Adam Young, perhaps best known under the name Owl City (just one of his many musical projects/personae), has become one of the most prolific and creative young musicians on the scene today. Originally from the small town of Owatonna, Minnesota, Young developed musical ideas in his parents basement, eventually discovering the world of synthesizers, sequencers and digital audio workstations. After generating buzz in indie circles, he signed to Universal Republic, and in 2009-10, Owl City broke through to the mainstream with the hit single Fireflies and its album Ocean Eyes. Fireflies topped the US and Canadian charts and became the most-downloaded song on iTunes in the US.
As he continues to make music, Young looks to Korg synthesizers for sonic inspiration. He notes, Whenever Im inspired, Korg is the first place I turn to be it hardware synths or plug-ins. Korg allows me to be creative and ultimately achieve the sounds that I envision in my head and beyond.
One of Youngs favorite synths is Korgs RADIAS-R Synthesizer Vocoder. He states, Ive been a
microKORG user since the beginning and Ive fallen in love with that little synth. The moment I wanted to look into a bigger, more powerful synth, my eye landed on the RADIAS.
He is particularly drawn to the RADIAS-R because of its user-friendliness: I love how everything is programmable. The moment I switched it on, it was as if everything was right where it needed to be. I really like how everything is right there in front of your eyes, ready to edit. Im the kind of guy who is always going back and tweaking patches and sounds and re-saving them, so the programmability of the RADIAS blew me away right out of the box. Plus, it sounds amazing! I love everything about it.
Youngs recent creative process for Owl City has heavily featured the RADIAS. He explains, I used the RADIAS quite a bit on the upcoming Owl City record entitled All Things Bright and Beautiful. The RADIAS was always my go-to synth whenever Id be in a session and needed a synth-specific sound. I had it set up right next to my Pro Tools rig, so I could grab the knobs and get a sound fast, if I found I needed another synth layer during the mixing process. Its so easy to be creative with the RADIAS and thats what I really love about it.
Other favorite Korg products of Youngs include the Legacy Collection soft synth and the SV-1 Stage Vintage Piano. Im a huge fan of the Korg Legacy Collection synth plug-ins. The PolySix was a heavy hitter on the new Owl City record as well, he concludes.
For an extended interview with Young or product information, please visit