MethLab Joins the Team!
:: Our fourth announcement of the new season…. A Collaboration with MethLab !
A brand new twist to the project, and one we think you’re going to really enjoy – a team within a team. Instead of one outfit filling this spot you’ll have six:
Current Value / Malux / Hypoxia / Audeka / War / Broken Note
To us, the MethLab sound is distinct yet very broad – touching on influences and styles across multiple genres, always high in the technical specifications and advanced in the sound design department. This is why this collaboration makes so much sense for Sample Genie, as we can offer you an even wider array of sounds and textures to work with – morphing them into your own vision of Drum & Bass.
Each of the artists’ involved in this special collaboration are ones we regard highly, with their music holding tenure on prolific labels such as: Eatbrain, Invisible, Critical, C4C, Program, Dispatch and also the mighty MethLab label itself.
MethLab won ‘Best New Label’ at last years Drum & Bass Arena awards – they are clearly a collective who are turning heads in the scene, and without question; a star still rising. This is why we are incredibly excited to have this talented squad working together to hold a place on next years team. Be prepared for a truly inspirational slew of samples and production tutorials arriving exclusively for our premium members. Hype!
We asked the crew a few questions ahead of next season…
Jef: How long have you been involved with D&B?
J- We’ve always had a foot in the genre since running events in London around 2005 – 2007 (Jef), and for Tom (Broken Note) it’s always been a feature in his sets. MethLab has a deep attachment to drum & bass because its one of the genres of bass music that’s constantly pushing forward-thinking music and diverse forms. Its refusal to be nailed down due to continual evolution and wide variety of textures is appealing to us.
What is Methlab about, and what is the ethos of your label?
J- MethLab represents artists from the cutting edge of the tech-fuelled electronic spectrum – focussing on the exploration of the fringes of forward-thinking sonic concepts. We work with artists adept at sound design, with in-depth understanding of musicality and who are able to create unique and unprecedented sonic structures and re-imagined concepts, pioneers who work to expand the frontiers of their respective genres. The ethos of our label is to support their concepts without forcing them into standardised structures and scene expectations – essentially to support creators with genuine vision and give them a platform that delivers and matches the quality of their work.
Current Value: You’ve made a habit of exploring the unique elements of various genres – heavier drum and bass, dubstep, neuro, tech and now some jump-up rumoured (with your Jam Thieves collaboration on Playaz). What can you say about this process and seemingly effortless transition to exploring new styles?
CV- If music is your home and what you’re about – electronic music in particular – it is inevitable to explore the field of sound synthesis and rhythm in depth. 170-175 bpm based bass music and especially dnb has so much to offer! Its a bit like being an astronaut exploring new galaxies.Changing ones style is a purely natural progression for a musician i believe. You cannot cage yourself in so to speak, or let ppl put a label on you related to just one vibe or style. Music is more, music is bigger and thus demands a bigger understanding.
MALUX: Your sound is mixed to a very high level – what are you looking for in a mix down of your own work to say, ‘yep, that’s pushing the right buttons’ for you personally?
M- Firstly, Thankyou! I generally aim to design both my basses and drums to be maximised in terms of energy and loudness, so for example, I will often work with a kick, snare, hihat and bass and nothing else until these sounds are carrying the track in terms of energy. It also serves as a good reference point for the rest of the sounds in the track by starting with the loudest and most central parts of the track. I would also say that the sound design of these sounds is a big part of the quality of the mix down. So if you are having trouble with the mix, I would go back to sound design to try to address this.
HYPOXIA: You guys have awesome drums! What tips can you give for getting a good drum mix and groove when it comes to beats?
H- One of our main goals rendering drums is to create an acoustic feel whilst having enough impact to make them work on the dance floor.
For punchy parts we use synthesizers like Serum, FM8 or Massive to recreate the tonal behaviour of specific parts.
Recreating them digitally gives us the opportunity to control them a lot more than using samples.
As with every process in music production, you need to spend time on mixdowns. Drums also require full focus from the start.
Your snare will be used +- 384 times in a 192 bar track, so make it work from the first second.
The trick to avoid those too digital drums is to use those digital elements and layer them with acoustic drum VST’s like Addictive Drums. You could layer them with samples too, but we love the dynamics you can get from a decent drum VST. Besides using a drum vst as a layering tool, this is a good place to start messing around with grooves and breaks. Those VST’s give a good coherent sound you can’t achieve with samples in the same amount of time.
But take in mind it’s not a shortcut to good sounding drums, we still split up the mic-channels of VST’s to polish them with all kinds of post FX VST’s to give them the sound we like.
During the process, we do bounce them out to samples tho, just to save a bit of our computerpower and to keep the good overview instead of getting lost in really big chains, which can be fucked up pretty fast with a twist on the wrong knob.
Hihats and percussion can be anything, but we also use synthesized hihats (made from whitenoise) to fill up the top end, and again most of the time we layer them with old drumbreaks or drum VST’s.
We use saturators and distortions all the time for snare tails & hihats. (SDDR, IZOTOPE TRASH 2, DEVIL_LOC). Depending on the project, we use some more busses to route them to different FX channels.
When the sound of the kick and snare is really good but there is a lack of cutting through the mix, we make a really short white noise transient for the kick and or snare.
For us the drums, especially the kicks and snares, are the reference and backbone for a good mixdown.
AUDEKA: Sound design and making unusual textures is a strong suit in your music, what 2 plugins do you love to use the most?
A- Fruity Granulizer for audio manipulation and FM8 FX for effects processing.
WAR: Outside of Drum & Bass what influences do you draw from to inspire the artistic side of writing music?
W- I constantly try to understand the logic behind works of art I enjoy, from architecture to visual art to all kinds of music genres: simplicity, harmony, variety, dissonance… I then try to incorporate these principles into my own work and use them as guidelines. That being said, I think it’s helpful to keep in mind that there is very often going to be an unexplainable side to why something works the way it does, and in many cases it’s best to just roll with it.
BROKEN NOTE: Intensity is high in your bass! In terms of the bass section what is your rough process for making a sound and turning that into a groove? And what piece of gear could you not live without?
BN- I tend to work in different ways depending on the type of bass I’m looking to create. But for most synth basses I usually start with the raw waves from any choice synth and work with the phase until it has a rich solid tone with plenty of character. I’ll then use fx (filters, compression etc) to emphasise and exaggerate the characteristics of the sound. Once enough movements are in place, I’ll start to arrange the bass sounds to groove with the drum pattern. To be honest the only piece of gear I couldn’t live without is my laptop, that has all the tools I need.
** MethLab have a new FREE sample pack available called #datbasstho, to get a feel for what’s coming next season you can check that out and download it HERE **
SO YOU HEARD IT FIRST! SAMPLE GENIE SEASON #5 KICKS OF FROM 2 -7-17
More BIG announcements for the new team coming in the next few weeks…