Jason Donnelly (DJ Puzzle)
Jason Donnelly (Dj Puzzle) is a Los Angeles based composer for TV, video games, and film. He got his start producing loop packs for Sonic Foundry (now Magix) back in 2001, which led to his ongoing success and long list of credits including Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, Damaged Core (Oculus VR). Tom Clancy’s The Division, Saints Row The Third, Saints Row IV, Growing Up Hip Hop, Wicked Tuna, Despicable Me 2 DVD featurette, Kroll Show, Portlandia, Lost Girl, The Royals, Nightwatch, Wahlburgers, MLB.TV, MMA, E! News Weekly and more. When he isn’t busy writing for TV, he’s cranking out sample packs for his side project, Soundtrack Loops.
We chatted with him about how he’s using the Tempest.
Jason, what made you choose the Tempest?
“I got to try the Tempest when it was first announced at a Winter NAMM show and just fell in love with it. I put the headphones on, hit play, and just vibed with the sound right away. The feel of the pads, the LEDs, and the two FX ribbons were just the icing on the cake.”
How are you using it?
“Initially I was just using it as a drum module for creating new drum sounds. As time permitted, I learned more about the synth itself and started using it as a synth and drum module. Now I’m writing melodies and beats in the Tempest sequencer and I’d like to start using it in a live situation in addition to writing music for my music library.“
What’s one of your favorite things about it?
“I really love how the Tempest’s synth engine sounds. Most of the synths in my song “Day In LA” are from the Tempest. Some folks don’t realize that this thing really is a synth at its core because it’s advertised as a drum machine. But man, is it great for writing melodies. I also like the live performance features when in 16-beats and 16-mutes modes. This allows me to try different arrangements on the fly.”
What does it give you that other instruments might not?
“For me the additional drum samples are a bonus. It’s a killer synth with a wicked sequencer — and hey, it has bonus drum samples.”
Any interesting tricks or techniques you’d like to share?
“Yes, I tell people to set up 16 beats. Copy the same beat 16 times if you want. Mute different parts on some of them. Add some rolls and arpeggios on some of them. Tweak a filter on some of them. Use the ribbons on some of them. Then, when you have 16 ready with all these different variations, go into the 16-beats mode and start triggering the different beats and have fun. Also, don’t be afraid to use the individual outputs. Run the snare through a reverb pedal and the kick through a distortion pedal.“
MORE ABOUT THE TEMPEST
For more information, check out the Tempest product page here.
Find your local dealer for Tempest pricing here.
If you’re using the Tempest in interesting ways, tell us about it. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.