Nick Semrad is a sonic titan blazing new trails for keyboardists. Whether he’s onstage with Cory Henry & the Funk Apostles or ticklin’ the ivories with Ms. Lauryn Hill, Semrad is an audio explorer, a mad scientist conducting ultra-funky experiments in a laboratory of keyboards and a few well-chosen effects pedals, synthesizing new compounds scientifically proven to enhance your groove.
During our recent trip to Los Angeles, we met up with Nick and drummer TaRon Lockett (Erykah Badu, Cee-Lo, Snoop Dogg) for an impromptu jam sesh at Juan Alderete’s 5 Starr Sound Labs studio.
“I have a couple tricks I like to do,” Semrad says. “Especially with the Arpanoid . . . I use it as like, a percussive octave pedal.”
Bumping a bassline on his Minibrute, Semrad reaches for the Rainbow Machine processing TaRaon’s Nord Drum to dial in a modulated slapback before engaging the Magic control, sending it into self-modulation.
I’ve taken to using these pedals in like, really weird ‘producer trick’ ways,” he says. “I get as dorky as I can.”
Catch Nick and TaRon on the road with Cory Henry & the Funk Apostles!