Child In Disguise AMA Roundup
How would you describe/explain your creative process, the inspiration to completion of a track?
My Creative process is always unpredictable. some days it will be an electronic toy i take apart, bend and record into some weird sound, or a loop or sample or a riff. I spend alot of time on the keys and circuit bending so its tough to say. Its always a Spur of the moment type of thing.
Can you walk us through the creation of one of your tracks, from Blank Project file to final export?
Every time it is different but usually its like this and don't look too deep because this is the "cliff notes" of it haha. 1. Organize tracks with sub groups etc. 2. play around with riff, loop, sound or whatever Im feeling. 3. lay down ideas, organize and narrow down the idea. 4. render ;)
Songs ALWAYS vary. some take a day or two, some take Months. I don't force songs ever because you always end up unsatisfied. and I am Constantly working on multiple songs. :)
When, in your opinion, did your songs go from being "amateur" or "almost there" to a professional sound, and what was the change in production techniques/creativity that made you reach that plateau?
I can tell you right now it certainly was not over night. its a blessing and a curse. I love making music, but I am Never satisfied. I can always listen to a song and go: " I should change this or that". My progression came from having a "never settling" mentality to write . I don't create music to impress others. I create to challenge myself and win against my own limitations. And for that, I dont feel there are ever plateaus.
Is there any specific production tips that you've picked up along the way that you could share that made your productions a little closer to that "unreachable plateau"?
What do you do before you set the mood (ow ow) for producing?
Smoke a Fatty! Just kidding. I usually play some piano to get warmed up and them ill grab a cup of coffee and have fun!
What software do you use to produce?
I started on FL studio when I was 14 and then my Close friend bought me reason 2.0 when it came out. after several years I moved to Ableton and Never looked back. I still occasionally use Reason via Rewire for some plugs and such.
Why do you prefer Ableton over FL Studio?
automation is faster and more intuitive. though I like the Way FL sounds more. I still occasionally use FL.
do you produce in just one program or do you switch it up and/or mix programs?
I usually use Ableton rewiring reason
how do you go about starting/completing a song?
I'm a Very Go with the flow or move on type of person so for me its straight forward. I start with an Idea "seed" elaborate the idea. "water" and let it grow on its own "random plant". I let my production take their own shapes. dont worry about structure. go with your gut.
What made you want to remix? Could you describe your process of making the [PonPonPon] remix, if possible?
I Always Had a Fixation with Japan their music, as well as some k-pop. Its weird and out of the Box especially for Americans unless your a big Geek Which is my case for myself. That Remix Was a real "under the mill" remix and I essentially just Knocked it out in a day. I started with chopping up some vocals samples and laid down some melodies. That worked for me.
How can I stay interested in each and every track I make?
more than likely you wont be able to. I have stopped working on songs because they could not invoke the vibe they had. I have found the only way to counteract ditching the song is to rewrite it.
how do you go about overcoming writers block without losing faith in your creativity?
try to make your workspace a creative environment. Be in your own World and let loose. I Usually go straight for a synth or Keys and toy with melodies. I make it a goal to stay Positive 24/7 its hard, but you can get better at it with time :) get in the ZONE!
do you know any good tips for specifically writing a good/catchy hook?
experiment with triplets, ghost notes, down beat etc just vibe out! the more feeling you can evoke, the better the vibe.
tips on sound design?
Experiment! its the best way to learn anything.
How do you go about creating bass patches? Is there a set routine you follow & do you have a set sound in mind beforehand?
I only have a set sound in mind mid production. I usually just experiment.
Any techniques do you use that might be unusual/interesting?
I bend keyboards make alot of glitches and make some little noize generators. I use alot of outboard stuff.
What's your favorite techniques for creating a clean and booming sub?
multi band compression
Do big time producers use presets and samples or do they create there own sounds?
Thank you ! Some Guys Use presets some don't. You can always tweak out presets and evolve them into other things. dont worry about the right or wrong way to do it. just experiment! creating your Own sounds is really what is going to get YOUR sound. You want to increase your sound pallet through experimentation. keep shredding!.
have you used omnisphere before? and if so, what is your opinion on it?
I have played with it at NAMM show. and I few friends have it. It is good but have not gone out of my way to buy it and use it. Im happy with my current setup :)
I know every artist has a slightly different way of making the basic reese, what's yours?
I did not realize I made a reese bass nor have intended on making a specific style of sound. I just experiment.
What VST's do you primarily use?
tips on sampling?
again experiment! try weird techniques, play with pitch and post effects on them. try downbeat and off beat patterns. swing is key.
how do you make a nice acapella from someone else's music?
I'm sure there is countless ways people Isolate vox but My Main Tool is my ears. If it sounds good, it sounds good! I like to Spend alot of time with EQ's specifically in the mid/high range when i want to Pull more power from vox samples. I usually shave everything off in the 250hz and below range or sometimes even up to 300hz and below. it just depends on the current situation. Its different every time!
Can you give any advice on writing quick, glitchy riffs? How do you make your brain think about your mix in terms of milliseconds and construct melodies by piecing together seperate tracks?
experiment. idk what your platform is but chop it up and dissect it.
