April 2011

Audio – FACT Mix 52: Braiden

braiden fact mix 52
FACT Mix 52 is provided by Rinse FM resident Braiden and is a tightly mixed set comprising of Bass/Dubstep/Techno/House.
Enjoy!
Braiden on Twitter
Braiden on Mixcloud
Read more →

Audio – Autodeep Radio Show 04 – 2011

autodeep

A lovely chilled out disco house mix from Autodeep. Autodeep are DJ/Producers HagenPfennigstorf and Ulli Hammann hailing from hailing from Hannover, Germany.

You can check out Autodeeps productions and mix sets on soundcloud and follow them on Facebook

AUTODEEP RADIOSHOW 04/2011 by Autodeep

Read more →

Interview: Paul Ritch & his new ‘Circus’ EP [SCI+TEC Digital Audio]

Article courtesy of  Dubfire

Almost three years have passed since Paris techno producer Paul Ritch released his first EP on Dubfire’s SCI+TEC Digital Audio label. Judging from his new ‘Circus’ EP, his sound has moved on quite a bit.

Whilst 2008’s ‘Crazy Madness / Aquarel’ and much of his earlier work revolved around bleep-driven techno sounds, arena-sized synths, and percussion explosions, the Frenchman’s groove today is much more rooted and refined.

There’s a real funk quality on the ‘Circus’ EP that firmly pushes Ritch into house music territory. With SCI+TEC’s first release of 2011 hitting Beatport today, we called Paul Ritch in Paris to find out more about the EP, his studio techniques, live set up, and continued funk-fication.

Your last SCI+TEC release was in July 2008. How would you say your sound has changed since then?

I would say it’s a bit groovier than previously. I’ve been working a lot more with bass. Before, my music was more minimal with a shuffle techno vibe but for this release I didn’t do any shuffle. I guess you could call this my new sound. It’s in between tech house and techno. The bass is more housey anyway, but the energy is still techno.

Why have you switched sounds?

I’ve always listened to a lot of house and a lot of techno. I can’t really explain how this new sound came about, as I just create music based upon my feelings at that minute. When we finish this interview, I will probably try something new in the studio and you can never really predict how that will turn out.

Also, another part of me didn’t want to get locked in a cycle. I didn’t just want to be about techno.

‘Shake It’ is definitely different to some of your early tracks like ‘Samba’.

‘Samba’ was the first track that exposed me to people and the club scene. Almost every big DJ played it, and it was a massive opportunity for me to show the club world what I could do. That was my first big track. Then came ‘Murder / Nordbanhoff’, and five or six other releases in a row that really blew open the market and helped raise my profile.

I still get people coming up to me at parties who began following my music right at the beginning, and they know everything I’ve done. They continued to follow me, even though my sound has changed.

Tell us more about the ‘Circus’ EP.

I’m very happy with the release. It’s in between techno and tech house. Ali [Dubfire] asked who I wanted to remix ‘Shake It’, and I chose Daniel Stefanik, who I think is the perfect choice. I love his music. He fits into that nice area between techno and house. His remix is great.

The B side of the ‘Circus EP’ is quite unusual for you and SCI+TEC – ‘Common Sense’ has vocals.

I do vocals every now and then. The vocal on ‘Common Sense’ is very hip hop, which probably came from my past life as a hip hop sound engineer. From the age of 10 to 17 all I listened to was hip hop. I still probably listen to more hip hop or soul than techno. Sometimes I’ll be listening to a hip hop track and I’ll hear a cool vocal that I end up using in a techno tune.

How did you get into engineering hip hop?

I worked as a hip hop engineer in Paris after I finished school, where I studied audio engineering. I did it for about a year and then I stopped to make techno.

There’s actually not that much difference between techno and hip hop in terms of sound as both rely heavily on bass, which I learnt how to do properly whilst engineering hip hop. The way you mix down a hip hop record is very similar to a techno track actually.

What producers or labels are you currently digging?

