Saying "Drum n' Bass" is practically as vague as saying Rock n' Roll. There's a world of difference between Jerry Lee Lewis and Gwar - even if they share some common heritage. Similarly, Liquid Drum n' Bass is a popular variant of the original Drum n' Bass styles coming out of the UK in the 90s. Liquid DnB fuses modern EDM production with the essence of classic DnB for an increasingly popular result.
Here, Ryan shows you how you can put together your own Liquid DnB drum sounds and perhaps most importantly, how you can tap into the Pro potential of Reason's mixer to get some seriously punchy drum sounds.
Who or what is Reset Robot? The chances are, if you've been more than an occasional visitor to any of the world's more discerning dancefloors, you'll most likely have been exposed to the sound; you may have already given yourself up to the techno and house excursions that have become the Reset Robot blueprint.
The man behind the moniker is David Robertson, Portsmouth based DJ/producer of some repute. Influenced by clubs such as Fabric and Slinky, DJs such as Sasha, Digweed and the Wiggle boys, with time served behind the record store counter, he sculpted his sound meticulously over time, honing it until he was fully ready to deliver a newly crafted sonic signature. And since he uses Reason as his main production tool, we decided to ask him a few questions!
You work a lot with other artists, how do you approach that? Do you work remotely or in person? I always work in person. I have never engineered a track without the other person being there. Its not something I believe in. I would make minor changes to a track if needed like level changes or touching up some automation but the creative process needs to come from both engineer and producer being together. I always wonder what people who use a ghost writer are thinking when they play the tracks in a club. Do they persuade themselves that its their own?
Got any sound design secrets you'd like to share? If I'm using a synth I don't like to use presets. I'd rather start with 1 or 2 oscillators and build something up from scratch. I always find something interesting from a sine or sawtooth when I use the shaper on Thor. I add a Scream 4 to pretty much everything, it always improves a sound in my opinion. I also love using samples, turning one sound into something completely different can give great results for textures and fx.
How do you use Reason in your music making? Reason is my main production tool! I use it from start to finish on my tracks. I have tried logic and do use Ableton Live sometimes but never seem to get what I'm looking for as quickly. I really like the mastering in Reason, it always gives my tracks the extra 5-10% I'm looking for.
Do you have any favorite sound or patch? I made a sound in one of my tracks 'Snow Leap' about 2 years ago. Its featured in quite a few of my tracks since. It's a dirty little sawtooth/square combination which sounds fantastic with some echo or reverb on the sends.
What do you do when writer's block strikes? I cry! No, I tend to keep going. I'll start something but even if its not quite clicking I'll see it through to the end because sometimes that process can bring me out of it. If it's really bad I will start making little 1 or 2 bar loops or strange sounds and just keep making them until I have a groove or a sound which I could listen to for 6 minutes.
Any words of wisdom for aspiring producers and musicians? I always say the same for this. Be patient! I was way to eager to send out my music when I first started producing and always get sent music that isn't ready. You will do more damage than good if you send out music that isn't quite up to scratch, for example if someone hears something they don't like they are less likely to click play on the tracks that might be good enough.
He makes it look easy and in some sense it is but Jérôme Tissot, better known as Muttonheads, is a master of infectious hooks and banging club synth sounds. Don't take our word for it, he's got the #1 hits to prove the point. In this special artist interview from France, Muttonheads walks us through his custom mastering suite and his latest hit "Snow White" track by track to see just how it works. His studio is built around his Reason rack and Muttonheads uses it to great effect indeed!
How do you use Reason in your music making? I use Reason as my canvas, every instrument is a different paint brush and a different color. I always try create that perfect contrast.
What's the best music making tip you ever got? Don't force creativity, if it's not there do something else.
Do you have any favorite sound or patch? I don't have a favorite sound or patch, it depends on the tune that I am trying to create. I love arps, I've always been a sucker for a good arpeggio.
What do you do when writer's block strikes? I actually have writers block right now haha… the best way for me is to stop and do something else. I usually get writers block when i reach a creative peak. So I try to learn something new, and get into the technical side, possibly rework a song, or try new things with automation. if that doesn't fix it, I take a vacation from the music process.
What has been the best moment in your music making career thus far? There's so many at this point, working with Skrillex, working with Skylar Grey, working with a few other artist i can't name at the moment. It gets better and better, as I work harder, I see bigger rewards, and that's the best part to me is the pay off. I never got into music for the money, I always wanted to find a way to outlive myself, and that's through music, sounds weird, but thats how I look at things.
Any Words of Wisdom for aspiring producers and musicians? I would tell upcoming produces, to not judge their success by another person. Everyone moves at different speeds. Don't get sucked into Twitter and Facebook, especially when you're trying to come up because this may be your down fall mentally. Just be original, be yourself and don't compromise your talents.
When a young Benoit Heitz saw a friend's computer running Reason he had an epiphany: "His computer isn't better than my parent's computer. That means I could be making music." He started out not knowing the first thing about drums or music in general. Three years later he was touring the world as an international DJ.
Surkin's style is based on inspiration from classic House music, French Dutch house acts like Daft Punk, and his own brand of Surkin "cutups." Relying heavily on the slicing power of ReCycle and the Dr. Octorex loop player in Reason, Surkin's sound is chaotic juggling of samples which come together into something undeniably danceable.
We sat down with him in his Parisian studio to check out some of his tricks.