Peter Voigtmann is a musician/producer who is living in an old mill between Bremen and Hamburg, Germany, where he is also running his own studio. He started chasing a professional career in 2012 as a drummer, with his main focus on sound and vibe, while constantly gaining more experience in recording and production. The outcome of all his electro-acoustic experiments can be heard in his solo project called SHRVL. In 2014 he started playing drums in the Noise-Rock-Post-Punk band HEADS, which he recorded 2 Albums and 1 Split EP with. These releases lead to a lot of touring through Europe and the US. After simultaneously being the lighting designer for the Post/Progressive-Metal band The Ocean Collective for 4 years, Peter changed position within the collective and began to work on all kinds of synths, soundscapes and samples for their 7th album Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic, which came out in November 2018. The following year they played several tours across Europe, India, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Japan, and lots of European festivals. On September 25th 2020 they released their more eclectic, experimental and synth-heavy follow up Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic.
We chatted with Peter on how he uses the Prophet-6 and OB-6 in his music:
What made you choose the Prophet-6 and OB-6?
At first I was looking for a reliable polyphonic synth with a vintage vibe, which is 100% analog and has all the features you need to incorporate it into a DAW-based live setup, so I bought the Prophet-6.
The pandemic made it impossible to even just rehearse the new album with the whole band, so I started working on new music at home and I had enough time to reflect on the sounds I was creating.
I couldn’t resist to check out the OB-6 as well because I wanted to make sure I have the perfect synth for the sound I had in mind. I guess I have to keep them both now since they compliment each other so perfectly…
How are you using them?
The Prophet-6 is the main synth of my live setup and I mostly use it to play simplified versions of all the heavy riffs together with guitars and bass in unison mode, so the subs are below the bass and the high frequencies are above the guitars, which all together creates a pretty massive wall of sound.
There are also a lot of arpeggios on the new album so I decided to solve this by sending midi notes from the band’s computer to my setup. It’s a lot of fun to be able to comfortably shape the tone slightly differently each time and I really like to fool around with Pan Spread, Poly Mod and the built-in analog distortion. Since it’s running through MainStage, it can receive program changes and I am able to use all sorts of plugins and effects which I normally use in the studio. If necessary I can also layer it with additional VST-synths – so there’s an infinite amount of possibilities but I try to keep it as simple and focused as possible.
At the moment I am thinking of using the OB-6 on stage as well but under the current lockdown-circumstances, there’s no need to decide on that right now.
What is one of your favorite things about it?
The fact that what you see is what you get without any menu-diving makes me feel very comfortable.
What does it give you that other synths might not?
The sonic depth, the high-end build quality and the general layout are just fun to work with. You can tell that these instruments were designed and built by people with lots of experience and it helped me to find the sound I have been looking for, for quite some time.
Any interesting Prophet 6 tricks or techniques you would like to share?
Not really. If there’s one pretty boring advice I could give: read the manual and watch in-depth-tutorials by people who already spent way more time with it than you did.
Once you understood how everything is working, let it go, switch off your mind and just dive in!
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