I like the Ilian Tape label, from Munich. They do great tracks that always have a good sound, with very raw, very fresh grooves. Right now, I love the raw, dry techno sound that is kicking around – the tracks that don’t have many FX. I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to sound as I studied audio engineering.

So which producers would you say consistently have a great sound?

Carlo Lio really impresses me, and I would also say Jerome Sydenham and Alan Fitzpatrick. Those guys are really, really good.

Can you describe your normal studio workflow?

First I start with the kick and bass, and then after that comes the drums. Then I edit the rhythm, add the breaks and everything else, and then finally I work on the atmosphere before finishing with the lead melody.

You do the lead last? A lot of producers would start with the lead.

I don’t know why, but I’ve always done my leads last. I just like to have my track and beats all finished, before I work on the musical aspect.

How long have you been producing?

I started at around 18 or 19. I’m 27 now, so that’s about eight years. I didn’t actually graduate from my audio engineering course, because I was offered the chance to work in a studio before the end of the year. I’d learnt everything that I wanted to learn from school, so the certificate didn’t matter to me.

I never planned to work in a studio my whole life, I just wanted the knowledge to produce my own music.

When did you first start DJing?

I started out as a DJ, playing in this tiny place in Paris. And then after I studied audio engineering, I realised I loved making tracks more than anything else so I said ok, from now on I’m going to focus on that and playing my tracks out live. Then about a year later, I stopped DJing as people kept booking me to play live.

What’s your live set up like?

I’ve tried to simplify it as much as possible because I travel a lot and it’s not easy to fly with lots of equipment. I use Ableton Live, and have all the loops and parts to my tracks controlled by an Evolution U-Control UC-33e MIDI controller.

Do you think you’re treated differently from DJs, because you play live?

It’s funny, but a lot of people don’t really understand what I do. Even big DJs ask me if I’m really playing ‘live’. The thing is, these days I think people don’t really dont care how you play, they just want to dance to really good music.

Most of the time I play after a DJ. I generally play peak time, as my music doesn’t make sense at 1AM, it is more suited to 4AM. You can’t start a party with my music anyway! So for the people on the floor, it doesn’t really make much difference if I’m DJing or playing live.

Can you explain a little bit of your live process and how you have it all set up?

My laptop is pretty complicated when I play live. I break each of my tracks into eight individual parts, and that allows me to drop into breaks, intros or outros whenever I want. I can then focus on one particular percussion noise or loop.

I don’t just play one clip after another clip, like you would do in Traktor. I have two big blocks of parts that I move and play when I want, how I want. I find it flexible and powerful.

I do all of the work internally. I never use hardware. However with my album coming up, I will probably incorporate some hardware into my live shows as the album will be a lot more musical.

How’s your album coming along?

Very slowly! I’m trying to find the time to do it, in between building my new studio. Once that’s built, I will focus on my album. For the moment I’m in a small studio in south Paris, but soon I’ll be able to work with live musicians in my new studio.

I really want to do something mellow but intense for the album. It will still be techno, but it will have more leads, more atmosphere, and some nice deep bits too. I want to record some live instruments played by musicians, but Ableton is not the best for working with real instruments so I may switch to Cubase.

Don’t get me wrong, Ableton is great for producing techno and I’m really fast with it, but I will probably use Cubase in my new studio.

What about plug ins?

I use all the WAVE plugins, Rob Papen’s Albino for bass, and I also like the D16 Drumazon, Amplitude, and some of the PSP Audioware and Sonalksis plug ins.

What’s your most productive time of day to write music?

I never work at night. I work from 12 to 9 every day. I’m not obligated to work those hours, but I love making music and try to be in the studio as much as possible. PLus all my friends work, so what can I do every day? [laughs]

What monitors do you use?

I’ve got two Genelec 1032A monitors, and a pair of KRK RP5s, which were my first monitors. I made all of my big tracks on those small monitors.

How’s your label Quartz Rec going?

