Interview with Daniel Hassbecker

2015/07/21 Daniel Hassbecker is a live keyboard player and composer based in Germany. He performs with German pop music stars like Frida Gold, Joachim Witt, Tim Bendzko and Silly. Daniel is at home on the big stages as well as in the studio. We are very glad that we had the chance to chat with him about his work.

Daniel, please tell us a little bit about your collaboration with German shooting star Tim Bendzko.

Daniel Hassbecker: I play in his live bank since 2011 and Tim wanted to do the following album with his band. Prior to recording songs from "Am seidenen Faden" in the studio, we locked us up in the rehearsal room. Tim played his demos and we developped a kind of band/live arrangement. Not until this was finished we entered the studio.

You also work for the band Silly. How is the creative process compared to working with Tim?

I play in Silly’s live band since 2005. The live set is build with the sound of the master recordings in mind. I have to pre-program the sounds so that they sound like those from the final production. And I perform the same way. Playing with Tim offers me more freedom. I can propose things. Tim does not tell me what to play and which sounds I have to use. He just gives me an idea and I have to find a way to translate that. If he doesn’t like it I have to come up with an alternative.

How do you find the right sounds for your performances?

With so many software instruments available the sound palette is huge. For designing sounds I prefer instruments like the Nordstage 2 and the Nord Electro 4 from Clavia. They have all the sounds I need, like Mellotron, organ, Rhodes, Wurlitzer, upright pianos and concert grands. All these patches sound super and I can edit them very easily. Instead of a thousand menus there is one button or rotary for every parameter. If I want to use strings and other orchestral instruments I use Mainstage and Komplete 8. My old fellow JV2080 still does a good job when it comes to sound pads.

Do you program the sounds yourself or do you prefer presets?

In most cases I search for a preset that comes close to my wish and then I fine-tune it so that it fits.

Do you use samplers on stage?

I don’t use hardware samplers because of RAM limitations, but software. Editing the Kontakt sampler is a lot easier, too.

How important is sampling?

Very important! Otherwise I had to drive a 7.5 tons truck with an original B3, Rhodes and other stuff to the concert.

Recently you discovered SampleRobot. What happened?

I changed my setup for Silly and wanted to get rid of my old XP-50. But I still need some of its sounds for my gigs. So I became aware of SampleRobot. I sampled the synth with it and created Kontakt files out of it. Therefore I used the automatic sampling function. Just a few settings in the sampling wizard, then I could let the program run and done – this is the sound as Kontakt file format. I have done this with a couple of other sounds as well and I am really convinced by the result. Now I can still play these sounds although the synth is not part of my setup any more. Superb!

What do you think about sampled versus live instruments?

A real instrument still responds better than a sampled one. Every piano sounds different. In the studio I prefer real instruments but for a live setup this can get difficult. Transportation and technical issues can be a hassle. Then you have to regularely service the instrument. And it suffers on tour. If you put a concert grand on stage with some mics you might get more drums than piano sound. If the whole band is playing, a sampled instrument can cut better through the mix.

Being a musician on stage, is that a dream?

Yes, that was pretty much a dream as long as I can think. I am a live performer. I was born into a musicians family and have seen my dad’s rock concerts at an early age and also some classical performances of my grandparents. I knew I wanted to do that, too. At the age of 14 I enjoyed a concert of Sting at the „Berliner Waldbuehne“. That is where I stand with Tim on stage in 2013. It was a truely impressive moment!

Thanks very much!

Images copyright by Klaus Sahm (1,2) and Grit Siwonia (3).


New YouTube Channel


2015/06/03 With the latest SampleRobot Volca-X release we have introduced a new SampleRobot YouTube Channel. You can let us know via Twitter which features you would like to see covered in a future video tutorial. Also, if you have produced a video showing SampleRobot in action please let us know. We would be glad to link it and tweet about it. Thanks and happy sampling!


SKYLIFE releases SampleRobot Volca-X

2015/04/30 If you own a Korg Volca Sample and would like to feed it with exciting samples then SampleRobot Volca-X could be your new partner in law. SampleRobot Volca-X is available from today on for Mac OS X and Windows. Combine the best of both sound worlds, hardware and software. Play your plug-in sounds on your Volca Sample, sample vintage drum machines automatically, slice all-in-one files, store all your sample banks on hard disk, rearrange sample slots, use the stereo export options to mock stereo sample playback on the Volca Sample, etc.

Have a look at our latest hands-on video on the right side.

As you can see, the possibilities are endless. If you really would like to queeze the best out of your Volca Sample you better get your hands on SampleRobot Volca-X.

There are two versions of SampleRobot Volca-X available. One contains our sophisticated sample and loop editor WaveRobot. The WaveRobot window can be used in supersize mode for sample display resolution up to 3200 x 2000 pixels.

Work with the WaveRobot markers for sample start and end point instead of destructively truncating the sound. So you can always go back and have your original samples untouched. Use the backward-forward loop with 2 crossfades to create completely new sounds. Let your beats be alive and kicking. With WaveRobot you will get the most out of your samples.

Both versions of SampleRobot Volca-X are now available at the SKYLIFE STORE.

SampleRobot Volca-X (59 $ / 39 £ / 49 €)
SampleRobot Volca-X + WaveRobot (129 $ / 85 £ / 99 €)

For a full overview what's new in SampleRobot Volca-X please have a look at our latest SampleRobot Version History.

For more information about Korg's Volca Sample have a look at Korg's product page.

Happy sampling and gigging with Korg Volca Sample and SampleRobot Volca-X!


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