5 Questions with Stephen McNally


Stephen McNally is a producer, and definitely not the 1950s American actor.
You can contact him through his website

1. What do you do in the world of music?

Produce electronic rock under the name Smooth Sailing.

2. Tell us about your history with synthesizers

Started messing around with DAWs and digital synths from 2002 onward but only stayed in the box. Briefly worked at Moog Audio in Toronto and was surrounded by hardware synths and realized how much was going on outside the box. Quickly scooped a DSI Pro 2 and it is my only hardware synth. Gritty and dark with lots of distortion and I love it.

3. Tell us about a project you worked on or a piece of music you created, in which you found the process particularly interesting.

All my tracks had been digital synth preset based but with the Pro 2 I was now able to get much more analog feel into the tracks with much less plugin processing to try and compensate. The amazing filters and distortion just make it very easy to get the flavour I’m looking for.

4. How has Syntorial helped you in your sound design process?

Syntorial was essential for me because it taught me the purpose of every section in the signal chain of synths in general, in a way that made perfect sense to me. It also taught me how to use my ears to emulate the sounds I wanted to use.

5. Who have you been listening to lately?

Recently been listening to the new Soulwax “Essential” Album and really enjoying it. I can’t not mention that I’m also a massive Trent Reznor fan and wouldn’t be making music if it wasn’t for him

Have an interesting story to tell? We want to interview Syntorial users from all walks of music life, from hobbyist to professional to mega-celebrity.

Contact us if you’d like to be considered for an interview.