As a follow up to our 2011 article on musicians using the Sonic Core STS samplers I found Higen had been using the STS-5000 extensively.  His track (to the right) used a port of the Holy Grail 128MB Piano (converted from EMU format to SoundFont2) and overall the STS 5000 played a significant part in this track with the time stretch of the drums and filtering of the piano.  I asked Higen (aka Ehasting) about his creative process in using the STS samplers.


Dante: How did you get into making music ?

Ehasting: Well, it started back when I was 13-14 years old and I got hold of a CD with some shareware programs.  In there I found a program named ScreamTracker which was a program that allowed me to create tracks by using 8-bit samples.  It sounded so awesome.  I was also doing piano lessons at that time, so I started with ScreamTracker.  When I was fifteen years old I got my first synth, a Technics WSA1 (the first and the last synth made by Technics). Later I found Cakewalk and I connected the WSA1 to it.  I started doing some collaboration with a buddy of mine making Psy-Trance and Chillout.  But it never came out of the bedroom, and it's still in the same spot today.

Dante: How did you discover the STS sampler(s) ?

Ehasting: Well, it was something like this (get a cup of coffee and sit back).  I read about the Creamware stuff in a music magazine and looked at the price. I guess it was around 1999 or 2000 and it was way out of my league.  Anyway a few years later, 2002 I think, I was hanging out in a music shop spending a wasted amount of money (just got my first real job) on gear.  The guy behind the desk was a sales-fox and somehow he managed to convince me that I should start with sampling.  And I agreed, so he showed me the PowerSampler2 (Luna2) card.  I bought it, but didn't get to use it too much. Then Creamware released Scope 3.0 which changed the experience of my Luna 2 card totally.  Now I could use the Scope environment.  But I was a bit disappointed over the PowerSampler2 package since it only contained the STS 3000 and that had very limited filters.  So I saved some money and upgraded to STS 4000.  Now this thing had filters! So I started using it with SoundFonts.  Very bad quality (like everything else I made back then). Then it got put to rest.  Most of the Scope stuff was due to my lack of knowledge, and only 3 DSPs (I continued using the Luna 2 as a sound card and I also bought an Elektra/Luna 2 to add on more I/O). Then around 2003, I had a room full of synths and found a cheap second hand Pulsar2 card which had the STS 5000.  Now with 12 DSPs I was able to do many more voices on the STS 5000, starting to use it for drum loops and mix down phrases which I played back time stretched one octave lower or higher it was awesome and still is.  My EMU has filters from heaven but the STS has real-time time-stretch which can be modulated!   Great for true creativity!

Dante: That's great, two  Lunas and a Pulsar2 is the same as my PCI rig BTW.  What sample sets do you use (did you already have AKAI CDs etc)?

Ehasting:  Well, in the start I just used SoundFonts then later my own sampled stuff. I must say that as a bread and butter sample CD player there are probably better alternatives than the STS.  For example, Kontakt, ESX24 or Giga.  But for creative sampling and making your own samples, the STS is a power horse!

Dante: What are your influences (musically) ?

Ehasting:  Hmm.. well.. my heroes have been Astral Projection, Infected Mushroom, Eat Static (they own a Waldorf Wave!!), Nils Petter Molvær, Jean Michel Jarre, Enigma, A-Ha, Prodigy, Underworld.. und zu weiter!


Dante and Ehasting January 2012