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Genral setup for writing and mixing
Old 10th January 2019
  #1
Gear Head
Genral setup for writing and mixing

The level of your production impress me.

You said in a interview you worked in the box ( ITB) with Arturia Collections.

Can you detail us your genral setup and production process ?
Wich DAW for wirting and mixing ?

Do you rely only on plu-ins instruments or do you use hardware sometimes ?

Thank you,

Sorry for my english, i'm more fluent in french...
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Old 14th January 2019
  #2
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starcadian's Avatar
 

Hey there, thank you for the kind words!

Yes, a WHOLE lot of Midnight Signals was written on Arturia Collection, just starting off the presets helped me a lot to find a sound and then I was lucky enough to be considered to make presets for them so I ended up learning each plugin inside and out, which made it a lot easier haha.
Midnight Signals 2 has a lot of Pigments in it already, not shilling here, I genuinely find it super intuitive and it got me hooked on wavetable sound creation which I usually ignored!
Other than that, I use VPS Avenger a hell of a lot, it's pretty much exclusively what I use for drums, save for some Addictive Drums 2 here and there to add crunch.
Off the top of my head, my super go-to plug ins are:

- Arturia Collection 6 (for synths, brass leads)
- Pigments (for synth bass)
- VPS Avenger (for drums, arpeggios)
- Ozone 8/Neutron (mixing, mastering)
- Izotope VocalSynth2 (for vocals)
- Izotope Tonal Balance Control (for finishing)
- Ozone Imager (to make specific sounds stereo, this is a KILLER app)
- The Glue (for general compression and punching stuff up)
- Waves Tune (for autotuning, takes a lot of work, but I like it more than Melodyne)
- Kontakt Factory Library (for bass mostly, GREAT bass sound)
- Sensual Saxophone
- Project Sam Symphobia 1/2, Lumina (for all my orchestral stuff)

Gosh, I've spent so much money trying to find my go-to plugins and this is as narrow a list as I can make!

I made Sunset Blood and Saturdaze with Ableton, but I fell out of love pretty hard with it after all the grief it gave me. It has this weird thing it does where if you deactivate a plugin, it doesn't remove it from memory, so the latency stays. I tend to layer quite a few things, so I had to jump ship.
Which is a good thing because I tried Bitwig and fell in love. I seriously think it's the best DAW out there right now.

For hardware synths, I have a Matrixbrute, Roland System-8 and a beta OPZ, but to be perfectly honest, I do most of my work with software, using a Keystep, or a Korg Microkey Air (using that less and less now though, its windows drivers are the worst). I'm still a small bedroom musician, so I can't really accommodate playing on a big synth and recording that into my DAW, so I use the small and portable keystep and tweak stuff later, it's just more convenient.
Also I used to buy a ton of gear, but I ended up selling a lot of it, it's all part of refining what your sound is and learning to work with less, rather than more

Lastly for process...hoo boy, depends on the song! For example Ultralove took a year to figure out compositionally, but Polyanna took one day. My struggle is keeping the inspiration and flow going when working at night after my day job, so the few tricks I've figured out is:
a) Walk to work as much as you can and listen to white noise, or songs you want to pay homage to. It helps you focus when you're walking and not distracted by the internet or your house/apartment.
b) Sing in the shower, as dumb as it sounds.
c) Don't overlisten to songs you're inspired from, or else you won't find your original spin on it.

From there, I lay down my template drums and pay with presets until I get something inspiring down. I'll know when the song is finally done when I listen to it going to work and I get the chills, that's my seal of approval!
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Old 14th January 2019
  #3
Gear Head
Thank you for a such detailled and precise answer.
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