Categories : Artists Interviews
I didn't actually grow up in Los Angeles! I grew up out east in Birmingham, AL, where there wasn't a huge DnB scene like in Europe, but a strong, tight-knit scene that mostly spanned within the general electronic music scene at the time. After I finished school I moved to Atlanta which had more going on scene-wise, until I eventually relocated to Los Angeles after Evol Intent really gained notoriety.
As far as LA goes, it seems the electronic music scene has been very strong here since the first wave in the mid-90s. Drum and bass seems to have a large, devoted fan base since the genre caught on. Event-wise, Respect is the die-hard local night that has gone on strong for over 1000 shows. Insomniac Productions (who throw megaraves like EDC, Beyond Wonderland, etc.) have been known to always put on drum and bass as well, I think a lot of credit is due to both of these promoters for the Los Angeles drum and bass scene.
My friends Ewun/Kill The Noise and Le Castle Vania (my business partner in Sonic Armory) made the introduction to Steve Duda for me before he even launched Serum. Steve has been a bit of a hero to me for his engineering and sound design on Nine Inch Nails 'The Fragile,' and pioneering a lot of techniques we now take for granted in the studio, such as hyper-sampled acoustic drums/instruments. If you use drum libraries like BFD, Superior Drummer, or the like you can thank Steve Duda! Anyways, I heard rumors of a synth he was working on, and I got in touch to be part of the beta team and make a few factory patches/wavetables.
I fell in love with Xfer Serum for all the reasons I loathed NI's Massive initially: the visualization helps tons, and potential seem limitless in Serum. I felt 'at home' the first time I used Serum because it's familiar for people who have been using synths for years previous, excellent thought and logic went into the product, and it shows that Steve had been working on it for nearly 6 years. He deserves all the success in the world for Serum!
I can't say too much because I don't think the shows have been announced, but I will be in Europe in November! Promoters hit up François at P33L Agency, or holler at us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll put you in touch with the right folks.
Most recent technique I've learned is some seriously advanced phase cancellation black magic, but it would take a dissertation to explain it all, so perhaps I'll talk about the importance of mid/side compatibility, especially if you work in a phasey mess of a sound engine like the one I live with in Ableton Live.
I've found mono compatibility is crucial in dance music and making sure your music translates in most nightclubs. As many of you know, some sound-systems run fully or partially mono, or at least here on this side of the pond. A technique I've found that works nicely is to use two great free plugins from Voxengo, MSED and SPAN. One can set up SPAN to work with two bands in Mid/Side respectively, MSED is great for a 'quick fix' in pulling your stereo field back if it gets too crazy, and I like to use a mid/side compatible EQ (most Izotope products, Pro-Q/Pro-Q2 by Fabfilter, Brainworx Digital, etc.) to fix fluctuations otherwise.