Reply To: Q/A with State of Mind..


1. Sometimes we make drums in separate projects, but i find that its hard to judge how drums will sound until they are in the context of a project. Its about having the right kit for that track. Its all influenced by key, feel, frequency content etc. Sometimes we will just sit and make kicks, snares or whatever so we have a fresh pool to draw from. That can help the creative flow.

2.Im not really going to tell you how to make atmosphere’s per sae, thats a pretty broad question and there are a million ways to skin a cat. My general advice would be to use contrasting layers. So for example, don’t distort everything. Keep some stuff quite clean, other stuff super distorted. Have a layer that is for example a drone that doesn’t have a strong clear pitch, and another couple of layers that have a clear pitch. Building things up like this give more depth and interest. Try and move things around as it progresses so something is directing the listeners attention at any given time. You can do that subtly or obviously but it makes like a lot more interesting.

3. Don’t really have any favourite tricks sorry. We just mess around with pitch, reverse them, maybe put on a big reverb, bounce it, distort that then see if any small parts are interesting. Another thing we like to do is take a sound, make a series of small loops, then just start sliding those loops around while maintaining the position to see if anything unexpected jumps out.

4. Probably what i just said above. More distortion i bet. Then we might make a sort of pattern out of the slices, then start shifting around the audio within those slices. Sometimes you get great unexpected results or interesting grooves.

5. No we don’t start with a limiter on. That can set up some unexpected issues in my mind but each to their own. Our master chain is usually surprisingly empty while we are coming up with a track. There will always be a bus compressor and a dither though.

6. Look. We don’t have a secret weapon that makes everything loud. Im sure you have heard all the usual tips before. In my mind a good loud track really comes from picking the right sounds in the first place.

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