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 Sadie Dupuis

Sadie Dupuis

Musician (Speedy Ortiz), poet

Posted in mac, musician, poet, teacher, writer

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Sadie Dupuis. I'm a Massachusetts-based artist. I am mostly "known" (in the most nonsignificant sense of that word) for writing songs, playing guitar and singing in the rock band Speedy Ortiz -- since our first album came out we have been on tour far more often than not, so it doesn't leave me much vacant time for other pursuits (like snuggling my dog, eating nachos under a blanket, being totally caught up on Adventure Time, etc). But before rock band-ing became my full time gig, I was a teaching fellow in the writing department at UMass Amherst, and received an MFA in poetry there (genre: blood-and-moons-core). And before that, I was a freelance writer working in pop cultural criticism. I still dabble in visual art and make all of my band's album covers. Very high tech stuff!

What hardware do you use?

Computery stuff: I've got a MacBook Pro 15", Retina, 2013. I still call it a Powerbook because I go deeeep with this Mac shit, and there is no way I am upgrading to El Capitan. I have an iPhone 5s in gold (As Selena Gomez might say, "Doin' it up like Midas.")

I don't really know what counts as musical hardware. Should I just say what gear I have? On tour I mostly use Fender stuff: guitar-wise, a Strat or a Jazzmaster; amp is a Deville 410 III (unless I'm borrowing at a festival, in which case I'm usually crossing my fingers for something not too dissimilar from my own amp, like a Deluxe or a Twin Reverb or something).

Pedals: I mostly use guitar effects from Earthquaker Devices and Catalin Bread (because women work on those pedals -- a rarity!). Right now in my chain I've got a couple different overdrive and distortion pedals, a chorus/vibrato pedal, and a really sweet octave pedal that I use to simulate a synth/organ sound on certain guitar parts (Pitch Bay, also by Earthquaker).

When we're recording it depends on what the song needs/what I'm feeling that day/what kind of cool vintage stuff the studio has that I feel like geeking out on.

And what software?

I stay tweetin' consistent. New to Instagram -- it seems like people only like my posts on there if it's a selfie.

For making demos at home I still use Garageband. Because I've been using it to home record since 2004 (when I got my first Mac) and I think I have a good handle on its quirks and limitations. I think it can be a fun creative experiment to use a program that has so many boundaries because it forces me to develop workarounds I might not otherwise have envisioned in a more high-tech recording environment -- like adding a punishing amount of distortion to vocals, or recording guitar in the bathroom, or messing with EQ waveforms in an unorthodox and technically stupid way. Or, like, using a box of rice as a shaker. Then we figure out how to make those sounds in a more high tech way when we're recording with an engineer -- at which point we'll be recording to some combination of tape and Pro Tools, typically.

What would be your dream setup?

John Lennon's bed-in-the-floor-adjacent-to-library setup from Help. Or really some way to record everything from bed. Put a piano next to the bed. That's nice.