QZB Join The Team
It’s always wicked to welcome back old friends of the project, and this is definitely the case with the QZB boys.
Working together as a duo – two talented solo producers in their own right: QBig and Zenith B; before they forged their Brainchild of QZB, resulting in a sound & style that is currently knocking it out of the stadium with their stripped back, slamming rhythm and blues vibe, set in HD. They have absolutely killed it over these last years, with a pretty astonishing consistency of creative output, they have released big tune, after big EP, after big remix.
In their first season with us they dropped off some truly outstanding production samples – we’d task anybody to find better – especially their long evolving bass experiments – they are so inspiring to work with; providing endless options for a producer to play, chop and re-process. The same goes with all the other mid-range sounds, atmospheres and FX. QZB have a truly outstanding ear for special sound design and with this next season everything will be taken up to another level !
Their tutorials were of the same calibre – which is why we’re beyond excited for them to be with us again… Firstly to be working with them at such a perfect time: while they have rebuilt their studio set-up and while they are in album mode; but also because it means they can carry on from where they left off in the last season, adding to this highly inspiring deposit of knowledge…
We caught up with Thomas & Ben for a few pre-season Q’s:
Welcome (back) to the team Guys! It’s really awesome to be working with you both again.
How has the last year been for you? And how has your creative flow been managed during this period of global madness?
The last year has had its ups and downs. The global situation and all the social impacts of the pandemic (specifically the social distancing, the uncertainty and the reality of people dying) had a big impact on our workflow and our creativity. Having time off from the frenzy of touring every weekend was sparking new ideas in the beginning, but killing off the joy at the same time. At the end of the year we decided to switch our old studio infrastructure (where we spent about 7 years) for a new place which needed a complete overhaul to be in line with our vision for the next few years. That took a lot of time off our hands to be productive and creative. It took nearly a half a year to complete, but we’re finally getting towards the final stages.
Rebuilding your studio, sounds exciting! What do you have in store with that, and to what level are you going in on it?
We try to hit the middle ground; being a professional and great sounding studio, but still being all about the creative vibe which comes from a shared space. We created a multi-room creative studio with our friends, which feels more like a creative hub instead of a production cave. We now have a workshop and a video studio on top of a great sounding production environment. All those things combined will give us the possibilities to tackle new jobs and projects in the future and further professionalize our creativity. We can’t wait to have our first session there.
What have you been working on musically, lately? (that you can tell us about anyway
As we scrapped our catalogue of sketches for our album, we’ve been busy wrapping up the best bits for a few single-releases this year and the year after, this is in order to have an active release-schedule while we reboot the whole album-process in the new studio. So yeah, lots of music is getting made, that’s for sure!
We absolutely love the QZB sound, and it’s always exciting to hear new work from your studio. Do you have aims for where you want to take your sound in the coming years? Or would you say this is only an organic process which is difficult to predict?
We are perfectionists and are solely doing it for the love of the craft and the joy of working together. We have certain visions of what the album will sound like, but nothing is articulated yet. It’s a daunting situation to have a blank canvas for such a big project, but it’s also very liberating. We don’t over-economize ourselves in terms of our creativity, so, as you said, the process is difficult to predict. Our music is always a reflection of our creative mind-states, and how we feel at that very moment of creation.
Has your creative process changed in recent years, or would you say it’s a constant?
Our approach always consists of experimentation. If something feels like a formula: you’re not proceeding with creative development. We’re still learning with every session, even after all these years and introducing exciting new techniques into our workflow is what keeps something repetitive, like as using the same software day in day, engaging.
What are your favourite pieces of software? And favourite pieces of Hardware?
There are favorite pieces of software for a lot of different situations, we’re currently using a lot of Oak Sound’s Soothe 2 and Spiff, Spitfire Audio libraries, the PSP Vintagewarmer 2 and all the kiloHearts and FabFilter plugins, which are phenomenal. We’re also using some new hardware, namely the Novation Summit, Modal Argon 8, ASM HydraSynth, Elektron’s Analog Rytm MK2 and a big modular rig.
In terms of tutorials, it’s really exciting to have you back, especially as it sounds like you have been really working on your sound and techniques. Can you give any hints about what you might be sharing with us in terms of knowledge and technique?
Due to the influx of Patreon accounts and other resources of tutorials and sample packs, we wanted to provide things which you can’t get anywhere else. There’s not too much we can give away a this stage, but we’ll have a deep talk about creativity, workflow and mindset and will also showcase some more unorthodox generative sound design ideas….
Your samples in the previous season you did were amazing. Some of the most interesting sound design we’ve put out (and we don’t say that lightly!). As artists’ yourselves, what do you look for personally when working with a sample, and can you give the guys a heads up as to what your new pack for us is going to sound like?
Inspiration is what it’s all about. As soon as you strike gold with a sample, the tune writes itself, that’s a great feeling. We’ll provide a lot of flexible material ready to be re-contextualized and truly made your own. It’s always quality first with us, so we’ll make sure to provide a versatile and meticulously curated compilation of sounds.
Lastly, if you could give 2 pieces of production advice to your younger-selves: what would they be?
1. As long as it sounds good, it’s good.
2. Don’t overdo it. Less is more.
So you heard it first!
The new season of Sample Genie begins on 1.7.21. More announcements coming soon!
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