Definate: When my emotions change, the tune changes too

This production interview feels like intimate foray into Definate's approach to making tunes. The producer reveals how his current mood, and situation affects everything in a significant fashion.

Make sure to check out his latest Down Under EP.

You haven't finished many tunes yet. What is the key to getting some tracks past that finish line?

It’s probably getting past the second drop line with the first session, and not falling into the endless journey of getting things to sound perfect from the get-go. But it’s always exciting to play with the mix and get lost for hours This however kills the creativeness and during the next session the tune would morph into something completely new because the mindstate, emotions and everything that makes a tune, have changed.

If you could show your younger self some production tricks that took you ages to discover, what would that be?

It’s probably not that much about the technical side, that has to come naturally over time.It’s more about remembering the initial excitement and emotion when  starting something new and keeping it with me as the tune progresses. It’s easy to get bored from a project quickly, so it’s important to remember the vibe and emotion as they were when you started the tune.

Where do you get those amazing atmospheric textures and lifelike sounding instrument samples from?

It’s a mix of samples gathered over the years. I just play around and see what fits together best. It’s rarely just one single sample.

All the beats on your EP have a signature style. How long did it take you to discover your own way of processing beats, and what were the tricks that help to unify the sound? You seem to strike that perfect balance between similar enough and not too same.

I’d say I’m still in the process of discovering my own way as every new project gets processed differently. It’s probably trying out different arrangements until I feel that specific bounce on my chair, and have that evil grin on my face. It helps a ton to have a nice chair to get the beats right.

What's your stance on current production scene in d&b? Is it healthy?

I’ve grown fairly distant from the d&b scene. It’s a shame a number of big names have turned into sellouts and stopped making music for music. D&b should never have become pop music at 172bpm. Fortunately there are labels and artists, and also new producers, who still remember where they came from, who strive to excel in the tunes they write.

Could you describe how the process of creating a tune usually looks like for you?

There’s pretty much two ways for me to start a tune – trying out some technical stuff and messing about with samples and sounds, which usually leads to a darker and more techy vibe, or start by building harmonies, progressions and the whole atmosphere – these tend to end up on the deep or mellow side.

What tools are essential for your music making, and why?

Couldn’t do without my attic studio and a bouncy seat. Also the old AKG headphones that I bought from a good friend some 10 years ago when I started DJing. And a set of Yamaha HS8 monitors which I’ve finally got used to. For now, it’s the usual producer’s stuff.

Where do you research  new information, and production techniques?

The best source has definitely been Pensado’s Place on Youtube.I absolutely love this guy.

Emperor used to live stream his production, these were really inspirational as he’s also using FL Studio. He really helped me to realize that my workflow had become way too technical, and there’s much simpler ways to be creative.

You told me that you wouldn't want to make music for living. Why?

It’s always been my number one output, which comes from deep within, so I wouldn’t want to make this an obligation to pay the bills. Another thing is deadlines. I wish I could sample the sweet sound they make as they fly by.

How do you keep the production process fresh so it doesn't bore you?

I’m still trying to figure that one out. Sometimes I stay away from the studio for longer periods, a month or so. That’s been most helpful so far. It also helps to dig for new stuff to try out. Every project needs to be a leap forward, that’s when new technique and gadgets come to play.

• Check out Ower's production mindset (he's supported by Octane & DLR, Mortem & Komatic)