micromoog that I use constantly, it's tonal quality is both playful sounding and also capable of filling low end nicely. I also have an optigan that I love the sound of, each disc is a unique glimpse into a different style of music (from an early 70's kitsch perspective). The keyboard is capable of achieving a brassy timbre that possesses intense drama. It's capable of sounding sinister in a cartoonishly dramatic, romantic, symphonic way.
I have used the Casio MT-100 on numerous recordings and love the sound of its delayed vibrato and reverb. I bought my first one at a garage sale in Tacoma, WA for $7. On thousands of occasions, it has lulled me to sleep while I play it at night; filling a space for me like that of a teddy bear.
Synth History: What are the most important ingredients when it comes to creating something new?
Brad: For me personally, in order for something new to feel worthwhile to me, I have to enjoy envisioning its sound while I am taking a walk outside. If I can picture it blossoming, then It deserves a lot of energy. It's not really an ingredient, but my arrangements and structures are really inconsistent and I like inconsistency.
References: Synth History exclusive.