JoeFarr asks.. VSK
Updated: May 13, 2020
Hi Francesco, thank you for taking the time to speak with me. Tell me about your production process, how do you start a track and where does it go from there? There isn’t a specific rule about it, basically it depends on my mood. Sometimes I start from the groove and other times from the ambients; generally when I start a new track it is a consequence of an inspiration, that can come from a djset I’ve heard, from other tracks or from a “magical moment”. How has that changed over the years? The biggest change on my production process happened in the last years when I expanded my studio with some hardware. Now I follow different steps. Some days i just spend time jamming with the modular, synthesiser, new Vst and Fx, making my sound library, without a specific intent or direction, and this is a very natural and spontaneous step. In a separate moment I select the samples i’ve recorded and start the arrangement of the track and here I become a “Maniac”, paying more attention to the details. I’ve read on a past interview that you use hardware, modular and a laptop for your live sets.. it’s that the same setup for producing tracks? Yes, of course, as i said before it is a specific part of my process. The Daw and the Vst arsenal is still very important and necessary but hardware (and a lot of those iI have are digital) gave me a more “physical” approach than the virtual Instruments , despite the Midi Controller I have. I always find with your productions you have a really deep and full sound. Well rounded. I guess I find it quite a technical sound but also organic. This is more of an observation than a question.. but from that I would ask, does this just happen naturally or is it something you aim for ? First thank you for this nice observation. The word Techno comes from Technology so I see a strong connection with the technical knowledge. I’m quite a nerd as i m sure you are too;). I spend a lot of time experimenting and experiencing with the instruments and the fx. After many years of producing following this scheme, I got a sort of natural felling with the technical aspects, so I would answer your question saying It started like something I aimed for and it developed into something more natural. Nevertheless it is a continuously evolving process. The B1 on the 47 EP is more experimental than your previous work, kind of braindance era influenced but on a darker tip. Would you agree with that ? And can we expect more of this from you in the future ?
Eternal (Chaotic) Inflation was my first experiment with DnB rhythms, and yes , it’s definitely less usual than my previous tracks. In the last years i’m very into the new DnB style that comes from Osiris Music, Samurai Horo and UVB 76 (just to mention some labels) and I’m making a lot of new tracks looking in this direction. One of the last tracks i made in this style is my remix on “Jazz o Tech” for Turin Unlimited noise , and I’m quite satisfied with the final result, which is not something so common. The production process behind both my DnB tracks was much more spontaneous than the one behind most of my Techno tracks. I’m also thinking to go more experimental than DnB, which is still for the dancefloor. Slowly I’m working on a very experimental project. Let’s see .
I take it you jam stuff live and then edit in a daw? Is it all in one take, or do you go back and forth layering bits? Tell me about that. Layering and post-producing is more my style, but sometimes I get lost in this process, I would like and I’m also working to become more instinctive and think less about what I’m doing , because I realised that most of the time the “first idea” and the raw sound is the good one. Working too much on it, trying to improve it with the best fx or looking too much for the other sounds to combine with it, can create chaos and I end up loosing the good feeling i had at the beginning with the original idea. Hope you got me ;). Do you find yourself referencing other tracks to see how your track is coming along in terms of loudness and production? Definitely yes. I like to study a lot the track i like, new or old, and I compare them with my work. I think in art in general it is very good to have reference points, something that gives you inspiration and a level of production you aim to achieve, which is completely different than “trying to copy something else”.
What monitors do you use? Focal shape 65 and I’m extremely happy with them. Very important for me are also the headphones, even though I don’t have the perfect acoustic treatment in the studio. i’m very satisfied with the KRK kns 8400. What plugin could you not live without? Hard to pick just one but Reaktor and the FabFilter bundle are the “keys” on my production. Reaktor is a world of sounds. I love the idea of this “open source system” , where you can get great and innovative instruments made by “crazy” people around the globe. How do you know when a track is finished? For me a track is never done…..Most of the time it depends on the deadline. ;) Is there any part of the writing and production process you dislike? I wouldn’t say that I don’t like it but something I’m never very satisfied with is the arrangement. Creating sounds is always the most interesting part even though sometimes it’s not immediate to find their perfect location in the time-line of the track. I really like “techno tool” tracks, the old school style from Regis, Marco Carola, Sleeparchive etc… and this kind of techno is very loopy and with a few changes, but it’s something not easy for me to create and I really wish to do something like that once. One thing I hate is hearing my tracks in the DJ booth, it’s either all bass or no bass. I find 8 out of 10 booths are the worst place to hear your own tracks. For me I find that make me second guess my productions. Do you get this problem? How do you deal with that? For sure it ’s not the best place to check the new tracks, but actually i think that even a good sound system for the dance floor is not, unless you know it very good, because every stage , brand, location has a peculiar response, which can be very tricky sometimes. When I want to check a new track , I always mix it with some other track I know very well, comparing the features of both of them.
Thank you VSK !