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Showcase – FK:Dup

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I’m a lot older than the going rate, and have a day job, so try to create tracks in my spare time, using Logic and Massive. I am very much a novice.

I have only been producing for about a year and have been using Massive for only a few months. I have an awful lot to learn. Each track is a progression from the previous one in terms of production knowledge and, I hope, in terms of production quality. I do this as an amateur because it is fun and I love it when people say nice things about my tracks. So far I have not been trolled too badly. Music is incredibly important in my life and it is great to be able to create music that some people at least seem to like.

1) Tell us a bit about your music (genre, inspiration source, goals)

Most of my tracks are purely electronic, mostly dubstep / complextro and house although I use guitars and vocals sometimes when an idea needs them.

I do a lot of competition remixes because that is an excellent way to learn how to use the DAW and to experiment with production techniques.

The plan is to get sufficiently proficient to be able to create tracks of a professional quality. I do not expect to be doing a stadium tour any time soon but would like to set up a bandcamp type site in due course. A long term goal would be to start a small label – I’ve already registered the domain name!
I really like doing collaborations – I’ve done dance reworks of folk songs and have had people from Twitter record speech which I have amalgamated into tracks.

Many of my tracks start as an experiment in using a particular sound or production technique and develop from there.

2) How do you use Massive in your productions?

I am most interested in creating dubstep / complextro tracks and so Massive was a ‘must have’ synth for those huge bass sounds. After I became familiar with how Massive works I found I started using it for most of my sounds, whatever the style of music, and not just for basses. Massive is great for pads, stabs and FX.

I love the flexibility, the ability to strip the sound right back to basics and to build it up in any direction you choose. I particularly like the logic of the flow of the signals in Massive – I find it far more intuitive than other synths I have used. This lets me get exactly what I want in the final sound.

I am slowly trying to build a set of sounds that are ‘mine’ so that my tracks have common characteristics.

Because I do not have as much time as I would wish to work on tracks I am not shy about using presets created by others – there are some sensational sounds out there and, of course, I can always tweak them for my particular purposes.

Also, there are many excellent tutorials available online which let you learn how Massive works while you build a useful sound.

The ability to automate so many of the parameters in Massive is a huge bonus, allowing me to change the sounds as the track develops to keep the listener’s interest without the changes being huge and jarring.

3) Can you tell us about the creation of a specific sound in one of your tracks?

I am currently working on a rap/dubstep track with an MC I know through Soundcloud – it is the WIP track “Lazy” in my Soundcloud set. I needed a gritty bass that opened out relatively slowly to give a laid back feel but with forward movement. I took a fairly straightforward complextro bass sound based on a tutorial, created a delayed, long opening envelope and applied that to many parameters so that the entire sound changed as the envelope opened all the parameters. I layered that with the original sound and another raw bass stab and put all three through a separate bus with lots of effects on to meld the sound together. I think it worked pretty well. We are close finishing the track with new vocals and I hope to post it soon.

4) Tell us a technique in Massive you use not many know about?

This is a tough question for me as I have only had Massive for a few months. I always experiment in the Voicing tab with a combination of unisono, pan position and pitch cutoff. It is amazing the difference that slight adjustments can make and you can take one sound and create several slightly different versions for use to keep the track moving and sonically interesting.

> 5) How has helped you on your production journey?

Massive has been central to my development as a producer – in the course of a few months I’ve gone from using Logic’s presets sounds to using sounds that have been created from scratch, either by me or by others, to create tracks that I could not have created otherwise. When I want to write something I often just fire up Massive and start playing around with existing presets until an idea forms and then I work from there. I rarely have fewer than 6 instances of Massive going in any given track.

I am starting to use resampling and by using Performer I can get some really interesting sounds – like on the track Resamperesampler which is just cut us of a couple of presets with a lot of Performer action going on in them.

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