ED RUSH AMA

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    • #54621
      ,GENIE HQ
      Keymaster

      Hi all –

      Great news, Ben will be joining us on here for an exclusive AMA session, you can ask him about whatever you like: Virus, Killbox, touring, DJ Life, Life, production etc. If you can keep it down to a maximum of two questions each, ideally one that would be great. [The forum mods will remove any more than two].

      This isn’t a track feedback thread, but if you want to post a link to dubs / playable music you can, if he feels like grabbing it he can – but no feedback promised or expected ?

      We’ll get some Q’s in first and then lure the Ed Rush on here shortly! 😀

    • #54627
      ,Callum
      Participant

      Hello Ed Rush!

      Thanks for taking the time to do this

      I have currently been reading up allot on external summing mixers and external gear in a pursuit to break out of the DAW and my completely ITB setup I use and take a more hands on approach

      My question would be regarding your setup in recent years, what setup do you currently use with regard to external hardware? Coming from an original primarily hardware studio do you still pursue this or are you primarily ITB now?

      Also do you have any recommendations for hardware summing mixers?

      Thanks

      • #54865
        ,EdRush
        Moderator

        Hi Callum.

        Please scroll down to find my answer 🙂

    • #54628
      ,Luca
      Participant

      Any tips on collabing? You obviously know something about it (Optical, Audio…)
      Any tip is welcome, workflow, how to deal with different daw, collab studio session vs sending the project back and forth, how to deal with different visions/ideas.
      I’ll leave the question pretty open, but I’d love some technical / specific answers 🙂

      Thanks in advance,
      Luca

      • #54859
        ,EdRush
        Moderator

        Hi Luca.

        Collaborating can a great way to get the best out of all artists involved. It’s a balance of compromise and trust. Its cool to explore different directions you wouldn’t normally go on solo projects and open your mind to other peoples ideas. Someone may come with an idea which doesn’t sit right with you initially but grows on you and you end up loving it and its something you would never have thought of. This is the beauty of collabing.

        Audio and I use the same DAW, which is Studio One by Presonus, so it makes life easy moving projects from my studio to his and visa versa. Having said that we do very often work with stems. We will start ideas or make a pallette of sounds on our own and then once a week get together in the studio and throw our ideas and sounds together and see what we like.

        I have never made a track solely by swapping stems or project files online. I have always been in the same room at some point with the artist I’m collabing with, its the way I prefer to work and a good way to catch a vibe with someone I think its important to capture that energy together and work spontaniously on a track whether its at the beginning of an idea or the final stages or throughout the whole process.

        With Optical we have always been in the same room from start to finish apart from a few tracks where we started seperately that was mainly beacause back in the day we shared a studio so we were always in it together.

        Cheers Luca.

        Ed.

    • #54630
      ,george.mosutiu
      Participant

      hey Ed, I would love to know what is your approach on Reverb.
      1-Do you have a main reverb like a signature on every tune or do you change it to fit the track.
      2-do you sidechain the return of the reverb or do you put it on the insert.
      cheers, George, Romania.

      • #54860
        ,EdRush
        Moderator

        Hi George,

        I do like the NI RC 48 reverb on snares and percussion but I sometimes also use the val room and fab pro R it all depends on the track. I sometimes just use the RC48 as an insert and dial in the dry/wet but other times I will duplicate the track add the verb at 100% wet and fade out the initial transient of the hit so just the tail is verbed and jst balance the 2 signals, this way I dont ever have to comprimise the level or presence of the dry hit in my mix.
        Sometimes for stabs, mids and especially vocals that need more verb I will have one dry channel and another 100% wet and sidechain the wet to the dry.

        Hope this was helpful!

        Ed.

    • #54631
      ,Anubis___
      Participant

      Big up ed rush, thanks for doing this!

      What would you say was the best piece of advice/knowledge you ever received. And how did this impact the way you made your music?

      Nothing of interest here.

      • #54866
        ,EdRush
        Moderator

        Doc Scott told me many years ago. ‘Just do you, don’t worry about what others are doing’. That has stayed with me and I often think about it. It has helped me to trust my instinct when making decisions during the music making process.

        Ed.

    • #54639
      ,GENIE HQ
      Keymaster

      1. You seem to have a bit of a reputation as ‘a beast in the kitchen’?
      What would be your Masterchef dish?!

      2. What are your top three favourite films?

      🙂

      • #54867
        ,EdRush
        Moderator

        Wow. So many dishes to choose from. Depends on the season. I would probably have to go with Pan Roasted Halibut, Sautéed Girolles and Cauliflower puree. I love fish dishes and the girolles add so much flavour to this dish.

