Cherry Audio Featured Artist - Rory Butler

Cherry Audio Featured Artist - Rory Butler

Based in the midlands of the UK, Rory Butler has been a musician for nearly all his life, with a lot of experience in the studio and on stage. Moving his efforts towards production, he has a versatile, unique production style to cater to any client while working with each individual personality and style. As evidenced in his vast catalog of high quality work as a musician, songwriter, producer, and beat content provider, Rory is capable of producing everything from hip hop to pop, to rock and punk and as far as jazz and soul.

We discovered Rory in a tweet he posted raving about how much he loved the new Cherry Audio DCO-106 polyphonic synthesizer. As you will read in the interview, Rory is a huge fan of the Juno sound. He included a teaser announcement that he was about to drop a new track with Moji Kaas featuring sounds from the DCO-106.

Here is the new track. Check it out. "Back Then".

Featured Artist Interview - Rory Butler

We hope you enjoyed "Back Then" as much we did. In this in-depth interview, Rory shares with us thoughts on the DCO-106, his musical journey, honing his craft and how to approach the creative process:

Q:  Rory, you've been credited as a producer, musician, beat maker and engineer - do you find wearing so many hats has given you some perspective on the different roles involved in the creative process? With the beat-making process, how do you get inspired to create beats in so many styles?

A:  I always consider myself a jack of all trades! I love sinking my teeth into the tech side of things as much as I enjoy analysing crazy Jazz Fusion chord changes! Doing all this different stuff does definitely give me some perspective on each process, I find that it means that I can think two steps ahead at all times - if I'm writing a piece I can think about how the arrangement effects the mix, or how a vocalist will fit on the track, it's definitely a big advantage. Though it does show just how deep each process goes, you never run out of things you can learn!

In terms of inspiration for making beats, strangely enough the beatmaking process alone is the inspiration! Because I love to create so many style of music, I knew I'd never be able to have individual projects for each style. So, I thought if I focused that energy outwards into making beats and working with artists, I could enjoy making lots of different music without suffering the heartache of letting things sit unheard on a hard drive. So, if I get excited listening to some synthwave stuff, I'll fire up the synths, just like how I'll stick my Telecaster in an open tuning after a day of listening to emo records!

Q:  Your catalog of work includes Jazz, Fusion, Emo, Trap, EDM and other sub-genres that cross over into one another. How does the creative approach differ for these projects?

A:  That's a very interesting question! I do tend to start out very similarly regardless of style. I always come up with a chord progression first, I write in a way that's very much focused on the harmonic and melodic elements, with percussion following. I find that chords and melodies don't discriminate. You can take a progression on an upright piano or a rhodes for a jazzy number, then stick that same progression into layers of supersaws with some automation and you have a future-bass track. The differences come with the stylistic idiosyncrasies, instrumentation and sound choice, and of course a lot of listening and practice!

Q:  Tell us about your work on the latest Moji Kaas album. What was the process like?

The Moji Kaas stuff is great to work on! Moji Kaas is super chill and easy to work with which is amazing. The process has been super simple for the tracks so far! We'll come up with a vibe to work with, I'll build a track which we'll then refine and discuss alongside Moji Kaas laying vocal ideas down. From there it's a case of mixing. So far the turn around for finished tracks has been quite quick which I take as a sign that we work quite well together! I'd recommend anyone gives his stuff a listen, I find a certain nostalgia in the sound of each track, which is a vibe I live for!

Q:  Are you using the DCO-106 on these tracks? If so, what do you think?

A:  I am for sure! I'm using it a lot recently, I've always been a lover of the Juno sound, and the DCO-106 is a great replication! Everything from the CPU usage, to the user interface, and of course the sound makes it a winning synth plugin for me. It's one of those plugins that is hard to make a bad sound with! Very versatile and highly recommended. So far I have used it for a lot, but my favourite sounds are polysynth and brass textures, which is what I love on a Juno. Though I have found myself really liking it for plucks too, which I wasn't expecting!

Q: What is your studio setup like? Any favorite bits of gear?

A:  My studio is quite modest. I like to work in the box outside of some synths and my guitar gear. With a rack of about 12 guitars to my right, a mic setup to my left and the MIDI controller and my main controls in front! It's home and where I spend every moment that I can! Favourite bits of gear is a tricky one! My collection of Ibanez guitars and Carvin Legacy amp are very close to my heart I have to say!

Q:  With work in so many styles you must have pretty broad taste. Who are some of your favorite artists?

A:  You're right with that, almost too broad a taste! That's a very hard question for me to answer, but I'll try to keep it brief! As a musician, a real turning point for me was listening to Steve Vai as a kid, it opened my eyes in terms of improving how I play the guitar, but also how I appreciated composition. That paved the way to getting into Jazz and Jazz Fusion which blew my mind in terms of interesting chord patterns and sequences. Artists like John Coltrane, Allan Holdsworth, Jaco Pastorius and so many more helped there. But of course I'm still a pop-punk kid at heart so I've always loved Blink-182, Jimmy Eat World and bands like that! Which is great with this wave of emo-rap we've got right now, artists like Guardin, Smrtdeath and Shinigami are capturing that same vibe in a modern setting.
With growing up in the 90s, I had the wave of the 70s and 80s that my parents were into to inspire me. Artists like Kate Bush have really made me love the production and synth work of that era. Which is an unfortunately expensive taste to have!

Q:  What's next for you?

A:  So much! The future is looking bright! In the imminent future I have more with Moji Kaas coming of course. I'm also working with an artist and good friend, Shy Keegan, who is dropping some tracks from December 1st that I worked on, along with videos for each. We shot something not long back, on a dreary day in England, but the video came out looking so good! So there's that to look forward to. There are some "in-progress" tracks in the works too which are in their infancy. I always want to put more of my own stuff out there too, but I'm a bit of a workaholic, so finding time for myself is tough!

Q:  Where can we find your music? Where can people connect with Rory Butler?
Website / FacebookBandcamp / Spotify 

Editor's Note: Rory, thank you for the enlightening interview, including the DCO-106 in your work and for your continued support of Cherry Audio Instruments. Good luck in 2021!

Jan 6, 2021