Florian Fourlin is a singer-songwriter, pianist, saxophonist, and producer from Paris, France. He’s an artist with wide-ranging influences. In 2015, after spending years recording, touring and playing with international artists as a both a session and live musician, he began crafting what would be his first solo album — on which he sings, plays every instrument, produces, and mixes every song. This three year- long process would have him step away from the saxophone to put his own voice at the center of his music while exploring new genre-bending soundscapes. The music video for his first single, Levels, was released in July 2018. The album will be released in early 2019.
What made you choose Sequential instruments?
“I grew up playing acoustic instruments. My first instrument was the saxophone, and while I’m a 90’s baby, with all the obvious influences that this carries, I spent a lot of my early development as a musician around the piano, bass, and drums format. I value organic/human qualities in music. As my sound as a musician and a producer was evolving, I never felt totally at ease with soft synths, whether it was their sound or their interface. When I first heard the Prophet ’08 in a studio, it was obvious that it was the perfect type of instrument for where I was going. It sounded modern but with an old-school vibe. It really felt “alive” while still allowing me to decide of how I wanted to make it sound. That was on a Sunday evening, I ordered it on Monday morning. I didn’t think twice.”
You now have several Sequential synths. How are you using them?
“It depends. Sometimes I will start the writing process at the Prophet-6 just like I would at the piano. Sequential products are extremely versatile so it’s easy to either start a song with a crazy sound and make it the spine of your composition/production. Or sometimes I just add in subtle pads and adjust the slop amount on the Prophet-6 to instantaneously add that magic that nothing else gives you. There are a lot of various influences in my music; I like and play a ton of different genres with no distinction. Sequential synths allow me that type of genre-bending. Whether I am using the arpeggiator, playing a pad, a bass or doing weird sound design stuff, I know that they are always going to make sense and fit in the mix.”
Is there something specific that you like about one of your instruments?
“I love the fact that not only does the Prophet-6 feel like a real instrument, it reacts like it too. It is a real instrument. When you are in the studio and you are trying to find new ideas, playing one sound on a Sequential instrument, you know that you are going to get inspired. That is priceless.”
Is there something that the Sequential synths give you that others don’t?
“When you hear a saxophone, you know it sounds like a saxophone, but at the same time, two different players playing the same saxophone are never going to sound exactly alike. Same thing with Sequential products. When I play my Prophet-6, I know that it sounds like a Prophet-6, but it’s so easy to use and so inviting that as soon as I tweak a couple of things, I know that I have a unique sound that no one else is going to have. So, in a world full of presets, templates, soft synths and so on, I love having something that sounds so unique while still maintaining a signature. Of course, the presets are great and they are ready to go, but Sequential instruments are obviously made to be tweaked and played with. Possibilities are endless, that is why you hear Sequential synths in every type of music out there.”
Any interesting tricks or techniques you’d like to share?
“I’ve spent a lot of time exploring LFOs and modulation on the Prophet ’08. For example, having LFO 1 and 2 respectively modulate Osc 1 and Osc 2 pitch, and then have LFO 3 modulating LFO 1 frequency or LFO 4 modulating LFO 2 amount. I like this technique to have some type of weird added movement to the oscillators on the Prophet ‘08, but obviously with the new Prophet Rev2, the Slop knob takes care of that directly on the panel. You can still use this technique to add a different dimension to the movement.
On the Prophet ’08 (and also on the Rev2, with its 16 voices) I like to stack sounds and use the mod wheel to modulate them, for instance, the filter cutoff on layer A and maybe the output pan on layer B, as well as increasing LFO 1 amount and closing Layer B filter. That way when you engage the mod wheel, it sounds like you have two sounds morphing into one another and then separating. It is awesome. With the amount of routing possibilities on the Prophet ’08/Rev2, you can go anywhere.
On the Prophet-6 (and also on the OB-6), I love the chord memory function as well as the Distortion knob to create textures. Close the filter, add some resonance, add some noise, add some distortion, then some spring reverb, and create interesting textures to add depth to songs.”
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