The label is very good. I’m very happy with all of the releases so far. We’ve got our 16th release coming out soon from Steve Parker, and it’s exactly what we like at the label – a balance between techno and tech house. It’s got a filtered house sound actually.

Why did you decide to launch the label?

I launched it in 2008 because I wanted the opportunity to release my own tracks without approval from anyone. I wanted the freedom musically, and to be able to choose the graphic design and do vinyl too.

How many records do you press per release?

We generally press 500 vinyl per a release, although it depends on the release. Sometimes we sell 250, sometimes we sell 1200. We’ve also found that some releases work really well on Beatport, but don’t do well on vinyl, and vice versa. I’ve never understood that!

Finally, what’s your relationship like with Dubfire?

I always send him my tracks to play them out and test them for me. It’s really important for me to get feedback from DJs about the tracks before their release. He’s really great for that. The way he runs SCI+TEC too is admirable.

Read more →

Interview – Ross Evana, Omerta Recordings (Formally KOS)

ross evana

One of FunkNaughty’s favourite producers over the past few years has been Ross Evana, formally KOS. For 7 years KOS rocked many a dancefloor with his productions and dj skills; producing many tech-house and techno club hits that had dancefloors shaking in their wake. However 2010 saw the start of a new artist project and KOS become Ross Evana;  a new exciting sound was born.

FN caught up with Ross to find out what he has been up to since that start of his new artist project, whilst getting his views and top insider advice on digital djing and music production.

Towards the end of 2010 KOS became Ross Evana. What has Ross been up to since then?

Well, i’ve been very busy, i went straight into the studio and started work on a new sound. The 1st track i released as Ross Evana was ‘Ouija Board’ – I wasn’t sure if people would get it, but it came out on Get Physical and did really well. That was the test, and since then I have gone on to release on Saved, Rawthentic, CR2, Time Has Changed and I have now just finished writing my album.

What was the reason for changing from KOS to Ross Evana? We’ve noticed your sound has changed from a techno/tech house sound to more of a house, tribal infused sound. Where you bored of playing techno or are you following in the steps of other dj/producers such as Cajmere who has an alter (Techno) ego – Green Velvet?

The problem was that there were a few other DJ’s around the world with the same name – KOS. It was causing problems both with gigs and productions. In the end I had to back down and revert back to my real name – Ross Evana. (KOS was a nickname that I was given in school at 5 years old!) It was a tough decision but I felt that I couldn’t go any further with that name.  Also my sound had started to evolve so I thought that it was a good time for a new beginning. I see it as taking 1 step back to take 2 steps forward. It was the best decision that I ever made!

So what does your djing set up consist of at the moment and why?

I use Traktor Scratch with CDJs. I’ve used this set-up for 2 ½ years now and I’m happy with it. I really love the looping and effects of Traktor. They have added a new dimension to mixing.  There are also many new exciting pieces of equipment out now like the Allen & Heath DB4 mixer which I will have a look at soon.

How has digital technology changed your dj sets?

I was actually thinking the other day how limited we all used to be in the vinyl days. We couldn’t really do much except mix records. Unless I am doing something to the track that is playing – looping, effects or whatever I get so bored!

I see young DJ’s these days trying to be cool by suddenly playing vinyl. I’m not knocking vinyl as the sound is warm and you can still get some great music on vinyl, but the DJ’s who are playing it just to be cool are doing it for the wrong reasons. If you have grown up with digital then why revert back to vinyl?

ross evana

Which midi controller is your prefferred weapon of choice and why?

That would have to be Native Instruments X1 controller. It is absolutely perfect for Traktor. It’s logical, you  just plug in and play. It’s really easy to see what you are doing in the dark , and it doesn’t take up too much space like many controllers.

Do you have a piece of DJ kit that you just can’t live without?

My ear plugs!  If it was not for them then I would not be able to play anymore due to problems with my ears. I could use any piece of DJ kit to play, but without my ear plugs I won’t go near the club!

