Laidback Luke’s six golden rules for producers.
Between running label Mixmash Records, doing the international festival circuit and continually adding to his production resume, Dutch high-flyer Laidback Luke has experience to burn. He’s also a tireless advocate for new artists, with a string of proteges over the years. A few months back, we saw Luke share Tiga’s Six Golden Rules for Producers inthemix feature, so we asked the Mixmash boss to write his own for us. Being one of dance music’s standout good guys, he gladly obliged. Follow these pointers and you could be lighting up mainstages like Laidback Luke himself.
This is the order of how to get into producing…
#1 START WITH MAKING EDITS
This is re-arranging your favorite tracks and switching up the order of the song structure. Maybe try to cut a few notes and beats to make it sound crazier. Move into making mash-ups. This is basically putting two tracks together. Take the beats of one track and put the melody of another track over it. Most common mash-ups are putting an acappella over a track. Mash-ups will make you more aware of EQ-ing and compressing as well as blending elements together.
After this you will be ready to try and make bootlegs. Bootlegs are unofficial remixes. This involves adding your own beats and melodies to existing tracks. Please never call a bootleg a remix, unless the original artist or record label will release it. If you try calling a bootleg a remix, you will be seen as a wannabe by the professional world. After you have mastered this, you’ll be able to start making your own tracks.
#2 SAMPLE A KICK-DRUM FROM A PROFESSIONAL TRACK
A well-mixed, loud dance track stands or falls with the kick-drum. To ensure you use the right one, and it sounds heavy enough, just sample one from an existing track. This way, you know it has already been mixed and mastered. Any element you layer on it will kick ass.
#3 TIME TO MASTERCHAIN
I always start my productions with my full masterchain on. Masterchain are the plug-ins you have on your master output to make your track sound fat and at a decent professional-sounding volume. I always advise to have at least a compressor and a limiter on there. My masterchain has at least five compressors in there now! Whatever works for you to get the fattest sound is fine. Just make sure your track doesn’t distort and you still have dynamics in there.
#4 DON’T GET STUCK IN A LOOP
Take a half-hour break every two hours. Like, really push yourself to do so! I can tell you most of my ideas and inspiration came from taking a pee after those two hours, or while nibbling on a sandwich. That break clears your brain out from the strain and freshens up the ears. When you get back in studio mode, you’ll instantly hear what needs to be tweaked or what you need to do to take the track to a higher level.
#5 REFERENCE YOUR TRACKS
It’s very important to mirror your tracks with professional tracks. I often have three or more references to compare my tracks with. When you switch back and forth to your track and the professional tracks, you will hear where your track is lacking.
Think about it: these professional tracks sound good everywhere. So if your track sounds similar in the overall EQ and loudness, your track will sound good everywhere as well. After that, it’s good to try and hear your track on any type of system, whether it’s your car, TV or crappy earplugs.
#6 ONTO THE NEXT…
Make an effort to actually finish your tracks. Snippets don’t count. It’s a true producer’s skill to be able to actually finish a track. Although you’ve spent a ton of time on a track, and it feels like your baby, leave it and start working on a new track.
You might get people who aren’t into your track, or say this and that needs improving. Take that feedback and work on a new project. Only then will you keep evolving. It protects your artist ego, as the best is yet to come, always.
Posted by David Miller
Daft Punk: “I wouldn’t listen to Deadmau5 for pleasure”
We’re just a mere few days from the release of the stupendously hyped Random Access Memories, on which Daft Punk “went back to go forward”. The pair have now spoken out on some of the dance music that’s dominating the festival stages in the present, in another of the small handful of interviews they’ve given in promotion of the album.
“I don’t know EDM artists or the albums. At first I thought it was all just one guy, some DJ called EDM,” Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo wryly quipped to NME this week, comparing it to the sugary high of an energy drink. “EDM is energy only. It lacks depth. You can have energy in music and dance to it but still have soul.”
The pair told the UK mag they didn’t listen to a lot of electronic music. “Deadmau5? No. I wouldn’t listen to Deadmau5 for pleasure,” added Thomas Bangalter. He has however got time for EDM’s other reigning superstar. “Skrillex we have a lot of respect for. He’s said that he saw our live show with the pyramid in 2007 and it made him want to make music, but it feels like he’s not copying our formula. He might be the kid that breaks the cycle, but we don’t listen to a lot of electronic music. We never did.”
