An iOS musician interview: Jinx Padlock

For most iOS musicians, the iPhone and iPad are devices that allow music making in places where creativity would normally be impossible. But for Richard Perry, better known as Jinx Padlock, it’s been a gateway back into music making. After taking a job in east London with a one hour there and back commute, Richard resumed making music, but this time, on the rapidly improving iOS platform. In six months, he’s gone from messing about to winning a NanoStudio competition of over 300 tracks to prepping a release, mostly on the public transportation system of London. Jinx Padlock truly is, an iOS musician…

Tell us a little bit about you and your music…

I was absolutely obsessed with music from an early age. I was in bands in the my teens, and started programming electronics when I was 17. I loved studios and would hang around until I was kicked out, watching people at work, learning how to control sound. I managed to bag enough time to develop a techno rock act that got quite a bit of attention from the record industry. After a lot of hard work, sweat, blood, tears etc the buzz fizzled and being an all or nothing kind of person I walked away and changed direction toward 3D graphics. I now work in the film industry, not known for its light hours and free time, music became something I used to do – until I picked up an iPhone…

There are many years of influences in my music, spanning many genres. There’s a backbone of old school rave, researched in depth in some of the daftest clubs on the planet in my wasted youth. There’s some pretty monstrous beats, always loved programming drums, always wished I had learned to play for real, I take out my frustration on the sequencer. I listen to a lot of film scores, I think that comes out in the soundscapes – soundtracks have great ebbs and flows, the builds and dynamics are easily transposed into electro. My soft spot for prog rock is evident in both the length of the tunes and the structure of the arrangements. I like music that takes you on a journey and, ultimately, keeps you interested throughout. I also love to sample obscure 70′s bands, just to add a bit of stoned, otherworldly vibes! And it goes without saying, I love a synth.

What first got you interested in making music on the iPad?

I bought NanoStudio in the week it was released, and was pretty amazed with what Blip Interactive had achieved, but was unsure about it’s ability to turn out a full production. Once the 16 track version came out, I picked production up a little, but was still living in an 8 bar loop – I think I was scared that what I’d arrange was rubbish – it took a bit of encouragement from a friend to get the ball rolling. I took a 3 week job in East London last December, an hour commute in, an hour back, thats when I started arranging – within a week I’d bought an iPad and was dreaming Nano dreams. I was glad I’d taken the time to learn NS inside out – the tracks were mostly mixed before I laid them out! I found myself actually wishing the commute was longer – maybe I should move further out…

Are there any other apps you use besides NanoStudio?

I’ve got a lot of music apps, in fact, thats all I’ve got. I compose, arrange and mix in Nanostudio, its the mothership, but my sound sources come from a variety of apps. I think the secret to getting a good sound out of NanoStudio is layering up the effects sends and a lot of resampling. It’s FX are really optimized, you can have loads of them running without it falling over. I have at least 2 compressors on each track of the mixer usually. By far my favourite synth is NLog – it sounds massive and I can always get what I want out of it, when I need it. It reacts just like old hardware, you can almost smell it. I’d also rate Korg’s iMS-20 up there with the best – its superb at punchy, acidy electronic rhythmic stuff – it’s often found bubbling away, hugging a beat. I also use it for percussive beats. Other synths I use include the Animoog, Sunrizer and Addictive, each has its specific strengths, called upon on demand. My drums are a mixture of loops, the brilliant DM1 (a solid sonic rhythm machine) and the intriguing Stochastik (random punchy edginess!)

What app(s) did you use to make the bass line in In ‘The Inevitable Ice’?

That was actually iKaossilator, not a particularly fave of mine, its very limited in what you can do with it. I was messing about with it as I was going to sleep one night and got some funk out of it. I sampled the pattern and cut it up into bits, rearranged in NanoStudio. It’s a key groove in the track, and it’s treated heavily in the mixer, running on 3 channels and a dedicated bus, EQed beyond its wildest dreams. Probably the most work I’ve ever put into a bassline!

Is there anything particularly hard to accomplish on the iPad that you’d rather do on a desktop computer?

Its a bit locked down, but its getting better… I for the most part master in NanoStudio, but have had to take audio off the iPad and into the Mac, to finalise in T-Racks. It’s a shame theres no decent mastering software on iOS – thats why I’m really excited to get my hands on Auria, the new app from WaveMachine Labs. I’ve given up hope of background MIDI in NanoStudio, such a shame. I am looking forward to whatever Matt at Blip does next – he’s a talented guy.

Tell us a little bit about what’s in store for Jinx Padlock! What plans do you have for the future? Are there any other projects you’re working on?

I’ve signed a few tracks, but it’s early days, I have a masterplan and it’s going well so far, so I’d rather not “Jinx” it. There are clues there in the body of work on SoundCloud. I’m just happy that i’ve got back into sonic mayhem again, it’s such a great thing to do, such a great community to be part of. I’m back on the trains, working on the next collection of tracks, so stay tuned…

 

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