Knowledge _ Interview with Dadub
We discussed it already, but the other thing that makes your music stand out is how full it sounds. Lots of bass and plenty of highs on top. I remember the first time I heard a Stroboscopic Artefacts track on a sound system, it was like someone turning on a light..
Giovanni & Daniele: hahaha
Yeah, it was incredible compared to the previous tracks. It’s amazing how everything stays so clean, even though there’s lots of distortion and power. You’ve got so much stuff panning and bouncing all over the place, how do you control it and stop things from getting muddy?
Giovanni: The most important piece of equipment for a producer are monitors. We have really good speakers because we do our production and mastering in the same studio. We have ATC SCM50’s. They’re fucking expensive. They’re mastering greats those speakers. With them, we’re able to hear an exploded version of the sound. You can hear the layers as if they were a theatre stage, where you can hear all the sounds on different depths. As soon as you go overboard or as soon as you overdo something, you immediately hear the effect. Another important aspect is our use of Mid/Side. Normally the stereo sound is encoded on the left and right. This is another way of encoding sound, with the centre of the sound in one channel and the difference between the left and right on the other channel. If you process the side, the difference, with an equaliser, or compress it, you manage to expand the stereo and depth field of the sound.
You have a lot of stuff modulating and changing in your tracks. Do you ever have many problems with things clashing?
Giovanni: An important thing is to filter out the frequencies that you don’t need from each track. Cutting away the bass from the tracks that are centred and not important. This frees up a lot of space in the mix. We also do a lot of automation in our tracks and even after the automation, we still have to fine tune it. Things are always moving. Reverbs are opening up and the distortions are automated, so everything has to be kept in a range that will not overpower the other elements.
That sounds like a lot of work..
Giovanni: Maybe haha, but after a while it becomes easy. We are detail maniacs anyway. We were obsessive before, but now we’ve managed to find a good balance I guess. We want to be able to control our sound in detail, but without obsessing too much. We fucked up a load of tracks by obsessing too much and now we’ve learned our lesson haha
Daniele: Yeah, even for the album, we tried to keep the initial idea safe. That idea is always the fresh and spontaneous one. We spent more time on the sound design, than working on the initial idea. Lots of loops were built without speakers and just earplugs because it was important for us to fix the emotion. We don’t have expensive stuff at home. I’ve KRK monitors. It’s important for us to make sounds how we feel. Keeping that idea powerful is key. Then when you work on the goal, you have kept it safe and you don’t change the material.
So keeping it simple is the way forward then..
Daniele: Yeah, like we spent lots of time trying to understand when is the time to do something and not do it.
Giovanni: Yeah.. finding where the limit is. We tried to separate the core of the sound from the surface. Once you get the core right, you shouldn’t have to change it again. When the core is right, you can work on the surface.