Q/A with State of Mind..
- This topic has 44 replies, 18 voices, and was last updated 6 years ago by ,kaido.
2017-02-14 at 14:31:17 #22897,Ruben DParticipant
Q&A Time : State Of Mind
State of mind were part of the 1st season of sample genie.
in my humble opinion one of the best to start this project.
So get your questions ready, any doubts you have, everyone
get on board. Who knows maybe they can become
locals in our forum.
“”We worked with the SOM guys on the very first season of Sample Genie and now they are back for an exclusive production Q&A for our premium members. Big hitters in the dancefloor focused D&B and long time collaborators with Black Sun Empire, their techniques and skills are expanding all the time, it’s a great time to get in touch with them and get a personal reply.
This will be done in the same format as the AMA we did with Billain – We’ll wait until we have a good batch of questions and then get the answers rolling.
feel free to hit me up!
Ruben (aka CrossOut) your F.moderator 😉
2017-02-14 at 17:46:01 #22900,GENIE HQKeymaster
Thanks Ruben! Yes let’s get some Q’s together for them and build up a good amount, then we’ll get them onto the thread to drop off some answers for ya’ll.
Q: How have your production methods changed since writing classic tunes such as ‘Sun King’ and other tracks of yours from around that Era?
2017-03-14 at 13:22:42 #24197,stateofmindnzModerator
Hi Guys. Glad to be here and thanks for the questions. Will do my best to answer everything fully, but if you don’t understand something or want a follow up, feel free to ask. Ok lets get going….
These days things are a lot more detailed. There is more focus on the technical production side than there was back in the early days. What i mean by that is we pay more attention to things like for example, does this sound have good mid/side balance? How does it collapse in mono? Ten years ago, we didn’t do anything like that. We just sorta swung for the fences. In a large part i think that was because our monitoring set up was so weak we couldnt really hear things on that level of detail, but also simply because we didn’t know or care. Sure we made some great tracks back then, but we also made some that sounded pretty rough… We were able to make them faster because everything was rougher. Perhaps that helps ‘build a vibe’ I’m not sure. It’s certainly plausible that spending too much time stressing about technical mix details could kill the spark that makes music great. I guess you need to find a balance.
2017-02-15 at 14:19:32 #22902,GeordieParticipant
What do you find is the main killer of workflow in your studio? for example, Bad habits that you have learned to avoid!
2017-03-14 at 13:25:06 #24198,stateofmindnzModerator
I try to avoid getting distracted with the outside world when I’m focusing on music. Having your phone next to you, its too easy to zone out and look at instagram or read the paper or whatever. I mean its nice when your having a coffee break but it kinda kills your focus.
2017-02-16 at 20:04:18 #22907,djrukoParticipant
do you ever get writers block on a tune? if so what are some of the ways you work through it?
ps you destroyed San Francisco. hopefully catch you at letitroll summer
2017-03-14 at 13:28:28 #24199,stateofmindnzModerator
Sure man everyone gets writers block at some point. Its horrible. Not only do you sort of not know what to do, you lose confidence that what you do make is good enough. When you lack that critical judgement, making music is pretty hard. Honestly i don’t think there is an easy way through. You just have to forge ahead and then when you make that one good thing, and you feel that spark in your gut it all comes back. Its like sport, you can drift in and out of form and a lot of it is in your head. Having said all that, if you have monitoring problems, or a bad room, or new speakers and you don’t know them, those things can impact on your mixes and your results and throw you into a bit of a spin. Get that stuff sorted so you make it as easy as possible for your self.
2017-02-16 at 22:31:53 #22908,Gramophone23Participant
Hey SOM guys!
What do you use to create drums, Superior Drummer or Addictive Drummer, old funk breaks, layered with synthetic Kicks & Snares or something else?
Your favourite soft synth(s), sampler(s) and distortion plug-ins?
Do you use any hardware?
