In his interview with Dave Smith Instruments, Zardonic discusses Pro 2 and how he used it while recording his upcoming album 'BECOME'.
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An icon, a globetrotter, an innovator and an outstanding performer, Federico Ágreda Álvarez is a multi-talented award winning keyboardist, DJ, composer, producer, and remixer. He is best known for his rock-infused, Electronic Dance Music, one-man-DJ project, Zardonic, which seamlessly encompasses Glitch Hop, Breakbeat, Electro House, Dubstep, Drum & Bass, and Hardcore Techno with shredding Metal guitars and commanding vocals. Donning one of the Top 10 Best DJ Masks in the world, Zardonic has peaked at #1 on Beatport Drum & Bass, and Amazon’s Hard Rock & Metal Bestsellers, with original releases in Skrillex’s own OWSLA imprint, UK’s legendary renegade hardware, Dieselboy’s Planet Human, AK1200’s Big Riddim Recordings, and now exclusively signed with multiplatinum label entertainment One Music and released in Japan through JVC Kenwood Victor Entertainment Corporation.
Having remixed platinum-selling british legends Bullet For My Valentine, crème de la crème Industrial rock pioneers Nine Inch Nails, Billboard top charters Pop Evil, Norwegian black metallers Gorgoroth, Ukranian pop rockers Semargl, Japanese metalcore revelation Crossfaith, award winning producer Celldweller and UK electronic rock pioneers The Qemists, while getting remix treatments from Heavygrinder, Black Sun Empire, Neonlight, State Of Mind, Evol Intent, Counterstrike, The Outside Agency, and producing the debut album Freakshow by New Jersey shock rockers American Grim as well as the comeback album of the legendary New York metallers Eve To Adam, Ágreda represents an undeniable genre-defying force that relentlessly pushes all boundaries and standards of the mainstream and the underground scene, never settling for any rules, and pioneering the sound that is now predicted by the curators as the future of music.
What made you choose the Pro 2?
“I was literally searching for the most powerful monosynth to date. This is no joke. It’s exactly what I typed in Google and the Pro 2 came like a relentless punch to my face. I have a lot of respect for Mr. Smith for all his contributions to the Music Industry and we might as well not even be making modern electronic music without him, so it was no surprise to me that one of his synths came up first on the Google results!”
How are you using it?
“Pretty much all over my new record Become, coming out on the 28th of September on Entertainment One Music. I was able to get all sorts of sounds from it. Uplifters, downlifters, leads, bass, pads, effects, and crazy noises. Some of these sounds I actually found so useful that as soon as I sampled them they became my go-to for many other productions I did for other clients. It was very easy for me to jump on it and start creating sounds and this is very important for me. I can’t justify buying a piece of hardware if all I’m going to do is stare at it while scratching my head in confusion. With the Pro 2 I sat down, got my first patch done, then the second one, and the third one, and so on. The sliders add a lot of live performance possibilities, too.”
What’s one of your favorite things about it?
“That’s a hard one! I don’t think I could pick one single thing I like above the rest. But to name a few things, the layout is extremely intuitive and intelligent. Also, having the sliders and the mod wheel next to each other has allowed me to do a lot of interesting performance tricks. I was even able to play it like an electric guitar while doing a solo. All of the tracks on the record have solos and guitar feedback noises, but there are two tracks where this is especially heard: Army Of One and Transhuman, which also features Jorgen Munkeby of SHINING on the sax. Those who know their Metal will find that I took a lot of inspiration from Trey Azagthoth.”
What does it give you that other synths might not?
“The Tuned Feedback feature. That was genius. Without that I couldn’t do those “guitar” solos I spoke about and I honestly don’t think I could pull them off with any other synth. If you pair that with the 4x Delay, 4x LFOs, 5 Envelopes… Jesus, what were you guys thinking? I could easily go insane consumed by such a monster and end up in a mental ward. It’s a danger to society. Beware.”
Any interesting Pro 2 tricks or techniques you’d like to share?
“I did a patch cheekily named Ode to Yoy. I was trying to reproduce the much overused “yoy” synth you hear all over Dubstep tracks while adding my own twist to it. I used the mod wheel and assigned negative values to one filter and positive values to the other, adjusted resonance to taste, used a mix of saw and square oscillators, added distortion, and set slider values to modify the position of each filter cutoff. Voilá! Instant yoy!”
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