Creating a sound that’s unmistakably “Amateur At Play” is an ongoing battle, but one I’ve started making some real progress on of late. A bit of background first.
Back in the 1990s, when you heard a track or a remix, you could often tell pretty quickly who was behind it. David Morales had a sound that was unmistakably his. So did MK, Frankie Knuckles, E-Smoove, Steve “Silk” Hurley, Eric Kupper and so on.
But what made them sound the way they did? Start studying the songs and it becomes clearer. The drum kits sound similar each time, similar instruments are used, certain things in the arrangement appear repeatedly and so on.
The more you think about it, the clearer things become. Back then, producers only had limited tools at their disposal. Compressors, for example, were ridiculously expensive – whereas now you can apply as many as you like to anything you like. Synths were expensive, drum machines cost money. You had to work out exactly what you could do, and then do it.
It’s something I’m trying to get better at. I’ve been using far more of the same things. I want people to know roughly what to expect when they listen to something from me – and I think I’m making quite some progress in that.
No doubt you’ll all let me know how I get on…