Geeking out with Swansea's finest and some small electronic noise-making machines
Having started out as a featured vocalist on tracks by Mat Zo, Wookie and Ray Foxx, Welsh artist Rachel K Collier made her production debut with the Words You Never Heard EP in 2015, and her star's been in the ascendant ever since. Backed by Ableton and PRS Women Make Music, she's played at Bestival, performed live on 1Xtra, had her tracks played on the radio by Annie Nightingale and Tiësto, and will be touring the UK in May.
Her next single will be Paper Tiger, and below you can see her performing the track live in the studio. We'll let Rachel herself talk you through it...
"At over 6.5 minutes - double the length of the radio edit - I got a bit carried away with this live performance! My Arturia Minibrute SE bass synth, King Korg and a combination of pre-made clips as well as clips made on-the-fly make up the accompaniment, with the clips triggered, duplicated, sliced and looped live with Ableton Push 2.
"I gave my brain a solid workout for a couple of days, taking the original production project from Arrange to Session mode in Ableton, then another week of fun but intense rehearsals (broken up with the occasional game of Tetris!) preparing for the live shoot.
"I grouped some effects for the master channel, which are MIDI-mapped to the Akai LPD8, and for the lead vocal I use three sends - two ping-pong delays and a reverb - which are also mapped to the LPD8, so I can apply the effects easily throughout the performance. I use only Ableton effects for my live performances as a lot of other third party plugins I've tried tend to cause latency.
"My favourite effect is the Max for Live tapped delay, combined with a reverb and gain to build a climax before the final drop, but I also loved mapping the Max for Live pitch drop - it's super clever as you can activate a pitch drop but it still keeps everything running in time.
"With the Arturia Minilab on my right I'm playing a sample I made from my vocal and also triggering the 'paper tiger' spoken sample, which is set to zero quantisation so it plays whenever you hit it, like a drum pad. For the vocals I'm using a Shure SM7B mic, which is great for dynamics and also avoiding spill from my headphones (which are Studiospares M1000s).
"Hope you enjoy watching as much as I enjoyed making it!"