Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tabletop Q+A: +verb (Robox Neotech)

Since launching Tabletop in July, we've been talking to musicians about the app and how they can get involved. When Dominic Tetmeyer started commenting on Facebook about Tabletop, we immediately recognized his name as one of our favorite artists: +verb. With releases on Robox Neotech, Car Crash Set, and Saturate, as well as recent remixes for Starkey and Manni Dee, he has a unique sound. Ethan Baer of Subsynthesis.com described it as "Effortlessly weaving sensual sounding melodies into the fabric of his rich sonic architecture, +verb assembles vibrant and often quirky soundscapes delightfully adorned with cascading arpeggios and laser-infused beats."

Once we started talking, it was obvious that Tabletop could benefit from a touch of +verb. He went about creating presets for Gridlok, RS3, and M8RX. The results launched in 1.2 and bring a new facet to the app's capabilities. We talked to this exciting artist recently about his approach, his wishes, and what's on the horizon for him. Read on!

You were already on my list of favorite producers to contact about Tabletop when you started posting on our Facebook page. How did you find out about the app?
Well thanks! Hmm. If memory serves me right I had randomly seen it on the App Store page under New... I bought it on the spot. Shortly after I saw the promo videos with Salva which made me remember the app so I dove into it and explored.

What were your first impressions of the original launch devices and app?
I really loved the concept. I liked the fact that so much power was coming to the iPad, in a modular fashion. The original devices were good, but it was missing some critical devices. I am really glad that the team works so hard to update it often with cool things.

What's your normal setup like?
I have now stripped it all down to a real minimal setup. I basically have midi controllers, iPad, monitors, and a laptop. I am currently debating what will be my analog synth purchase number one... a Moog or Virus.

The sounds you made for us are very unique. How did you create them and what were going for? 
I wanted RS3 sounds that could be used as beds in tracks to add texture and vibe to any existing track. The M8RX sounds I built to be quirky, something out of the ordinary. For the drum samples in Gridlok, I pulled from my library of personal samples. I chose ones that stand out. They are crunchy, textured, thick, and futuristic. I feel they can be used to add flavor to many different production styles. While building these sounds I found myself adding noise and dirt a lot to liven them up. And for the drums, very short delay times are my best friend!

How much do you normally focus on sound design when producing tracks?
Sound design takes up a lot of my time. I find it utterly fascinating. Manipulating synths, adding effects, recording real world sounds... all these things are wonderfully fun. Technology today is insane [laughs]. I am glad I live in an era with such capabilities because without technology I feel that I would be really bored.

Alongside your sound contributions, we've also recently launched new effects and a new synth. What do you think of these additions?
The new effects were necessary. They are really good. And the new synth is a cool addition. It sounds great. I hope to see more sound outputting devices in the future.

Do you see Tabletop fitting in to your studio?
Tabletop currently is my go-to choice for making music on the road. It is really fun and has some seriously powerful capabilities. Perhaps if better export options existed from Tabletop it would be more useful. Or if it could output MIDI messages, that would be cool too!

What's on your Tabletop wish list?
I would love to have a routable LFO device. A drum machine/step sequencer device. And perhaps someway to switch the metronome to count on a triplet grid. Oh, and MORE SYNTHS!

I know you use TouchOSC for live control. Do you like using a multitouch interface for performances?
I do. I really do. It beats traveling through airports with the Livid Instruments OHM64 plus laptop plus gear like I used to do. Airport security would always stare at the OHM64 in awe. Like "what is this? What does it do? Neat!" [laughs]. Now I dart in and out of security with ease. But from a usability standpoint, I enjoy multitouch interfaces very much. Sometimes I miss trading one form of tactile touch with real knobs for the very different tactile touch and feel that comes with the iPad... but being able to build your own layouts for controlling objects is unbeatable. Any design you can imagine, you can build. One major gripe, though, that I do have, is when playing live shows, sometimes I have had issues with sweaty hands and the iPad not wanting to respond. Now this isn’t a deal breaker for people wanting to perhaps switch to an iPad, but more so a nuisance to be aware of if anything. 

Could you see Tabletop being used for a live performances?
I have thought about how I would use it live, and I have not reached a conclusion on how I could work it into my set. Maybe someday though. The potential is definitely there.

You have a new EP as well as a few releases in the works. What can you tell us about them?
My new EP is for Robox Neotech label out of Berlin. Expect crazy, futuristic, and bass heavy tracks filled with 808 sounds. It is very experimental in nature and really is a collection of styles that I enjoy. The title of it is Fragments and is being released this month. I also have several other projects on the go, and I am not able to share too many details about them at the moment. But I am super excited for these projects to see the day of light, which isn’t too far off actually. Stay tuned!

+verb's new EP for Robox Neotech is called Fragments and was released on Beatport December 1, 2011 with widespread release to follow on December 29, 2011. Check out a preview here:
rbxep27 - +Verb - Fragments Ep by Robox Neotech

Bonus! Free Christmas EP on Bandcamp:

Selected Discography
Sensual Frequencies EP - Debuted #1 on addictech.com
Cough EP - Debuted #2 on addictech.com
Solar Heat Traveler EP - Debuted #1 on addictech.com
"Paradise (+verb Remix)" for Starkey - Lost In Space Volume 1


  1. Someone should tell this guy that a Virus is not an analog synth like a Moog. :)

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