Rendered _ Interview with Ronny Pries
Now.. moving swiftly to the left, if you don’t mind talking a little about production, I found your website many years ago & saw your tips and tutorials. I liked the personality of what I saw on the site and you were on my original hitlist of people to contact when subsekt began. Of course, I forgot to contact you and I was blown away when you found us & registered haha. That was some coincidence..
What can I say – I’m a computer nerd after all. I grew up with computers, started producing music with only a computer and spent most of my money on vinyl. To make it worse, Stereo Jack’s studio was so well equipped that once we started producing tracks there, I never bothered buying a synth back in the early 90s. What could I have done with a single synth and a reasonably incapable computer? And consider also that I only needed half an hour to access a fully-fledged studio.. Including 303’s..
And nope; never owned a 303. But whenever necessary – for example during the development of ABL, I had one at home. In terms of a wishlist, I want a modular rack! My fave softsynth is still AudioRealism ABL Pro due to its semi-modular nature and the happy accidents you can have with it. It really makes me wonder why I didn’t feel the urge to get a eurorack earlier. Really looking forward to this.
Modulars are an expensive addiction Man.. Watch out! Haha.
Would you mind telling us a bit about your studio then?
There isn’t too much to say about it. My studio is a ensemble of an i7 driven PC with a RME Hammerfall Multiface & UAD-1, KRK RP-5 monitors, Machine, Traktor S4, iPad, an Axiom master keyboard and various midi controllers.
Software-wise I’m producing most of my tracks with Buzztracker again after some rather unproductive years with Ableton Live, which I wouldn’t blame for the lack of output.
How has your approach to making music changed over the years? For instance, how did your recent breaking bad come about? What was the process involved in making those tracks?
I recently went back to the way I made music in the early days with Buzz again, mostly jamming on the fly and recording without arrangement – a wildpitch approach i guess. That always worked best for me, at least when producing banging Techno tracks.
Fire up Machine, throw in some percussion, program a few drum patterns, add a few synths & fx, add midi controls where necessary and hit record when everything sounds right to me.
That’s pretty much how I made the ‘Breaking Bad’ tracks.
Great, yeah, I really like those tracks – and it’s something that all your full on Techno tracks have in common. They seem to be based around a fixed riff or pattern, yet all the supporting elements are changing and developing, maintaining interest throughout. I’m actually thinking of a track like Terror! – but have you any tips or insights into how to best approach that, or prepare a loop in advance of stretching it out to 5 or 6 mins?
Tracks like those – or rather most kicking tracks are rather simple. I mean, it’s Techno damn it!! When reading about the struggles lots of people have, I think their biggest problem is that they make it too complicated. Techno evolved around rather simple setups, overdriving inputs on the mixer and just a few effects. The set of tools available nowadays seems to imply that you have to use tons of stuff to get somewhere.
It’s similar with arrangements. Whenever I tried to arrange a banging track I totally got lost in rewinding, starting to check whether a certain part is too short or too long, add or change something, rewind, listen from the start again, check if the ‘flow’ is alright. In most cases I was tired after 30 minutes and under the impression that I couldn’t nail it. Saved for later review – usually never.
Once I figured that out, I setup some send effects, mapped everything for tweaking to a midi controller and started jamming with it. If I end up jamming around with the content for 15 minutes I know I’ve got enough to work with and record a take. This way makes it much easier for me to maintain and capture my own spontaneous flow.
If you’re sick of arranging, check this out.