Patchman Music Presents
Judd Miller

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PATCHMAN MUSIC Presents...

EVI Great Judd Miller

Judd Miller

Judd Miller in the studio checking out a score

Many people may not know of Judd Miller by name but they surely have heard his work. Judd Miller is arguably THE top EVI player in the world. He has performed on numerous big budget movie soundtracks and with the world's top recording artists. Judd Miller is a renowned, leading exponent of the EVI (electronic valve instrument). His expertise on the instrument MIDI EVI Patchman Musicand his superlative sound design from his enormous, self-created sound design library has him as first call, and one of the most popular musicians, for top run movie scores. He can be found around the world working on movies and recordings with top composers and orchestras London with the London Philharmonic, New York, Berlin, and of course his native Los Angeles.

His work with composers Maurice Jarre, Stewart Copeland, Joel McNeely, Danny Elfman, James Newton Howard, John Williams, James Horner, etc., can be heard on countless, well-known movie soundtracks. Most recently, Judd was the Sound Designer and principal musician for composer Joel McNeely on James Cameron's acclaimed sci-fi hit "Dark Angel", and was a featured soloist on the Danny Elfman "Planet of the Apes" soundtrack and McNeely's "Peter Pan" movie! Currently, with McNeely, he is completing the ambient sound design for James Cameron's IMAX documentary on the Titanic: Ghosts of the Abyss.

His programming and sound design skills are also well known in the jazz world including ongoing collaborations with such artists as the Yellowjackets, Michael Brecker, Peter Erskine, Vince Mendoza, David Goldblatt and many, many more. Judd was recently featured on Charlie Haden's new recording alongside Brad Meldau, Michael Brecker, and Brian Blade. Vince Mendoza also contributed a couple of arrangements. Judd's ability to create a searching, beautiful ambience and his knowledge of the form is unparalleled.

For more about Nyle Steiner and the EVI, visit the Nyle Steiner Homepage and the MIDI EVI page.

Judd Miller Interview 4/16/05

Judd Miller Michael Brecker Patchman MusicJudd was kind enough to take time out from him busy schedule for this exclusive interview with Patchman Music's Matt Traum. Here is a very rare glimpse into the mind of one of the great EVI players...

Q.) Judd, thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to allow me to interview you. For many years you have been a major wind controller player. Your EVI work has been recorded on numerous movie soundtracks as well as on recordings with a host of the world's top recording artists. Some folks may not know the name, but they certainly have heard your work. What got you interested in playing the wind controller? When did you start?

A.) It was 1981, and I decided to take a trip to Nyle's [EVI inventor Nyle Steiner] house and check out the EVI. I loved it and bought one. Literally one week later I did my first session on a TV show- luckily, the music wasn't difficult.

Q.) Can you describe your first experiences with the new technology? This must have been an amazing time.

A.) I jumped right in.

Q.) Do you still play the acoustic trumpet?

A.) I stopped playing the acoustic trumpet around 1986. I was doing a lot of sessions on trumpet from 1976-1986 like Rocky 2, 3, 4, Star Trek 2, etc...

Q.) Can you give us a little history of the evolution of your wind controller rig? Readers may be interested to know about the various systems you have used over the years. Why were certain pieces of gear special to you? What did you like about them at the time?

A.) Nyle added a lot of great improvements throughout the years. My first synth for the EVI was an SMS. Then the [Oberheim] Xpander, and then samplers, etc. The Xpander and Emulator were special. Now, it's just my Mac with various softsynths.

Q.) You have always been a staunch fan of the Crumar EVI which was designed by Nyle Steiner. Even while Akai produced a later model in the EVI1000 / EWV2000, we hear that you still preferred the Crumar model. Can you give us a little insight into what was so special to you about the Crumar EVI?

A.) The Crumar simply felt better to play. It had more of an exponential feel to it than a linear feel like the Akai [EVI1000] has.

Q.) You are now using Nyle Steiner's MIDI EVI. How do you like this model? Do you miss anything about the completely analog Crumar EVI?

A.) I totally love Nyle's new model. I loved the Crumar also. I love Nyle!

Q.) Are you making use the Breath Control Voltage signal that Nyle wired into one of the unused MIDI connector pins? Or are you strictly "going MIDI"?