The duo’s cheeky comments come at the end of the week that’s been mercilessly crammed with all things Daft Punk. Random Access Memories was finally unveiled to the public when a stream was made available on iTunes, allowing everyone the chance to finally make up their own mind on the most talked about album of the year. This weekend sees the album land in full.
Posted by Angus Paterson (via In The Mix)
Dr. Dre & Jimmy Iovine donating $70 MILLION.
In years past, the University of Southern California (USC) has received large gifts from Hollywood moguls to support its academic programs. In 2006, George Lucas donated $175 million toward the university’s film school. In 2012 Robert Zemeckis gave $5 million to help fund a digital arts facility.
Now hip-hopper/entrepreneur Dr. Dre (aka Andre Young) and his longtime associate, music mega-producer Jimmy Iovine, are awarding the school $70 million to start up what’s being described as an Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation.
An unspecified portion of the $70-million donation will go toward construction of facilities that will house the academy. Students, who can earn an undergraduate degree from the academy, will use existing facilities while new ones are being built.
The four-year program will feature four core curriculum areas: arts and entrepreneurship; technology, design and marketability; concept and business platform; and creating a prototype. It aims to foster entrepreneurship that brings students’ entertainment, technology and business skills into play. Instruction will involve engineering, computer science, fine arts, graphic design, business and leadership training.
That training will come from faculty at USC’s Thornton School of Music, Roski School of Fine Arts, Marshall School of Business and Viterbi School of Engineering, as well as “industry icons and innovators as visiting faculty and guest speakers,” according to USC’s statement.
In a news release, USC administrators also envision Silicon Valley venture capitalists and “other real-world experts” lining up “to give students advice and direction” with the new venture.
Forbes magazine puts Dre’s net worth at $350 million, ranking him third — behind Sean “Diddy” Combs and Jay-Z — on its 2013 list of the wealthiest hip-hop stars.
Celebrity NetWorth puts Iovine, a regular guest judge in recent seasons of “American Idol,” at $700 million. Forbes in 2011 estimated Iovine’s net worth at $400 million.
Posted by Randy Lewis (via Los Angeles Times)
EDC Creator Could Face Up to 13 Years in Prison.
Pasquale Rotella revealed Sunday night that he’s going to wed Hugh Hefner’s former “Girl Next Door” Holly Madison, the mother of his daughter, Rainbow, on August 15 but just hours after the happy announcement he was in court on Monday morning facing more than 13 years in prison for bribery, embezzlement, conspiracy and conflict of interest..
Rotella appeared in a Los Angeles court in a pretrial conference for a case by the Los Angeles County District Attorney, which alleges that the event planner used more than $2.5 million in funds from the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, where he hosted raves, to pay off city officials. Rotella was indicted alongside five other men involved with his company, Insomniac events. Currently out on a $1.8 million bail, he could serve up to 13 years and 8 months in prison if convicted.
The case will reconvene on July 29, just over two weeks before the couple plan to wed. But Rotella remains confident that he’ll be vindicated.
Last year his attorney, Gary Jay Kaufman, said that his client, “has always acted lawfully and appropriately with respect to all of his dealings with the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Any allegations of wrongdoing on the part of Mr. Rotella by the District Attorney’s office are completely baseless and flat-out wrong, both on the law and on the facts. “All transactions between Insomniac and the Coliseum were transparent and approved by the Coliseum General Manager, his staff, and the attorneys representing the Coliseum. Any charges against Mr. Rotella are clearly politically motivated and publicity driven.”
However, innocent is the last way the city of Los Angeles is feeling like describing Rotella. While he may have been only arrested this past March, the drug-related 2010 death of one 15-year-old Sasha Rodriguez at an Insomniac show led the company through 13 months of investigation and endless shots of foul play, which in the end has led to where the CEO and his five team members are today. For everyone’s sake, we hope such violent accusations are much less scary than they seem.
How will this affect Live Nation buying stake In Insomniac Events? What this will mean for Insomniac, whether it will sway buyouts from Live Nation and how it will impact the future of EDC events are still to be seen. Stay tuned for details as they present themselves. Neither Insomniac Events or Pasquale Rotella have release statements official or unofficial.
