Sunday Spotlight: Adam Daniels

1. Hello! Who are you, where are you from and all that good stuff.

Hi, I’m Adam Daniels a solo singer, songwriter and producer from Battersea in south London, UK.

2. Tell us a bit about the music you make.

I’ve always been a fan of 70s/80s synth pop and electronic music, people either hate it or love it, and I love it! From A-ha’s Take On Me to Yazoo’s Only Me, if it has a synth in it, I’m going to love it. However my favourite band of nowadays is The Killers, the lead singer Brandon Flower has a particular style of songwriting that has always inspired me, he tells stories accompanied with glitzy synths and bombastic choruses, that you just can’t help but sing along to. Another band that majorly influences my work is Keane, I grew up listening to Keane and they have such powerful lyrics that have the ability to relate to your situation even if the song is not specifically about that, Keane were also the first band to replace the prominence of the lead guitar with a beautiful yamaha CP70 piano and the combination of this piano and other live instruments is magical. So now that I have discussed my influences, this brings me to my music. As a keyboardist, I strive to make electronic pop music that fuses elements of the 80s with the storytelling and songwriting of bands like The Killers and Keane. When I’m not making more heavier synth pop songs, I’m likely to be diving into the alternative ballad side, using electronic beats accompanied with soul-like lyrics.

 

3. When did you start and what made you want to start making music?
When I was in college I took an A-level in Music Technology, I had always studied music at school but this was the first time I actually got to grips with recording and producing. I absolutely loved it, one reason that might have helped was one of the pieces of coursework that I had to do was to MIDI sequence the 80s classic Tainted Love by Soft Cell! This course taught me all about microphones, recording, mixing, microphone placement and how to use Cubase to compose and sequence music. Once I was getting to understand Cubase, I started creating at home and eventually upgraded to Mac and moved to producing in Logic Pro, from then, as they say, the rest was history.

 


4. Stage or studio?

Currently I am just making music in the studio, although when I see my favourite bands perform I do aspire to one day perform on the scale to which they do.

 

5. What gear do you use to make your tunes?

In my home studio I have a Mackie mixer which I use to record through, an Audio Technica AT2020 condenser microphone for my vocals and M-AUDIO speakers. Since I love synthesisers I have quite a vast collection of analogue, virtual analogue and digital synths. The first synth I bought was the microKORG, a beautiful beast of a synth with big sounds and a real warmth to it. Next I bought a Clavia Nord Lead 2, one of my prized possessions, there is a particular strings patch that I think I use in almost all of my songs, it’s that good! Then I got the classic 80s synth, a DX7, it takes a while to get used to programming it, but I regularly hook it up to my Mac and import patches that way. One of my other favourite synths is the Prophet ’08, not many new age synths can recreate the juicy, analogue grit that you get from the likes of a Minimoog, Juno 60 or Jupiter 8, but DSI’s range of Prophets are on a whole new level. The sounds you can create on these are incredible and is by far one of my best purchases. When I’m not using hardware I’m dipping into the word of virtual software instruments. I have a Novation Launchkey61 MIDI keyboard that enables me to input melodies and chord progressions I make instantly. I have quite a growing arsenal of soft synths, both free and ones that I have paid for. If I were to recommend a collection of soft synths it would have to be Arturia. Since I love retro keyboards this was the ideal set for me, and they often sell their products at really affordable rates, it includes beautiful Prophet V, Jupiter 8, Minimoog and CS80 emulations, plus many more. And to recommend a freeware synth, I’d say the Tyrell N6 from u-he, it’s very versatile and sounds great.

6. And what is your choice bit of gear and why?

As I mentioned above, my choice bit of gear is the Nord Lead 2, it’s such a warm sounding synth and instantly recognisable on any track. It is also very versatile, with an easy to use set of knobs that gives you the ability to create bass patches, synth leads and warm pads.

7. Where can we check out your tunes?

 You can check out my music on my Bandcamp page and on Spotify.

Red Dog Music is the UK’s friendliest musical instrument and pro-audio dealer. Between our 5000 square foot Edinburgh shop filled with an incredible range of products, a spectacular shop in Leeds, and a London showroom in Clapham specialising in high-end instruments, dj and pro-audio, Red Dog Music has you covered from north to south and from performance to playback.

 

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