A.) Strictly MIDI now. At one point before MIDI, I was using CV for the SMS and Xpander.

Q.) Do you use footpedals? If so, for what purpose?

A.) I never have used any foot pedals.

Q.) You have recently scaled way back on the hardware side of things and are now using softsynths on your Mac PowerBook. Can you elaborate on your current setup for folks that might want to go that route?

A.) I use the Apple PowerBook [laptop] primarily with [Native-Instruments] Kontakt. Also, I enjoy the other Native Instrument softsynths especially Reaktor.

Q.) Do you still own any hardware synths? Which ones?Judd Miller Patchman Music

A.) I still own an Xpander and an Emulator.

Q.) Over the years, what were some of your favorite synths to use with the EVI?

A.) The Xpander, Emulator, and now Kontakt.

Q.) The Yamaha VL series (VL1, VL1-m, VL70-m) seem to be popular with wind controller players. Have you tried them? Any experience with the Patchman TURBO VL for the VL70-m?

A.) No personal experience, but you sound great playing it.

Q.) Any tips for wind controller players getting into the softsynth/laptop thing?

A.) I'd say get the fastest laptop you can afford Mac or PC (I prefer Macs, but PCs are a better value), look into buying Kontakt for a softsynth sampler or possibly the Native Instruments Komplete2 bundle. Go to their website and check it out.

Q.) Many people may not be aware of your illustrious recording career both backing up other musicians and in many very high profile movie soundtracks. Can you talk a little about how you got into movie soundtrack work?

A.) I got into doing soundtrack work around 1985. There were composers interested in the expressiveness and sound possibilities that the EVI had to offer.

Q.) What is it like to do a soundtrack session on EVI? What special musical and technical skills are involved in making it all come together "in the heat of battle"?

A.) Sometimes the composer is very specific as to what he needs. But a lot of times I have to use my intuition as to what the composition needs from me to add. Also sometimes I'm in an overdub situation and sometimes I'm playing with a 100 piece orchestra.

Judd Miller with Billy Crystal playing the Crumar EVIQ.) What were the most common things you were asked to do in a session with your EVI? What musical roles do you most often have to fill?

A.) I did a lot of ethnic sounds. Now I'm doing more ambient sounds.

Q.) What was "THE Judd Miller EVI Rig" in past years?

A.) EVI and Emulator or EVI and laptop.

Q.) What do you take when called upon for a recording session or a live gig these days?

A.) Now I just take an Apple laptop and I primarily use Kontakt.

Q.) You have worked with some of the biggest names in the music business as performer, composer, and sound designer. What are some of the more memorable recordings you have done? Can you recommend a few to someone wanting to hear Judd Miller's EVI work?

A.) Soundtracks of Maurice Jarre, Joel McNeely, Stewart Copeland, Danny Elfman.

Q.) You have worked with EWI great Michael Brecker. Can you tell us what it was like to work with him?

A.) I worked on "Now you see it, Now you don't". I'll never forget that experience. Michael is always a source of inspiration, and we've been sharing ideas for a long time. I love him too (and Nyle and Steve Tavaglione - another EWI pioneer).

Q.) Have you recorded as a front man or led groups as a front man on EVI? What was that live experience like?

A.) I had a band called "Stretch" in 1984-1986. We played at clubs around Los Angeles. I was just using the Xpander back then.

Q.) Any tips on doing session work with a wind controller?

A.) Have a big library of sounds and be organized.

Q.) What products and/or features would you like to see developed from the synth manufacturers from the perspective of a wind controller player?

A.) I think everything is in place. The software and hardware out there are really good.

Judd Miller MIDI EVI homepage at Patchman MusicQ.) How do you see the role of the wind controller in the future? Do you think it will ever become mainstream like the electric guitar or keyboard synth have?

A.) Unfortunately, I don't.

Q.) Have you seen the Australian-made MDT brass style MIDI wind controller? Any thoughts on this alternative to the EVI?

A.) I haven't seen the MDT, but since I love the EVI so much, I don't look for anything new.

Q.) As I become more experienced on the wind controller I find the issue of latency more and more critical- even to the point of it affecting my overall enjoyment of playing the instrument. I have likened the difference of real analog to MIDI as spitting the sound out from your mouth compared to controlling a sound at arm's length. It's a subtle difference that one generally can only notice if one has known what true analog control feels like where there is no latency. Any comments on MIDI verses analog with regards to controller response time and smoothness?

