For me, sound design is a meditation.
- Electric Bass Guitar (best styles: dub/reggae and psychedelic rock)
- Synth (best style: Lo-Fi analog weirdness like Boards of Canada)
- Electronic Drum Beats (best style: Autechre, Boards of Canada, Plaid)
I have my own small recording studio called Cydonian Sounds that specializes in electronic music and sound design and is also equipped for bass and guitar. I write, record, mix, master and release my own electronica albums under the name Myth Maker.
I've been playing electric bass and acoustic guitar for twenty years and synths/electronic music for ten.
I have experience producing electronic music in the following genres: downtempo, techno/dub techno, lo-fi beats, ambient, and nu-jazz.
I also play live electronic music.
I've played bass in bands that span the genres from punk rock to reggae to progressive rock to funk, folk, indie, jazz and jam. I can play and record bass for most genres, however; I specialize in reggae and jam band music. I'd be happy to do sessions in your studio, too.
I am interested in not only song production, but film and videogame soundtracking as well.
Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.
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Interview with Alex Ziatyk
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Fat bass grooves that make you wanna put on your dancing shoes. I sometimes like to use unconventional time signatures, and even change time signatures during the course of a single song. I have twenty years experience with this sort of songwriting and can produce songs with odd time signatures that sound natural and enjoyable without sounding like some sort of weird tech-prog rock. You won't even notice that the song is in 5/8!
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I can lay down seriously deep and soulful grooves on the bass guitar. I loves me some dub. Also, I tune my synths to Rudolf Steiner's "Scale of Twelve Fifths" or Kirnberger's Scale #3. These are 12 note Western temperaments that are nearly indistinguishable from the standard Equal Temperament. The difference is nearly imperceptible, but creates a more harmonious experience. I also tune everything ever so slightly down to A=432Hz (as opposed to the A=440Hz standard). These temperaments at this tuning are more pure. When subjecting freezing water to the notes of these scales, perfectly symmetrical water crystals are produced; whereas, the notes of Equal Temperament at A=440Hz produce asymmetrical cacophonous crystals. Considering the human body is about 70% water, what music would you rather listen to?
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I usually record direct into my computer with with my bass guitar and send it through various amp simulators to craft the most appropriate and perfect tone. Generally my process can vary widely depending on the needs of the project. My most common approach is to compose the song using MIDI in my DAW and send that out to my hardware synths and record them dry, adding digital FX in the DAW after they've been recorded in order to have maximum control over the mix. I generally only record my hardware FX for ambient music, for songs that require lots of live improvisations, or songs that are more simple with fewer dynamic changes. During mixing and mastering, I take the audio to various sounds sources including my car, my phone, old radios, travel speakers, and various other sound systems I have around the house to make sure I can get the best possible sound.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My DAW is Propellerhead Reason (w/ plenty of plug-ins) and I use the Propellerhead Balance for my audio interface to connect to my iMac. Hardware synths: Novation Bass Station 2, Korg Minilogue XD, Roland MC-707, Dreadbox Erebus. Guitars: 2007 Fender Jaguar Bass, 1972 Fender Telecaster Deluxe (2007 replica), Fender Brown Derby acoustic resonator guitar, Yamaha nylon string guitar, Cigano Reinhardt-style acoustic guitar. Samplers: Elektron Digitakt, iMac. Hardware FX: Meris Polymoon, Meris Mercury 7, Source Audio Ventris, Boss CEB-3, Boss RV-6, Boss DD-3, Dreadbox Komorebi, Hotone Krush, Electro-Harmonix Canyon, Zoom MS70-CDR.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I am most proud of my latest Myth Maker record from 2018: "in not of." I composed, recorded, mixed, and mastered it all by myself. A close friend of mine played guitars on one track, which was a blast. It's really the first album I've done that I am completely content and satisfied with. My other twenty or so years of projects always had something or other that nagged me or disappointed me (as all artists can relate to), but "in not of" is a record that I'm totally happy with. A strange and delightful rarity for a musician.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Currently I'm working on another full length album as Myth Maker.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both. They both have pros and cons and I am comfortable using either in any combination. Digital has great accuracy, predicable control, and an enormous sound pallet. Analog is more alive and has an untamable beauty. All of my music uses a combination.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: You will get a product that is unlike anything else out there. It won't just be some pop song or a Lo-Fi hip hop beat. It will be something carefully crafted with a special bit of subtle exotica that will set it apart.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Designing synth sounds. But to be honest, I like the entire process from start to finish. It's all fun to me.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: I never use presets or sample packs. I record and design all of my own sounds from scratch. Everything you hear is entirely unique. (Unless you've got a specific sample you'd like me to use. No problemo.)
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Are there any existing songs or musicians that you are trying to emulate? List any words, concepts, or phrases that come to mind when visualizing your desired result, anything at all, no matter how weird, that you think is associated with the feeling you have.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Assuming there is electricity on this island... Fender Brown Derby resonator guitar, Roland MC-707, Novation Bass Station 2, EV RE320 mic, Bose L1 PA system. If there was no electricity: My acoustic guitars, ukulele, and my Celtic flute.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started playing music at age 4 and immediately fell in love, I picked up trumpet at age 8, I picked up bass and guitar at age 10, played bass in tons of different bands over the years (jazz, punk rock, funk, progressive rock, reggae, indie, folk, and more), started electronic music at age 20, built a tiny recording studio at age 25 and started my solo project Myth Maker. Now I'm in my early thirties trying to produce music for clients full time. Music is the core of my life and always has been.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Sort of Lo-Fi, downtempo, nice melodies, jazzy chord shapes, groovy beats, interesting bass, cinematic ambience, a touch of dub reggae, and a teeny tiny taste of techno.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I would love to work with Michael McCann. The soundtrack for Deus Ex: Human Revolution inspired me to focus on electronic music. His compositions are breathtakingly beautiful. Plus, I'd love to get into videogame soundtracking.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Always challenge yourself. Throw a couple dice. Whatever number they land on, that's your time signature.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: When it comes to electronic music, I usually work on "Lo-Fi" downtempo stuff along the lines of Boards of Canada, Autechre, and Tycho. I also record lots of ambient stuff. Oh yea, and dub techno. When it comes to bass guitar, I usually end up playing reggae, progressive rock, or indie folk pop.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Boards of Canada, Plaid, Tycho, Autechre, Phaeleh, Carbon Based Lifeforms, Kiasmos, Olafur Arnolds, Les Claypool, Yes, Alkaline Trio, Rx Bandits, Bob Marley & the Wailers, Black Slate, Hildegard von Bingen, Shpongle, Hallucinogen, De Facto, Drew Gress, Mark Guiliana, Explosions in the Sky, God is an Astronaut, Fugazi, Grails, Jawbox, Jesu, Michael McCann
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I mostly play electric bass for jam bands, dub/reggae bands and indie bands. Another common task is recording synth tracks usually in a Lo-Fi or ambient style. In general, I can compose, record, mix and master an entire electronic music project from start to finish with synths, drum machines, and samples. I can also add electric bass, acoustic and electric guitar. I can use various tuning temperaments other than the standard equal temperament. I also can just add a synth, bass, or electronic drum track to a song that you're already working on.