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Matty J / CKY – Rocking Hard with VoiceLive 2 and VoiceTone Synth
TC-Helicon recently had the chance to catch up with Matty J from CKY at Download festival in the UK. Matty has been using the VoiceLive 2 and VoiceTone Synth for some time and has also just recently started using the MP-75 microphone.
We asked Matty how he got started with CKY – “In 2009 I was recording their latest album ‘Carver City’ and was putting down keyboard parts and said ‘You guys should get a keyboard player for when you play live’. That’s when I joined the band playing keyboards and it’s also when I started using the VoiceLive 2. Not long after, the bass player left so that’s when I started playing bass and I’ve been doing that ever since.”
Matty shared his favorite things about the VoiceLive 2 with us; “I’ve never had any official voice coaching or vocal lessons (although I did take guitar, bass and drum lessons) and without even knowing I started using the VoiceLive 2 and realized that not only does it make really cool sounds but it also makes me sing almost in perfect pitch. A lot of people think – ‘Oh, you’ve got that effect on and you’re not singing’, but, you actually have to sing really close to the note to get it to work right so it’s almost like it’s my own personal vocal coach as I find my pitch is really spot on now even when I’m not using it as a result so it’s really helped me out like that.”
“It’s almost like it’s my own personal vocal coach as I find my pitch is really spot on now even when I’m not using it…”
I had the VoiceLive 2 to start with and then I really liked the Idea that with the VoiceTone Synth you don’t need a keyboard to get that vocoded sound so I grabbed one of them too. I like it because it’s pretty small so it doesn’t take up too much space on stage. When I was playing keyboard I was using the VoiceLive 2 and I had a little stand on stage with all my stuff set up which was perfect. However, the VoiceTone Synth is awesome because it’s like any other pedal and it’s just there on the floor. With some of our songs it’s exactly what’s called for because we have some harmony vocals on the record that can be hard for us to pull off live but with this I can just do it by myself and it sounds like there are three of us there. It works great and I’m really happy with it!
I’ve also started using the MP-75 and since the first sound check it’s been excellent!”
Now that I have the VoiceTone Synth and the VoiceLive 2 I’m almost writing songs around the pedals themselves. It’s really helping and there’s so much you can do with it in both the band situation and my own songwriting. Who’d have thought that I’d be writing songs around a voice pedal but it’s really cool and I’m doing things that I’d never thought I’d do before because of it.
I tend to not use the pedal in the same way as most people do (with the automatic harmony detection). Seeing as I’m in a band with a regular set list I tend to program the keys for each song and change presets for each part throughout. “
“If you’re lucky enough to have the passion to do something so much then that’s an awesome thing!”
Lastly, we asked Matty what piece of advice he would give to any aspiring musician; “I’ve decided that this is what I’ve wanted to do since I was around 12 or 13 and once I’d made that decision I’ve never stopped chasing my dream.
Even when times were tough and my mum would tell me to ‘go and get a job’ and people and my friends would tell me I’d have to sort something else out I’d just always continue doing what I wanted to do. It’s great to be here (Download Festival) doing this but it didn’t come easy – I’ve worked really hard to get here. So, if this is what you want to do, don’t ever stop. If you’re lucky enough to have the passion to do something so much then that’s an awesome thing!”
Keep up with Matty and CKY via their official site at www.ckyalliance.com