Berlin, Germany, April 1, 2021 – Rising Berlin-based composer/sound artist Sacha Ketterlin has created a unique musical identity in modular synthesis, creating warm, textural sounds that touch on classic electronic music, ambient soundscapes, and the familiar tonality of the orchestra. On releases like Trinity and Ocean of Sound, Ketterlin brings all these influences together to compose music with a wide, cinematic scope that also possesses a deep, tactile humanity at its center that Ketterlin has subsequently brought to the audiences around the world through live performances and appearances at festivals such as Burning Man. In order to ensure that he has total control of his sonic creations in both the studio and live environments, Ketterlin relies on Amphion One15 Monitors and the FlexBase25 Bass Extension system to give him the clarity and scope he needs to bring his dreamlike musical worlds to life.
Finding the humanity in an electronic orchestra
Initially trained as a classical pianist before he entered the world of synthesis, Ketterlin found himself driven to bring the sound and feel of live orchestration to his electronic compositions. From the soft, rippling arpeggios that open Ocean of Sound to the throbbing bass presence of songs like Desire, his search for the right tonalities has as much of a sonic component as an emotional one. “The sounds of the orchestra were a formative part of my tonal vocabulary, so I seek out tonalities and textures that give me the same kind of feeling.,” he said. “It’s always a journey to find natural sounds in synthesis, to feel that kind of humanity and emotion in it.”
A major part of Ketterlin’s process in discovering these sounds involves using specialized haptic controllers to operate his modular synth racks – which feature modules from Macbeth Studio Systems, Modcan, and Doepfer. His Intellijel controllers give him a level of detail and dynamics analogous to tactile control on an acoustic instrument. Being able to hear as well as feel these changes is essential to inject his full emotion into his performances. “It’s really important to be able to hear how the filter is acting and how the oscillator sounds to get the most out of this kind of setup,” he said. “You need good, honest monitoring that you can rely on. Since I began using Amphion One15s I’ve really felt secure in that, because I know I can trust the sounds that I am getting.”
“It was like a near-sighted person getting their first pair of glasses,” he continued. “Suddenly I could perceive all of this detail that I couldn’t before, and it just made it so much easier to home in on the sound I wanted to create.”
‘Cinematic’ low-end for the stage and studio
Given the importance of low-end to electronic music in live venues, Ketterlin has always taken great care to sculpt the response for each room that he performs in. In the past this occasionally led to struggle given the wide-ranging scope of his compositions. “Mixing live bass for this kind of music can be a challenge because you never know what kind of sound system to expect,” he said. “Often I could only truly ‘test’ how this music would sound by putting it through the biggest PA I could find.”
This all changed when Ketterlin began pairing his Amphion One15 monitors with the Amphion FlexBase25 low-end extension system, a combination that Ketterlin says was a ‘magic’ moment. “I was always happy with my One15s, but when combined them with Flexbase I realized I was suddenly dealing a much more cinematic scope,” he said. “The sound field immediately became much wider, but without losing any of the tightness and transients I knew from the One15. This was a feeling I only had before when I did live events with Ambisonic systems, and suddenly I had it in my little room!”
That feeling also extended to the live arena, where Ketterlin says he no longer suffers the translation problems he did before, ensuring that his biggest ideas translate on every stage, every time. “One of the most important parts of FlexBase25 for me is the ability to change the ‘flavor’ of the sound instantly with the crossover controls, it really allows me to preview how it will come off on different types of sound systems and PAs,” he said. “Now I can really sculpt the sound so it will be optimal in the big venues, and it’s been just amazing to see how it works.”
“The difference it caused in my compositions was striking, because suddenly I could spatialize my sounds more and really explore where the impacts in the deep frequencies were. I almost feel like I understand my own music better because of it.”
For more information about Sacha Ketterlin, please visit: http://sachaketterlin.bandcamp.com/
For more information about Amphion, please visit: http://amphion.fi/
Amphion Loudspeakers Ltd. was established in 1998. We design and build loudspeakers that are characterized by honest and accurate sound reproduction. Precise driver integration ensures world-class imaging and phase coherency. Controlled dispersion technology helps achieve more stable results in a variety of room acoustics. All products are handmade in Finland (and the Amphion amplifiers are assembled in Finland) to ensure enduring listening quality.