INTERVIEW WITH MEAN TEETH
We caught up with Mean Teeth for an in depth look at their studio techniques and advice for new producers…
There are three people in Mean Teeth, do you separate tasks and find you have different strengths in the studio?
MEAN TEETH: Yeah we separate them but its always different how we separate them. We don’t have golden rules. It’s important to bounce off each others strengths though and that’s what we try to do always.
Talk us through your set up?
Marius: Fl Studio 12, Adam F7, Novation Launchkey 61, Focusrite 2i2.
Mark: Cubase 9, Adam A7, Oxygen8 midi keyboard, Focusrite 6i6. Simple really, the magic happens in the box.
Alo: Reaper, Samson Rubicon R8a, Akai LPK25, AKG K512
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What one piece of gear would you love to own?
Marius: One proper analogue synth.
Mark: Subpack, I’ve heard so many great things about it.
Alo: Audeze LCD-4
What are your top 5 plugins currently?
Marius: Klanghelm DC8C 2 , iZotope Trash 2, Fruity Parametric EQ 2, Native Instruments Driver, FabFilter PRO-G
Mark: iZotope Trash 2, Cubase native Multiband Envelope Shaper, Fabfilter Pro-R, Fabfilter Pro-L, Span MSER
Alo: FabFilter Pro-Q 2, iZotope Trash 2, Maul, iZotope Alloy 2, Waves Doubler
How would you describe your sound for those that hadn’t heard before?
MEAN TEETH: We do angry music that makes people move at speed of around 175BPM. Not for the ‘faint hearted’.
Where do you find inspiration? Also if you are working in the studio and get stuck; how do you get past that point?
Marius: Inspiration is easy to find these days, it can be listening to different genres or leaving the studio. For example I like to listen to accapellas. If I get stuck in the studio then I will probably open a new project and take a different approach.
Mark: As Marius pointed out, inspiration is bountiful these days, so it only takes a minute to get those creative juices flowing. If I’m stuck, then that usually means it’s time for a little cool-down. Take a walk, make some coffee, exercise. Though I’m learning to forbid my lack of inspiration affect my music production.
Alo: The most fresh ideas come when you feel fresh as well. If you are tired, over worked, depressed then you can’t expect any good results either. For me going for a walk to the nature, make some exercise or have a chat with a friend in the park can do the trick.
How long have you been producing?
Marius: I’ve been producing for over 7 years I think.
Mark: I started in 2011, so 6 years.
Alo: About 8 years
How many hours does it typically take to complete a Mean Teeth track from start to finish?
MEAN TEETH: Oh that’s a good question right there. It depends on the track a lot, since our workflow is pretty much sending stems to each other and it also depends on how long the first draft is. Some tunes take weeks of back and forth working, others tend to come out in as little as a few of sessions
What do you listen to in your free time?
Marius: JAX, Ryan O’Shaughnessy, Matt Terry, Old-school Hip Hop,
Mark: Everything from Kendrick Lamar, to Marilyn Manson, Helmet, Failure, James Brown, and even the stuff on Billboard top 40.
Alo: Sometimes I like to listen funk music from the 70’s, 80’s. Also Shpongle, Amon Tobin, some ambient music to clear my mind.
What advice would you give to new producers?
Marius: I advise them to make a decision on whether you’re going to take this producing thing seriously or if it’s more like a hobby. Since it will take a lot of time to get where you want.
Mark: Analyse a lot of different music and try to bring in influences outside of D&B – it’s the best way to be unique and stand out.
Alo: Just try to do your own thing – that’s the most important. Like Mark mentioned, it is good if you have a bunch on influences outside of Drum & Bass. Making D&B out of D&B might lead to boring and unwanted results.
What are your favourite techniques and plugins for processing drums and basses?
Marius: For drums I use lot of Trash 2, Camelphat to get them exciting. Then of course EQ and I use a lot gating as well. For basses I use also Trash2, then Guitar Rig, Kontakt, basically whatever works.
Mark: Lately I’ve been using quite a bit of limiting and envelope shaping on individual hits. Cubase has a multi-band envelope shaper which is incredible for drums. For basses, splitting the signal into separate bands and processing each one differently still get’s the job done. Afterwards, bouncing that to audio, duplicating the tracks and messing with one, while leaving the first one intact seems to offer interesting modulation results.
Alo: For drums I usually like to start with Addictive Drums or Superior Drummer and then making them more exciting with Trash 2 or Alloy 2 for example. For bass lines I usually experiment a lot with layering – making separate audio clips using Guitar Rig, Trash 2, Maul and then try to combine them together by EQ-ing and filtering.
If you could choose a dream collaboration, who would it be with and why?
Marius: My dream collaboration would be with Noisia of course. I just can’t stop thinking about myself digging through their sample library.
Mark: Without a doubt Noisia.
Alo: Have to agree with Marius and Mark on this one
Can you tell us about your company BITEMARK and the inspiration behind it?
Marius: Well it was kinda born by accident. I’ve been working a lot with stems/samples for almost 5 years and this has built me a skill set where I can take something and finish it really fast. It’s like a workflow thing I guess. And now I work with stems pretty much daily. I have my own ways to do it. When we had our child with my wife, we decided that it’s gonna be me who will sit at home with him. So while that happened, I decided to take an entrepreneurship course. And since I had this Bite Mark idea it all kinda lined up for me. I applied for a start up funding and I got it. It will take much longer to get this idea going than i predicted but in the end it will probably take off. All I want to do is just help upcoming producers to understand the industry and what it takes to pursue it as a career.
What projects are you working on currently and where would you like to progress to in 12 months time?
MEAN TEETH: Right now we are finishing off our schedule for this year. To be honest we can’t wait to get those things wrapped up. 2018 is already looking really busy. We have some Titan and Red Light Rec stuff coming. Our past has shown that our popularity in the scene is growing everyday, little by little. And this is exactly what we wanna do again and again – push ourselves up in the scene.