This week we are joined by Paul Nolan from Make Your Transition, a platform that teaches, guides and supports producers to become the best artist they can possibly be, by becoming the best version of themselves.
A couple of months back MYT and Hello Demo partnered up and launched a remix contest, giving producers the chance to remix Buschwacka’s classic The Sound. What are the most important aspects that producers should keep in mind when remixing a track?
Making sure they are putting their own unique style onto the track they are remixing. This means carefully choosing which genre and type of track to remix in the first place, so be selective, and don’t be afraid to turn down a remix if you can’t hear how to do something interesting or unique with the original track. For me, I now will only consider remixes from outside of my genre, or time period, or have vocals.
This means I can either update a classic and put a modern twist on it, or put a track with no drums, or different drums, into more of a dance floor context. I rarely, if ever consider remixing tracks from my own genre now, as the remix process has become quite similar to the process of making original tracks, and I find it’s more difficult and not as rewarding to take a Melodic / Progressive track, and make another Melodic / Progressive remix of it. The original already does that pretty well, so why be repetitive?
How has Hello Demo changed your everyday workflow?
It makes the process of not only accepting music from our MYT AAA Members much easier, but it also makes promoting the MYT brand, and my own music and podcasts, much simpler through the use of Hello Demo profile. It’s saved me and the MYT team so much time, effort hassle and repeating work but having everything in one place.
What’s the ultimate production tip you give your students?
Deeply learn the rules and principles of music production and audio engineering, so you can then break every single one of them.
A question that students should ask but never do?
How do I stop worrying about fitting into what I think the industry wants?
I see this time and again. For a maverick genre, that in the early years, was all about innovation and not fitting in at all, the biggest unconscious desire I see and hear from young artists is wanting to fit in, meet their imagined expectations of the industry, and simply, how to conform, how to fit in. The problem is, the really great artists all followed their own unique path and never really gave that much of a damn about whether or not they fit in – they just did what they were into, and followed their gut instincts. I feel dance music lost its way a little bit in recent years – we lost that ‘Punk’, DIY, ‘Fuck You’ ethos, and I for one feel like it needs to make a comeback right now.
Hello Demo is changing the way labels communicate with artists by making sure that feedback is always given on any music that they receive through the platform. What is the most common type of feedback you give on music that is sent to you?
That’s a bit of a difficult question to answer, as every track is so different, the needs of the track, the aims of the producer, their skill level etc. However, I do see some common themes. Mostly, its either tracks are too harsh in the midrange, or the low end needs better control – new producers especially get a bit over-excited when it comes to bass!
They are the most common aspects, and I’d advise any producers reading this getting similar feedback to listen back to their tracks on at least 3 different playback devices with different characteristics, in different environments. Everyone knows ’the car test’, and that’s still a great way, but don’t be afraid to listen on Bluetooth speakers, or even on crappy Apple in-ears or even laptop speakers. You’ll be surprised at what you discover and can learn.
‘Deeply learn the rules and principles of music production and audio engineering, so you can then break every single one of them.’
What is your favorite piece of studio equipment?
Oh wow, just one?! So hard to choose! I have this incredible Bluetooth connected 3D Controller by an Icelandic company called Genkii Instruments, called The Wave Ring – it’s literally a ring you wear on your finger, and you can control music and DJ software with it! It adds an entirely new dimension to making music – makes everything so much more physical! I now have a pair thanks to the guys at Genkii, and I’m experimenting with controlling an entire live show with them at the moment!
3 artists that you’re really loving right now.
I’m going to sound really biased here, but two of them are current MYT AAA Members! Ha! Seriously though, these guys have got huge futures ahead of them. Firstly, it’s Kurt Gasso, one of the winners of the Bushwacka x MYT Remix contest from the back end of last year. He has an incredible sound, so lush, textured and emotive, you can’t help but be swept away by the music he writes.
Secondly, Sebastien Tamayo, from New York, who for me is going to ascend the ranks and be perceived on the same level as the likes of Jon Hopkins, Max Cooper and James Holden in the years to come. His style is so unique – sharp, precise, glitchy and jarring, and yet he manages to imbue so much soul into the sounds of technology freaking out. Incredibly immersive music. Huge. Needs to be heard on big surround sound systems like d&b Soundscape in the future!
Finally a bit of a curveball – I’m a massive Science Fiction geek, and recently I finally fell down the rabbit hole of a show on Amazon called The Expanse. The composer for the show, Clinton Shorter, has written some of the best hybrid orchestral/sound design / synthesised music I’ve heard in a long time. He also did the score for one of my favourite movies, Neil Blomkamp’s District 9. If you love film music, Clinton is a must-listen.
An artist/track that never fails to lift your spirits.
Sasha – Xpander….but you know I might be biased 😉
Something that you’re looking forward to in 2021.
Getting through it in one piece, along with everyone I love. Outside of that, absolutely everything else is a bonus!
We’re loving your new podcast series ‘Beyond The Studio’! Tell us a little bit more about it and any other new projects happening on MYT.
Thanks! Beyond The Studio is everything MYT believes in – becoming the best artist you can be, by becoming the best version of yourself. The podcast consists of long-form conversations that run the whole range of life and experience in dance music, from super-geeky talk about music production, synths, plugins, mixing and mastering, through to personal stories and journeys. No holds barred, no stone left unturned, and it’s an amazing way for listeners to get an insight into who the artists they love really are, and what makes them tick.
I’ve had this idea for years, and ever got round to it, as I didn’t have the platform or the time. I think the pandemic really urged me to get my arse in gear and do a podcast, because it’s a really intimate way to connect with someone, hearing them have a conversation with someone they know well. So far we’ve had Bushwacka, Patrice Baumel, Dave Ralph and Hollywood Composer Jeff Rona on the show, and future episodes coming from Shadow Child, Detroit Swindle, Lydia Laws and Hello Demo’s own Katie Knight of course! It’s available on all major podcast platforms, Apple, Spotify etc!