Sebastian Arocha Morton
Composer/Producer/Remixer Sebastian Arocha Morton (aka ROCAsound) graduated from Berklee College of Music and moved to Los Angeles to begin what would become a very fruitful and successful career in Electronic Music Production and Film Scoring. His remixes and productions for Sting, Counting Crows, Samantha James, Donna Summer, Seal, Jody Watley, Santana, Amerie, Vikter Duplaix and Fisherspooner among many others have yielded 6 Billboard #1 singles as well as 2 Grammy nominations. Likewise, his film scoring and composition background have enabled him to bridge electronic and orchestral music for blockbuster films such as Iron Man 2, Robocop, Little Miss Sunshine, Alex Cross, Draft Day, and Houdini, as well as session work with A List composers and artists such as Ryuichi Sakamoto, David Sylvian, Chaka Khan, John Debney, and Aerosmith’s Joe Perry. Currently, he is working on production and synth work for USA’s Golden Globe-nominated Mr. Robot and Tomorrowland’s Iron Man Experience debuting this Fall at Disneyworld Hong Kong.
We chatted with Sebastian about how he’s using the Pro 2.
Sebastian, what made you choose the Pro 2?
“I was lucky enough to play a prototype of the Pro 2 in my studio right after I had gotten my Prophet 12. It blew me away instantly. The combination of a Prophet 5 filter and an Oberheim type filter together was absolutely a must have. It also seemed to be the greatest hits of DSI in one synth. I have almost all of DSI’s products and it had everything I liked about each. The ribbons and oscillators of the Prophet 12, the amazing high-res screen of the Tempest, and in retrospect, the filters that would become the new OB-6 and Prophet-6. And it’s Paraphonic! I mean, come on.”
How are you using it?
“I love the step sequencer in it, so it’s my go-to for arpeggiated patterns as well as my master for all my CV and gate triggering. It’s amazing to have one pattern triggering all my other synths, and I can mix and blend and record them. The sequencer is incredibly tight and it has many modulation capabilities so I come up with patterns and then send those to my computer for further editing and copying and looping. I’ve actually gathered a whole collection of step-sequenced patterns from the Pro 2 in Ableton Live which I keep for other sessions. There’s something about how the step sequencer handles velocity, tightness and note length that I can’t get from my computer. I even trigger my Minimoog and Prodigy with it. I suspect there’s some of that Roger Linn magic from the Tempest in there somewhere. It’s a dream on its own as well. All the different character effects can make some incredibly gritty sounds which you would expect from a modular synth. It’s different from my other DSI synths, the dual filter gives it a very unique sound. And the paraphonic mode is great for pads and chords.”
What’s one of your favorite things about it?
“I would say the dual filter in conjunction with the ribbon strips are my favorite part. The fact that you can run both or either and also choose to run them in serial or parallel as well as assign them to the ribbons for sweeping is beyond flexible. It’s sound designer’s and performer’s dream. I use the ribbons for expression and very precise sweeping. I started really getting into the ribbons for performing when I got my Tempest, so going to the Pro 2 was very familiar.”
What does it give you that other synths might not?
“In a way, I feel like it’s a modular system living in synth form but much more immediate and user friendly. There are so many routing possibilities and its sounds very thick and analog. It can sound vintage or modern. It can sound vintage Oberheim or modern Prophet and vice-versa. It can even sound a bit like a Tempest! There’s some great noise drums and analog kicks in here. Not to sound dramatic but it is my desert island synth, because it does everything with character. Computers can do everything, but they don’t have character. This synth has tons of vibe.”
Any interesting Pro 2 tricks or techniques you’d like to share?
“Too many to list but I would say:
– Make tons of step sequences and save them as MIDI files in your computer, they’re better than plug-in step sequencers, you’ll see.
– Run loops through the audio input jack of the synth and dial in the character effects and distortion. You can also do great ribbon performances. It helps soft synth basses sound more analog, as well.
– Trigger sequences on older synths with no MIDI, like the Moog prodigy and Moog source. Amazing tightness.
– Use it for modular and analog-type drums, there are actually some presets that sound like a Tempest.
– By assigning the ribbons pressure to the amp envelopes you can create, seekwah and gated side chained-type sounds easily, all in real time.”
Check out Sebastian’s website here.
Check out some of Sebastian’s music here.
MORE ABOUT THE PRO 2
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