Pascal Stevenson is a Los Angeles based musician and producer. He has a degree in music technology from the California Institute of the Arts and is a member of the Sub Pop band Moaning, who released their debut self-titled album earlier this year. Moaning is a band defined by its duality. The abrasive, post punk trio comprised of Sean Solomon, Pascal Stevenson, and Andrew MacKelvie, began nearly a decade after the three met in L.A.’s DIY music scene. Their impassioned debut album was born out of the members’ experiences with love and distress, creating a sound uniquely dark and sincere. Although the band is just breaking out of their infancy, Moaning’s sleek and cavernous tone emphasizes the turmoil of the era they were born into — one where the endless possibility for art and creation is met with the fear and doubt of an uncertain future.
What made you choose the Rev2?
“I chose the Prophet Rev 2 (16-voice version) because at the price point there isn’t another synth that offers the sound quality, build quality and modulation capabilities. I’ve owned DSI instruments in the past and I’ve always been really impressed by the Curtis filters and the versatility of the envelopes. To have sixteen voices of that is incredible.”
How are you using it?
“I use my Rev2 to record often, but I really love it as a live instrument. It’s such a workhorse, and having all of the parameters at your hands makes it super easy to make adjustments on the fly. Plus, it sounds rad through a nice sound system!”
What’s one of your favorite things about it?
“Honestly as simple as it is, the ability to split the keyboard and essentially have two completely separate 8-voice synths (with their own effects!) is invaluable to me. I can have a distorted synth bass running in one hand and a chorused-out string synth in the other.”
What does the Rev2 give you that other instruments don’t?
“The depth of the modulation matrix is insane and totally sets it apart from any other synth I’ve used. I rarely if ever have found myself running out of modulation slots. The combination of that with the built-in effects has really changed the way I approach programming sounds. For example, sometimes instead of just modulating oscillator pitch for a warped tape-y vibrato I’ll throw on the BBD delay and modulate the time. It’s a classic trick but it’s not something you can commonly do without external gear. Anything you would want to modulate you can, and I think that’s really unique for a synth that sounds as good as the Rev2 does.”
Any interesting tricks or techniques you’d like to share?
“A trick that has become a huge part of performing live for me is to hook up a footswitch to the sequencer jack, then instead of using it to start and stop the sequence, setting the pedal mode to Trig and using it to step through the notes of the sequence. I’ll program in a few chords for a chorus or a simple synth line and be able to easily trigger it in time while playing bass.”
MORE ABOUT THE PROPHET REV2
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