A.) I agree that analog is quicker, but I think that it's easy to get used to MIDI. One has to these days for practical reasons.

Q.) Who are some of your favorite wind controller players?

A.) I'll name four Michael, Nyle, Steve, and you. I just heard your CD and was very impressed.

Q.) Wow! Thank you. I feel a bit out of place lumped in with those incredible guys! What sort of music and musicians does Judd Miller listen to in his free time?

A.) All kinds of music from jazz to classical to bluegrass.

Judd, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. It's been an honor!

Matt Traum
Patchman Music
Saturday, April 16, 2005

Judd Miller Gear

MIDI EVI Patchman MusicJudd has probably used almost every synth and sampler out there. Over the years he has used Roland, EMU, and Akai samplers and synths such as the Oberheim Xpander. Judd is now using an Apple PowerBook laptop for most of his EVI work- although he still has his trusty Xpander and Emulator.

In past years, Judd has been a stout Crumar EVI advocate but recently he has found his sound with Nyle Steiner's MIDI EVI connected to an Apple PowerBook laptop loaded with Native Instruments soft synths such as their flagship sampler Kontakt.

You can learn more about wind controllers such as the EVI Judd plays by visiting the Wind Controller FAQ.

Judd also likes to use pizza stones and cornmeal!

Judd Miller Links

Here are some Judd Miller links on the web:

Judd Miller was interviewed by Jay Asher April 11, 2011 in this interview titled "A Breath Of Fresh Air".

 

Judd Miller Videos

MIDI EVI Patchman MusicHere are some Judd Miller videos on the web:

Judd Miller performing on Crumar EVI connected to an Oberheim XPander playing an original Judd Miller composition "Summer Waltz". Amazing video from 1994 with Mitchell Forman on piano...

A clip of Judd Miller performing with Peter Erskine and Terry Bozzio. Judd is playing the Steiner MIDI EVI plugged into a Mac laptop running Native Instruments Kontakt with his custom sounds...

Another clip of Judd Miller performing with Peter Erskine and Terry Bozzio. Judd is playing the Steiner MIDI EVI plugged into a Mac laptop running Native Instruments Kontakt with his custom sounds...

Judd Miller performing live November 2011 in Agoura Hills, CA on MIDI EVI with quartet. Judd is playing the Steiner MIDI EVI plugged into a Mac laptop running Native Instruments Kontakt with his custom sounds. This is a Judd Miller original tune called "J.P."...

Judd Miller performing live November 2011 in Agoura Hills, CA on MIDI EVI with quartet. Judd is playing the Steiner MIDI EVI plugged into a Mac laptop running Native Instruments Kontakt with his custom sounds. This is a Judd Miller original tune called "Coast Highway"...

Judd Miller performing live November 2011 in Agoura Hills, CA on MIDI EVI with quartet. Judd is playing the Steiner MIDI EVI plugged into a Mac laptop running Native Instruments Kontakt with his custom sounds. This is the classic Jimmy Webb tune "Wichita Lineman"...

Judd Miller MIDI EVI Kontakt homepage at Patchman Music Here is a clip from a visit with EVI pioneer and studio legend Judd Miller. Judd demonstrates his latest MacBook / Kontakt rig being controlled by the Nyle Steiner MIDI EVI. Recorded July 9, 2017...

Judd Miller Discography

Updated 2/8/08 For some incredible EVI playing, click logo to visit Judd's MySpace site: My Space Judd Miller

MIDI EVI Patchman MusicJudd Miller has performed on numerous TV, Film, and Jingle sessions and has played and recorded with the world's top artists. Judd is also a world class sound designer having programmed sounds on top recordings for countless artists. Judd is currently very active in the LA music scene. Here is just a small list of projects he has worked on...

