By George Loukas
Unless you're completely new to EDM or have been living under a rock, chances are you've heard of Francis Preve. He's rocked crowds of thousands, writes for Keyboard Magazine and is the author of "The Remixer’s Bible: Building Better Beats". His book has become hardware for pro studios and basement producers around the globe. [Abletone Operator sample]
Preve's played a significant role as a programmer/designer for the Ableton Live series. Ableton is quickly becoming the industry standard for production software and Preve's sounds and effects have been an integral part of the product.
SoulMatters: Why do you produce music?
Francis Preve: Well, I've been obsessed with sound and electronics ever since I was a teenager. After I got my first analog synths - a Moog MG-1 and a Korg Polysix, if anyone's keeping track - I was completely hooked. Producing music, designing sounds, reviewing gear... It all comes from that. I just can't imagine doing anything else.
SMM: DJ wise are you a CD, vinyl or computer person, and why?
FP: I use a MacBook with Ableton Live, Native Instruments' new Audio 4 DJ and a Korg nano Kontrol controller. I have a lot of respect for the traditional ways of CDs and vinyl, but as a producer this just feels more natural to me. You can manipulate, process, and layer tracks with a computer in ways that are pretty much impossible via any other method. This approach also allows me to interact with the crowd a bit more, turning knobs and improvising on the fly, so it's win-win for everyone.
SMM: If you had the opportunity to work with anyone who would it be?
FP: Trevor Horn or Tony Mansfield - my two favorite 80s producers.
SMM: Who would you consider to be a pioneer in the music industry?
FP: For production gear, I'd have to say Dave Smith - the inventor of MIDI, the Prophet, and the Korg Wavestation. Gerhard Behles and Robert Henke (the inventors of Ableton Live) would be a very close second.
As for electronic music artists, I'd have to say Kraftwerk, Giorgio Moroder, Brian Eno, Alan Wilder and Frankie Knuckles. Those guys did it first, so major props to them.
SMM: If you were to be stranded on a deserted island and you could only bring one thing, what would it be?
FP: My MacBook, Ableton Live Suite, a great pair of headphones and a solar panel to charge it. Wait, that's four things. Oops.
SMM: Do you have a routine that you go through before gigs? If yes, what is it?
FP: I used to have terrible stage fright, but after a few big gigs with Josh Gabriel in front of thousands of people, it got a LOT easier. Nowadays, I just like to have time to quietly chill out for about an hour before the gig. The calm before the storm, if you will.
SMM: Anything you wanna say to the readers of Soulmattersmag.com?
FP: In addition to thanking my fans and supporters, I really want to encourage people - everyone - to stick to their dreams. Getting there may take years of hard work, but being able to do what you love is utterly worth it. So keep plugging away and I promise it will happen.
SMM: Thanks for your time Francis!