🧐 THE CLAMPS AMA

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    • #345030
      ,GENIE HQ
      Keymaster

      Hey everyone,

      Julien is up for taking any questions you might have about his video this month on Mixdown engineering.

      It’s a deep topic and very technical so you might have some questions about it…

      Also feel free to ask him whatever you like, about life as an artist or just getting to know him πŸ™‚

      [Will leave this open for new questions all month]

    • #345031
      ,GENIE HQ
      Keymaster

      First question for you: When did you realise you wanted to be a producer / DJ and how did that realisation come about?

      • #345039
        ,The ClampsThe Clamps
        Moderator

        I was nearly 19, after few times going to illegal raves here in France.
        I already played guitar in bands, mostly Punk/Hardcore/Metal, but I was very impressed by the new technology and I started to mix on vinyl and at the same time I wanted to create my own music. So I started to buy some Hardware stuff and this is it πŸ™‚
        I never stopped to be impressed by the art of making music and it’s an easier way to express myself. I think it’s very helpful for introverted people.

      • #346313
        ,GENIE HQ
        Keymaster

        Shout to the illegal raves!
        Thanks for the reply πŸ™‚

        One other question is about how you said in the video that you tend to visualise sound as a physical thing: can you explain a bit more about that and if and how it helps you to engineer a mixdown.

      • #346809
        ,The ClampsThe Clamps
        Moderator

        Since I started to make music, I always saw the music in term of physical thing, like matter that is created in front of me with all its volume. A bit like synesthesia but with forms, shapes and placement in space.
        So when I’m listening music I see forms moving in the space. It’s like feeling the widening and tone of each sound like a pysical substance.
        For example Camo & Krooked music give me a very nice visualisation in space.
        Then I started to understand why I visualize sounds like this, why one is on the top, why the other is more under etc etc… and then I found my workflow with this, using widening effects, pitch shifting, asymetrical distortion etc etc…
        I’m not always satisfied with what i achieve in my music, but for some of my tracks I’m really happy on how the sounds are shaped in space.

    • #345429
      ,MichaΓ«l Saillet
      Participant

      I would like to know what’s your thoughts on Neurofunk, what you like about it, how you feel the neurofunk scene (will it grow, evolve, blend with another style by time?)

      • #345617
        ,The ClampsThe Clamps
        Moderator

        I felt in love with ‘Neurofunk’ near 2004/2005. I already digged Drum and Bass in general, but Neurofunk/Techstep was my thing. I loved that dystopian journey with emotive tensions blended fierce energy and strong sound design. And still nowadays.
        I have my all time favourites or classic in my heart, but that brand new scene coming each 10 years is what it keeps me in love with this music.
        I’m very hyped to hear what a new producer could write and the journey he could bring me.
        The whole scene evolved a lot, sound design is very different from back in the days but I’m loving it. It’s an old style who stay alive staying fresh and young. Like an old person keeping his youth.

        In term of sound, I think all the Music will be a kind of blend, which will allow to have interesting new story telling.

    • #345431
      ,Steve Howie
      Participant

      What was your breakthrough moment, that you went from this sounds amateur to oh this is actually getting good enough that it could be picked up

      • #345623
        ,The ClampsThe Clamps
        Moderator

        I used to make different kind of music, which allowed me to learn from my mistakes. After few years into 4×4 Techno and Hard stuff, I dove into Breakbeat and specially into Nuskool Break, which was very close to Drum and Bass in terms of energy, musicality, production. I enjoyed this era and I learned a lot in term of production. And it was during this period I started to do DNB.
        I needed to relearn lot of things,like how to EQ drum with bass, compression, sonic perception etc, as BPM is faster. It was a time, even if some production ‘rules’ was already there, that allowed to go further trying/discovering new things. For example, sidechain was not super common at this time, and not easy as now to do with daw (and impossible with hardware if you didn’t have the good stuff).
        But I never felt good enough. The only things who can confirm you’re in a good way is to finish your songs, make it listen to people, DJs, other producers and label owners and waiting their feedbacks.
        Nowadays is quite easier for me as I created my kind of ‘brand music’, I know what I want to do, what the mistakes I must not do etc… But still I’m always in doubt and playing my music in front of people, checking their reaction is the last feedback that counts.
        Sometime you spend months to work on piece of music with a big story telling etc etc, but at the end most of listeners create their own with the directions you put in your music.