What's your best advice for chopping vocals and also, what's your tip for making a vocal sample shine through in a mix without clashing with everything else?
How do you go about finding samples?
I listen to alot of music. I have a moderate collection of vinyl
What are you're favourite sample packs (if you use them that is)?
I have none. I prefer combining multiple sample to create "super Samples" layered kicks/snares etc.
Do you tune your drums?
depends on if it sounds good as is or not. it varies.
I know it would change from song to song, but what is you're basic processing for kicks, snares, and sub?
compressions/multiband/equing. subs vary most of the time i use multiband and eq to eliminate hi feq. and isolate the rumble.
tips on mixing?
listen to songs that have the sonic quality you want to achieve and emulate that. remember, you create the music so you will always miss little sound things. perfect doesn't exist its the character of the song that matters. but I would recommend a lot of a/b listen on different systems. Quincy Jones said it best. if it sounds bangin' on a 3 inch speaker it will smash on the big ones!
Also, any tips that you could give to beginners that you wish you knew when you were starting out?
I wish I spent more time focusing on the eq spectrum
any interesting or different mixdown tips you use that we might not know?
not sure how you do it but for me its all about making sure everything has balance.
May be a silly question but how did the loudndess of your masters increase as you got more well known? Did the label or previous labels help you with that at all?
I spent many years making "poor sounding" music, but its was mainly form lack of experience. sound quality comes mostly form ear training. I read many books on things to look out for when mixing. It still is never perfect. engineers spend their lifetime training their ears so when you send a clean mix down, you get fat & loud clean mixes :) I did not have any friends or other artists teach me, just the books :)
Do you usually do your own mastering?
I mix down my stuff and Usually send my stuff out for mastering. its better to have ears that didnt create it to hear the frequency issues.
Have you used ozone 5 to master?
Yes I love ozone
Have you had any theory training, or do you mostly write by ear? Do you have any sort of theory tips and tricks?
What gear do you have/mostly use?
saffire pro 24, pc, m audio dsm2, korg ms 2000, circuit bent casios ,,fostex pmo 4, diy synths, shure mic, bleep lab toys, fantom x8 (for heavy weighted midi)
What's your live setup like? How would you ideally like it to be?
right now just numark 4track and midi figher. its efficient for now until I can find a inexpensive way to bring my synths and such to play at gigs. Ideally xone 4d , launchpad and alot of synths.
What would you recommend for newbies to help develop their skills?
READ BOOKS and learn to actually play an instrument. listen to nonelectronic music helps too.
do you have any books that you recommend for music production?
Computer music is great but not a book. I recommend audio books released by Michael Talbot-Smith.
what were the best ways to learn how to produce?
I recommend audio "engineers reference book".
Have you had any theory training, or do you mostly write by ear?
My brother taught me drums when I was young and was a drummer in Jazz band in high school. thats the extent of my "formal" training.
Are you a full time producer now that you've been signed by OWSLA?
Ive always been producing full time amongst the odd jobs etcetc.
How much time a day do you spend on producing/ thinking of producing/ anything producing related?
As much as possible usually between 4- 8 hrs whether it be design or song writing.
How long did you make music before your first single?
technically my 1st single was the drifter so 5-6 yrs? I think. Sorry I am attempting to answering every question.
What's your musical background, if any?
My Favorite artist in Electronic music would have to be Squarepusher. My Favorite Bands are Brothers Johnson, and Soilwork.
What sort of music do you listen to when you're not producing? It's apparent that there's a strong funk influence in your music, but I don't want to make any assumptions.
FUNK, Back Metal, Jazz, soul Music etc.
How long were you producing music before you got released on owsla?
I have been making music for many years before I chose to go out to get signed.
best ways to get a following?
I'm not sure if there is a full proof way of doing it, but for myself it was always just creating remixes of stuff I liked and making originals then throwing it around online. doesn't hurt to go out of your way and talk to people either! :) Make good connections with good people.
When was the first time you were noticed?
Samurai champloo/ ponponpon remix. blogged on tumblr.
What do you think of Glitch Hop? And is there any light you could shed on young producers?
Glitch Hop is Great! anything glitchy I love. I Am a Avid Circuit Bender so It always something I have enjoyed. For young producers I have one major statement... Do What You Love! If that means Making Glitch-step fuckin Polka, Do it! Have Fun Everyday when you make music and it will have a greater meaning to you. Its more fulfilling!
how do you feel about the market being flooded with amateur producers trying to become famous with the ease of access to music production software and stuff?
The market is what it is. Its "big" now so everyone thinks they can do it well. But as that always go they realize it takes time and practice to get good at anything. the problem is that everyone thinks its easy so try to play off the "image" of "oh I'm a producer I make beats". I 'm not a fan of that. Just enjoy doing it. only person that is important to impress is yourself.
Thanks! When you were getting started, did you play clubs and small venues? Did you market yourself as a DJ?
I never Marketed myself as a DJ because I am Not a DJ.
Do you think you have to be a DJ/producer combo to be successful?
depends on what your definition of what success is.