Posted by David Miller
Vegas Notes: Light Group’s new day club “Daylight” at Mandalay Bay is ready for Memorial Day Weekend & EDC LV is SOLD OUT.
Vegas Notes: Light Group’s new day club “Daylight” at Mandalay Bay is ready for Memorial Day Weekend & EDC LV is SOLD OUT.
Light’s sunnier counterpart, Daylight at Mandalay Bay, has released the lineup for its Memorial Day Weekend opening: Axwell and Zedd christen the dayclub’s decks on May 25, followed by a J-Cole performance on May 26. Daylight—dubbed Eclipse after dark—will also host a nighttime DJ series on Wednesdays and some Sundays, kicking off with Axwell on May 22, followed by Skrillex on May 26.
Waiting to order your Electric Daisy Carnival tix? Oops. Insomniac Events announced Monday that the June 21-23 fest has sold out in record time. Insomniac CEO Pasquale Rotella urged fans to take part in the soon-to-be-finalized EDC Week, which brings pool parties, nightclub events and the Bassrush Massive concert to the Orleans Arena during the festival week.
Just a few days after his rousing opening night set at Hakkasan, Steve Aoki debuted his Aokify Splash Vegas party at Wet Republic Sunday afternoon, with a special appearance from friend and EDM icon Tiësto in the DJ booth. Aoki doused fans with champagne while crowdsurfing on an inflatable raft, pulled off his trademark throw-a-sheet-cake-at-a-fan gag and played remixes into the early evening. All in a day’s work for the bearded turntablist.
Posted by Jorge Labrador (via Las Vegas Weekly)
BT rants on Porter Robinson saying he is “Talented but selfish”
BT treated his Twitter audience to a rare, lengthy diatribe on another artist, Porter Robinson. After preparing his readers for a “long story,” BT began to explain how he first found out about Robinson via MySpace three years ago. He says he struck up a friendship with the young producer (after talking with his parents – Robinson was but a high schooler then), and the two even worked on some tracks together.
As Robinson’s star began to rise through big room gigs, festival dates, and an official Lady Gaga remix, BT found him harder to contact – shrouded often by a team of agents, managers, and other “advisors.” While BT was understanding of this development, he describes Robinson himself as being “too cool to interact,” placing the blame squarely on the artist, not just his entourage. The tipping point came when Robinson told BT he could no longer finish the tracks they had begun working on together.
BT admits to having his feelings hurt by Robinson after being rebuffed by an artist who he felt personally responsible for bringing to a broader audience. But rather than make this a personal attack on Robinson (he calls the young DJ a “real talent”), BT goes on to use his experiences with him as an example of how the younger generation of DJs are similarly “self focused & selfish.” When he was an up-and-comer, BT says DJs like Sasha helped him, and he “vowed to pay it forward” when he could.
BT ended his “rant” with some advice: “So I hope you (and other young producers reading this) take this as a cautionary tale. Remember to act with respect and pay it forward.”
Tiesto, who BT shared Robinson’s tracks with and became an early supporter, weighed in as well, citing the lack of loyalty in younger producers (though Tiësto’s original tweet has since been deleted).
BT has around 622,000 Twitter followers; Robinson has about 216,000. Thus far, Robinson has not responded.
Posted by David Miller (via In The Mix)
Insomniac and SBE announce new Hollywood EDM club “Create”
Last week, Live Nation drew close to finalizing the acquistion of about half of the L.A. EDM promotion firm Insomniac. But that isn’t Insomniac’s only new partnership of note. The firm has just announced a new collaboration with the hospitality firm SBE on a new venue, Create, located in the former Vanguard space in Hollywood.
“Insomniac had done work in that space in the distant past, and they know and love the space,” said Costas Charalambous, the senior vice president of night life for SBE. “Now we can play with music, fashion, art and presentation for our clienteles. It’s a clean slate, and we can be spontaneous in taking all that to the next level.”
The partnership and name change comes after SBE purchased the Vanguard room and threw its first party, with the Swedish DJ Avicii, in February. SBE promised a full slate of dance bookings to accompany the interior revamp, but the schedule since then had been fairly quiet until now.
