Ephriam Nagler – The Velvet Teen


Ephriam Nagler, born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, obsessed with audio and photography, can be seen at airports around the world arguing his DSI Pro 2 and Prophet 08 into the main cabin. He performs under his own name as a synth-pop soloist and also performs with his brother, Judah Nagler, in The Velvet Teen. While residing in the Pacific Northwest over the past 7 years, he has been producing records at Robert Lang Studios, Red Room, and Dub Narcotic Studios of K Records. Submitting to his constant itch for travel, he is the touring front of house engineer for The Thermals, The Good Life, Suuns, and is at this very moment on the road with Russian Circles.

We caught up with Ephriam to talk about about how he’s using his Pro 2.

Ephriam, what made you choose the Pro 2?

“I bought the Pro 2 to use in tandem with my Prophet ’08. My solo synth project is entirely based around the Prophet, but I needed a heavier and more independent bass synth. For me, it’s perfect. It has its own unique oscillators and filters as compared to the Prophet, but performs just as well.”

How are you using it?

“The Pro 2 is my primary keyboard when I perform live with The Velvet Teen. Most of the parts I play require a crazy-noisy-distorted-mono-lead sort of sound, which the Pro 2 is made for. But also, the Paraphonic Mode has been SUPER useful, in that I don’t require another keyboard just to play a chord once in a while. And the USB MIDI, again, makes this keyboard so useful live, as we use a sampler on my computer for a couple songs.”

What’s one of your favorite things about it?

“Being able to modulate the overdrive, distortion, and delay is my absolute favorite! You could add these effects as pedals, but you wouldn’t have as much control as the Pro 2 allows. I LOVE going from a pure sine wave (using just the sub-oscillator) to a complete mess of chaos by assigning the mod wheel to raise the other 4 oscillators’ volume, turn up the delay’s feedback, add a little FM, and of course turn the distortion all the way up. Plus, the mod matrix makes this so quick and easy.”

What does it give you that other synths might not?

“The sequencer and CV input/outputs leave me with so much room to grow! I think the concept of having the Pro 2 be the center of my studio is what led me to grab it in the first place. I travel a lot with my gear and want to be as efficient as possible. So I have the Prophet ’08 for my poly, the Pro 2 for my mono, and the Pro 2 makes getting a small modular setup seem totally functional and awesome for live performances.”

Any interesting Pro 2 tricks or techniques you’d like to share?

“Lately, I’ve been having a lot of fun with looping envelopes. It’s especially fun when you start modulating the attack and/or decay, say, with ANOTHER looping envelope. Synthesizers are built to make crazy sounds, and there are a lot of crazy noise makers out there. But the Pro 2 makes it so easy to create weird sounds that are readily performable and incredible musical.”

Check out Ephriam Nagler’s music here.





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