2017-03-14 at 13:36:53 #24200,stateofmindnzModerator
1. What do we make drums. We use all sorts. Superior drummer is good for making ‘room’ layers. Also i like to make hats in superior drummer. I make a groove, then i bounce it. I will distort is using trash 2 on various settings till it sounds a bit tougher, then bounce it again. Then i cut them tighter into slices, and pitch them up as much as sounds right, then adjust the transients. Its a bit long winded, it doesn’t always work but its and interesting way to get a tight sound. Addictive drums is good too if you prefer that. Its much of a muchness.
Sometimes we use old breaks. I quite like finding hold hats with interesting character and laying them in.
Kicks and snares are sometimes synth programmed, but generally made by layering software like Superior Drummer with other samples.
2. Fav soft synths – Serum, FM8, Diva, Spire. Fav distortion – Trash 2, Camelphat, Saturn and the d16 Decimort and Redopter.
3. Hardware – Not so much at the moment. The most used would be our Manley Pultec EQ which we use on our rides and overheads. Vocals quite often get put through our Buzz Opto Compressor and sometimes we use an API 2500 on the mix bus. We have a Moog and an Andromeda but getting them out is a pain.
2017-02-18 at 18:56:57 #22927,ScartipParticipant
hope all is good!
My question is whats the best way to approach established DJ/producers/labels with tracks and/or demos?
Any do’s & don’ts?
2017-03-14 at 13:42:54 #24201,stateofmindnzModerator
Don’t ever send a message via Soundcloud. Literally no one reads sound cloud messages. Even face book is patchy. Twitter is ok. Its short and too the point. I guess email is the best way.
Having said that, if you send something only send your best couple. We don’t want to listen to some random guys back catalogue.
Also don’t rush to get your music out there. You might think that the first tune you ever finish is amazing, but chances are its not up to release standard. It takes time to get to that point. We made tunes for about 4 years before we gave anything to anyone. In fact, it was another local guy that gave Total Science a CD with Sunking etc on it saying ‘check out these guys’ that got us signed. A label will take someone else vouching for music a lot more seriously.
2017-02-21 at 15:00:04 #22950,MoeParticipant
Hey Patrick and Stuart,
I’ve kind of already asked this question in the forum, but didn’t get a satisfactory answer. So I hope you as professional Producers can share your thoughts on the rhythmic relation between drums and bass? Are there any guidelines you have when you write drums to a bassline or vice versa? How do you think about playing around with the listener’s week /strong feeling of the measurement when you are in the composition state of a drop?
Thx a lot for giving us the opportunity to ask questions.
2017-03-14 at 13:49:01 #24202,stateofmindnzModerator
Ha. Um im not totally sure i follow that last part of your question but here goes. I don’t think there are any rules. The thing about music is rules are literally there to be broken. Think about it. There are tunes where the kick/bass hit on the same groove (take for example that tune Disco Dodo) and its cool. Then the classic tech step pattern usually works around the bass. I guess be aware that some patterns of kick/snare feel faster than others. Generally faster feeling grooves will suit faster baselines, but again its not set in stone. If you think its cool then its cool.
2017-02-21 at 16:55:09 #22955
Sup SOM. This is awesome to get this opportunity. Always been my fav.
I’ve been really trying to deepen my sound design especially with the mid range layer of my basses. Every time I make a bass and use it in a track and then compare it to other peoples tracks its missing alot of impact and wideness. I guess its hard to have it sounding phat in the 1-3 kHZ region. Any tips on getting my basses to sound full and large.
Here’s a sample of a track Ive been working on as an example if you want to listen to see exactly what Im talking about
2017-03-14 at 14:07:04 #24203,stateofmindnzModerator
Unfortunately I’m touring right now so can’t check your track in the studio or comment really on perceived width but on headphones it sounds pretty good! Look its a tough question. There isn’t a magic bullet I’m afraid. 1-3Khz Thats the upper mid range into high end. I guess you know that. I would normally consider that area to be the ‘presence’ as opposed to impact. I guess because the human ear is sensitive to that range, in many ways that is the hook area of your tunes. It might be a vocal, or a lead, or a bass with a high spectral content in that area, but its often the bread and butter of what makes a track memorable.
