Give it up for Notaker
Producer Notaker - AKA David Nothaker – cites an eclectic range of influences; from Hans Zimmer to Deadmau5 and Eric Prydz.
His latest release, the atmospheric Shimmer, is his third on the Monstercat label, and demonstrates why Notaker could be set for big things in 2017. We asked him to show us his home studio and the tools of his creative trade.
“My name’s David Nothaker, and I write music under my artist name Notaker. I’ve been producing for around six years or so, and in that time I’ve written the majority of my music using a MacBook Pro and headphones.
“Over the last year or so I’ve gotten around to saving up my money and investing a bit back into my studio space. This is what I’ve been able to make of the small unoccupied space in my St. Louis Missouri home.
“Behind me are my dual AOC monitors and two Behringer TRUTH B2031A reference studio monitors. On my lap is my trusty studio assistant, who in reality just gives me company.”
“My Mac Pro is great for my songwriting needs. It has a 4-core processor, 12GB of RAM, and 250GB of flash storage. I almost never have system overloads while writing; it’s also a breeze working on visuals for the most part.”
“My Mother-32 is the only real hardware I have as far as analogue synths go. I don’t use it very often, but it satisfies my tinkering and experimenting needs when I get them."
M-Audio Axiom Pro 25
“This is used mainly for finding melodies when I get tired of writing things out in the piano roll. I find it easier sometimes to play things rather than clicking a mouse and drawing notes out. I also use this to link the MIDI from my DAW to the Mother-32.”
AKG Q701 headphones (Quincy Jones Edition)
“These headphones were essential to getting a nice clean mix back when all I had was a Macbook Pro to work on. Now I usually use them for reference listening; occasionally I’ll use them to produce when I want to be quiet for my wife’s yoga time.”
Blue Snowball mic
“I bought this initially to record my voice for a podcast I was going to do, but the podcast got scrapped and I ended using it to record my own vocals over my songs and that worked out much better.
“It’s nice to have for experimentation reasons. I’ll sometimes make an impromptu vocal booth using some blankets and a small closet. This usually gives me a fairly clean-sounding recording.”
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
“For my audio interface I have a cheap Scarlett 2i2 from Focusrite. It’s all I really need for what I’m doing currently. Above that is a splitter that enables me to go from my Mac to my PC easily.”
Logic Pro X and Studio Session Analyzer
“On my left monitor is the arrange view of my DAW, Logic Pro X. Logic Pro 9 and Logic Pro X have been the only DAWs I’ve used throughout my time as a producer. On the right monitor is the FLUX Studio Session Analyzer, which I received as a monthly freebie just for owning a Focusrite product (2i2).”
My favourite AUs
“These are some of my favourite synths and samplers. I can use any of them to create almost any element I need for a given song. I tend to use presets when first familiarizing myself with a soft synth, then gradually develop all of my own patches and sounds.
“The two samplers I use are the ESX24 and FXpansion’s Geist. Geist is used mainly for drums and percussion and the ESX24 is used for sampled instrument elements that I might want in a song, like strings, guitar, choirs, etc.”
“Up on my wall above everything are a couple of pieces of art that have been given to me. Two of them are the cover art from my songs Gems and Infinite that a fan painted and sent to me. It’s nice to have something colourful and aesthetically pleasing to look at when trying to be creative.”
“The thing that probably pulls everything together has got to be this piece of gear. When I really want to get in the zone and write music for eight-plus hours this mug comes in handy.”