Join Daniel Mintseris for an in-depth discussion in this video From humble beginnings to St. Vincent's technical brain, part of Performing with Ableton Live: On Stage with St. Vincent.
It was a pretty humble beginning. I wanted to just kind of prove to myself and to everyone else that I could make a living. That was a very simple task right off the bat. And so the key to that is saying, yes. To whatever comes around. So, I was in Philadelphia after I finished school, and I moved to New York. And, for the first several years, that was, that was the trick to it, really, is meet people.
And whatever comes up, say yes and do it. And after a while you, you know, you meet a lot of musicians, doing different, projects. and, you learn things about your craft and you learn things about, the people that work in your industry. And, most importantly, they learn things about you. They learn things about what you can do, what you're good at, what you're strengths are. And also that you're cool to be around, that's incredibly important.
And then, you put in the time, you put in the work, you learn how to be the best you can be at what you do and how to have a great attitude about it and after awhile people start to recognize you as such. And when the next cool thing comes around you might be on that list that they call. I met Andy Clark of Saint Vincent through a mutual New York friend. So it grew out of that New York scene that I had been a part of for a good ten, twelve years.
She was looking for someone to run a show. The, the technical brain of the operation so, a sort of central figure that would pull everything together and make a show happen. She got a bunch of recommendations from New York friends and some of those friends also happened to be my friends and happened to remember that I do that sort of thing. And I met with Annie a couple of times and we hit it off. That's, that's how it happens.
First, Daniel provides a tour of his setup, starting from his keyboard riser—the hub of communication on stage. With Ableton and a series of MIDI controllers, he's closely connected to all the other instrumentalists. Then he demonstrates the process of building a show file and creating sound presets for every song. Daniel also explains how to use the Drum Kit as a MIDI controller for drum sounds, and how to make program changes on the downstage Moog and guitar stations. Finally, in our interview with Daniel, he closes down the course with insights on what it's like to be a musical director, and how he balances technology and musicianship to bring ideas to life.
- Setting up the keyboard and Ableton Live
- Creating and using click tracks
- Creating song presets
- Switching sounds within songs
- Automating presets
- Working with Ableton drum racks
- Sending program changes
- Preparing audio stems for playback
- Audio routing
- Keeping things in check with line-check files and backups
- Insights on music and technology