Here’s my simple answer. If your bass tracks lack in that area turn then up that area…
Ha maybe thats a bit simple. You say you split your basses off. Great. You probably have mid layers with filtering etc, a sub layer and its all going to a bus to sum it? Sometimes i find myself in your shoes. You have a track and when you play it it sounds kinda flat or scooped. Therefore, not as loud or catchy an impressive as other tracks. Well i find instead of chasing your tail and making small adjustments, simply push the bass group up by a few DB, then bring you sub component back down to the right level. Voila. The mid layers will be more upfront. Its a crude and fast mix adjustment, but sometimes thats the best way. Alternatively, if you have a bus for your mid layers only, drive them with some bus distortion before your side chain compression. I quite like Sonnox Inflator for that job.
Look at the end of the day if you want them to be more up front, just mix them more upfront! You might find you need to eq back a bit on the 1-3 kHz area after you do that to minimise honk. I actually prefer to use a multi band eq in that freq range. It will duck the peaks without scooping it all.
2017-02-21 at 21:42:55 #22956
Love your stuff.
I’d love to know where you generally keep all your stem levels at when producing a track? for instance do you start off on say -15db to give plenty of headroom for various elements to avoid clipping.
I’m always a little confused what a good level is to sart with, i don’t want my tracks to sound like there’s a limiter just cutting it off, same time i don’t want to have it quiet.
I’ve tried various levels that people suggest but another problem is that eventually when enough elements are added into the tracks they end up going above the -3 to -5 db limit that i set myself, i’d have to continuously keep lowering all my track levels to fit below this limit.
I’m told to give a few db headroom for mastering engineers to work with.
so that in turn always leaves me in a dilemma part way through a track of not knowing how loud or quiet all my stems should be, especially once plug ins etc are applied, the levels start spiking or dropping.
it’s quite demotivating so far, i haven’t been able to properly finish a track because of it.
any advise or info would be appreciated, i literally never see any info on this anywhere else.
2017-02-22 at 21:53:50 #22979,kaidoParticipant
to last guy:
Well you can’t get past the limiter or compression. This kind of music is naturally so saturated to get multiple things loud the peaks have to go. my 0,02 cents.
2017-03-14 at 14:28:04 #24205,stateofmindnzModerator
The old loudness question eh. Well first of all put a meter on your master output like waves WLM or similar. We aim to have our finished tunes within a certain range give or take. Generally i think about -3.5 short term LUFS is pretty good. Start going above that, and its getting pretty loud. If your Noisia you can probably get there without it sounding shit, but mostly it will sound like clip-fest.
So where do we set our tracks levels? We don’t give a fuck within reason. If you are working in full floating point 64 bit, with 32 bit samples and modern plugins you can’t really clip them. The clipping will happen on the output stage. Having said that, some plugins have a ‘built in limiting’ effect like camelphat. You can run a channel in hot and it comes out at zero… this can buy you a little more headroom if you use the technique of buses, which is what Kaido is saying i think. However if you limit out ALL the peaks, that can be as bad as too many big peaks. Your track will sound like mush. Some things need dynamics and transients to sound good.
Generally its good practice to have an operating level that works for compressors and limiters. If all your channels are at -20db, its kinda hopeless putting on limiters unless you can adjust the threshold. Many plugins you can’t. Also you don’t want to be working super hot. If you’re too hot a compressor might be hitting too much gain reduction even at you highest threshold setting. So where would our channels be metering? I guess a typical channel, like kick maybe, would meter +6db peak. There is a pretty big range of tolerance.
When you deliver audio to as master engineer, they usually like the stereo file to be at about -6bd peaking or something like that. The reason for that is they have more headroom to compress with and its just good practice to avoid possible clips. I advise people to take off all their master bus plugins bar dither. Turn down the input gain (not the output fader) until the peak reads -6. There you go. The thing is though, if your mix is a ‘quiet’ mix its really hard to make it loud with magic dust on the master bus. Volume comes from the mix and the big killer of mix volume is too much sub. Knowing how to keep that in balance is a big part.
