Producer, electronic musician and iD22 owner, Paul van der Walt lives in Johannesburg, goes by the alias of Watermark High and released his eponymous, debut album back in June of last year. Whilst his evocative, dreamy soundscapes are available for download and/or streaming just about everywhere, he is working on a side project called Kinoh which has an EP due out early 2017. Oh, and in his spare time he’s studying Music For The Media, Cinematic Orchestration and Sound Design. Not busy, much.
Audient did manage to catch him in between things to find out a bit more – about him, his music studio, his inspiration…but first we wanted to hear about how iD22 fits into his workflow.
My iD22 is my main sound card/audio interface. It’s part of my core studio/writing setup along with my Maschine Studio controller and Ableton Live 9 (and a MIDI keyboard of course).
Come on, indulge us. Tell us what you love about the Audient iD22.
My friend Jacob at Benjamin Pro Audio [Audient’s local distributor] told me about you guys. I absolutely hated my old sound card as it was giving me so many problems and was really unstable, so Jacob suggested that I check you guys out.
“It wasn’t until I heard what it sounded like, that my mind was really blown.”
I researched Audient online and was really impressed with what I read and saw. The iD22 fitted my budget at the time so I went for it. It wasn’t until I heard what it sounded like, that my mind was really blown. No bullsh!t, I couldn’t believe the clarity of the conversion compared to my old sound card. So for me, apart from any other feature, the clarity and just the sound quality in general is what I love about the interface.
Although I don’t record that much, I love that I also have some really good pre-amps at my disposal. And a simple but really useful thing I use all the time is the assignable buttons…I love being able to switch to mono in an instant. I’ve never had that before and I use it all the time.
Tell us a bit more about your setup.
I work out of a small home studio (spare room) that I’ve been building up and investing in over the last five years or so. I don’t have much hardware, just two synths: a Novation Bass Station 2 and a little Critter & Guitari Pocket Piano. I also have a bunch of MIDI controllers that I mainly use for performance: a Livid Instruments Ohm RGB, NI Maschine, an old 49 key MIDI keyboard and an Akai APC40 MK2.
“I love that I also have some really good pre-amps at my disposal.”
I mainly produce and mix in the box so I have bought a bunch of great plugins over the years. I use a lot of Native Instruments stuff along with Ableton’s native plug-ins, but also stuff by Izotope, U-he, IK-Multimedia, Toneboosters, Goodhertz and many others. My studio monitors are a pair of Eve SC207’s.
What message would you like people to take away from your music?
I do try to do something different, to have a diverse sound and I’m really passionate about what I do, so if people can hear that in my music, I’m happy.
What are you working on now?
I released my debut self-titled Watermark High album in June, so I’ve just been playing live to promote it. As far as writing goes, my studies have been keeping me really, really busy but I have started working on a new EP for my Kinoh side-project which I’m hoping to have out and done by the end of January next year.
“I love being able to switch to mono in an instant. I’ve never had that before and I use it all the time.”
Which track would you recommend we listen to, to introduce us to your style?
That’s a really difficult question to answer. I do feel that you need to listen to a couple of my tracks to get a good feel for what I do, but I guess my personal favourite track off my album called ‘Tang Shen’ would be a good place to start… [Audient couldn’t stop at one – go on, have a listen]
What are you most proud of?
I guess just listening back and hearing the progress I’ve made in my production (both writing and producing). I only started studying this year, so I’m self-taught really and I feel proud of what I’ve made just by figuring stuff out for myself through self-study and trial and error.
What do you admire and why?
I love when I hear people trying different things or mixing genres in creative ways and not just making the same stuff over and over. That’s really inspiring. I admire music with intricacy and attention to detail. I’m a fan of the little things because they all add up…