        The best way to learn is to finish your tracks. Analyse it, checking the ‘mistakes’ and learn about it doing a new track etc etc. It’s a never stop feeling which it’s very motivating.

    • #345459
      ,Virgil Bayle
      Participant

      Hi boss,

      I would have liked to know if you had a go to in terms of leveling. For example, the kik at 0db with a clipper, the snare group at 0db, or maybe -3db. The hihats group at -4 db ect. The sub? The mids?

      Big up man 🀘

      • #345624
        ,The ClampsThe Clamps
        Moderator

        Best way to do that is spending time to analyse your reference tracks, by ears and with spectrum analyser.

        I love Ableton native Spectrum.
        For my Kick most of the time the peak of low is close to -12db on Spectrum and for Sub/Bass is between -2/-6.
        For Snare, depends if it’s strong ones or more clappy, but the bottom of the snare is between -12 and -24.
        For Hi-hats is more near -36.

        Considering I’m checking on the spectrum analyser at the end of my chain master after the last limiter. (And track is loud as it’s supposed to be as a mastered track).

        For example sometimes you can go louder for the kick if you want something more boomy, but stay focus on the balance with all others sounds.

        Important thing is the balance and your ears at the end will decide how you want to sound.

        A good way to learn for that is to do some reverse engineering with reference tracks and see how they’re balanced in the mix in term of volume and frequency.

        Hope it could help.

    • #345491
      ,QuannumLogicQuannumLogic
      Participant

      Hey! so I noticed a lot of your sounds are distorted right on that threshold of breakup/harshness without going over and really tow that line super well, almost like they’re walking a tightrope. I was curious what your strategy for keeping that top end so paper-y / rippy but somehow velvety / soft / not harsh at the same time was.

      like is it just very deliberate pre/post emphasis EQing when saturating / distorting or you got some secret sauce you use to keep those frequencies in line in a mix?

      • #345665
        ,The ClampsThe Clamps
        Moderator

        I’m a huge fan of saturation and distorted sounds. Probably from my years listening Metal and Hardcore. I love when the sound is grinding.
        And doing Hardcore Techno push me to go to the extreme distortion research.

        So I put a lot of small noise or distortion on each sounds.
        A good tip for example is to use it with send track.
        Like doing a good Reese Bass with his own character, with enough harmonic distortion then send everything in a send track with some others distortion settings and blend it as your taste.
        On the send track you can add EQ too to control the harmonic distortion you want, add some reverb too or extra chorus. It will add that kind of warm. And you can do that for for every sounds, drums, synths. Sometime I sending few of them in the same send track and it glues everything together.
        But at the end it’s a question of taste. Some prefer very digital distortion, some more organics or analogic. I love both πŸ™‚

    • #345749
      ,Najib Safieddine
      Participant

      Hallo!

      Your tutorial on Sample Genie was so dope, thanks a lot for sharing your process, was very eye opening!

      You mention that on the Master, you only put a maximizer (or two) with super soft settings and basic limiting. Is it because you do all the proper limiting and clipping on the bus level before they reach the master (stage-clipping)? And what’s your perfect level on the final master loudness meter? (in LUFS-SL)

      Appreciate your time and mastery πŸ™‚

      • #345809
        ,The ClampsThe Clamps
        Moderator

        Most of time I don’t limit or clip in bus, but if I need I add a hardclipping most of the time.
        As I’m working directly with the limiter on master, I can control the loudness of each track directly using distortion, EQ, multiband compression.
        It goes very loud in the master channel at the end and I can hear directly if it’s too much or enough.
        If it’s too much I level it it on tracks using volume track or with limiter/hardclip/saturator.
        I never check LUFS tbh, if it sounds good to my ears, it’s good πŸ™‚

    • #345881
      ,MechanysticMechanystic
      Participant

      I’d love to see your bass design wizardry, any plans of doing a video series of this in the future?

      • #345892
        ,The ClampsThe Clamps
        Moderator

        Yeah it’s coming in the next video I’m doing for Sample Genie for this season πŸ˜‰

    • #347434
      ,Ricardo Casado
      Participant

      what are your favorite producers in the scene right now?