The new venue kicks off on May 11 with a set by the Dutch trance act Dash Berlin. Neither Insomniac nor SBE has publicly announced any further sets, but Charalambous said a full lineup of headliners and recurring weekly genre nights is impending.
With the collaboration, SBE gets a marquee talent buyer with Live Nation muscle for its third EDM-focused venue (alongside Greystone Manor and Agency), one far larger than either of those with three distinct rooms and an outdoor patio. Insomniac gets a second club-level room in L.A. (to accompany its own popular Exchange L.A., in downtown) to try out younger acts and give superstar DJs a flexible space for underplays in the heart of Hollywood.
The partnership is also apropos given each firm’s major recent plays in Las Vegas. Insomniac’s Electric Daisy Carnival is set to grow even bigger with an infusion of Live Nation money and logistical support (the fest moved there from L.A. in 2011), and SBE’s own SLS Hotel and Casino is slated for a 2014 opening, and will include many established L.A. dining and nightlife concepts. With Insomniac’s talent-buying acumen and SBE’s venue stable, “the partnership could be endless,” Charalambous said. “We definitely want to see where else it can lead.”
In the more immediate future, however, L.A. gets a new, flexible dance-music space that can veer between tableside bottle-service blowouts and GA floor space for underground nights. The upside of such a big and converted industrial room, Charalambous said, is the ability to transform the room to meet any artist’s specific vibe. Insomniac’s broad reach means they’ll have plenty of opportunity to experiment. “A drink tastes the same anywhere, but this combination of great music and ambience can make that drink taste a lot sweeter,” he said.
Posted by August Brown (via Los Angeles Times)
‘Clarity’ reaches pinnacle of mainstream status with cover on Glee season finale.
It’s obvious at this point that dance music has reached commercial prosperity, but what would be considered the ultimate peak? A cameo on Glee. “Clarity, ” by Zedd featuring Foxes has been a ubiquitous festival and remix favorite of the season, reached #1 on the Billboard dance charts and even received some late night exposure on David Letterman. It must have caught the attention of Glee’s producers for they chose the cast to perform it on the pivotal season finale. The show choir version boasts a feverish Broadway-like intensity with a heavier bassline and lower vocal sung by American Idol runner up Jessica Sanchez. The exposure has undoubtedly opened up the world of dance music up to an entirely new audience who will only be craving more. In fact, Zedd’s original version broke the Top 25 American mainstream iTunes chart over the weekend.
Posted by Leah Steffensen (via Dancing Astronaut)
Free Download: Go Deep (JD Live 2013 Bootleg)
Las Vegas native & official Club Killers DJ JD Live recently dropped this club crushing mash for Club Killers exclusive members and now we’re hooking up everybody with it. I personally love it and play it every single set (Plus how awesome is that artwork?) LOL. Make sure you try it in your peak hour sets, also make sure you download JD’s “Get ready for pool season” mix (Download here: CK Radio Episode 48). Sexy non stop house music inspired by Las Vegas pool parties.
Keep coming back every week. I will be posting exclusive Club Killers edits every week right here for all DJs to download.
Keep looking ahead.
Posted by Alex Dreamz
Daft Punk Give Their Reasons For Not Touring.
With the first single here, the album just over a week out from arriving and information about their big return (for once) not completely non-existent, the burning question for Daft Punk now is what their tour plans are. “We want to focus everything on the act and excitement of listening to the album,” Thomas Bangalter told Rolling Stone when they asked the Frenchmen amid the Coachella madness. “We don’t see a tour as an accessory to an album.” Another couple of interviews down the track, the robots have elaborated on why there aren’t any immediate plans to hit the road.
“We don’t want to tour this record right away because it seems the magic of music today and the life of music today is on stage,” Bangalter told the Daily Telegraph’s Kathy McCabe. “We put all our focus on the idea of trying to put a lot of life on a record, the same life you would have in a live performance and we don’t want to simultaneously do something that would remove the focus from this thing we spent so much time doing.” Making it crystal clear, earlier this week a representative for the Frenchies told the Huffington Post that “no tour is planned”. All’s not lost, though – when they do eventually tour, the pair told Rolling Stone it will be with a “career-encompassing setlist.”
