What’s your current studio set up?
Right now we’re on the road so our studio setup is pretty simple. A macbook pro with SSD hard drives, Cubase 7.5, a virus TI snow, a pair of Audeze headphones, a S1 subpack, a NI S25 keyboard and a bunch of plugins…
What’s a normal day in the studio like for Dirtyphonics?
There’s no normal day, but most of the time we sit down and talk about the music we want to write, play stuff we’ve been writing separately to each other or heard and get on a vibe. When we hit something good, we stay until our eyes are closing.
Whats your musical influences as a group?
There are so many. We started in metal bands, then we played house, techno, disco, electro and after that we discovered bass music and all it’s sub genres (drum and bass, dubstep, trap etc.). So it’s hard to say what our main influence is. It comes from all sides.
How does it work in the studio, as there’s not just one person? What’s your workflow like? How do you collaborate on project? Is it always as a group or do you work on your own and bring ideas in?
It’s a bit of both. As we said before, we start writing things separately and bring those ideas to the band or sometimes we’ll sit down all together and start talking about what we want to do and do it. Obviously there are lots of talks and laughs involved and when we all agree and bounce in the studio it means we have a pure Dirtyphonics song.
You guys do get a really full sound to your mixdowns. How do you route things in your DAW? Do you group your drums or work on them individually? Do you use much distortion and saturation on things?
Every songs goes through a different process as we don’t always do the same thing genre wise but yes, we usually group our drums (after working on each separately), use multiple side chains etc. A bit of exciter and limiter always help separating tracks while keeping a solid mix. We’ve always done our mixes and mastering ourselves and we keep making our process evolving over time. There’s no right or wrong recipe. Whatever works for the song we’re working on is the way to go.
Do you use much limiting in your tracks? Do you put much processing on your master buss or keep it clean?
Yes, of course we use limiting but we try to keep it subtle. You need to find a right balance between have a wall of sound and keeping some dynamics in your mix. Being louder just for the sake of it and having things distort is stupid. It’s like cooking: use salt and pepper but don’t over do it or it becomes disgusting. We usually write the song without putting anything on the master bus then add processing at the mixing and mastering stage. Once again, don’t over do it
Care to share a tip ?
A/B with songs that you like in the same genre you’re writing and trust your ears. Even though there are some amazing visual plugins out there it’s music so ears come first.
You can only have one compressor plugin, one EQ plugin and one Reverb – what would they be?
Compressor: Fab Filter Pro C
EQ: Fab Filter Pro Q 2
Reverb: Wizoo verb W5
What’s your vision for the future of Dirtyphonics – your sound moving forward and where its going?
We’ve been writing a lot of Drum and Bass recently while also exploring new things. On our new EP, we’ve been playing with vocals and it brings a new dimension to our music. The EP will be out at the beginning of 2015 on Dim Mak records, we ‘re very proud of it and very excited to release it and share it with our fans!
You can catch Dirtyphonics at the following Australian and New Zealand dates:
Nov 21 – HQ COMPLEX – Adelaide
Nov 22 – Biscuit Factory – Brisbane
Nov 27 – Dux Live – Christchurch
Nov 28 – Bodega – Wellington
Nov 29 – Platform The Venue – Auckland