      • #349526
        ,The ClampsThe Clamps
        Moderator

        It would be Camo & Krooked, for their sound design and their storytelling.
        But there are lot of more. I love TK, Synergy, Imanu, Redpill, Audio, Sleepnet etc etc…

    • #347467
      ,molotov.blissmolotov.bliss
      Participant

      A few questions I did have was noticing some very similar feels to yours & Deerhills tracks. Having not known you both & a third make up Third Colony. I was humbled with tweet response explaining. I had some Opsen in my favs and not even realizing all the connected dots made me appreciate all of y’all’s work even more than before.

      Q: How about did you (all three) end up with similar interconnected projects? Deerhill is in Canada no?

      Q: Is there any secret weapon in the hardware realm that is used during or after production (if any) tapes/analog compressor/etc.?

      Q: Lastly how do you help avoid ear fatigue & loss of focus on laying down the finer brush strokes & seeing a tune through all the way through?

      I’m sure I’ve tons more questions but will save for later.

      Cheers! 🀟🏻

      • #349527
        ,The ClampsThe Clamps
        Moderator

        About Third Colony, we first been 3 in it, Deerhill, Nickbee, and me. But Nick left after the first release because he didn’t have enought time to work on it. So it’s only deerhill and Me since years now.
        And with Yan (Deerhill), we found a workflow for working together, sending stems and stuff. As Third Colony is a place for freedom in our music, we give ourselves as much freedom as possible when we’re working. We just talk a lot about the conception before making music and at the end everything come easily.

        No secret weapon you can’t easily emulate with vst.
        For example, during the process of the “Remind So I Can Sleep” album, I used a lot the Roland Juno 106 hardware, because I love his sound. But now for example I only use the TAL-U-No-LX which emulate Juno 60. And it works so well.
        And as a big fan of BOC, I try to emulate that kind of constantly moving noise in our music, using distortion/saturation/tape/reverb/echo/shifting/chorus etc etc. Trying to destroy the sound into something more organic.

        About ear fatigue, I’m quite ok as I don’t work at big level on monitoring, and I use open back studio headphones which make me allow to work long time without fatigue. And I guess switching to all the project I’m working on is like a reset for ears and allow me to have a semblance of new ears each time (even if now I miss some frequencies, because the age, the years of making music and touring)

    • #347525
      ,Wayne
      Participant

      I would love to know your span setup. As my high end is alot lower than yours on the analyser.

      • #349528
        ,The ClampsThe Clamps
        Moderator

        I’m just using the default setting in Mid-Side Stereo with Side Underlay.

    • #361621
      ,raghav
      Participant

      Ok, first of all, I was blown away by the small technical info regarding sidechaining and equing and second, if possible can you do a bass design tutorial real soon!!!! Max respect!!!

      • #361907
        ,GENIE HQ
        Keymaster

        Hey Raghav, glad you enjoyed the video. We love this one too, getting super scientific on the mixdown πŸ˜€

        You’ll be pleased to know Julien will be covering some bass design in his next video πŸ˜€

    • #361987
      ,Steve Brown
      Participant

      When will the next video be dropping? The first series of videos were excellent!

    • #377716
      ,reptilian lover
      Participant

      Julien, appreciate you doing this. I did watch some other videos of you before but I can’t remember where. I think they were for a limited time only…

      12:38 – THE CLAMPS | NEURO MIXDOWNS PT4

      You talk about the dither going down to 16 and being careful not to ruin it when running it so hot.
      You’re working in 32bit? 48khz? What are your thoughts on going higher like 192, have you tested much?

      I have notice problems when working on loud tracks that the export isn’t good, especially mp3, by not good it doesn’t sound the same as it is in the sequencer, maybe it’s something to do with that dithering.

      Dave

    • #377717
      ,MechanysticMechanystic
      Participant

      Loved both of the video sessions you have done so far. Lots of knowledge dropped and i got a lot out of your videos πŸ™‚ I was wondering how do you know when a track is done? I feel like I exhaust myself with the mix down portion and honestly end up not liking the track in the end. I’m curious to know how much time you spend on this part of the production and also how many tracks do you create before you’re like “yea this is the one” and send it to a label? I myself, am constantly writing and have a lot of tracks completed (At least taken as far as I can take them) but sending them to a label is a little intimidating to me. I feel like with certain labels you only get one shot for them to listen to it and after that (if they toss it aside) wont listen to to another submission (I could be totally wrong). What’s your approach when trying to get a track released and your experience working with labels?

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