Stereospread (James Hopkins and Sara Snyder)
Stereospread, an electropop love affair, has been making music since 2012. Pairing James Hopkins’ idiosyncratic production techniques with Sara Snyder’s complex and versatile vocal and synthesis skills, the duo have performed across the Southeastern USA with various electronic and alt-rock acts. They have recorded and released three EPs and several singles and have finished their debut album, which will be released in December 2016. In addition to their original tracks, Stereospread has remixed many artists, including Assemblage 23, Slighter, Null Device, and more. The duo has also mixed and mastered for numerous artists including Alter Der Ruine and Thy Fearful Symmetry. They are DSI fanatics, owning a Prophet 12, Prophet 6, and Pro 2.
We chatted with James and Sara about how they’re using the Pro 2.
What made you choose the Pro 2?
“The Pro 2 is definitely a powerhouse monosynth. We actually had another monosynth by a different company that had a big splash when it was released, but we found it cumbersome to work with. The Pro 2 was so easy to use and everything on it feels intuitive. Before buying it, we tried out a lot of options that our friends have and watched a ton of videos. There was so much enthusiasm behind the Pro 2’s release, but once we owned one, we were hooked on DSI. The paraphonic feature, double filter, and robust routing matrix were a big draw. And it just sounded sexy, of course.”
How are you using it?
“We use it for all kinds of stuff. When we first got it, Sara actually made a bunch of pads on it just because she could. But it makes some beefy basses and leads that have that classic analog fatness. We’ve used it at shows just to sequence a host of bass patches we created. But really, it’s a great starting point for any track.”
What’s one of your favorite things about it?
“Definitely the paraphonic mode. It’s so much different from polyphony in how it behaves. The cycling of the oscillators, particularly with glide on, can make super beautiful pad sounds that just have this yearning quality about them. It can also make for some randomness in more percussive sounds.”
What does it give you that other synths might not?
“The dual filter is unique and the ability to split oscillators to separate filters. The sonic palette of the Pro 2 is hard to rival in a monosynth. The character features add more flair and having the auxiliary envelopes opens up a lot of doors as well.”
Any interesting Pro 2 tricks or techniques you’d like to share?
“We recommend using the sequencer for parameters other than pitch. It’s like being able to add automation to sounds without needing a DAW. You could use the sequencer to do things that an LFO couldn’t such as have the Drive spike every fourth beat, or have the sequencer periodically change the delay speed with a slew, creating a tape delay type effect. It’s about as versatile as your mind can make it without having a $100,000 modular setup (and, oh yeah, it can control CV stuff too!).”
Check out Stereospread’s website here.
Check out some of Stereospread’s music here.
MORE ABOUT THE PRO 2
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