Audeze chats with composer and musician Chris Keating

Chris Keating is a composer and the founder and former lead singer of the band Yeasayer. Recently he's been composing music for picture and doing remix projects.

 

 

"Audeze has completely changed the game for me.... The Audeze LCD’s are so good that I often think I’m blasting studio monitors when I’m not." - Chris Keating
Here's our talk with Chris:
Can you pick out any favorites from your work that you're particularly proud of?

Yeasayer’s discography was varied and we made a point of having a distinct sonic palette for each album. Odd Blood was our most pop oriented while Amen & Goodbye was perhaps the most sonically diverse.

How would you define your main role on most of the projects you work on these days?

Film composer and remixer. Working on a very cool soundtrack to an upcoming animated TV show.

How did you get started in music? What kind of music did you listen to while growing up and how has that progressed?

Playing in bands in high school and making beats for rappers in college was my early exposure to music. My early inspirations were 80s and 90s indie bands and independent hip hop from the turn of the millennium. I got really into the trip hop and UK electronic music of that time.

Can you name any factors you feel majorly influenced the course of your musical life? Heroes, role models, moments, interactions, etc?

Learning about sampling by listening to hip hop and DJ Shadow got me excited about music production. The work of the Dust Brothers, Timbaland, The Neptunes and the production of Nigel Goodrich were all early inspirations.

Can you briefly describe a moment of frustration from your past work, and what you may have done to overcome the obstacles? Would you approach it differently now?

Starting a new song or project is always exciting and very frustrating. How and where to begin is the hardest part and not falling into a sense of repetition or complacency in order to achieve a unique sound fit every project is important and challenging.

Is there any gear you find yourself turning to most when working on a project? What are some of your favorite tools/instruments recently?

I love Dave Smith synthesizers. I use Native Instruments Maschine for sampling and arranging beats. I recently got into the DFAM which is a super fun little box.
I compose on my Wurlitzer to get away from staring at a screen.

Do you have any words of wisdom for people who might aspire toward a similar path for their own careers?

I think questioning yourself constantly is important and thinking about the uniqueness of your product is key.

How long have you been working with headphones, and how do you typically use them in your workflow?

All my life! I’ve tried so many kinds and having mostly lived in apartments in crowded cities, headphones have been crucial to my workflow as I haven’t always been able to bump the monitors very loud.

I put on a pair of Audeze headphones at a demo and listened to Abbey Road and heard things I’ve never heard before. It was incredible.

How have your Audeze headphones affected your work?

I’m often traveling and have a mobile studio. The biggest problem is having consistent good quality reference monitors. Audeze has completely changed the game for me. I’m now able to work using headphones for hours at a time with no ear fatigue and I can hear all of the nuance and definition that I’ve had to sacrifice in the past with other headphones. The Audeze LCD’s are so good that I often think I’m blasting studio monitors when I’m not.

Can you tell us what you've been working on with them recently?

I’ve been using the LCDs for film scoring, song writing and have been working on a new animated show for Adult Swim. The show is very centered around futuristic sounding dance music and being able to accurately and cleanly hear defined low end in the headphones has been incredible. I have never heard such clean defined bass.