A look under the hood of the Ex-Terrestrial production lab.
In operation since 2016, Adam Feingold’s Ex-Terrestrial project has been developing steadily ever since. His sound is one that encapsulates euphoric acid, trance and breakbeat, all with a healthy dose of electro style, sci-fi bleeping and whizzing. He’s had an active release schedule, previously finding homes for his music via 1080p, Pacific Rhythm, Magicwire and Temple Records.
In 2018 he partnered with fellow Montreal Priori to launch NAFF records, a label which has been pushing Canadian producers across the dance music spectrum. The label is now the home for his debut LP, Gamma Infolded.
Over 11 tracks, the album is a further refinement of Feingold’s sound, drawing inspiration from DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing, as well as the state of modern America, a theme which comes across in some of the moodier, more introspective moments on the record.
Below, he has kindly opened the doors of his studio to guide us through the most essential parts of the Ex-Terrestrial machine.
This is the only outboard gear I own at the moment. I’ve been through a good few analog synths but none of them resonated with me like the JV. I’ve used it on every record so far, and I’m still slowly getting deeper into it. It’s not for everyone but if you’re into the lush digi realm, this is for you. The challenge, of course, is to make these sounds your own, because it’s quite easy to just use the sounds as they are. But if you push deeper you can get to some interesting places.
Waves H-Delay Plug-In
Huge one for me, I use this everywhere. It’s super flexible and accurate, which is the obvious advantage of using a plug-in rather than analog. Aside from adding a range of depth to your sono-sphere, it can also give sounds a pseudo-stereo dimension. Check out the OR function (right of ping pong) and you’ll see what I mean. Also try bringing the delay way up and the feedback way down. It simulates that time stretch sound, which is nice to use on vocals occasionally. The modulation can also be very cool.
I spent a good amount of time getting really into this section, and it was a revelation for my process. I recommend getting into it. Time is relative and elastic. The money is in the banana stand. If you’re into chopping and re-sampling, you’ll find a lot to do here if you haven’t already.
Slice to new MIDI track
The option to ‘slice to new MIDI track’ was also a game changer for me. It’s a great way to add complexity and nuance to drum patterns. If you try it out and really spend time on the micro, you’ll discover an entire universe.
Cecilia was a recent discovery. My relationship to it is super intuitive and novice at this point. I usually pick a setting and move the sliders around until I hear something interesting. It’s a very straight-forward software thankfully. I use this to get outside my own mechanisms of logic. Let the robot take over and see what comes of it. Even the most cursory experimentation can yield interesting results.
Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro 250 Ohm headphones
If you’re making music in an untreated room like me, you have to know that what you’re hearing is a lie. I’ve never had a great room and therefore have always had to do a lot of work during the mixing process. These Beyerdynamic headphones are incredibly accurate and comfortable to
use. They are expensive, and that’s why I don’t own a pair yet. I used them recently, however, and was convinced that using headphones are the only way to get a real picture of what you’re doing. I know that’s pretty obvious but anyway, if you didn’t know, now you know.
If you’re not stinking, you’re not thinking. That’s just facts. Santo is the truth, the guide, and the goal. Sainthood through music, music through sainthood.
Gamma Infolded is out now via NAFF records.
Buy it here.