Euan Dickinson
MASSIVE ATTACK gets creative
with MicroFreak

Euan Dickinson
MASSIVE ATTACK gets creative
with MicroFreak

Massive Attack are known for their intensity, wide range of emotions and inimitable electronic sound. We visited their studio in Bristol, UK, to see how the MicroFreak has added to their creative process.

"Massive Attack is Daddy G and 3D, so the ideas and concepts always come from them and it’s my job to assist that process and to guide things technically, so I make sure that we’re recording everything properly and no ideas are getting lost along the way. "

"I became very interested in music technology after picking up the guitar when I was about 10 years old. I taught myself how to play the keys and the technology stuff in my bedroom. I was just so excited to be creating music that sounded like records I was hearing."

Big Break

In the summer of 2004 I got an opportunity to help in the Massive Attack studio when they were moving into a new premises, so suddenly I walked into a room with all the outboard and a big mixing desk; all this stuff I’d been reading about in magazines. It’s a lot of hours, and it’s a lot of hard work.

From Idea to Creation, and Live

Sometimes 3D will come in with an idea, sometimes it will come from jamming, from finding a sample, from finding a beat, from playing with the modular, you just need to be ready.

"I’ve really enjoyed getting to grips with MicroFreak, I love the cross modulation of it all."

"I enjoy the studio work, but the buzz of playing live and getting a show ready because tickets have been sold is such a thrill, it’s great to experience that side of music, from being in the controller studio environment to have the time to make everything is perfect to suddenly being on a stage with nowhere to hide and to see an immediate reaction is immensely satisfying."

V Collection brings together dozens of the most famous, inspirational, and influential keyboards, synths, organs, and pianos ever made into one software package. Each instrument has been carefully and authentically modelled on the original, with all the hardware quirks controlled or removed, and packed with amazing presets that’ll make you shout “I remember that sound!”

Massive VS Micro

"My favourite beat sounds are when you have cross-rhythms and being able to create that kind of stuff really instantly. MicroFrek looks unique, I like the touch-plate."

"The way MicroFreak is built and set up is really easy to get ideas going"

"It’s great as a controller, with the aftertouch it’s been good fun. It’s really fitted into my modular setup. I like sounds with a bit of movement, I like shorter envelopes, and modulating ‘beaty’ sounds that I’ve managed to get out of it."

"The MicroFreak can do a whole array of sounds, for sure"

Bristol Boys

"Being based in Bristol has been a big influence on everybody, it’s got a big identity in music. It’s maybe the pace of life here, it’s small enough that you know you’re going to bump into someone when you’re walking down the street, it’s big enough that there’s enough going on. The history of the place, the culture, it’s definitely all fed in to the creativity of it."