        Top 3 films in no particular order.

        1. Pulp Fiction.
        2. Apocalypse Now.
        3. Bladerunner (Original).

    • #54643
      ,Balron
      Participant

      Are hardware synths a good value for current producers? (considering also the huge price difference compared to softsynths)

      I might be wrong but it seems like the Virus synths were the middle of DnB universe in the old days. However, watching all the masterclasses/interviews that are being made nowadays, nobody seems to mention hardware synths anymore. I guess most of us have that “oh, I want it!” feeling when looking at hardware, but is it actually worth it? Many presets often sound almost unfitting to the current sound of DnB (thinking mostly about neurofunk) and the actual editing capabilities of hardware look weaker compared to something like Serum with custom lfo/env shapes, various filters, and a modulation matrix.

      Thank you for taking a time to do this.

      https://soundcloud.com/balron

      • #54871
        ,EdRush
        Moderator

        Hello Balron.

        I never owned a Virus synth. We used Sequential Circuits Pro One for most of our bass sounds back in the day.
        I think the best approach is to learn on software synths that are a fraction of the cost of a decent hardware one. Practise and practise untill you feel comfortable with synthesis and sound design. There are lots of plugins these days which get very close to an ‘analogue hardware’ sound. Although the hardware synths definately have charm, character and warm tones they are more restrictive than their software counterparts on the whole, like as you have mentioned drawing in your own LFOs etc.

        Ed.

      • #54936
        ,Harry
        Participant

        Have you checked out U-He’s Repro soft synths? It’s supposed to be recreations of the Pro One and Pro Five.

        "Knowledge kept is knowledge lost." - Bobbito Garcia

    • #54657
      ,shrike
      Participant

      Big ups, Mr Ed Rush!

      I own many pieces of vinyl with your name on them, many from long ago. I think it’s safe to say you’ve been one of the biggest musical influences in all of my life, mad respect for all of the skins you have on the wall.

      Speaking of:

      While maybe not single-handedly, you and your cohorts invented and defined the techstep sound of the late nineties that has now matured into this neurofunk madness. You guys _literally_ invented a genre, and you did it while many of your peers were still just laying down amens & subs and calling it a tune.

      I’m referring specifically to the late 90’s, wormhole, gasmask, watermelon era. The first time I heard Bacteria, it was an insane, mental feeling: this was something *new*.

      What was the thought process at that time? How did you manage to separate and rise above what everyone else was doing at the time, and not only wade out into a creative unknown, but do so in such a MASSIVELY successful way? What’s it like to herald an entire foundation of future music!??!

      If ever we meet face to face, I would like to buy you a pint or two. It’s the least I can do for a lifetime of influence…

      Thanks for taking the time to do this!

      _-| get to work |-_

      • #54872
        ,EdRush
        Moderator

        Hello Shrike.

        Thank you for your kind words and support over the years. Its really appreciated.

        We were living and breathing drum and bass. Listening to every mix tape we could find and absorbing everything that we could get our hands on. Going out to the raves and attending Blue note every Sunday for the metalheadz nights.
        We didn’t really have a vision as such, it was more like we were just using beats and sounds that really appealed to us. Sure we took influences from other peoples music but we tried to do it in our way.
        Optical and I were always drawn to the darker sound of dnb and we really wanted to see how far we could push that sound. We were making tracks for ourselves. Tracks that we liked and didnt care what others thought. At first some people said we were making devil music and they didnt understand it but when we started getting support from some of the big DJs like Groove, Goldie and Doc Scott and people heard the tracks on a rig they started to understand.
        There was also an element of luck involved. Right place at the right time. The right people hearing the music. We were creating a sound that hadn’t really been heard before because the scene was still so young it hadnt been through any cycles of styles so it could have gone either way. But we were so pasionate about it we didn’t care what others thought. It helps to surround yourself with like minded people that share your passion and dreams, then you really feel like you’re in it together and it creates that comradery. It was the same before I started to work exclusively with Optical. It was me, Nico, DJ Trace, Fierce, DJ Gunshot and a few others all living and breathing the scene, pushing and challenging each other in creative ways.

        I’ll hold you those beers if ever we meet.

        Cheers!

        Ed.