Here at FN  were not massive fans of the new wave of midi controllers hitting the streets, such as N.I’s S4 and Pioneer’s DDJ series. This is mainly due to their size and clunkyness and not what the controllers offer. How do you feel about these type of midi players?

Well some of them look like Early Learning Centres for kids!  All those wheels and things to play with. I don’t think that I will ever use one. I saw a DJ in Paris recently carrying one around and it was so big and heavy that he couldn’t even walk straight! The main advantage of them is that you can just plug into 1 channel in the mixer and you are all set, which is handy.  However I prefer to use the mixer and CDJs as they have never let me down before.

What’ would be your top tip for anyone getting into digital djing at the moment?

Invest in an Apple MAC – it will be your best friend and your whole life will run through it. Then decide which software is best for you by looking at the demo’s on youtube. I recommend Traktor but there are so many things available to the new digital DJ. Pioneer’s Rekord Box to use with the CDJ2000’s is also a very good option.

You’ve been producing and releasing tracks for many years now, how would you describe your sound at the moment and where do you see it heading in the future?

The new sound is more housey with punchy drums and based around the groove. My new album has a lot of live keys and vocals and i’ve been working very hard to make sure each track is best it can be. As i want each track to be memorable and not just a standard track that people forget after 6 weeks.

What is your preferred  D.A.W. (Digital Audio Workstation ) of choice?

I use Ableton Live and Logic equally. Ableton for the drums and to work with any  samples. Logic for the rest of the track.

Legacy m1 korg

What other key bits of studio kit do you use and which is your most essential piece?

I mostly work with soft synths and loop libraries, but for my album I used the Dave Smith Prophet and the classic Korg M1 synthesizers. I used these throughout my album, and I will definitely be using them again for future tracks. The sound is so raw and has much more body that using soft synths.

How do you like to work in the studio, what process do you normally follow?

Well, If I have found something to sample, I will generally play around with it in Ableton first of all, using plug-ins to manipulate it and create my own sound. After that, I will I start by making the drums, as these are the backbone of the track. Everything else will come naturally come after that – melodies, hit sounds etc.

Can you give any advice to up and coming producers on how to get their music heard / played in clubs by pro DJs and signed by top record labels?

I believe that if your music is good enough then it will eventually fall into the right hands. My advice is to send your tracks to your target labels by email, but also get ‘out there’ face to face and give to the big DJ’s who you think might like it. If they give it to the labels then the labels will listen. If the music is good then people will take notice.

What has got to be your top piecec of advice for anyone getting into music production at the moment?

When you finish making your tracks, don’t get too excited and immediately send it to DJs/labels. Keep it to yourself, listen again after a few days with fresh ears and 99% of the time you will realize that it needs more work.

Musically who has inspired you the most and why?

Recently I have been inspired by Butch, Nick Curly, Nicolas Jaar, Leon, Martinez, Tim Green, Marco Resmann. These guys are the ones that are pushing boundaries, taking risks and not trying to copy others. There are so many more to mention here.

Who is your favorite dj at the moment and why?

Gregor Tresher.  He finds the perfect balance between House and Techno, and always with the groove.

Who is your favorite producer at the moment and why?

Butch – always top quality productions and never 2 the same.

When you are DJing do you have a pre gig superstitions?

I am not superstitious but I can’t DJ unless I drink at least 2 vodkas! I do suffer with nerves – when I used to play vinyl, my hands used to shake so much at the start of my set that I often couldn’t get the needle on the record! But vodka is the answer to that. :)

And lastly but certainly not least what would be your 3 tips for making a top mix tape?

a.     Grab the listeners’ attention from the start.

b.     Plan it carefully so that it flows.

c.     Remember that people listening to a mix tape are usually in a certain mood, so don’t suddenly change style halfway through.

Ross it has been a pleasure, you’ve provided some great tips and advice here, thank you. Good luck with the forth coming album release. We’ll certainly be looking out for that when it hits the shops!

You can follow Ross on his Facebook and twitter pages and keep up to date with everything he is up to.

