Ever wondered how a sample pack is put together? We caught up with Techno don Ian O’Donovan to have a chat with him about the process he took in making his latest pack, Melodic Techno, out on Prime Loops.
How did you go about starting to create your Prime Loops sample pack and was there anything specifically you wanted to achieve from the beginning?
I wanted the pack to sound like my music. I used synth sounds and patches that I have tweaked over time, some of which are similar to sounds I have used in my productions. I also wanted to make the loops quite simple so that people could use smaller parts of them effectively but still interesting enough to use the loops in full.
What was your work flow like for the pack?
I drew out a rough plan for what I wanted to have in the pack, folder-wise. I then went about recording synth lines in certain keys so that there is a lot of compatibility between them. After that I created some drum loops from my Roland Aira TR-8. I also used samples I have processed and programmed in NI Maschine.
What equipment did you use to create the pack and was there any one piece of equipment or software that was pivotal to the packs creation?
Nord Lead, Korg Triton Rack, Korg Polysix, Roland Aira TR-8, Dave Smith Mopho, Novation Bass Station, Access Virus TI, NI FM8, NI Massive, NI Maschine, U-He Diva, Fab Filter Suite, NI Session Strings, East West Platinum, Waves Mercury Suite, Soundtoys Suite, Ableton 9, Logic X.
If I had to pick one piece of equipment I would say it’s the Korg Triton Rack. Although it’s not the most user friendly with regards to knobs and tactility, it has a large array of lush sounds to tweak and I’m still finding new ways to use it.
How important do you think sample packs are in todays electronic music production and did this have any baring on you partnering with Prime Loops for this release?
I think they can be quite important and useful. There are a lot of up and coming producers who start out using samples like these and who are using them in interesting ways so that the samples are not easily identifiable. I think it is a good starting point for people to have access to more sounds than are available to them otherwise and to hone in on particular sounds. It was great to partner with a brand like Prime Loops who have a diverse range of products.
Listening to the Melodic loops in the pack, the sounds are extremely vibrant. Can you give us an insight into what you used to process these sounds?
I try to keep the processing subtle in general. Gentle EQ, compression and reverbs. I used Fab Filter Pro Q on a lot of sounds. It’s a nice EQ that you can really see what you’re doing with the frequencies. I use the Fab Filter Suite as well as the Waves bundles. The H-Delay and Kramer HLS are regulars in my fx chains. I love the Kramer tape delay. I also use some built in FX in software hosts like the Space Designer reverb in Logic X, it’s versatile and sounds great. A lot of the drum sounds are samples which I have processed and collected over the years. Most of the one shots in the pack have very subtle compression and reverb on them.
And lastly, who would your dream sample pack be made by?
I would love to hear one done by Steve Rachmad, Dave Clarke or Stephan Bodzin. All three are favourite producers of mine for many years and masters of the techno sound.