DivKid's Month Of Modular Issue #14 November 2016 - Page 15


Hey Justin, thanks for answering questions and chatting to us. To start with can you tell us what your background is? Be that music related, engineering etc.

My background is pretty mixed. I was born in London but I ‘grew up’ (still growing up really…) in Sydney - London has been home again for nearly 20 years now but my accent often sounds like I just arrived. I got into music seriously through late 80’s Punk and

Hardcore but by the 90’s I was making and playing Techno, House and Breaks. Over the years I’ve played in bands as a guitarist, DJ’d, produced, remixed and run record labels. My engineering and electronic design background is mainly self-taught - I started repairing bits of my own music hardware and studio gear to keep it running and at some point, I started thinking about building something for myself.

How did Abstract Data come about? You were making desktop units before modules if I

remember correctly.

Yes, I started building one-off, self-contained, desktop designs around 2008. Basically, small sequenced, mono synths with some basic CV control over stuff like PWM. It’s interesting for me to see the current crop of smaller sequenced synth designs that companies like Korg and Roland are doing now - I do wonder if I would have started on this path if those designs had existed back then.

My first ‘commercial’ builds were the Hex Series - a set of three, complimentary synth/effects boxes that covered signal generation, filtering/morphing and modulation.

I started doing my own designs for two main reasons. I was doing a lot of music and audio writing and production for television and advertising companies. This work was all ‘in the box’ - everything was done in a DAW and while I really enjoyed and appreciated the power and flexibility that gave me - especially for all the last minute or short-deadline changes that work requires - increasingly, I felt more and more like I was spending my entire day just sitting at a computer and less like I was doing anything really creative. Increasingly, the computer became much less interesting to me as a creative tool. That hasn’t really changed for me since then if I’m honest.