Nice Sounds :: Little Big Synths
Nice Sounds is a new column where we feature some of our favorite jams from Youtube and getting to know a little bit about the people behind them. Ranging from synthesizer heavy genres all the way to droned out ambient guitar and everything in between.
Today we sit down with the Damien Venegas from Little Big Synths to discuss a bit about him and what makes him tick. Enjoy!
What’s your name and where are you from?
My name is Damien Venegas and I'm from Moreno Valley, Ca.
What got you into making music?
I've always been interested in music since I was much younger, but never really got the opportunity to make music until I was in high school. A friend of mine asked me to play bass guitar for a band he was putting together... and I agreed.
I was pretty stoked, even though I didn't even really know what a bass guitar was! haha
He showed me simplified bass lines and riffs from bands like Hendrix and Zepplin.... and from there... I was hooked!
Starting from a more traditional sense is always a good foundation. When did synthesizers come into the picture?
Oh, man... synths weren't even in a part of my vocabulary until just last year! For the longest time all I heard and wanted to hear was guitar. Last year I was at a Guitar center and I came across the Korg Volca keys. It was used and the price was cheap enough to just purchase without even thinking about what I was going to do with it. I took it home powered it up and started tweaking away. It was such a cool feeling being able to create and manipulate so many different sounds from such a small device.
I feel you, I have a similar story regarding music. Korg has been killing it with their Volca line over the past couple of years, even more recently with their release of the Volca FM and Kick. What piece of gear do you own that's most inspiring to you and what gear are you most stoked on for the future of your set up?
Right now I would have to choose between the Volca Keys or the Electribe 2. They are two totally different animals, but they are so great at what they do. If I have a solid amount of free time, then I tend to gravitate towards the Electribe and all of my other "expensive" gear which includes some Roland Boutique modules, a Moog Minitaur, and an Arturia Microbrute. With this setup I have the most flexibility and capabilities.
When time is in short supply or I'm looking to just get in a quick jam session, then I head towards the volcas and the Teenage engineering pocket operators. It's seriously too much fun, sync em up, record some sequences, and just watch them create music together.
As far as future gear additions go, I really want a sampler.
The Electribe is so much more versatile in its capabilities, so I can see your natural inclination towards it. And don't even get me started with Roland amazing new boutique line haha. Who’s your major musical influences?
Tame Impala for sure... it doesn't really show up in my style of music. But they get my creative juices flowing. Along with bands like MGMT and Temples.
Oh man for sure. All of those groups are amazing in their own right. I remember being blown away the first time I heard Tame Impala's song "Desire be desire go". That song very reminiscent of 60's psych rock.
Explain your setup in the mini Monday jam video?
For this most recent Mini Jam, I used the Korg Volca Keys and a Teenage Engineering PO-12. The Volca Keys is playing a bass line and the main melody while the P012 takes care of the drum parts.
The audio from each device is sent to a mixer and then into a handheld digital recorder. Pretty simple really... that's the best part though. haha
No computer/DAW is used while performing or recording my jams.
Yeah it's pretty inspiring seeing what you can create in your mini Monday videos with limited gear. So what's the future hold for you? Do you plan on doing shows or keeping it YouTube related?
As of now, just hoping to keep on creating music and sharing it with all of the awesome people on Youtube and across the web. I have been really trying to work on a live set for the near future. I would absolutely love to perform my music for a live audience... just need to find one first. haha
Alright Damien, great stuff! Anything else you would like to add before we go?
Sweet! No, I think we are good to go. I really appreciate you for taking interest in me and my work. Thanks again. :)
Hey man thank you for taking the time to talk to us. We wish you luck in your future endeavors and keep on inspiring the people out there with your jams. And if you're ever in Seattle or Portland hit us up.
Thanks, man! Will do.
Damien's social networks :
- instagram https://www.instagram.com/littlebigsynths/
- youtube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYMuZfbL06wR9rnKJW8gTlw