Columbus, OH-based cinematic rock band, Starset, teamed up with Razor & Tie to release their debut album, Transmissions, on June 3, 2014 and ever since, have never looked back. The 14 track recording is loaded with powerful, sweeping rock and features the hit singles “My Demons” and “Carnivore”, which have been tearing up active rock radio. The group has been somewhat shrouded in mystery so, in order to get a better understanding about Transmissions, we chatted with lead singer Dustin Bates about gear; namely his Emulator-DVS (Dual View System) Touchscreen.

What one piece of gear do you use to obtain your signature sound?
Bates: I use an Emulator DVS touchscreen to DJ the electronic elements of the sound during the live show.

What about it makes it so important to you?
Bates: It allows the electronic side of the sound to come right out in front during the show. That, and it has the added benefit of looking like it is straight off of the set of the movie “Minority Report”.

How do you recreate your album (guitar/vocal/bass) tones in your live set?
Bates: We use a Kemper profiling amplifier for the guitar. It sounds fantastic and fits right into HAL, our rack, which basically contains the entire band, minus drums. I use a Shure Green Bullet mic to help to recreate the transmission-esque vocals that occur throughout the record.

What are the major pros and cons?
Bates: The bullet mic can sometimes feedback if we don’t get a proper check, but other than that we are quite happy with our current live sound.

Do you have a backup for this gear, if so, what?
Bates: Being a young band on a tight budget, we only have backups for small pieces. Eventually it would be great to get backups of the expensive stuff like the Kemper and Emulator.

How long have you had it, how do you use it, would you ever change it?
Bates: We have had the gear since the formation of the band in November. We have no current plans to change it, but who knows!

Give us your best “gear goes wrong” story.
Bates: Our bass sound is all generated in the rack. There is no amp. In fact, there is no stage sound at all besides drums. At one show, the headliners wireless bass was on the exact same channel as ours, causing astronomically loud bass to come from his amp throughout the beginning of the show. It took us a few songs to realize what was going on.

Check out the song “My Demons”


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