2017-02-22 at 22:04:37 #22980,kaidoParticipant
– Do you guys use any hardware? Any synths? Got myself one or two lately and find them so much fun to get hands dirty. Analog/digital they are all good fun and sound different than anything in the box and sometimes it’s cool to leave “the box” turned off and jam/design
-Do you sidechain your kick as well as snare to be ducking sub out of the way? I’ve heard that way you could get more punch out and loudness.
-Any distortion trick? On drums/mid/high bass? Do you always eq before distorting?
-Mixing into 2bus limiter/comp; what do you make of it? And if you get all mixed, is it ok to send it to mastering, as the 2bus processing becomes so much what makes the tune- seems impossible to take it off. Then again some mastering guys want 3-6 db headroom. Should i just pull the final fader down and leave the limiter working?
-How many and what kind of reverbs/delays are you using? Coming out of stock they usually are very big and wide. How to you process them to sit niceley in the mix? Some mono fx for contrast or just lessen the wideness…?
all the best guys!
2017-03-14 at 14:51:37 #24206,stateofmindnzModerator
– Hardware. Answered above.
– Sidechain – Only via the kick. The snare doesn’t usually compete with the sub. I mean a snare doesn’t generally have much info below 80 so why duck the sub? Maybe for effect you could but i don’t think it will help with punch.
– Distortion – Try multiband distortion like trash 2. Try using parallel wet/dry mixes when using distortion. EQ before distortion can be handy if you have a bit of a problem resonance. The distortion will amplify that trouble spot. But distortion often brings in low crap as you probably no, so keep an eye on that. Often you need both pre and post distortion eq.
– limiting – Yeah i hear what you are saying. The best mixes have a minimum of insert processing on the master. I don’t like having things on the bus that radically shape the sound in a creative way because as you say, it becomes a big part of the track. Never send a limited track to master. It makes getting a good result so much harder. Also don’t turn down the fader, turn down the input gain to the master channel and keep the master fader at 0. Keep a dither on as they probably want 16 bit audio.
The thing with mastering is you have to trust that the master engineer can do whatever you do better and with neutral ears. Having said that, quite often i will do my own master and compare it to what they do. Often i prefer my own, sometimes a combination of one track my master and some tracks theirs, sometimes all theirs….
-reverb – We use the EMT140 (UAD), Valhalla, Pro R and Replika XT. Pro R and Replika you can adjust the spread and therefore the way they interact in mono. The other 2 just sit real nice anyway.
2017-03-18 at 14:18:12 #24267,GENIE HQKeymaster
That’s interesting and we see this advice quite often, could you give more info on why you recommend not to move the master fader, and instead adjust the gain going into it?
2017-03-21 at 22:48:44 #24330,stateofmindnzModerator
Its something we learnt in tech. It reduces the headroom and potential dynamic range. Will it ‘degrade’ the audio in some way? No not really. To be fair dnb has virtually no dynamic range anyway so its not a big deal. But regardless i think its good gain staging practice.
2017-03-23 at 11:51:34 #24355,kaidoParticipant
Great stuff! Interesting to learn that ducking the sub with snare is not widely popular thing then. I learned it from Dj Break, when he’s working on heavily smashed neuro tune, he will do that- snr ducking about half that the kick is doing. I know our mindset should be mostly on frequency based but this got me thinking that in a squashed and ever louder tracks it might make a shift- in a limited vacuum space even the snare and sub fight a little for the headroom. Hard to argue with Break as he’s got the best engineering skills in business IMO. Just my little observation on trends.
