Detox Unit – Exclusive Mix & Interview

Photo by Brent Chew Photography

Over the past year, Austin, TX based audiophile Detox Unit has emerged from his studio to lay down some seriously impressive live sets of all original production. This is his first all original mix crafted exclusively for our listener’s expert ears.

What can we expect from this mixtape?

This journey through sound represents the past three months of being locked away in my studio staring at old green back lit displays. This is the first time I’ve done a mix of only original tunes and I’m very excited to share it.

What is your current studio setup?

My current setup is rather large, but it lends well to my workflow. I run Ableton Live off a PC to do all my composition, mixing, and to keep all my gear in sync. I do most of my sound design on an assortment of external synthesizers and old effects units, but I also use some software synths as well. I’m particularly fond of my Access Virus C and I use it on pretty much every song – it’s a very versatile synth with a near infinite range of sounds if you know how to work it.

What is your current live setup?

My live setup is constantly changing, but lately I’ve been using Ableton Live sort of like how one would mix using 3 CDJ’s, but with the added flexibility the program offers. I run three channels, each containing a combination of one-shots, loops and full tracks that I can trigger freely. Then each channel is sent out of its own stereo output and into three individual channels on the DJ mixer, so that I can mix in a more traditional style. I find that it sounds better than mixing everything inside the computer.

What is your favorite free VST and can you tell us about it?

My favorite free VST would have to be Ohm Force Frohmage. It’s a really cool resonant low pass filter plugin with a saturation function similar to CamelCrusher (also free and very good). I find the plugin is especially good for beefing up some drums or adding some omph to a bassline. Another neat feature is that you can operate the filter both in Hz or in increments of notes, allowing you to set the filter at a value that harmonically complements the key of the track.

Link us to three of your most influential non-electronic tracks.

Hmmmm… This is actually a tough one as I don’t listen to much music that isn’t electronic. “Gas Drawls” by MF Doom was on repeat a lot during high school. For the longest time during middle school, the only two song’s on my iPod were “Feel Good Inc.” and “19-2000” by Gorillaz. Other than that I really liked to listen to the instrumental versions of hip-hop tunes.

Do you survive financially entirely off of music or do you supplement your income by other means?

In the past year, I’ve started to make a little money off of playing shows – it’s not enough to pay the bills right now but it has been steadily increasing. I’m currently studying audio engineering at The Recording Conservatory of Austin and plan to offer mixing and mastering service to help fund my music project. I also repair computers, occasionally rent out bits of my studio gear, and do other odd jobs to make ends meet.

How did you grow as an artist last year – what is your plan for the rest of 2016?

2015 was an important year for me. I spent almost all of it tucked away in my studio working on improving my music and making something that was clean and cohesive. Almost all of the music I worked on during that period was never released, and I used as a stepping stone to get to where I am now. It was a bit maddening at times, often neglecting responsibilities and friends to work on a song that would probably never see the light of day, but through that I was able to figure out a good workflow that actually gets songs finished. 2015 was also the first year I started playing original songs live and have since been putting a lot of focus into my performance. I’m very excited for 2016, I’ve already gotten quite a few bookings and made a plethora of new tunes. Currently I plan to keep making tunes, maybe put together an album of sorts, and to continue playing shows, as well as applying to festivals.


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