We invited French composer, producer, keyboardist, and technic aficionado Bustafunk to check out the Session Keys Upright. He was so impressed by the sounds that a few days later he sent us a demo song full of different Upright presets and simple Drums/Bass tracks from Ableton Live Operator.
Bustafunk used four different presets to get this track to life: Pure Upright for the melody, Heavy Piano for the distorted part, Harbour Candy delivered the scattered synth-like sound and the 4-10 Bit Piano + Slow Strings embodies the grainy lo-fi melody.
Since we were already talking, Gael answered a few questions about his background, education and his approach to using new gear such as Session Keys Upright.
Interview /w Bustafunk
Q: Gaël, what’s your musical story, where did it originally start and how did you become a professional producer?
A: I have been composing music since I was a teenager. During my studies, I graduated as a sound engineer to get a better sense of all the mixing and production techniques. It allowed me to master the entire process of the composition, from recording to mixing and mastering.
I created my own label to release my first EP under the name Bustafunk in the late 90s. The sound was very like House Music “french touch.” Later I went into making albums as a producer for other artists signed by record companies such as Universal, Warner, Sony etc … I really liked being in charge of the whole album project: composing, recording, and mixing.sing, recording, and mixing arrangement.
I have also developed and featured some artists on my own label. But since 2012 I have been focusing on music for advertising, television, movies or cartoons. I regularly compose albums for Universal Publishing Production Music, a music catalog for professional media use.
Q: You obviously seem to be very skilled in combining different and sometimes edgy stuff in the music you compose and you always add some extra spices …
A: Yes, I have always liked mixing different styles of music. I grew up with hip hop culture but I always had an eye on everything that was happening in electronic music. Nowadays it’s great because it became natural to mix different styles. There is great musical richness and what I like in the new generation of producers is that they have no limits, they are always following their inspiration. It’s very exciting!
Q: Which approach do you take when dealing with new devices or instruments, such as the Session Keys Upright library we sent you?
A: I know this is not the best method (laughs), but I have always enjoyed testing new equipment by simply playing around with it, trying intuitively before reading the manuals. For example, when I tested the Upright, I immediately started playing with it and ‘swoosh!’ it inspired me and presented many ideas on how to use it! It sounds so realistic, versatile and is overall such a gorgeous piano, that I immediately wanted to compose a track!
I think the strength of the Upright piano is that it’s not just another piano bank but it goes much further with very creative and surprising presets and possibilities!
Q: Since you were using many different styles in your demo song – what was first: the composition idea or the inspiration from the presets or sounds?
A: The piano first, the basic preset had already inspired me! It gave me the main theme, but it was by testing the other presets that I found the direction in which the track finally went. The « Heavy Piano» preset drove me crazy! It immediately made me want to go that “Future Bass” way. I think the strength of the Upright piano is that it’s not just another piano bank. It goes much further with very creative and surprising presets and possibilities!