    • #54684
      ,djkymaera
      Participant

      Big ups bro 🙂

      Had a question about making music, you guys music is seriously minty.

      Really love the sounds of the cymbals and percussion on your tunes.
      What sort of techniques make these type of sounds fit with the groove of a drum track ?

      Thanks 🙂

      • #54875
        ,EdRush
        Moderator

        Hi djkymaera.

        Thank you!

        It really boils down to good sample selection, moving things around on the grid till they sit nicely with the rest of your drums and nice bit of sidechain. It is very tune dependant obviously. A good way to select your sounds is to have your beat looping round whilst you’re auditioning elements to add like shakers and rides etc and see which ones cut through the mix. Find a place in the groove where they sit nicely and add sidechain, works especially nice with rides.

        Ed.

    • #54688
      ,[email protected]
      Participant

      Ez Ben mate ya old mate Yung E hope you and the family are well mate : ) Wanted to ask what do you like to use on ya Drum Bus ? What sort of RMS levels do you like to hit best way to get ya track loud but not sound shit doing it Also whats on ya Distortion bus what plugins do you always find ya self using Do you use any Hardware these days or is it all in da box these days ? Big up mate see ya soon Yung !!

      • #54876
        ,EdRush
        Moderator

        Hey Yung E! Hope you’re well. Its been a while.

        I am using a drum buss less and less these days as I have built up a library of drum hits that have been processed multiple times and often sound best routed straight out to the master. Sometimes the individual hits might need a tiny bit of glue for which I might use a compressor just tickling the signal or add a camel phat with just a tiny bit of tube dist. I also own the slate VCC which can add some lovely character to the drums but I find I’m doing this less and less these days and Im getting louder results by having the main hits like kick and snare going straight to my master where I mainly use Ozone 7 to do a bit of limiting.
        I am peaking around -0.4 RMS. As long as it not constantly going over 0 and it sounds ok then fuck it. I don’t think that is really that important though. As long as the track is well balanced and your mix sounds open and has depth there will always be gains on the mixer when DJing so we can trim it there.
        Distortion wise I like trash 2 with the multi-band option you have so much control. I also like the old faithful Camel Phat which I use in every tune and there’s a free wavechanger from cableguys that came with Computer Music thats brilliant too.
        I’m 100% in the box atm.

        Good luck mate! Hopefully see u soon 🙂

        Ed.

    • #54689
      ,Harry
      Participant

      I was at 2Tuff’s Dementia in D.C., December 1996, which I think was your U.S. debut? You’ve been a big influence on me and several of my friends.

      My questions:

      1. Should amateurs be asking the experts more about why they create, versus how they create?

      2. What is something you wish your older fans (e.g. Torque and Wormhole era) understood or were more open to about your current work as an artist?

      Thanks!

      "Knowledge kept is knowledge lost." - Bobbito Garcia

      • #54903
        ,EdRush
        Moderator

        Hello Harry.

        December 96. Yes, that would have been one of the earlier US gigs. Wow! Really showing our age man!!

        I think people who make music or other artists such as painters etc all have a desire to create. It’s in our nature, a way of expressing yourself without language. I’m sure this is a common trait in all creative people.

        Most people who were into dnb back in the era you speak of are middle aged now and have very different lifestyles to when they were into that sound. Most of my friends who used to come on the road with me every weekend have families now and are quite happy staying in these days.

        It is a challenge to try to stay ahead of the curve and be open minded enough to embrace new styles, sounds and techniques. We need, as a species, to grow and evolve in all aspects of life and music is no different. I accept that theses changes wont be everyone’s cup of tea, but, if you stay true to yourself and believe in what you do and truly love the job the music will speak for itself.

        I hope this answers your question. I’m not sure I fully understood it 😛

        ED.

    • #54697
      ,ScaramangaDNB
      Participant

      Hi there!

      Many thanks for taking the time out to do this; big fan of all things virus and beyond.

      My two questions are as follows:

      1) Mid bass – How do you generally approach working your mid basses within a track? (i.e. do you tend to layer sounds together that each address specific frequency regions – Midrange, tops etc. or go for a single instance that covers those areas?). Also how do you inter-grate that with your sub region

      2) Drums – What do you think is the key to keeping drums funky and characterful whilst still being solid enough to compare to other contemporary releases? (i.e. retaining the transient power whilst still having the flavour of a more traditional breakbeat)

      Big ups and all the best!

