Basher is dropping his debut album Transmission on Ram on May 23rd. We thought it time to find out a bit more how he goes about making music in the studio…
How do approach starting a new tune? Do you have a standard workflow of building beats / bass first, or focus on another part to begin with?
99% of the time I will start with the beats. I have a Logic construct that is just for making beats, that way I have a lot of finished beats ready to use straight out of the box when I’m feeling inspired.
Do you usually wait till you’re in the right state of mind before starting a track or do you just sit down and see what comes out?
Most of the time I just go in and see what comes out no matter what sort of mood or state of mind I’m in. Your mood can bring a lot to the music!
Out of the tracks you do start, how many get finished? How many get released?
It changes all the time, when you’re on a roll you can get a lot finished and signed in a short time and when you’re not it’s quite the opposite. If I had to sum up an average I would say about one in every four tunes gets signed and released.
What time of day do you work best?
Anytime! But I’ve noticed that a lot of my best ideas for tracks are born in the early hours.
What do you do when you’re not feeling inspired?
Make beats, breaks, basses, go on a sample hunt. That way I have a lot to work with when I am felling inspired.
what does your studio consist of? Do you use any hardware or are you software only?
Apple computer (of course), Mackie 824s, midi keyboard, AKG 701 headphones. I’m mostly software based as far as FX and synths go but I do have a Virus Ti that I have sampled the hell out of. On the most part I’m definitely a software based producer.
What’s your most used plugin and what makes it so essential?
The old faithful EXS24 sampler! Reason being simply I know how to do whatever I like with it and get the most from a sound.
Are you the sort that likes to use old vinyl to get snippets of atmos, FX, melodies, etc or do you use synths mainly for your sounds?
Over the 17 years I’ve been into DJing I’ve built up a 5000 strong collection of vinyls. I sampled a lot from them quite a few years back but, to be honest, the sample packs see more action now but as for melodies and atmos I mostly use synths.
How much of your sounds come from random samples, i.e. stuff you’ve recorded yourself etc, rather than sample packs?
I’ve been known to sample the odd real sound, my mum’s dog growling made some some interesting bass tops once. It’s something I want to get into more in the future but right now the scales are definitely tipped towards the sample packs.
Which sequencer do you use and why?
Logic Pro. Main reason is I have a Mac and having tried all the other options, Logic is just the most logical to me.
What’s your monitoring situation like? What speakers and / or headphones do you use?
Mackie 824 speakers and AKG 701 headphones, I would not use anything else!
Any advice you can give us regarding mixdowns?
Forget trying to make everything super loud and get some dynamics back into the music, club mixers have gain controls!
Tell us more about your album, did you approach making it differently?
I would love to tell you there was an amazing concept behind it but the facts are Ram called me up on January 2nd 2011 and said ‘can you do us an album?’ and by January 31st 2011 it was finished. In case you’re wondering, the answer is Red Bull.
Did you set out with a clear vision in mind for what you wanted the album to be? If so, do you feel that the initial vision correlates with the outcome?
Mainly I wanted there to be something for everyone on it whilst maintaining a deep vibe throughout with a good mix of flavours. Also didn’t want any of the music to sound like a rip off of someone else. I’m very happy with the outcome and feel I’ve achieved this.
What else have you been working on recently?
I’ve remixed the Audio Bullys new single, Shotgun, that will be out shortly. Me and Xtrah have a single coming out on Subtitles this summer, Hubble / Reflections, and this is getting a lot of support from the A listers right now so we’re excited about that, and working on new stuff for Ram of course.
Anything else you’d like to tell us about?
The Transmission LP launch party is at Fabric on June 10th.