Who says you need instruments to make music?
You don’t, as artist Amy X Neuburg proves, turning her laptop into a digital mixer and using a set of electronic drum pads to play any sound — drums, violins, even her own voice.
The impressive musician will show off her equipment and her four-octave vocal range — that’s an entire octave above Aretha Franklin, by the way — on Dec. 13 at Roulette.
“[When I started] I didn’t have a band, so I found I could use my voice for all these things instead,” said Neuburg, who records her vocals, then loops and layers them across each other to create background music. “My best skill is my singing, and my ability to program electronics.”
But her wide range doesn’t just apply to her voice and her high-tech drum pads. Neuburg’s tracks may be modern and pop-like one second, and classical and operatic the next.
“I never like to stick too long to one genre, so I’ll throw in a lot of surprises to keep the audience on their toes,” Neuburg said.
It’s all part of her self-described “avant-cabaret,” a style that draws much from the 20th-century musical theater style and using the gadgets of the 21st century.
“I like working with my [style] and I’m accustomed to it. You can play a drum sound, you can play any kind of sound of any instrument, the possibilities are infinite,” she said.
Amy X Neuburg with Cory Smythe at Roulette [509 Atlantic Ave. between Third Avenue and Nevins Street in Boerum Hill, (917) 267-0363], Dec. 13, 8 pm. Tickets, $15 ($10 for students, seniors and members). For info, visit www.roulette.org.