We’re always trying to envision how a track will sound on the dancefloor when it’s being played out, and what kind of scenario would a DJ play it. Is this track something for the peak hours of a party, is it better to build the groove of the party, like a warm-up vibe?
And once we get a better feel of where the track is going, we start to add elements that complement appropriately.
We’re definitely big fans of dub music and how it’s been incorporated into house and techno – so sharp chord stabs that get drenched in echo and reverb is something that we use for character in our tracks, it really helps build a hypnotic groove.
Sound design is important for this kind of vibe, so we do a lot of mixing on our Pioneer HRM-7 headphones, and those provide a real accurate way to refine delays and panning.
We also used our Novation Peak synth on “Lucent” as well, this was key to adding some of the different synth leads that fluctuate throughout the track. Peak is another one of our studio favorites, a very flexible 8-voice polysynth that has some great effects and modulation options. Really good for leads and deep pad sounds as well. With the Peak, there’s no built-in keyboard, so we like to connect the TORAIZ SQUID sequencer to it. The SQUID is awesome for helping you get started on a track, we use it to build basslines, synth sequences, arpeggios.
Buy The Novation Peak Synth Here
It has a number of modes you can work with to come up with ideas and quickly move them along. It’s got a chord mode which works great with the Peak to come up with some really lush sounds.
Reference monitors are important for making sure tracks sound good. We use the Pioneer VM-80s in our room and they are really useful for dialing in the mix levels and balancing everything. They are very accurate for playback, and we like to use the four DSP presets on the lows and highs to hear how our tracks are coming together in different monitoring scenarios.