Based out of Portland, Oregon, nolongerhuman is the solo electronic project of Clint Robertson.
With a decade of experience in creating harsh and dark electro music, nolongerhuman has gained a large and loyal fanbase with his uncompromising melodies and deeply personal lyrics.
nolongerhuman has produced three full-length albums and has been featured on numerous remixes and compilations, toured the United States, debuted new releases in the Top 10 on the German Electronic Web Charts, and has systematically produced genre-bending harsh electronics with a sense of emotion rarely seen.
Combining music theory and personal, soul-searching experiences with harsh industrial is something rare in the genre. But nolongerhuman utilizes a masterful mixture of hard-hitting beats, catchy keyboard riffs, impeccable synth placement, and a haunting sense of ambiance, all of which inject soul and beauty into a genre that is typically defined by volume and attack factor. Vocal samples put nolongerhuman in a historical context, harking back to the early 90’s industrial while also enhancing the diary-esque lyrics of the music. And while the songs work easily on the dance floor, they also offer the listener a thought-provoking experience with running themes of introspection, integrity, society, and a culture of apathy and blind faith in a somewhat dystopian fashion.
We chatted with Clint about how he uses Sequential instruments in his music:
What made you choose Sequential?
“I’ve been using a Pro 2 since they were initially released, as both a powerful synth in its own right, as well as a hub for a Eurorack set up.
When the Prophet X was announced, I saw it as exactly the direction I had hoped synthesis would evolve. The quality of the samples combined with an extremely logically laid-out interface makes it a joy to work with. Also, having the option available to expand and combine the expansions with the oscillators through stereo filters makes it ideal for the type of music I strive to create. The Prophet X is pretty much my dream synth for creating strange combinations of sounds, rhythms, and FX.”
How are you using them?
“Currently, I am designing my own patches and finding new and interesting combinations. The PX is pretty heavily featured on the upcoming album. If it’s an evolving string pad or glitchy digital sound, it’s almost certainly something I programmed with the Prophet X. If it’s a huge bass or a distorted lead, it’s very likely the Pro 2.”
What’s one of your favorite things about them?
“I feel like there is very little overlap in any of the Sequential products. However, the interface is familiar enough that if you know how one of them is laid out, you can use another fairly intuitively for a very creative and fast workflow.
I’ve used Kontakt for a long time and have always enjoyed the 8dio libraries, but have missed the hands-on approach to building a patch, whereby turning a knob and changing an effect slightly, I can have that process take me in a totally different creative direction. The fact that the Prophet X is right at the front of my main work area is no accident; it’s constantly inspiring and quick to dial in a new combination of unheard sounds.”
What do they give you that other synths might not?
“After many years of chasing the perfect VCO, the standard saw, square, sine, and triangle became a bit of a creative wall for me. This is why I love the Pro 2: it has all the standards, plus a ton more, along with those amazingly musical filters.
I am constantly trying to push sound design to areas that I haven’t heard before, such as new sounds from bells or xylophones, or large ambient washes made from guitars, noise, and anything else in between. The Prophet X makes all of that seamless and quick. Sounds load almost instantly, so it’s easy and quick to change any one thing to try something new.
I feel like having the thousands of raw sounds, which are by themselves exceptionally high quality, that can be stretched, clipped, looped, and used as cannon fodder for new sounds is a completely new concept in a synthesizer with this sort of familiar interface. In that sense, I don’t think I have ever used anything quite like the PX.”
Any interesting tricks or techniques you’d like to share?
“I would definitely explore the sequencer in the Pro 2 as a mod destination. Nearly endless rhythms can be made by routing the sequencer to the filters or anything else.
Also, with the new OS on the Prophet X, I find myself setting all kinds of mod sources to the hack and decimate. Using one of the aux envelopes routed to hack can totally change the expression of the patch.”
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