INTERVIEW WITH FOURWARD
Talk us through your set up(s)?
The current setup is based around a PC with Cubase 9.5.
Besides that, using the new Maschine MK3 as a creative tool from time to time is also very exciting.
Plugin-wise our favourite developers are: Fabfilter, Native Instruments, Izotope, Waves, U-he, Melda, Softube,..
We use an old RME-Fireface 800 as audio interface and some hardware synths like a Dave Smith Prophet 08, an old Korg MS-20, and a relatively new Studio Electronics Boomstar 4075.
For vocal-recordings we use a neumann tlm-67 mic.
All the hardware is recorded through a fredenstein-bentobox with a shadowhills pre-amp and some elysia 500 modules.
How long have you been producing?
Approximitely 14 years
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What one piece of gear would you love to own?
A big fat custom made modularsynth or a jupiter-8
What are your top 5 plugins currently and why?
- Fabfilter Pro-Q 2 – this one gets used on almost every channel. the handling is great, the sound is good and the m/s function is very useful.
- Elysia Mpressor – one of our favourite software compressors. has a very neutral sound and great functions like the gain-reduction-limit.
- Izotope Trash 2 – so many ways to crank up your sounds
- Guitar Rig – great sounddesign plug-in
- Oxford Transmod – favourite transient-shaper, very precise
What synths do you use the most in your productions?
Xfer Serum is our current go to synth, CPU heavy though.
Native Instruments FM8 and Massive, U-he Diva for some classic analogue sounds and the hardware synths mentioned above
Do you approach sound design and track writing in different sessions/projects?
Yes most of the time but sometimes you create a new sound and suddenly you have built a track around that.
Where do you find inspiration? Also if you are working in the studio and get stuck; how do you get past that point?
A lot of inspiration comes from other producers and other music. You hear a sound, a melody or a groove and you think, hm.. i wanna make something similar like that. doing it your own way of course and not trying to become a copycat.
As far as creative blocks are concerned, i think its best to completely stop making music for a while. Do something else. Go into nature, make sports, meditate. Whatever takes your focus on something else than music is fine. Maybe it takes a few days, weeks or even months before the creative juices start flowing again but most of the time this works.
How do you usually start tracks and where do you turn to for sound sources?
Mainly its playing around with synthesizers. Sometimes you buy a new piece of gear or software and during the learning process you come up with some fresh sounds.
Field recording is also a lot of fun and after some time you end up with your own unique sample library.
How many hours does it typically take to complete a track from start to finish?
This is different from track to track. Sometimes everything falls into place and 80% of a track is done within a day.
Sometimes you end up with 20 different versions and not one of them sounds right. So you put the track aside and after a few months you finally know what to do.
What advice would you give to new producers?
Have fun, experiment. Never let anyone discourage you. Never stop learning new tools or exploring new methods.
If you love what you are doing never give up.
You can always write a new tune, so dont hold onto sounds, ideas or tracks that may be shit. On the other hand you should also learn to finish tracks and avoid drowning in a big folder of unfinished loops.
What are your favourite techniques and plugins for processing bass/mids?
Izotope Trash 2 , Guitar Rig, Cyanide (this is a free plugin), Ohmicide, Elysia Karacter 500, Reaktor
I am a big fan of parallel-compression. I am not going into detail with this one but its a great way to bring out subtle details in a sound without overcompressing it.
Running your softsynth tru some external gear like guitar pedals or hardwaresynth can sometimes lead to some interesting new sounds.
Resampling of course. If you work with hardware never forget to hit record because you might not be able to recreate the sound again.
If you have made a nice sound with a long processing chain on it, save the sound and try running another preset tru that chain.
Layering sounds, doubling sounds, splitting sounds into different frequency-bands with different automations/modulations…
What plugins do you typically use on your drum buss and why?
It all depends on the mix but usually the drums are always going through a parallel compression.
Sometimes there is a Pro-L 2 on the drum buss. Sometimes the drum buss needs some coloring or glueing which is mostly done with some eq from acustica-audio, waves o.r softube
What do you find the most challenging part of producing?
Finishing tracks that you have been working on and listening to for weeks on end. its difficult to judge a track objectively after a long process of producing and mixing it.
If you could choose a dream collaboration, who would it be with and why?
Noisia, Break, Hazard,.. the list goes on. there are so many good producers out there and i am sure everyone of them could teach you some new tricks.
What projects are you working on currently and where would you like to progress to in 12 months time?
We are currently working on a new EP and some collaborations and also a sample-pack. that’s all i can say at the moment.