Maker Spotlight: Unicat
When it comes to versatility in music production and performance, Unicat embodies modern music creation. Hailing from Germany, this duo of talented producers develops music that transcends genres. Take a deep dive with us as we interview Unicat and learn about how Luna has become an essential tool for their craft.
Tell us a bit about your creative practice.
We create based on inspiration from things we love in music, emotions we experience, and technical abilities that allow us to express it all through the instruments.
Our music is pulled from many different things. The music your mother sang to you when you were a child, finger exercises you played on piano, the first song you played on guitar, and different music you played on different gigs during your life as a musician. I would say that our music is our musical background mixed with all different emotions and situations from our lives divided through the technical abilities to express it.
Walk us through your daily routine.
We don’t really have a routine, but there are certain things we do on a daily and/or weekly basis. For example, we practice a lot. Time with the instruments is very important. This constantly keeps us in the best form for our concerts. It’s a top priority for us to practice almost every day. Another priority is going to the gym to keep us in shape.
And finally, producing music. Sometimes it is making a song, sometimes recording vocals, or just designing a sound for later. Other things we do regularly are scheduling bookings and taking care of the management of the band.
What’s your workspace like?
When we work from home, we’re surrounded by synths and pianos. The setup we use has evolved since we first started to play. Now, we use a Mac mini as a workstation with Ableton on it, midi keyboards from Alesis, a sound card, KORG Kaoss Pad, Moog Sub 37, and an iPad as our primary screen with Luna Display.
How does Luna Display fit into your practice?
The main problem we faced while building our set up was how to make it portable and not lose out on the possibilities that we have in the studio. To have access to a computer without taking a large monitor with us every time while we travel (which is not convenient), we tried Luna and it fits perfectly with the environment we work in.
Very often we play at venues where there is no internet and we need to have a lag-free connection between our computer and iPad to mix and make adjustments to the live setup. Luna does the job through the cable and makes our job easier.
How have digital tools improved your workflow?
We still have a lot of equipment but because of the digital tools, we don’t have to carry everything with us to have the sound we want to have. Instead of carrying 6 different synths, I can sample the sounds I need and save them on the computer, and play them using one keyboard.
How do you brainstorm fresh ideas?
Musically, it’s starting in silence and trying to come up with the melody. It is like sitting in front of the blank canvas. Silence is very inspiring. When it comes to the lyrics, most of the inspiration comes from nature. We are very connected with nature in our music. You can feel it in our songs. We love comparing life situations to those we can find in nature.
How do you stay productive?
Taking little breaks between work and mixing tasks. For instance, I start the day playing piano, then after a little break, I start to work on emails and bookings. After that, I’m ready to move a bit, so I head to the gym.
What’s your favorite thing about the work you do?
Making music. Music allows us to express ourselves and it’s our way of life.