Adventures In Audio with Audio Masterclass

Yellow Magic Orchestra programming legend Hideke Matsutake takes control with Novation


Can you remember the moment or album that first ignited your love of electronic music? For Hideke Matsutake that moment was 1970. And the album was Switched On Bach, Wendy Carlos’ seminal long-player that inspired a whole generation to embrace the synthesiser as the most inspirational instrument of the ’70s. In Matsutake it kick-started a love affair with electronic music, computers and programming that would see him dubbed the fourth member of electro-pop masters Yellow Magic Orchestra, as well as starting influential and pioneering Techno outfit Logic System.

Over 30 years later and Matsutake is chairman of the highly regarded Japan Synthesizer Programmer Association (JSPA), he’s also every bit as prolific today as he ever was. And although still a big fan of hardware, he’s using more soft synths than ever, so having un-paralleled levels of hands-on control is a necessity, not an option. Which is why Novation’s ReMOTE Zero SL plays such a pivotal part in his modern studio.

“I use the ReMOTE with Cubase 4. Together they form the brain of my studio, allowing me to work quickly. The ReMOTE really is a revolutionary piece of technology, which means I’m spending less time on production and more on the creative aspects. In terms of features, I like all of the functions in the ReMOTE – even going so far as to say that there’s nothing better.”

But the ReMOTE Zero SL and the unique Automap Universal is not the only Novation gear to have shaped the way Matsutake works, as just a quick look around the studio reveals.

“I also use Novation’s DrumStation Rack and the BassStation Rack, again because of their revolutionary technology. I’ve really been influenced by that technology as it’s allowed me to pursue a much higher level of creativity.”

“Music technology is coming along fast. I used to dream about software sequencers and synthesisers, and now they are a reality. So yes, I’m very much looking forward to future developments. My next dream is a machine that detects and reproduces the sound you’re imagining in the brain.”

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For an artist who has made over 10 albums and produced countless others, there’s no sign of slowing down – musically 2007 is already shaping up to be a busy year for Matsutake with collaborations with Yellow Magic Orchestra and a new album from Logic System in the pipeline.

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David Mellor