2017-02-23 at 00:38:42 #22982,RowanParticipant
Fellow kiwi here, I guess my question isn’t as much about production (I know I probably should but there will be plenty of q’s on that on this forum). Its more about the general state of the scene and in particular the neurofunk scene. Do you think its healthy at the moment? I find I cant stand alot of new stuff coming out and although its just my opinion, I just feel like the music is lacking in some of the elements that I love in people like yourself and Black Sun. The dark melodies, the dynamics of the tracks, the dark themes the imagery and just track construction. Its very Abrasive I feel and in some cases just crunching and grinding like jump up or something.
Eg. your track moonbox is one of my favs in recent memory. Has so many elements I love about neuro and dnb in general. Do you feel like the scene is lacking some of these elements? How do you guys personally try to integrate new techniques but still retaining the elements some of your tracks are so famous for. Sorry I know thats probably a little convoluted but any insight is appreciated.
2017-03-14 at 16:40:22 #24210,stateofmindnzModerator
I dunno man i think there are quite a few good tracks coming out right now. Sure there are some shitters too but thats life. I prefer drum and bass where it is right now to say, the Pendulum era where everything had big pop-esque leads, or even the era after that where deep stuff with a click for the entire drum kit was flavour of the day. Remember though, its all just opinions.
2017-02-23 at 13:15:09 #22988,WoodzParticipant
Hi Guys love your beats, I have a couple of questions for you here 🙂
1. Do you design drum sounds in separate projects? If so, what type of processing do you use to get them sounding big and beefy?
2. Any tips on making atmospheric soundscapes/intros?
3. Favourite techniques to use to mangle samples?
4. You’ve just made a bass sound in a synth and you resample it. What do you do next?
5. Do you work with a master chain active when you start a new project? i.e do you have a limiter working on the master while you write the track?
6. Any techniques for keeping things loud but punchy at the same time?
Hope thats not too many – thanks! 🙂
2017-03-15 at 12:35:49 #24227,stateofmindnzModerator
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.
2017-02-25 at 15:08:59 #23020,JamesParticipant
What’s up guys.
I’ve recently heard of producers composing solely in mono.
The point being, if it sounds good when collapsed, it will sound great once in stereo.
Is this something that you have tried or would recommend?
2017-03-15 at 13:07:32 #24228,stateofmindnzModerator
This is a good question. Yes mono is very important and often overlooked. I would strongly suggest having a monitor controller with a mono function. Often sounds with a lot of stereo spread, especially synths made with multiple unison voices can sound really messed up in mono, some even almost cancel. Serum is pretty bad in this regard in my opinion. Its really crucial that while you re doing your sound design you continually check how things translate. If a sound translates pretty evenly between mono and stereo you will get better results overall. Key parts of your mix like vocals, mid basses, snares, you really want them to sound right in mono at all costs. The human ear is subconsciously pretty good at detecting frequency cancellations in the mid range… As sounds become less important to the track overall, you can begin to worry less about mono/stereo change. Working in mono also challenges you with respect to having sounds balanced frequency wise, as you can’t simply move competing sounds around the stereo field.
So having said that would i produce ONLY in mono? No. You need to check how the mix is spreading out. A big wide mix is impressive. If you work only in mono, its impossible to accurately gauge the stereo field. If you work only in mono, your tunes might sound great in mono yes. The frequency spread and phase will probably be smooth, but they might also sound super narrow, dry and less interesting. Or they might have some seriously weird stereo stuff going on that you just didn’t pick up.
So my advise, invest in a monitor controller where you can mono/stereo with one click of a button.
2017-03-02 at 17:25:33 #23956,hiddenconceptParticipant
If you could live with 5 plugins for the rest of your music career what plugins would you choose? If you have to add a few more that are essential to your sound do it up 🙂
Do you guys do a lot of wavetable synthesis or FM for your bass sounds? I personally love FM, I took fm8 over massive when I started out when I got NI Komplete.