      • #54907
        ,EdRush
        Moderator

        Hi ScaramangaDNB.

        Thank you for your nice comments.

        Mid bass – Most of the time I will make mid bass and its not good enough to take care of the sub too. So I will split it into 2 with the low end crossover around the 1st or 2nd harmonic of the sub note this is track dependant obv. This method allows much more control and you can manipulate the mids more if needed. Sometimes the sound is good enough to deal with all of the bass frequencies but not that often.

        Drums – In order to have a nice sounding beat using breaks, it’s usually best to layer some solid sounding synth drum hits with your break. So, for example, you could find the key of the kick drum in the break u want to use, layer it with a fat clean synth kick roll off the low end in the break and balance to 2 together maybe add a bit of dist and or compression for a bit of glue, then do the same with a snare. This way we get the transients and weight the drums need but also get the funk from the break.

        Good luck!

        Ed.

    • #54701
      ,iLLtech
      Participant

      Any Tips or Tricks for getting the High Frequencies right on Hats and Synths?

      Digging the Killbox project btw =)

      • #54908
        ,EdRush
        Moderator

        Hello iLLtech.

        High frequencies on hats and synths – It of course depends on the sound or sample you are using but its very easy for things to get a bit bitey up around the 3-6k region. You can use a de-esser or a multiband compressor to tame that region if its getting a bit fruity. Try to keep things in their own space as much as possible though so if we have a section where the hats or shakers are dominant maybe trackspace some of the higher frequencies out of other elements that are occupying that same space. You could automate an eq if you prefer. But generally if a sound is too harsh to start with and eqing it kills its vibe I just use another.

        Thanks for the support!

        Ed.

    • #54702
      ,Moe
      Participant

      Hey Ed Rush,
      thanks for this AMA Thread. I am a big fan of your music.
      So here are my quesions:
      1. If you see awesome DnB as a result of hard work, what work out /exercises should I do every week/ day to be able to write a good track?
      2. Are there things from the good old days that still make the sound of drum and bass? I mean like for example, is it still essential to use this pitch up and down thingy with Drums in the AKAI S1000 or use those Z-Plane filter of the E-MU with basses to get the Sound of Drum and Bass?

      Thanks a lot.

      • #55828
        ,EdRush
        Moderator

        Hi Stefan.

        Get yourself well rounded with your skill sets. You will need to learn about sample selection, sound design, sound processing and mixing/mastering processes and skills. You will find you have natural strengths in certain areas, maybe work on those 1st so you don’t get disheartened during the learning process. Then when you feel comfortable you are competent or at least getting decent results then move onto another topic. There is so much information out there now about production if you are determined enough you will succeed. Patience and determination are key!
        Everything that we used back in the day that you mentioned in your question were and still are relevant if you have that kind of setup. Everything we used back then there is an equivalent of nowadays in vst form. So we are still doing the same or very similar things just using different tools now. We have much more options available to us now than we did then so its just a question of finding what works best for you.

        Best,

        Ben.

    • #54705
      ,panoptessoundworks
      Participant

      Hello Ed Rush! Thanks for your time! Explain a little about your general thought process and staging when approaching bass sound design. How do you treat your bass mids differently from your highs and strike a balance with the rest of your tune?

      • #55829
        ,EdRush
        Moderator

        Hi panoptessoundworks,

        Usually when designing bass sounds, I have an effects chain that consists of lots of distortion (sometimes multiband), eqs and multiband compression. I use these tools to get the desired sound then its a question of finding its place in the mix.
        If its a tune that mainly focuses on the bass mids then they obv have to be upfront in the mix. If you bass sound has lots of high information, which is usually just fizz you have to find a balance with the top end of your drums like hats and rides etc. There are some great tools for carving space in your mix like trackspacer or FabFilter MB if things are getting a bit crowded and cluttered in certain areas. Most of the time as I mentioned in an earlier answer I will split the bass into 2, sometime 3 sections and run a clean pure sub underneath so my low end is strong and consistent. Trash 2 is a great tool for bass design as it gives us so much control in multiband mode so we can throttle the mids whilst leaving the low and high end information clean.

        All the best!

        Ben.

    • #54714
      ,CyberLuke
      Participant

      Hi, we have met in Fabric club (Ostrava) in DJ backstage. Everyone wanted to take a selfie with you, I was too shy to ask about producing question, so I use my time here.