The duo’s last world tour began at Coachella on Saturday 29 April 2006, an experience limited to a few thousand witnesses in the desert. In the strobing light of the Sahara tent, two robots appeared inside a 20-foot-tall, three-ton pyramid, flanked on either side by a lattice of bulbs. (“We got a sense that it went well,” Bangalter later dead-panned to Mixmag.) Two months later, the duo was headlining the Eurockéennes festival in Belfort, France atop the pyramid, and the tour momentum built from there: Barcelona,Madrid, the Godskitchen tent at Global Gathering in the English countryside, over to Japan, back through Europe, then South America en route to Miami for the Bang Music Festival. The ‘Alive’ tour ended in Australia with four cities over eight days in December 2007.
Posted by Katie Cunningham (via In The Mix)
Diplo: “Labels just want to jump on EDM dick”
If there’s one man you can count on to consistently deliver memorable one-liners, it’s Diplo. Sure enough, when the ever-acerbic Mad Decent boss sat down with The Huffington Post last week, his opinion on all things label-related didn’t come sugarcoated. A few days before he opened up about how Baauer’s chart-topping, viral hit Harlem Shake “saved” Mad Decent from going under (“a year ago we were going to fold because we couldn’t figure out how to make money,” he told the same outlet at Coachella over the weekend), Wesley Pentz talked through the label’s game plan.
“We are a label that exists on the internet, so when something like that happens, we know how to incubate it and make it go crazy,” Diplo told Huff Post about that YouTube-dominating meme. “There are no rules to running a label anymore. We have, like, seven people working for us, but Interscope probably didn’t even have a record as big as Harlem Shake last year and they have thousands working for them.”
“Interscope dropped Major Lazer when we asked for money for a video for Get Free, and we sold 150,000 copies of that song,” he continued. “So that just proves that labels have no idea what’s going on anymore. They just want to jump on EDM dick – shit that sucks because they don’t feel the music but think it’s happening. We are in these streets.” As he puts it: “When it comes to dance music on the fringe, there’s no A&R that can teach you or guide you.”
But dance music’s renaissance man wasn’t done dropping quotable gems yet. “Dance music is so interchangeable,” Pentz added. “There’s not a lot of face to it. It’s a bunch of Dutch DJs with the same haircut. You go see a dance stage at a fucking dance festival and I’m bored out of my fucking mind. That’s not going to last very much longer, because kids see that it’s the same shit every single time.”
Posted by Katie Cunningham (via In The Mix)
Deadmau5 Goes Downtempo For Fiancée’s New Album.
Since his appearances at Miami’s Ultra Music Festival and Lollapalooza Brazil, Deadmau5 has returned to his state-of-the-art studio to mess with his machines. (He did, however, recently emerge for a trip to Las Vegas, where he’s been poached by the MGM Grand’s lavish new $100 million superclub Hakkasan and its poolside party spot Wet Republic in the ‘Unhooked’ guise.) So, what’s he working on? Is it the long-promised artist album “that tells a story and is a big package”? An LP may be bubbling in the background, but right now the man behind the ‘mau5 Joel Zimmerman is concentrating on making an album with his fiancée Kat Von D.
Now Zimmerman has shared “the first rough draft” of Satellite, his favourite track on the upcoming album. In typical Deadmau5 style, its genre is labelled ‘KvDStep’. He’s taken a cinematic, downtempo route on the production with a plaintive piano lead-in to the vocals. “Still lots of work to do, but here’s the intro and first verse,” he writes. The comments on his Soundcloud range from the confounding (“First Knife Party and then you Deadmau5, trap drops every-fucking-where!”) to the excitable (“WTF! Loving the new sound, man”).
“I fucking hate dance music,” Zimmerman told Vibe back in February, happily writing his own attention-grabbing headlines. “I make music that you can dance to, but when someone says the word dance music I think of Aqua. Barbie Girl.
“What’s happening in dance music now is what’s happened to hip-hop,” he went on. “Grandmaster Flash and fucking all that and spoken word, shooting this dude you hate and fucking this hoe. There are these other guys that are like, ‘Let’s take this 808 and fucking 606 and then fucking red-line it and just make it an engineering embarrassment…’ and that’s what happened with dance music.”
Listen to track demo featuring Kat Von D on vocals below. Actually sounds pretty good.
Posted by Jack Tegoning (via In The Mix)