Artist             Title                         Label Info                   Date  Contribution
Kazu Matsui        Is That The Way To Your Heart Impulse! MCAD-42229          1984  ----
Michael Brecker    Michael Brecker               MCA/Impulse! MCAD-5980       1987  Thank you in credits
Michael Brecker    Don't Try This At Home        Impulse! MCAD-42229          1988  Synth programming
Michael Brecker    Now You See It, Now You Don't GRP GRD-9622.                1990  Thank you in credits
John Patitucci     On The Corner                 GRP GRD-9583                 1989  EVI
John Patitucci     Sketchbook                    GRP 96172                    1990  EVI, synth programming
Jimmy Haslip       Arc                           GRP GRD-9726                 1993  EVI, synth programming
Pauline Wilson     Intuition                     Noteworthy Records           1994  EVI
Yellowjackets      Red Heat                      Unitone                      2000  EVI
Yellowjackets      Run For Your Life             GRP GRD-9754                 1994  Synth programming
Yellowjackets      Greenhouse                    GRP GRD-9630                 1991  EWI programming
Yellowjackets      Like A River                  GRP GRP-96892                1993  EWI programming
Keiko Matsui       The Very Best Of Keiko Matsui GRP B000153202               2004  EVI
David Benoit       Urban Daydreams               GRP GRD-9587                 1989  EVI
Ashley Maher       Hi                            Virgin Records Ltd. CDV 2611 1989  EVI
Bill Gable         This Perfect Day              ----                         ----  EVI
Alex de Grassi     The World's Getting Loud      Windham Hill 11131-2         1993  EVI
David Diggs        Jazzwerk                      Indiggant Music IM0013       2004  EVI / Composer
David Diggs        E-Klek-Trik                   Silverline DVD-A 81042-9     ----  EVI
Steve Edwards      Rapture                       Talking Drum Records         ----  EVI
Michael Schmidt    ----                          ----                         2005  EVI
Jing Chi 3D        Jing Chi 3D                   Tone Center                  2004  Sound Design, EVI, Eng.
Christopher Cross  The Very Best Of Christopher Cross  Rhino                  2002  EVI
Pat Kelly          Views Of The Future           Rhino                        1987  EVI
Vince Mendoza      Start Here                    ----                         1987  EVI
Vince Mendoza      Instructions Inside           ----                         1991  EVI
Bobby McFerrin     Bang!Zoom                     Blue Note                    1995  Synth Programming
Rippingtons        Welcome To St. James Club     GRP GRD-9816                 1990  EVI

Here is a list of composers Judd Miller has worked with over the years...

Maurice Jarre
Joel McNeely
John Williams
Stewart Copeland
Henry Mancini
Alan Menkin
Vince Mendoza
Danny Elfman
James Newton Howard
James Horner
Bill Conti
Trevor Jones
Lennie Niehaus

Judd Miller Movie Work

MIDI EVI Patchman MusicJudd Miller has performed on numerous TV, Film, and Jingle sessions and has played and recorded with the world's top artists. Judd is also a world class sound designer having programmed sounds on top recordings for countless artists. Judd is currently very active in the LA music scene. Here is a list of projects he has worked on...

