Meeting The Architect
Meeting The Architect
Since 2007, London-based Haken have been rising up the ranks of
Behind a complex but meticulously organized synth and tech rig is Diego Tejeida, Mexican-born keyboard player whose virtuoso playing has graced every Haken performance since 2008, and every one of their five studio albums. When we noticed that our flagship analog synthesizer MatrixBrute had been added to his live setup, we couldn’t wait to hear how this synth-master would use its unique abilities for progressive metal.
We caught up with Diego to discuss all things synth.
One of the unique advantages you have as a keyboard player over other instrumentalists is that you can create your own unique sounds with literally infinite possibilities! Guitar players, for instance, are obsessed with their tone, and it really is a proper science getting the right guitar with the right wood, the right pickups through the right pedals, and the right amp and cab. However, their initial “waveform” (talking in synthesis terms) is always going to be the same: an oscillating steel string. Not to mention the limitations of the range of notes available, the lack of total control over the amplitude, its harmonics, etc. As a keyboard player, you have access to all the elements of a sound: its amplitude, pitch, timbre, etc., and absolute freedom of what “waveform” to use, the harmonics you add, the behavior of the sound over time, etc.
Over the last decade, harnessing this power became Diego’s quest; making a conscious decision to never use presets, and always program his own sounds, aiming to get a unique sound as a player not only musically, but sonically. To expand his synth horizons, he became the proud owner of an Arturia MatrixBrute.
Wow, what a beauty!
It really is a very satisfying instrument to look at, from the knobs, sliders, LEDs, the ModMatrix. The whole design is so elegant and aesthetic.
As I’ve become more familiar with the MatrixBrute, it has become my favorite tool! When I was a student, I was - like most students - poor, so I had to get all my knowledge about sound design and synthesis “in the box” using plugins or emulations. Eventually, I started buying digital synthesizers, but for me, it still wasn’t the real thing. Digital synthesizers are too “perfect,” and oftentimes you have to fight them to get a sound with “character.” Nonetheless, through the use of software and digital synths, I got comfortable with programming and synthesis.
By comparison, playing and programming the MatrixBrute is such an overwhelming joy! There’s something so beautiful and magical about making sounds that are being produced by voltage and analog components, rather than working with mathematically perfect sounds being reproduced by an algorithm in a motherboard’s chip.
“The MatrixBrute was my go-tool for “Vector”, our fifth studio album”
Diego Tejeida: Signature Sounds
The Arturia team had already spotted that Diego used an Arturia KeyLab 88 MIDI controller on stage and in the studio, but we really got excited when Haken’s synth mastermind took delivery of a MatrixBrute to work on their upcoming album. We jumped at the chance to ask Tejeida to develop a personalized “signature” set of preset sounds that other MatrixBrute owners around the world could use and enjoy.
The signature sound bank that I’ve created for the MatrixBrute is the first time that I’ve released any of my sounds, which is a great ambition and honor for me.
I always take special care when programming my patches, making sure the sound has character and depth. I also love to add movement to my sounds as part of the expression, having various modulations ready to add throughout a passage. The whole process can be very time consuming, and I sometimes spend 2–3 hours on just one patch until I feel I’m hitting the spot.DOWNLOAD