Here’s five essential gadgets from Fuzz Factory’s co- founderRohit Shakya shares his favourite gadgets that he uses to make his experimental melodies
Rohit Shakya was two or three years old when his dad first recorded him singing into a tape recorder. Shakya, now 32, says that his dad still has those recordings, and that it was perhaps because of his dad’s encouragement that Shakya realised his passion for music early on in his life.
He says that by the time he was in fourth grade, he had enrolled for violin classes. This was the first time Shakya says he stepped into formally learning music. Then, in 2002, when Shakya was in high school, he started performing in a band for underground metal concerts organised by KTMRocks.
Shakya today is a ubiquitous name in the Nepali music scene. From researching Nepali music culture and then producing songs for Fuzzscape (a musical web show) to having composed music for almost 30 films--he’s done it all. He usually works on projects through his production house--Fuzz Factory Productions--and is occupied with plenty of projects for now. After his recent releases with Trishala Gurung and Sajjan Raj Vaidya, Shakya says he’s all geared up to collaborate with other artists.
Although he studied business for his bachelors degree, Shakya was convinced that he wanted to pursue music professionally. Even though he enhanced much of his skills from the internet, he realised that society and his parents demanded a certification of his artistry and thus, he decided to enrol for a diploma in audio engineering in Bangkok. Shakya’s parents were reluctant at first, but eventually agreed to send him abroad to continue his education in music.
Upon his return, Shakya co-founded the multimedia company Fuzz Factory Productions in 2013 and started creating music videos and commercials. The company grew gradually and his parents became hopeful that it could be a good career path for him.
“My parents thought I was doing good because I got the degree,” says Shakya. “But learning music independently through the web was what helped me the most.”
Shakya’s musical and visual artistry has evolved over the years--from singing for a rock band (Jindabaad with four of his friends Sunny Tuladhar, Rajan Shrestha, Kiran Shahi, and Abhisek Bhadra) to going solo and experimenting with electronic music.
He still smiles recalling his dad’s recordings of his voice, and with time he has grown to embrace gadgets that help him enhance his tracks that he has come to record by himself.
“My gadgets are a part of who I am as a musician,” says Shakya, who believes his musical journey is intertwined with technology.
Here, he shares a few of his most trusted gadgets he uses to create music.
When Shakya got Mashine in 2017, he says that he was experiencing a creative block. His mind was cluttered with ideas but they didn’t have a direction.
He had been researching the Mashine for a while, but he wasn’t sure how a computerised keyboard that could compose sounds of a lot of instruments would help him. Shakya, who already played different instruments, didn’t consider Mashine as something essential. But one morning during his creative block, he woke up wanting to buy it.
“I just decided to get it,” says Shakya whose musical style saw a change after using the device. “And once I did, it changed the perspective on how I make music.”
He got the Mashine from a shopkeeper at New Road, whom he knew, for Rs 60,000.
MacBook Pro 2015
Shakya considers his “sturdy and stable” MacBook as the “main brain of whatever I’m able to do.” He has been using iMac since 2011 to professionally create music since his stay in Bangkok for his diploma programme. Ever since, Shakya has been in love with the Apple operating system macOS.
When travelling to India in 2016, he bought the 2015’s MacBook Pro with the highest specs it offered. It cost him almost Rs 300,000.
“I have been using this laptop for the longest time,” says Shakya. “And it still works fine.” Sometimes, Shakya makes music solely out of his laptop as well.
Kemper Guitar Amplifier
As this analogue guitar amplifier promisingly “replicates any sound of any guitar amplifier in the world”, Shakya ordered it from the US for almost 1,700 USD (equivalent to around Rs 189,000) for the studio along with other equipments last year. Shakya says the “revolutionary gadget for the recording world” has been a great addition to his team’s equipment.
He now doesn’t need to use the amplifying software on his PC anymore, and there’s a vast difference in the sound quality of his current creations and Shakya credits the machine for it. Even to record his current projects, he uses the hardware which produces more organic and pristine sounds.
“Now I’m trying to use more analogue devices to create my music,” says Shakya.
Shakya, who is also working on Albatross’s new album, says he has been using this amplifier frequently.
Although a sound synthesiser had been on Shakya’s wish list since he was young, he couldn’t afford it for it cost more than one thousand dollars.
So when the Korg Minilogue was launched, it had everything Shakya dreamt of and it also came with a low price tag. He ordered it from Singapore through his friend in 2017 for Rs 50,000.
“This is a fun device, keeps the creative juices flowing,” says Shakya.
Shakya has played many guitars, almost every day, for the past 20 years. But whenever he strummed the strings of any guitar, although they had their own unique sound quality, Shakya felt something was missing. He craved a Taylor 110e, so saved up for it.
“My ears have been refined over time,” says Shakya, crediting the guitar for it. Playing the guitar continuously helped Shakya differentiate the quality of music he had been strumming over the years.
In 2017, when he ordered Taylor 110e from Singapore, he ran his fingers down its strings and he finally felt satisfied. He got the instrument for Rs 87,000.