New Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith Album is available to stream on NPR.

    There's lots of modular synths blended with traditional elements. She's high up there on my list of living musicians.
  • I was lucky enough to catch KAS in concert and got a good look at her rig. It was in a converted Make N0ise shared system case and stocked with mostly makenoise modules. It was a beautiful mass of blinking lights during the performance. image
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  • nice shot! awesome to know what's in her case. she's an incredible musician. I wonder if she has another rack to compliment that, or other synths? I know she's used Buchla before as well.

  • well thats just beautiful (the music too)
  • I should have said that I actually tried to pry out of how she used the modular in performance while I was buying merch. She was super polite, but I could tell I was the 15,000th synth nerd to ask these questions so all I got were kind of generic answers like, "it changes for each song, and repatching live is part of what keeps the performance fun. She also confirmed that ableton is running in the background with the screen turned off, and I suspect those loops do a lot of the heavy lifting for continuity in between patching on the fly.

    For controllers she was using the buchla LEM as her modular controller and she had three other controllers that seemed to be hooked up to the laptop. Please excuse the blurry photo:

    Looks like a plain old midi keyboard, some grid type of thing that actually had conway's life game on it while it was idle and a bunch of faders that brought sounds in and out.

    My overall impression was that the live set was VERY similar to recording, but there was a live presence that made the concert a lot of fun, with with dancing and old-fashioned projected visuals of colored oil blobs and prismatic refractions that made for a great time. Afterwards, I got the chance to ask her one last question.

    Q: "How important are all the blinking lights on the synthesizer?"
    A: "Very, very important."
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  • Grid thing = Novation Launchpad I believe
  • Really enjoyed the album. I hadn’t listened to her before. I told you blinking lights were the key!