Employee Spotlight: Matt Piper, Propellerhead Product Specialist
What do you do at Line 6?
I am Line 6's Propellerhead Product Specialist. I travel all over the US doing clinics at recording studios, schools, music stores, trade shows, and other venues to teach users how to get the most out of Propellerhead's Reason and Record software, and to help dealers have the knowledge and tools they need to talk to their customers about the products. I also make videos for Line 6's YouTube channel about how to use the software.
How did you end up at Line 6?
Prior to working at Line 6, I had written a couple of books on how to use Reason, and I was doing a lot of live keyboard gigs where Reason was providing the majority of my keyboard sounds. One day a friend of mine said "Hey Matt, did you see the Propellerhead Product Specialist job posting on the Line 6 web page? They are describing you, man!"
What has been one memorable project or experience at Line 6?
Last fall, Reason 5 and Record 1.5 were released, and they were truly the biggest and most exciting updates that Propellerhead has ever released. Our first big event after the launch was a Producers Conference at Doppler Studios in Atlanta. One of the things I demonstrated in my presentation was Record's new Neptune Pitch Adjuster and Vocal Synth. In a sort of last minute decision in front of about 70 people (most of them hip hop producers), I fearlessly but rather badly sung "You Light Up My Life," to much laughter. The laughs quickly turned to "wowwww" when I showed what Neptune could do with my ridiculous vocal. It was a blast.
Tell us about your band/group.
I play in various improv situations - sometimes ambient, sometimes avant-garde, sometimes with dj's - and I play a variety of instruments depending on the gig. The band I play most often with right now is called Biolectric, and we play live house music. There is a dj who plays beats on a laptop, a live percussionist, live bass, and I play electric guitar. It's a really fun band because there is a lot of room for improv, and still people dance to it!
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What do you enjoy about playing live?
I love it when the people I am playing with and I are able to really connect musically. I don't surf, but when your band is really vibing together, I think that must be something like how it feels to be riding on top of a big wave. I enjoy positive audience reaction - like when people really start dancing (if it's that kind of music), or if people shout if we get into something that resonates with them, or if someone takes the time to tell me they dug it afterward. I also like that it's a little dangerous. I mean, you might try to play an idea and really nail it, or you might fall on your face. The possibility of outcome B is part of what makes outcome A feel so good.
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What Line 6 gear do you use playing live and how do you use it?
I used to use a bunch of old-school pedals all over the floor, plus a DL-4 Delay that's been with me since the year it came out. Recently, when I narrowed it down to just a volume pedal and an M9 Stompbox Modeler for the Biolectric gigs, all my band mates kept commenting that my new sounds are great! When I play wireless I use a Relay G50. This weekend I will be playing an assortment of percussion and flutes from all over the world with some spoken word artists, and the mic I use for those instruments will be plugged into a POD HD500 so I can apply delays to the flutes and also so I can loop all the instruments and build some textures. For recording, I use Reason, Record, POD Farm 2, and whatever Line 6 audio interface I have handy, often POD Studio UX2 or POD Studio KB37.
How has playing live helped you with what you do at Line 6?
Playing live with Reason has really helped me with the demonstrations that I do for the Reason and Record software. All the prep work (designing patches/sounds, etc.) helped to get my brain in good shape so that when someone says "how do you do that?" I can immediately respond "here's how you do that!" Performing live with other Line 6 gear helps me appreciate the great products that my co-workers have helped to create.