© 2009 vhcle [subscribe to our list]
Let’s face it, recording from the convenience of your own home is just plain easy these days and consequently, there’s a lot of crap out there. I mean, a lot. Setting up a home studio is cheaper than it’s ever been in the past 10 years and it seems like everybody with a keyboard and a Radiohead t-shirt on has an electronica project they’re working on. There are a multitude of recording programs to choose from and for that matter, they’re even stock on home computers and laptops these days. “Those starting out are under the consumer spell, believing that having the ‘latest gear’ will shape their sound and make them stand out.” says electronica producer and composer Kevin Pooler on the rise of home studios. For the minority of producers who have remained consistent in the field of home recording, the rise and fall is of no consequence; they remain buoys in a sea of so many following the trend. “The key to writing good music is persistence, meaning finishing the song and moving on to the next.”
From his apartment in Mississauga, Ontario where he lives with his wife Cheryl, Kevin Pooler cranks out some seriously good electronic music. His drum programming, melodies and song structure are reflective of his time spent acquiring a Bachelor of Arts in electronic music from San Francisco State University. His crafted sound is that of practice and of years spent in his room tweaking synthesizers and mastering his own tracks. Red Couch Recordings, his newly formed recording company, is putting these skills to test. Film scores, album mixing or mastering, plus a remix here and there are all on the agenda and he’s taking it as it comes.
Q&A with Kevin Pooler
Vhcle: How long have you been making music?
Kevin Pooler: I’ve been creating music and recording it since 1997.
V: What got you into making electronic music?
KP: I was constantly listening to Chemical Brothers, The Prodigy, BT, and DJ’s from around the world (on a disc-man!). Their sounds intrigued me… I had no choice but to put my piano practice to the side and explore the infant world of musical texture, timbre, and sound manipulation through the use of electronics. To me, this felt like an untapped world of expression that I wanted to be a part of.
V: Was it always natural for you to have your studio in your bedroom or in your house for that matter?
KP: Yes, I just wanted to use the tools I had access to. This did not include high-end studio gear or recording professionals, but it did leave me to explore the gear I had to the greatest degree. Ultimately, I learned to appreciate creating something I deemed great from only a few resources.
V: What are the advantages to recording at home?  Disadvantages?
KP: Recording at home provides a comfortable, creative environment where making music does not mean you’re on the producer’s clock or that you owe the engineer a wad of cash for the day. More importantly, the home studio licenses creative freedom and experimentation to create interesting and original music. Again, having limited gear forces you to think carefully about music you’re writing, which in the end is what it’s all about; not what gear you have. The one disadvantage of recording at home is paying the electricity bill.
V: When you think of your music in its final product, do you hear much of a difference between what you’ve done in your home studio versus what’s been done by mainstream producers in larger, more equipped studios?
KP: Lately I hear less of a difference, but that large studio sound takes patience and experience to achieve. I still feel that the largely equipped studios achieve a well rounded sound because of experience, not solely relying on the gear. Admittedly, I always write music with the intention of sounding much larger than a home studio.
V: I know you just started up Red Couch Recordings. What's happening with that and where would you like to see it go?
KP: Red Couch Recordings started with the intent to provide professional music services to the artists out there who need to be heard. We specialize in all things electronic, be it song-writing, film scoring, keyboard playing, audio mastering, or mixing albums. We have a talented team of people on both coasts and we pool our skills together to achieve great sounding results. I see Red Couch Recordings being associated with new, innovative music, all the while informing people what can be achieved through electronic means. This is a new era, where the music we hear on the radio, in a video game, TV commercial, and film rely on electronics and digital means! We want to not only contribute to this, but be at the cutting edge of this exciting time in music.

V: What's in store for 2009? Any new projects?

KP: 2009 will be a good year for Red Couch. We have been working with artists from all over - San Francisco, Sacramento, and Toronto - mixing, and mastering original music and contributing to many musicians songwriting projects. Red Couch has been mastering San Francisco electronic artist Digital Space's new album, we've been recording the debut album for Decadence Torn, and we’ve been playing keys on various albums, and writing original music for release in the near future. This year, we will be writing lots of new music! I am releasing my debut solo album by years end, and will be writing the sophomore album with Shotgun Sound of Sacramento. Besides this, lots of session recording and mixing services for the talent out there.
The Bedroom Beatmakers Series: Kevin Pooler
(bedroom beatmakers series vol. 1)
By Adam Saake
April 2009
vhcle-09:music/bedroom beatmakers
[listen to POLYCHROMA]
[listen to KLANG]
Kevin Pooler
Adam Saake is a full time arts and culture snob living in the beautiful city of Sacramento, CA. Whether he's playing drums, writing articles or sharing his artwork he lives by one motto: Don't talk about it, be about it.  His strength comes from the amazing network of people he's met along the way and he's dying to meet you.
[listen to REASON FOR TIME]
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