      1) I’m perfectionist, one of my career goals is to release on your label. I’m never happy with my results. I would like to know specifically about your bass processing of this song Seven Suns: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCrvJBCwRg0 If I hear correctly, I hear two synths changing (one more distorted reese from subtractive synthesis, one more like FM synthesis). This means what type of distortion you use, if you use one and crank it up to 80% or you use series of different distortion 15% per plugin like me. What kind of filters you used. If series of filters like low pass and notch or something like combined 24dB L/N/H present in Serum for example.

      Don’t hestitate to name concrete plugins. I know you are now ITB (in the box) guy, I bought also UAD recently, mainly for saturation & distortion.

      If you think I ask for too much personal info, PM me at satin [at] nanotrik.cz

      PROCESS.AUDIO Beta tester / Music Producer at C.Y.B.E.R.L.U.K.E.: Cybernetic Ytterbium Being Engineered for Repair, Logical Utility and Kamikaze Exploration

      • #55830
        ,EdRush
        Moderator

        Hello lukesatin,

        I made that tune a long time ago so I cant remember the exact processes I used. But I know for sure that the distortion on all the mid basses was camel phat. Probably a few of them stacked with some eqing to remove unwanted frequencies as we push it harder. I never really push the tube too hard in one instance of CP. I usually dial in up to about 50% but sometimes way less. I find a bit of Mech distortion can help too but this is easily overdone and is a lot less forgiving than the tube distortion so go easy with that one.
        Nowadays I use waveshapers (there’s a free one form cableguys which is great), Trash 2, Camel Phat and some tape machine emulators to add distortion and warmth. I like the slate one and Uhe Satin but I know the UAD tape vst are incredible so if u have one of those you are golden 🙂
        As far as filters go I like notch filters for bass design but as always its very track/sound dependant.

        Best,

        Ben.

    • #54730
      ,healthy
      Participant

      Yo Ed Rush! Big up for doing this AMA and for being an absolute legend!

      The first dnb album I bought on vinyl was “The Creeps” when I was 17, I’ve still got it but the sleeve is battered from lots of use.

      I’m 35 now and I’ve not been producing long and my tunes are terrible. I find production to be quite a frustrating process. Did you have similar struggles? If so, how do you push through this? Did you get frustrated with it ever?

      Obviously I need to persevere but I was wondering what your personal experience was like.

      Cheers

      • #55832
        ,EdRush
        Moderator

        Hello Healthy.

        Thanks for the support man!

        Yes, it can be very frustrating at times when you aren’t getting the results you desire. But youre absolutely right patience and determination will get you there. The fact that you are even on this forum shows you have determination and the desire to learn, so submerge yourself in the process. Watch as many videos, read as many forums as you can. The content on this site alone is ample to get yourself to a stage where you are a competent producer.
        I faced many, many years of feeling dissatisfied with my skills so I just stuck at it and surrounded myself with like minded people and competent producers and asked lots of questions and kept plugging away. Even now I still ask questions to fellow producers about their techniques and processes to better myself. I love learning so I’m excited when facing new challenges and Im not afraid to ask if I don’t fully understand something. You will find over time that things become more intuitive.

        Get stuck in and happy learning!

        Cheers.

        Ben.

    • #54734
      ,LiEnN
      Participant

      Hi Ben,

      Thanks for finding time and doing this Q&A. The Original Doctor Shade album brought me to dnb, my mind was blown when I heard it for the first time! I was pure metalhead before, but after this experience, I got lost in the rabbit hole of dnb and electronic music in general. So thank you and Matt for showing me whole new side of music.

      1. Is there some workflow or production technique you wish you had known sooner?

      2. Many producers (including me) have trouble with finishing tracks. Do you have any advice regarding this?

      • #55833
        ,EdRush
        Moderator

        Hey LiEnN,

        Thanks for your kind words.

        I wish I had known about side chaining earlier. So many of my old tunes would be louder, have more clarity and overall better mixes if I had known about that technique earlier.

        With regards to finishing tracks. It is a common problem, there are however a few things you can try to improve in this area. Try to have more than one project on the go at once so you can switch between them when u run out of steam on one track. This also stops you becoming too bored.
        I find one of the best ones for me is to get your initial ideas down and rough idea for the tune maybe get the drop sounding good and some intro ideas then leave it. Leave it for a few days sometimes its best even longer like a week or two then come back to it. You will hear immediately whats cool and whats not. Its a case of ‘sometimes you cant see the wood for the trees’ and when you work continuously on the same track you become numb to it and can no longer make good creative decisions. This works very well for me and I am able to finish a track within a reasonable time after leaving it for a while.
        Another thing to remember is to not become too precious over things. If somethings not working and youre getting frustrated then move on. If an idea isn’t working but say the drums are cool then bounce them out and use them in something else so at least your time wasn’t completely wasted.
        I hope this helps.