Read more →

Video – Behind The Decks @ Timewarp 2011 – Dubfire, Hawtin, Cox, Vath, Luciano, & More

vath timewarp

A nice collection of videos here courtesy of  Fra909 TV. Filmed from behind the decks at this year’s Timewarp festival in Germany.

The videos serve as a nice little insight into the sets ups of pro DJs like Dubfire, Luciano, Carl Cox and Ritchie Hawtin.

You’ll be able to see which software the pro’s are using as well as their preferred mixers, midi controllers and how they like to arrange everything in the dj booth.

Dubfire @ Timewarp 2011

Carl Cox @ Timewarp 2011

Ritchie Hawtin @Timewarp 2011

Luciano B2B with Carl Craig @ Timewarp 2011

Sven Vath @ Timewarp 2011 (The old boy is sticking to vinyl and cdjs, bless him!)

Marco Carola @ Timewarp 2011

Read more →

Video – The DJ Mothership: Traktor 2 & NI’s Controllers – X1, S4, Maschine

dj Endo, dubspot instructor, dj mothership set up

Now is this death by Native Instruments or the best digital DJ set-up in the world? Either way this DJ set-up is going to cost you an arm and leg and probably your kidneys and liver as well!

DJ Endo from Dubstop takes us through ‘The Mothership’. A set up with N.I.’s Traktor 2, S4, two X1s, Maschine an Audio 8 soundcard and believe it or not the whole set-up is powererd by a Windows laptop – Studio XPS w/Windows 7.

‘Shock, horror’ i hear you cry. Well, as you will be well aware the debate for which type of laptop digital DJs should go for has raged for many years now,  and everytime the Apple Mac Pro’s have ruled supreme. However with the Studio XPS entering the ring and with it being considerably cheaper at around £1000, Windows based digital DJs now have a new champion to sing about.

This video clearly shows the XPS can handle the load with all the equipment attached to it, which is no mean feet. So we salute the XPS for that, however the jury is still out for us at FN. Our past experiences with PC’s for digital djing have been not good. With over heating in hot clubs and poor latency being a major factor. Will the XPS be able to handle being on for a 3 hour set in a hot club, we’ll have to wait and see.

It’s nice to see Windows geting their act togther at last and hopefully by giving Apple a bit of competition we may see prices drop for Apple laptops, but then again pigs might fly!

If anyone has a Studio XPS laptop, get in contact with us as we (and the FN members) would love to here your views.

Enjoy the video…

Read more →

Video – DJ Tips – How To Create Amazing Build Ups

Ean Golden DJ Tech Tools

A two part video courtesy of the guys over at DJ Tech Tools

Ean Golden shows you how to create awesome build ups (“Tension and Release”) using certain effects like Traktor’s ‘Beatmasher’ or Serato’s ‘loop roll’. By adding these effects to certain element’s of a track e.g. the down beat or snare you can build up interesting and killer build ups that will have the dancefloors screaming for more.

The skills shown are universal and can be used by any type of DJ playing on any type of system. Get mashing those beats!

How To Create Amazing Build Ups Pt1 – Beat Rolls

How To Create Amazing Build Ups Pt2 – Echoes & Delays

Read more →

Video – DJ’ing with Traktor Scratch Pro, the X1 and and an Apple iPad

Radio 1′s DJ Kutski puts together a demo mix using Traktor Scratch Pro, the X1 and a modified version of TouchOSC, an Apple iPad app.

The video shows how a modified iPad app – TouchOSC ( a universal iPhone / iPod Touch / iPad application that lets you send and receive Open Sound Control messages over a Wi-Fi network using the UDP protocol) is turned into a touch screen mixer which combined with Native Instruments X1 allows full control over Traktor Scratch Pro.

TouchOSX

TouchOSC has been modified to be used with various software and hardware such as Ableton Live, Serato, Reaktor and Apple Logic Pro.

FN predicts the way things are shaping up in the digital world it wont be to long until night clubs around the world have DJ/computer systems in place that produce similar result to this.

Read more →