Howdy, well I know Its been a while since I’ve last spoke to you but I assure you that a lot has gone on! In and out of the studio! I suppose the most important bit of news to report to you is the addition of a new member to my studio family in the shape of a TC Powercore X8! This powered plugin dream box has been on the top of my “want” list for so long now that I almost can’t believe my eyes its in the studio! As you can see from the photos its a sexy all black beast which emits a techy blue light when its on. Very Cool INDEED!
What’s even sexier is the included plugins what come bundled with the Powercore (PoCo or short). 14 of them! YES, you heard that right, 14! I was in plugin heaven and the best news was that I had a further $500 squid to spend on plugins as well! Absolutely brilliant I say! Believe me when I say I felt like a kid in a candy store! However I won’t be going into full detail about the TC Powercore here. I’ll give you the full review in a few weeks. That way I can try some of the plugins out and give you an honest and informative review. So stay tuned!
Moving on then…
Well, it seems that everywhere I turn there is a drum n bass remix competition going on. First up you have the Sabre & Critical – One Hundred Teeth Remix Comp over at our good friends Kmag.com. Then you have the Panic Girl – Midnight Remix Comp over at ShadyBrain.net and then two competitions at Back 2 you . 1. Breeze – We Can Rise Remix & 2. EZ Rollers – Crowd Rocker Remix. To round things up you have the Bachelors of Science – Lost inside Remix competition as well presented by IDJ and Horizons Music.
I love getting involved in Remix competitions because you get to see the individual audio samples of a certain tune and you can learn a lot from these bits. Its like peering into their minds a little and experiencing producing from their artistic point of view. I’ll be honest with you though. Even though I’ve downloaded quite a few Remix sample packs I’ve had ZERO success in finishing them. Yes, that’s right ZERO. I will now hang my head in shame for 5 minutes…
Okay, I had full intentions of finishing everyone of the remix tunes I started but somewhere along the way I lost focus. This happens quite frequently I have noticed but this time I’ll be prepared. I’ve discovered that If one doesn’t have a goal or a plan of attack you’re going to end up starting and never finishing anything. When attempting to finish a remix competition you need to set yourself some very specific goals, for instance:
- What tempo?
- What style? Jump up? Neuro? Liquid?
- Another Genre perhaps? Dubstep? Trance?
- How much of the original do you want to get in there?
- Is there a certain sound you want to try? An Artist you want to emulate?
- What bits of kit do you want to use?
- … and so on and so…..
Questions like these will help you focus your goals and ideas together and hopefully assist you in finishing remixes and tunes in general. Fingers crossed!
Another big change to the studio or should I say Production flow is the use of Ableton Live. I’ve dabbled in Live for many years now but only ever so briefly and each time I walked away shaking my head in confusion! I’ve never quite “figured” Live out and how to “work” it into my Production method but thanks to Nymfo I have now. Thank you good Sir!
Live’s main strengths are obviously the way it handles loops on the fly and this is primarily how I use it. I use Live 8 to quickly audition all the loops I want to use in my tunes super quick so right now I mainly use it for layering breaks up fast. I use it in Sequencer View and lay out the tune as I go along applying EQ and Limiting as well but only moderately.
The whole Idea behind using Ableton Live 8 is to get the main ideas and loops of the song together and then export the tracks into Cubase 5 where I can go in really deep with EQ and Compression and Limiting etc. I’m still not 100% sure about Ableton Live’s summing engine but hey that’s just me. I know a tonne of producers out there getting great results JUST using Ableton Live but me, I know Cubase extremely well so I’m sticking with it for mixdowns, plus it still handles VST Plugins one million times better than Ableton Live does and this is hell important!
Another big change in the studio has been the plugin folder clean out! I’ve decided to clean out or should I say “limit” myself to only a handful of plugins again. I know I know this sound weird after just getting the PoCo but I’m going to treat those plugins like rewards.
So its probably going to be the Virus TI Snow (pictured at top of page), Spectrasonics Omnisphere, UAD Plugins and Sonnox plugins for now. Stay tuned for a VIRUS SAMPLEPACK coming soon! Also, I’ll be making a drum sample pack available to download for FREE soon as well. It won’t be massive or anything like that but I promise you it’ll be full of 100% brilliant drum hits and loops for you to use in your tunes. Perfect for adding weight and groove to your breaks.
Phew, thats a fair bit of writing then? I better get back in the studio I got a tonne of work to do!
See you on the dancefloor.