TC Electronic. How I use my Powercore.

TC Voice Modeler

TC Electronic was founded in 1976 in Risskov, Denmark. They are known for their ultra high end digital reverbs like the System 6000 and the Powercore platform. Back in 2000 when I was recording my album Manic Panic I was constantly running out of CPU Power on a Apple Powermac dual 500Mhz G4. Back then there were not many options. Either I use more external hardware, switch to PC or get a Powercore card.

Luckily I chose the Powercore because besides being able to work ITB (in the box) I was introduced to some amazing sounding plug-ins. In fact some of the plug-ins that came with the original Powercore PCI still hold up today. You can read a nice interview TC Electronic did with me back then by clicking here: TC Electronic interviews The Horrorist.

There is one plug-in in particular that has my heart: Voicemodeler. What’s funny is I only use 1 preset on the thing! It’s called “Male Enhancer”. I love it. I don’t use it on every song but it’s a flavor I can’t live without. I have yet to find any native plug-in that sounds the same. You can hear it on my voice on a song I did called Close to You:

The Ableton Live session view scene tempo trick.

Ableton Live - tempo trick

I love Ableton Live and use it as my main DAW. I simply can’t work on a sequencer without something like Ableton’s “session view” to spark ideas and get the basic concepts for the song sorted out. Did you know that in session view if you name a scene with a number followed by “bpm” that scene will launch at the speed specified?

Sometimes I use this trick to launch into half speed mode for a breakdown. Another idea is to make the first scene launch at something like 40bpm and use the rolling slow sounds as an intro to the song. Give it a try!

Would you work at Guitar Center?

Guitar Center

I’ve been very lucky in the music business to never have to get a “day job”. Making music is my day job. So what do others do? About two months ago my friend John told me he got a job at Guitar Center in New Jersey. I’ve always been curious how much the sales people make and with John’s permission here is the run down.

5:08:27 PM John: so here’s the skinny on the pay at guitar center
5:08:31 PM Oliver Chesler: do tell
5:08:35 PM John: it’s a commission draw
5:08:36 PM John: I get a base.. 7.15 an hour.. for 40 hours per week..
5:09:37 PM Oliver Chesler: what is commision draw?
5:09:39 PM John: if my commissions are greater than the amount I would get for 40 hours a week @ 7.15 per hour.. then I get paid the commission amount, and don’t get paid the $7.15 per hour
5:09:44 PM Oliver Chesler: hmm
5:09:55 PM John: the commission rate is 2% of gross sales, plus 10% of net sales
5:10:07 PM Oliver Chesler: ok
5:10:10 PM John: so, if I sold 1,000 dollars in gear I would get roughly about 45 Continue reading →