Normally the first step I take to create a track is to imagine in my head the kind of sound I want, the type of beat and the intention behind it. Once I have a clear idea of what I am looking for, I start by searching for sounds to construct the beat. In general, I prefer more raw and acoustic sounds, even if I want to make something clean and rounded. It’s is very difficult for me to get away from the type of sound I normally use.
I don’t have much equipment in my studio. I mainly use my laptop and a couple of machines to make my tracks. I use generally more software than hardware for my productions. It’s not that I don’t like hardware, it’s just that only now I’m starting to collect gear and use it.
Back to the track. I always try different approaches to begin. Sometimes first it will be the beat, other times the bass or the melodies. This helps to have different results at the end, because when you find a formula or a system to do things, normally the final sound tends to be similar and that can be boring with the time
I use Ableton and Logic as main editors. I start by putting together loops that could work. Lately I haven’t been using many external loops whereas before I used to do it very much. Currently, I enjoy making the loops and designing the sounds myself. After I have enough material to build the track I go to the next step which is the arrangement. This is the trickiest part for me (my favorite part is the jamming). The arrangement is hard work and is a very important part because even if you have excellent material, if the arrangement is not dynamic and interesting enough, the track can end up loosing its power.
The arrangement process is the longest in my case, because I like to take my time to listen to it and digest it within a few days. This gives me a more definitive feeling about what the track is going to sound like when ready. I don’t finish all the ideas I start. I apply a very strong filter before finishing the ideas and if I consider some are not good enough, I drop them and start from scratch. This way I don’t have too much material but the ones I have remaining, I’m satisfied with. I believe in quality before quantity.
In the past two or three years I’ve been fully dedicated to dance music. I enjoy very much the feeling of making people dance and the feedback between the audience and the person playing the music. In general, I get easily fed up with a sound and need to be evolving continuously in order to keep myself interested. I also have a very strong tendency to Latin sonorities (of course, I’m Venezuelan!) and that’s always reflected in my music. At the moment what I’m doing is a mixture of house, techno and elements of Latin music like congas, bongos and percussion. This creates a warmer sound that I mix together with funky-groovy beats that are my main intention: music for dancing, for shaking the body, for stimulating the sex appeal and the eye contact. I sometimes think that electronic music, and more specifically techno, can be very cold and individualistic and that for me doesn’t make it.
When I think the arrangement grooves and I’m satisfied with it, then comes the process of mixing it. That means finding the right level and the right effect for each element, then the mastering and compressing, and when all that is done, it comes the next step (very important for me), and that is to get the new track on my live set and play it in front of people. This can be very interesting because many times you have an idea of how the track will work when played, but it can be very different than expected and you get a totally different feedback. I think it is very important to do this because when you are in the studio by yourself and make a track, your opinion can be not impartial enough.
I believe every single person has very specific influences and characteristics. It is only a matter of hard work, like everything else in this life, you need to love what you do and invest a lot of time and energy in order to achieve interesting and satisfying results.