Uses This

A collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done.

A picture of George Upton

George Upton

Music producer, performer

Posted in mac, musician, producer

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is George Upton, aka Judge Orpton. I'm a freelance music producer, sound designer, and live performer. Currently, I create and perform music as Hubrist.

What hardware do you use?

I've got a 15" MacBook Pro (2.2 GHz w/ 8 GB of RAM) that I use in conjunction with my trusty Focusrite Saffire PRO 14 as the mainstay of my setup.

As for production while on the road, I've always got my Keith McMillen QuNexus close at hand... that little guy is one of the most compact, versatile MIDI keyboards I've ever used. I also never leave home without my V-Moda LP2 headphones and my Logitech M570 Wireless Trackball.

I also usually tote my AKG C214 Condenser Mic and trusty Deering Goodtime Banjo with me when I'm on the road.

When I'm performing live, I use an Akai APC20 to launch clips and control levels, next to a Midi Fighter 3D and Midi Fighter Twister that I use to trigger and modulate effects on the fly. The Midi Fighters are designed by the clever dudes over at DJ TechTools in San Francisco and are by far, the sexiest, most compact solution I've found for live MIDI software effect control. Also, depending on the night, I'll often play the banjo or my '50s National lap steel live, routed directly into my MacBook via my Saffire Pro 14.

And what software?

I eat, sleep, and breathe Ableton Live 9. Nothing even comes close to Live's session/arrangement workflow for both performing and producing music. The session view lets you to work with your tunes in all their constituent pieces, allowing you complete freedom for improvisational live performances or for working up new ideas to fiddle with and then record over to the (more classic, linear style) arrangement view for fine tuning, polishing, and exporting.

As for VSTs, I mainly use Ableton's native plugins (which frankly, kick butt) and that said, I also swear by my Arturia soft synths. They seem to give the warmest, most accurate analog emulation that I've found from a soft synth. If you find any better, let me know. Seriously though. Please do.

What would be your dream setup?

Dream set up? Oooh, I'd have to say it would be a studio space with a properly isolated room for recording as well as some high-end monitors, endless racks of retro analog synths, and shucks, I could probably do with a baby grand, a few basses, guitars, assorted percussion, and why not a random spattering of instruments from all over the world while we're at it (think shamisen, koto, sitar, erhu) to fill it out... mmm, yeah.

As for my dream set-up for live performance, I feel like I'm actually getting quite close to it. The last piece that I'm still dreaming of right now is a replacement for my APC20 that has the 8 line faders and allows me to trigger clips but has a smaller footprint and doesn't require bus power. If anyone is thinking of making one or knows of anything like this that already exists, let me know!