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Interview Vudvuzela – Bass Music Production Tips

We sat down with up & coming bass music producer David Martenson, AKA Vudvuzela to find out his tips on making bass music. Vudvuzela has a very unique and exciting sound so we were happy to be able to speak to him and learn his crazy music making ways.

Hey David, how are you doing? How would you explain your music?

Pretty good thanks. My music is quirky, uplifting & a bit crazy. Some weird form of bass music with a lot of colors and different elements.

How long have you been making music?

All my life in different bands, playing drums & guitar in metal bands during my teenage years and still kind of ongoing, but I started making weird electronic hip hop and a bit of DnB back in middle school. I made two really bad albums.

Does playing the drums help you program beats?

Definitely! I dunno how people who don’t play drums can program some of the more complex rhythms. To me it comes naturally where to put things coz I can imagine myself playing them.

Your music has been said to have a lot of complextro influences. What exactly is complextro?

Advanced sounding music, with roots in house/electro-house. Fast cutting between many different sounds to keep the listeners exciting.

I also love the neurohop sound. The first time I heard something like that it was called 100 BPM dubstep, and the music was by Koan Sound. They blew my mind and they’re the reason I’m taking electronic music so seriously now.

You released your Zombi EP on Adapted Records in 2012, can you tell our audience about it?

Yeah, I basically made a track which I thought was pretty original so I sent it to a couple of labels and Corey from Adapted came back to me quickly and said he wanted to release it. I was really motivated by that so I quickly got to work on 2 more tracks, sent those to him and asked if he’d want to release the three tracks as an EP.

Do you have a favorite song on the EP?

Yeah, the track called ‘Silly’. I like the bass in it. But I feel like I can still improve my mixdown skills. They’re getting better though.

I thought your mixes sound really clean??

Thanks! I’m making progress but mixdowns are always hard.

Any other releases planned soon?

I have 2 songs ready for a new EP, and working more on remixes. They’re fun and a different way of producing – you get to be creative in different ways.

What kind of music do you like to remix?

Anything with vocals. Remixing instrumentals is more difficult. I recently remixed Higher Ground by Scottish & Canadian duo TNGHT (“Tonight”), which I released as a bootleg. You can hear it on my Soundcloud page.

What were the toughest challenges in your first year or two of making EDM?

It was hard to get good sounding drums – we didn’t have the range of samples that we do today, with quality sample packs like Vengence, etc.

Do you have any useful production tips for people who are looking to improve their skills?

Yeah, always do subtractive EQing, not boosting. Do a tight notch or bell EQ and sweep the frequency spectrum to find harsh frequencies, then cut them out. Also, always highpass everything to remove any rumble and low frequencies that eat up your headroom. I love to use sidechain compression to get that pumping effect. I sidechain the bass to the snare quite often too. I use New York or Parallel Compression to fatten up my sounds too.

Do you EQ every track/channel in your songs?

Yes. Sometimes with 2 or even 3 EQ units – one for surgical subtractive EQing, another to shape the sound, etc.

What DAW do you use?

Abelton Live. I was using Logic and Cubase but Ableton became my home. You can build and save instrument racks with FX chains for future projects so it’s a lot quicker. It feels smoother and faster. Also Logic kept crashing.

Any favorite VSTs?

Sugarbytes WOW – I use it all the time. It’s really versatile and I love how it sounds. I also love FabFilter’s plugins, especially their EQ unit, Pro Q, with the built-in Spectrum Analyzer.

What soft synths do you like?

Zebra 2 by U-He. It sounds really cool and is easy. Of course Massive like every else, but you can still get some interesting sounds out of it. It’s all about the processing after the synth.

Any general advice for producers?

Keep learning everything from everyone – be active in forums and on Soundcloud. It’s like a never-ending EDM college.

You can check out Vudvuzela’s music here

And his Facebook fan page here

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