2017-03-18 at 12:36:08 #24265,stateofmindnzModerator
Man. Must have plugins…. Trash 2. CamelPhat. LFO Tool. UAD – SSL G Series, EMT 140, DBX 160, Sonnox Inflator. All the Fab-filter plugins (pro-Q, Pro-L, Pro-R, Pro-MB are our workhorse plugins). Replika XT. Cubase Multiband Envelope Shaper and NI Transient Master. NI Driver. I guess thats a few more than 5 but those are really the insert plugins that i promise will be used on every tune.
2017-03-18 at 14:15:43 #24266,GENIE HQKeymaster
Not often the Sonnox Inflator gets a mention.. bit of a secret weapon! What do you find it useful for and how much do you inflate things usually? #doyoueveninflatebro
2017-03-21 at 23:02:55 #24331,stateofmindnzModerator
Yeah i know its a old one. But it still does the job. I mean Camelphat is much the same. Its old as fuck but everyone still uses it. Why do i use the inflator? Well firstly its not really a simple compressor or limiter. Its more of a harmonic driver with a clip control. If you read the manual they are pretty hazy on what it does behind the scenes. What i can tell you is it can be used as a kind of tube emulator type thing or a kind or ‘upward limiter’ depending on how you set it. The good thing is it doesn’t kind of mangle the dynamics like some processors can. I don’t use it on the master bus, it doesn’t like hot signals i don’t think. I tend to use it to ‘inflate’ (funny that) channels before they feed into the groups, or sometimes groups before they feed into the master. It can buy you a little more perceived volume without actually increasing the metered RMS level. Its just a way of sneaking a little extra volume across the mix process. It doesn’t always sound great of course, you have to use your ears.
2017-03-07 at 19:49:13 #24101,GENIE HQKeymaster
Q: What’s your most memorable gig and why?
2017-03-18 at 12:28:02 #24264,stateofmindnzModerator
There’s been a lot. Perhaps EDC Las Vegas simply for epic scale of it. 350,000 tickets. I mean they even have a massive ferris wheel for the artists to go up on and see the crowd. You take a golf cart and rip around the speedway track. Its just mental. Plus the general Vegas crazy makes for a good weekend.
2017-03-09 at 17:35:19 #24123,IrishParticipant
I’m curious to your most common approaches to bassline arrangement and associated workflow.
When you’re brainstorming and trying to come up with ideas for interesting basslines/grooves (not single notes, multi-bar “phrases”)
Do you typically start with just a single bass sound and mangle it into many variations then try to arrange those variations to come up with something you like?
Or do you typically use multiple different bass sounds and processes them to fit together and build the arrangement that way?
Do you think one way is better than the other?
I’m asking because I personally find it difficult to get completely different bass sounds I like on their own to sound good together and arrange them into bass “phrases”.
Hopefully I’m making sense…
Eat the Rich was a great LP!
2017-03-21 at 23:08:03 #24332,stateofmindnzModerator
Not an easy question to answer because we don’t have a set workflow. Sometimes we use multiple sounds, and chop them up. Sometimes if we want something simple, we just play them in midi. In that case it would be for our more melodic deeper kind of tracks. I guess generally each track will have what we consider the ‘main bass’. Then other ones will sort of work with it or layer with it. I think i get what your saying though, if you chop up too many different patches it can all sound kind of electro house and a bit whack. I guess the skill is just being able to arrange those cuts so it gets a good groove going and sounds related.
Remember too, something as simple as grouping can add a kind of glue to it all. I guess you do that already though!
2017-03-10 at 23:56:41 #24141,adelchiParticipant
it’s an honor for me to be able to ask you some questions Messrs!
Said that, in the bassline workshop video you’ve mentioned that usually produce in a different studio than the one where you have shot the video.
Depending on what do you choose the studio that’s right for you?
If the answer maybe should be too “revealing” and too long to be written here, which hardware or which technique deemed essential to fully carry out your audio production? Is there an hardware that you can not do without in order to reach the highest level that you would like to achieve? How much time elapses on average before completing a mix of your song(without counting the sound design)? How much have you studied, practiced before taking the “risky sideways” decision of focus on music and leave, as i read on broken coulture.uk interview, your previous job? Clearly you did it when you feel ready but have you had a mentor or someone already in the music business who has “sent you” on a way to go or that give to you some advice before taking this so seriously? You are / you were both guitarists, have you played together in the past? that’s how you met? Is there something to listen that you’ve recorded in the past? Perhaps are too many questions, someone maybe a little distant from the topic.. i hope this do not mind !!