        Good luck.

        Ben.

    • #54735
      ,ratta
      Participant

      Hey Ben,

      Thanks for doing this. I have 5 releases under my belt across various labels, but I still seem to struggle in the studio. I feel pretty confident with the technical side of things, but my issue is that I get stuck in ‘loop land’ and have a hard time getting out of it and finishing tunes. Usually I wind up in a place where I’m really not happy with the loops I’m making, and then just bounce what I’ve done (drums, bass, etc) and leave the studio (feeling a bit depressed tbh). I just keep doing this same process often never finishing tunes. I probably have 200 different projects saved across various computers with only about 20 tunes finished. I’d really like to know what your experience with this has been, any advice that you have, and how often you are in the studio writing tunes. Any advice here would be really appreciated!

      Thanks,
      Nick (Ratta)

      • #54750
        ,shrike
        Participant

        THIS

        _-| get to work |-_

      • #55834
        ,EdRush
        Moderator

        Hi Ratta.

        I feel your pain. My answer to the question above is relevant to your question so please read that.
        Also try to commit to a track or an idea at some stage even if you know its not amazing. Get it arranged and bounce it out then its done and you can wash your hands with it and move on. We need to be improving all the time to feel like we are making progress so don’t try and write the perfect tune every time. Just capture a vibe, an idea and try to express it in the best way possible then move on.
        This way your work should improve as you grow and we feel we are making progress and we have good positive feelings associated with being in the studio rather than frustration and negativity.

        Everyone makes shit tunes sometimes we just never hear them.

        As far as your question ‘how often are you in the studio?’ – Pretty much everyday apart from when Im djing. Even if its just making weird noises or going through some samples, that’s if I dont feel like writing.

        Good luck man!

        Ben.

    • #54845
      ,Sunken Forest
      Participant

      Thanks for doing this.

      How do you organise your sample library? How do structure your studio sessions? – Do you do strictly sound design for some, writing for others? How do you get over getting bogged down in details and get tracks to a level that you’re happy enough to start sending out? How do you flesh a loop into a full arrangement?

      Just workflow related for me. But there’s heaps there so don’t feel as thought you need to answer them all. Big up!

      • #55835
        ,EdRush
        Moderator

        Hello Sunken Forest.

        My sample library is mainly categorised by genre so all DNB in one folder all house and techno in another etc. I also have a folder where I put things I like that I discover. They are sub sectioned into beats, bass, kicks, snares etc so I always have sounds in there I know I like. I then have a folder with in my favourites folder of sound I have made called My Kicks etc.
        My sessions are usually split into sound design and writing the track, this way is easy and I believe most people use this method.
        Over the years I have learnt not to procrastinate too much over details I think its better to commit to an idea and move on as getting too bogged down with minor elements crushes the creative flow.
        I usually work on the drop first then a roll out section to get me to the break down then start finding intro ideas I can also incorporate into other parts of the track.
        Before handing a track out I will give it a few good tests in clubs but also in environments that Im familiar with like the car for example.
        Cheers,

        Ben.

    • #54857
      ,EdRush
      Moderator

      Hello Ed Rush!

      Thanks for taking the time to do this

      I have currently been reading up allot on external summing mixers and external gear in a pursuit to break out of the DAW and my completely ITB setup I use and take a more hands on approach

      My question would be regarding your setup in recent years, what setup do you currently use with regard to external hardware? Coming from an original primarily hardware studio do you still pursue this or are you primarily ITB now?

      Also do you have any recommendations for hardware summing mixers?

      Thanks

      Hi Callum

      It’s a pleasure.

      Obviously, years ago, it was all hardware. Now I run everything 100% ITB for a few reasons. Firstly I wanted to be able to work anywhere. Whether it was on the road on a laptop or in another studio. I really liked the idea of being able to make a decent sounding track without being restricted to just one location with all my gear in it. Also I wanted to keep learning and making music solely ITB was definately a challenge having spent so many years with a hardware setup. There were many rules I had to relearn inside the digital domain.
      Theres a lot to be said for both setups and prob a hybrid setup is optimal but as of now Im happy just ITB as I’m achieving results I like. The plugins we have access to are amazing and some of the best records you hear from all types of genres are created solely ITB. I think that having some hardware gear like synths and effects racks can help make the creative process more fun but as far as the finished product goes excellent results can be achieved with either setup.

