Free MacBooks underpin live success for indie rocker

Melbourne artist Gotye turns Apple generosity into nationwide success

A little bit of chutzpah has gone a long way for one musician. Concert goers at last weekend's Homebake music festival in Sydney were the latest to find out why, as they heard the sounds of award winning producer and vocal artist, Gotye.

The laptops, which Gotye - a regular headline act at music festivals around the country -- uses to produce his live sounds, were freebies from Apple.

Knowing that Apple takes its music seriously, Gotye, aka Wally De Backer, approached the company a year ago seeking "permanent placement" of new Apple gear to help him take his music into the live arena. Or as he terms it, a "platform from which to realise my music's transition from bedroom to live stage".

"And through concurrent interest from the Apple iTunes staff in my record, I was lucky enough to get the basis of a new Mac laptop-based setup," De Backer said.

The company's public relations manager, Fiona Martin, said Apple discovered De Backer when he made the decision to launch his albums, Boardface and Like Drawing Blood, on iTunes.

"We then learnt about just how creative he was when he showed us how he created not only his music but also his album art and other parts of his offerings," Martin said.

The appreciation of his work paid off.

"They provided exactly what I'd asked for in my detailed plan for translating Gotye's sample-based music to a live played/sample triggered hybrid performance: two MacBook Pro laptops with great specs."

De Backer, who for Gotye (he also plays in a band called The Basics) won this year's Australian Record Industry Association award for Best Male Artist, said approaching Apple made sense.

"All the studios I'd ever mixed in used Apple Macs. They've got a great rep, they're sleek, and geeks reckon they're ace. I thought it was time for a change too," he said.

While the MacBooks go on the road with him, De Backer has been using other Apple hardware to make his music. Some of the material for Like Drawing Blood, his most recent album, was put together on his (paid for) Apple G4 - his first foray into making music on Macs.

Continuing the Mac theme, the album was mixed by Franc Tetaz, using a Pro Tools HD system based around a G5 tower.

De Backer's previous PC experience was with a Windows 98 machine that ran a Pentium III 7333MHz processor. On top of that he ran Acid Pro software for sampling/sequencing/mixing, and Sonic Foundry's Sound Forge software for two-track audio editing. All this was done with the help of an ISIS Guillemot Maxistudio sound card.

However, the system would crash a great deal, "largely because I never once overhauled the operating system or defragmented my hard drives regularly enough, but also because the fan in my machine eventually died. And summers would wreak havoc with the computer's running."

On the software side, Gotye uses Ableton Live to translate the samples on his album onto the live stage. He is yet to use Apple's GarageBand but says that may change when he starts to compose new material. He also hopes to investigate Apple's Logic as a sequencer/virtual studio environment.

"So far the Apple lappys have been a great platform. And they have been fabulous for all sorts of other apps too, like MacSaber. I'm a nerd."

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Howard Dahdah

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?