Total estimate for you!!!
Cheers from Italy
with Best Thanks:)!!
2017-03-21 at 23:18:49 #24333,stateofmindnzModerator
Yes we have 2 studios. We don’t really choose to work in one or the other for specific reasons, although one is set up for vocal recording, the other mixing and general production.
If you mean hardware like compressors, high end analogue synths, mix warmers, lunch box modules etc etc etc, then there is no hardware that is the secret key to making good tunes. Let me say that again. Zero hardware is essential.
What is essential though, and I don’t think you had this in mind with your question, is your monitoring chain. Your DA, your monitors, your controller, and probably most important of all, your room. Honestly I’m quite surprised no one asked about that side of the game. You gotta have a good room. Treat it, test it with a room mic and room eq, treat it again. There is literally no point having great gear in a room that sounds like shit. Everything you do will be guesswork. It’s like having a Ferrari and driving it on dirt roads with re-tread tires and wondering why you can’t go fast. We were lucky that we built up a relationship with the American Company Real-traps but if you don’t have much of a budget there is loads of info out there on building your own absorption and diffusion panels. The quality might not quite be commercial, but you can make a big difference if you invest the time and energy.
Some of our tracks are written in a day. Others months.
We left our jobs to do music once music was making enough money for us to scrape by. It was a scary decision.
2017-03-11 at 19:58:08 #24155,Ruben DParticipant
how much work and effort it takes to achieve that tight percussion(drum kit) defining sound as a producer? particular plugins for drum kit? combination old breaks and modern kicks and snares?
2017-03-21 at 23:23:38 #24334,stateofmindnzModerator
Everyone has there own way of doing drums. Pat likes using live layers for pretty much everything. Im a little more reserved in that respect, but i do like using live layers for cymbals and percusion. I guess we usually meet somewhere in the middle in that we end up with modern kicks and snares blended with live components.
In terms of plugins, obviously compression. I like fast feed forward compressors like the API 2500 which we are lucky to own (hardware) but we don’t always employ it. Plugins like the Glue sometimes sound better, more aggressive in some respects that hardware emulations. We also often try using a little distortion on a wet dry mix. Maybe the Fatso emulation from UAD, or Trash 2. Be sure not to overdo distortion because you lose transient detail. Its about trying different settings for different tracks. Transient designers on the individual channels feeding into the groups can also help add more bite and tightness.
2017-03-23 at 11:39:22 #24352,kaidoParticipant
Jep i owned api2500 too, too slow for dnb drums but really loved the output gain smashing on mid basses. Those op amps sound lovely when pushed. But had too make a tough selection between this and a synth. Wish i could hoard hardware, so much inspiration. Even low budget Warm audio pultec has real cojones to sub bass compared to softubes. I mean you are right that without hardware you can live without but software is essential but why choose at all? I’m sure anyone can afford few bits of a good gear nowadays. Just don’t update your phone/ipad every 2 years etc. Prioritys.
2017-03-12 at 16:10:31 #24162
Greetings SoM, thank you for continuing to make great music and progressing as artists.
My question is, what has helped you guys progress in writing music so that you were you weren’t in the same spot skill wise/ personally as you were the previous year?
2017-03-21 at 23:26:07 #24335,stateofmindnzModerator
Nothing in particular my man. Just practice. Keep reading articles in magazines or online. Physically working with other producers is also a great way to up skill. Everyone has their own ways of working and own strengths so an exchange of ideas and tricks is inevitable.
2017-03-22 at 12:54:11 #24338,GENIE HQKeymaster
Awesome information, thanks for taking the time to do this SOM
And great questions from you guys, asking all the right things 😀
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.