      As far as summing mixers go I dont have much personal experience with them and I think they are expensive for what you get. That’s my opinion and I believe you can probably get more satisfying results from hardware eq’s and compressors etc before going downn the analogue summing route. Obviously all the summing took place inside your mixing console in an old hardware setup but now there are some good products on the market that do a very similar thing like the Slate Digital VCC which to me sounds great.
      I think if you are looking for a more hands on approach I would look at buying some hard synths and effects, eqs etc before purchasing an expensive summing buss. I have heard many stories of people that can’t even hear a difference. Having said that producers like Gridlok use one and he loves it (he uses the Dangerous D Box). So, it really comes down to personal preference.

      I hope this helps Callum and good luck !

      Ed.

    • #54912
      ,shrike
      Participant

      May I just say, this is obviously a fair bit of effort on your part to answer these q’s, and bless you for doing so.

      MASSIVE

      _-| get to work |-_

      • #55836
        ,EdRush
        Moderator

        Pleasure 🙂

    • #54914
      ,Gramophone23
      Participant

      Hi Ed,

      Always been a big fan of your music from you & Optical. Actually this is the Drum & Bass I’ve started to play when I’ve been first introduced to dnb, the virus sound has always and still works on the dancefloor and your tunes with Optical have always been some of my weapons of choice in my DJ mixes when I play out. It is very nice that you are doing an AMA, Optical did one a few years back not too long ago, and I was actually very happy to ask him some questions about production.

      Today I’m not too sure what to ask you about production because there is so much tutorial out there, even I’m still learning a lot of new techniques and definitely need to learn more & more and you have already said a lot of things here above, but, anyway, I found a few questions just now 🙂

      1. Favourite VST for Bass?

      2. Creating breaks: I’ve understood that you layer some solid sounding synth drum hits with your break. But for making the break, do you use addictive drummer or superior drummer or old/new funk breaks sample or all of that combined?(just by curiosity).

      That’s all.

      Big ups mate,

      Raf

      • #55837
        ,EdRush
        Moderator

        Hi Raff.

        Appreciate your support over the years. Thank you.

        My favourite vst for bass atm would have to be Serum with some of the distortion plugins I have mentioned throughout this AMA for processing. I love the control and flexibility it offers and the choice of filters is very diverse. Before that was massive. I was never really an FM8 fan. I found it very frustrating and left it to the geniuses amongst us.

        For breaks I have used superior drummer but I have a decent collection of breaks from collecting for years so I usually just chop up an old break and use some processing to get them sounding nice. There are also some good sample packs of classic breaks you can find online.

        Cheers,

        Ben.

      • #57021
        ,Gramophone23
        Participant

        Hi Ben,

        Thanks for your answers! I do love serum too, as FM8 and massive. Actually a few month back I was trying to re-sample some serum sounds through an old emu 6400 ultra, as I’ve also learned to use that over the last 5 years, just to see how this was coloring sounds as I know this sampler was quiet popular in the 90’s/early 2000 in dnb, particularly when your album Wormhole came out. So I wanted to explore the sampler (like going backward compared to where the technology is going but also using technology as serum in an outdated sampler). It was actually good to color the serum sounds as 808ish or any samples,but as you say all ITB is also good with cool distortion plugins, and the workflow is much faster ITB than OTB but different approach.

        I can imagine that you have a good collection of Breaks from over the years, I’ve got some good classics too from online, and I do get some more when I find some interesting funky one time to time. So thanks for sharing your own approach for building your own drums, I’m always curious to know which plugins some of my favourite producers use!

        Wish you all the best,
        Raf

    • #54937
      ,Harry
      Participant

      December 96. Yes, that would have been one of the earlier US gigs. Wow! Really showing our age man!!

      More the depth of life experiences.

      Thanks for answering these questions, they were kind of odd, but insightful input from your answers. I’m in that group that has a family and doesn’t really go out anymore, but that time I used to spend playing & going to shows, it’s now going in to production.

      "Knowledge kept is knowledge lost." - Bobbito Garcia

      • #55838
        ,EdRush
        Moderator

        All good Harry and good luck with the production!

        Ben.

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