Ott
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Q

I'm curious about how you choose and ad the vocals to the rest of your tracks? i make tracks but when i want to ad vocals i don't know where to start.My voice is shit so should i find an acapella and fit my track to it , or create a song then sing a theme whit my shitty voice and then replace it with various samples of voices picked here and here. or maybe should i be friends with singers? ad vocals seems to me difficult because i want it to be forefront but i struggle to execute the idea in a way that sound realistic , any tips . Thanks you


Ott responded on 06/13/2018
A

To me the human voice is just another instrument, and a vocal is much the same as a sitar or a flute or a TB303.

For me the rule is nothing with a literal lyrical meaning, sung in English. if I can derive any kind of literal meaning from the words I won't use it. There are a few exceptions - the opening track on 'Fairchildren' for example, but that was such a perfect way to open an album that I had to use it. And I've still no idea what on Earth she's on about.

Processing vocals is an art in itself - the human voice is incredibly dynamic and tonally flexible and it can take a lot of work and experience to get it to sit properly in a track.

Keep struggling though because if you can get it right a well-chosen vocal can really lift a track.

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Q

Any tips/ways to practice arrangement?


Ott responded on 06/13/2018
A

Think of it like writing a story. It needs a 'dramatic arc' - a beginning, a middle, and an end.

Make sure you know what you're trying to say before you start but digress if you feel like it.

Try to make sure there's always something interesting going on and try to place yourself in the position of the listener, who doesn't care how clever your effects chain is, or how long it took you to create the bass sound. Honestly, nobody gives a shit.

Don't stick with a shit sound because it took you six hours to make. If it's shit, be honest and chop it out.

Don't throw all your best sounds into the first two minutes and then waffle on for another five. Keep something good for the end.

Don't be afraid of breakdowns - they're an artform all of their own.

Unless you're into Psy-Trance, of course, in which case just go 'bop-dugga-bop-dugga-bop-dugga-bop-dugga' for six minutes and call it a day.

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Q

If you could have some clever robots to assist you in your music creation, what would you told them to do ? they couldn't make tea


Ott responded on 06/13/2018
A

Great question.

I'd fit them with stereo pairs of small-diaphragm condenser microphones and send them out into the world looking for interesting chunks of random sound to sample, which they could bring back to base and organise into a searchable database.

[I genuinely sat for twenty minutes, staring into the middle distance, drumming my fingers while pondering this question.]

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Q

What are some things other than the SSL comp you find yourself using on almost every channel?


Ott responded on 06/13/2018
A

I don't tend to use the SSL channel on every channel. I've done that a few times, along with the SSL model in the Waves Non Linear Summing plugin[s] and the Waves SSL buss compressor, just to see if I could emulate the feel of an SSL E series in my computer, and by god it sounded pretty bloody close. Adding the Waves J37 on each channel made me feel like it was 1995 again.

The one thing I always put at the end of every FX chain [and sometimes in between devices in the chain] is the Waves L2. That's the best set-and-forget clipping prevention tool there is. It's the last thing on my master buss too.



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Q

Will you play my birthday wake ? Tell me the damage , do you like caravans & dogs ?


Ott responded on 06/13/2018
A

Dogs > people.

*Caravans are the worst idea since the invention of the wheel. I was once sleeping in a *caravan where somebody accidentally dropped and broke 24 bottles of amyl nitrate. I woke up with a pounding headache, red vision and a fondness for hard-house.

I do play the occasional birthday party but strictly for under-12s. They're the best parties *ever*. 12-year-olds like to get fucked up on purple sugar drink and Skittles and dance like they're having a seizure. Some of the best gigs I ever did were kids birthday parties. They like Skrillex, Tipper, Pendulum [early, before he started singing on his tracks] and The Prodigy. They especially love confetti cannons.


So, yes, if you're under 12, you have a lot of dogs and it's not in a *caravan, count me in.


*For anyone not parochially British, a 'caravan' is one of those ungainly white boxes you tow behind a car on your way to a miserable holiday you'll swear never to repeat.


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Q

General tips on syncopation and groove? I am about 2.5 years in and just started really going off grid a bunch and would love to hear some perspective from a master of groove such as yourself. Your percussion is heavenly and I assume it is mostly from feeling it and playing it but was wondering if you had any advice? Much love


Ott responded on 06/13/2018
A

It's all about feel really. I've no idea why certain patterns and sounds appeal to me, I just do what feels natural.

My very first musical instrument [when I was 13] was a drum kit and I've always thought like a drummer. Matt [our drummer and a drum teacher] reckons I'd be pretty good if I learned some technique and practiced a bit.

Something I always do when recording percussion is play the song as a whole take and try to play an arrangement that pushes and pulls with all the other instruments. I try to set up relationships between the different elements, so that the darbuka is [say] related to the snare and the djembe is conversing with the bass synth.

Just whacking in some drums and hitting quantise, or clicking them in with a mouse, will deliver consistently mediocre results all day. Playing your parts in like a proper musician pays dividends every time.

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Q

Good afternoon, sir!
I know you've had your differences with Resonance in the past, and swore to never come back, but do you think you'd reconsider? I figured since Tipper was added, sound would no longer be an issue, and would be more inviting to you. My first time seeing you was Resonance 2016, and I fell in love. Would love to see you back "home" this year! Thanks again for producing the best music my ears have ever heard!!


Ott responded on 06/13/2018
A

Sound wasn't an issue last year if you were on the right stage. The main stage sounded massive but unfortunately for me they had me in a little tent up the hill which didn't.

I had played a solo set in the same tent the previous year and it was rocking, so I had no qualms when they took me there, but the previous band sounded pretty rough and there was obviously an issue with the sound system, the crew or both. . Some people online suggested it was because the tent wasn't big enough for my ego but that honestly wasn't the case. I'll happily play your outside toilet if the sound system is up to spec and the engineer knows what she or he is doing. .

I don't recall swearing never to return, but I doubt they'll ever invite me again. In any case I haven't been invited this year so I definitely won't be there, but I hope you and everyone who goes has an awesome time.

Don't take the brown acid.

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Q

Do you ever get stage-fright ?


Ott responded on 06/10/2018
A

Rarely.

The first show I did with the band in Baltimore in 2012 was pretty nerve-wracking. There were a lot of things which could have gone wrong. Not many of them did.

The only other time was Tipper at Red Rocks. My set that night was 50% new material, some of it unfinished, and it was the first time I'd ever played any of it out. It was lunacy to try it out in front of 10,000 people at a packed Red Rocks and my hands were shaking so much I couldn't work the mixer for the first two songs. The lack of oxygen and the jet-lag didn't help.

Still, I seem to have got away with it.

Most gigs I'm just excited.

The only thing that really bothers me is knowing the PA system sounds shit when there's nothing I can do about it. That's more anger than fright.

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Hi... Ive heard that it will be another release on Fairchildren next week that starts tomorrow. When will it be possible to place an order on that excellent album? Im not that happy guy if i miss it ?

Best regards Jonas


Ott responded on 06/10/2018
A

We're expecting a delivery of Fairchildren vinyl at the end of next week. I'll post on Facebook and send out an email to all Fanbridge subscribers when they arrive.