Movie Title             Composer                   Date      Contribution
Unlawful Entry          Michael Fisher             1992      EVI
The Leopard Son         Stewart Copeland           1996      Wind Percussion
Made Men                Stewart Copeland           1998      EVI
Four Days In September  Stewart Copeland           1998      Performer, Producer
Pecker                  Stewart Copeland           1998      Performer
More Dogs Than Bones    Stewart Copeland           1999      EVI
She's All That          Stewart Copeland           1999      EVI
The Hulk                Danny Elfman               2003      Synth Programming
Updated Nov 28, 2012. But wait! There's more!...
Movie Title                     ComposerJudd Miller No Way Out Movie Screen Musician Credits
Accidental Tourist              John Williams
Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls  Robert Folk
Addam's Family                  Mark Shaiman
After Dark, My Sweet            Maurice Jarre
Airborne                        Stewart Copeland
Akeelah And The Bee             Aaron Zigman
Alive                           James Newton Howard
Almost An Angel                 Maurice Jarre
Amazing Panda Adventure         Bill Ross
Anaconda                        Randy Edelman
Armed And Dangerous             James Dipasquale
Babysitters Club                David Frank
Big Momma's House               Richard Gibbs
Black Knight                    Randy Edelman
Black Sheep                     Bill Ross
Blown Away                      Alan Silvestri
Bound By Honor                  Bill Conti
Boys                            Stewart Copeland
Boys And Girls                  Stewart Copeland
Breakdown                       Basil Poledouris
Bridges Of Madison County       Lenny Niehaus
Brokedown Palace                David Newman
Chances Are                     Maurice Jarre
City Slickers                   Mark Shaiman
City Slickers 2                 Mark Shaiman
The Client                      James Newton Howard
Cocktail                        Maurice Jarre
Crazy Horse                     Lennie Niehaus
Dead Poets Society              Maurice Jarre
Defending Your Life             Michael Gore
Deuces Wild                     Stewart Copeland
Dinosaur                        James Newton Howard
Distant Thunder                 Maurice Jarre
Dunston Checks In               Miles Goodman
End Of Days                     John Debney
Enemies, A Love Story           Maurice Jarre
Far And Away                    John Williams
Fatal Attraction                Maurice Jarre
Fearless                        Maurice Jarre
A Few Good Men                  Mark Shaiman
Fires Within                    Maurice Jarre
Flags Of Our Fathers            Clint Eastwood
Freejack                        Trevor Jones
FX 2                            Lalo Schiffrin
Getting Even With Dad           Miles Goodman
Ghost                           Maurice Jarre
Ghost Dad                       Henry Mancini
Ghosts Of The Abyss             Joel McNeely
Good Will Hunting               Danny Elfman
Gorillas In The Mist            Maurice Jarre
He Said, She Said               Miles Goodman
Heart And Souls                 Maurice Jarre
Holes                           Joel McNeely
Hulk                            Danny Elfman
Indian In The Cupboard          Miles Goodmam / Randy Edelman
Indian Summer                   Miles Goodman
Instinct                        Danny Elfman
Iron Will                       Joel McNeely
Jacobs Ladder                   Maurice Jarre
Julia and Julia (1987) Maurice Jarre Jungle Book 2 Robert Folk The Juror James Newton Howard K-9 Miles Goodman Karate Kid 2 Bill Conti Larger Than Life Miles Goodman Last Of The Mohicans Trevor Jones / Randy Edelman Like Father Like sSon Miles Goodman Little Mermaid Alan Menkin Lock Up Bill Conti Mad City Thomas Newman Milagro Beanfield War Dave Grusin Moon Over Parador Maurice Jarre Mr Jones Maurice Jarre Mr Wonderful Maurice Jarre Next Karate Kid Bill Conti / Bill Ross Nick Of Time Arthur Rubinstein No Way Out Maurice Jarre Only The Lonely Maurice Jarre Out For Justice David Frank The Pallbearer Stewart Copeland Pecker Stewart Copeland A Perfect World Lennie Niehaus The Pick Up Artist Joel McNeely Planet Of The Apes Danny Elfman Pocahantas Alan Menkin Pocahantas: Journey To A New World Lennie Niehaus Police Academy 5 Robert Folk Police Academy 7 Robert Folk Pretty In Pink Michael Gore Problem Child Miles Goodman Proof Of Life Danny Elfman Quest For Camelot David Foster The Quick And The Dead Alan Silvestri Rapa Nui Stewart Copeland Real Men Miles Goodman Return To Neverlan Joel McNeely Rush Hour Lalo Schiffrin Rush Hour 3 Lalo Schiffrin School Ties Maurice Jarre She's All That Stewart Copeland Silent Fall Stewart Copeland Simpatico Stewart Copeland A Simple Plan Danny Elfman A Simple Twist Of Fate Cliff Eidelman Six Days, Seven Nights Randy Edelman Slap Her, She's French David Frank Sliver Howard Shore Solar Babies Maurice Jarre Soldier Joel McNeely Sommersby Danny Elfman Space Cowboys Lennie Niehaus Spider Man Danny Elfman Spider Man 2 Danny Elfman Squanto A Warrior's Tale Joel McNeely Stakeout Arthur Rubinstein Sunchaser Maurice Jarre Sunset Park Stewart Copeland Super Cop Joel McNeely The Super Miles Goodman Surviving The Game Stewart Copeland Switch Henry Mancini Terminal Velocity Joel McNeely That Darn Cat Richard Gibbs Titanic James Horner True Crime Lennie Niehaus Tyson Stewart Copeland Unforgiven Clint Eastwood Unlawful Entry James Horner Vegas Vacation Joel McNeely Waterworld James Newton Howard What About Bob? Miles Goodman White Dwarf Stewart Copeland Who Is Julia Maurice Jarre Wide Sargasso Sea Stewart Copeland + Many more!

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