This week we caught up the producer behind the best-selling futuristic series: Future Soul.

How did you prepare yourself to get into production mode for Future Soul 2?

Just by listening to great music really. There’s a lot of people in this style that are making a great impact at the moment. People such as Nao, Lido, Pomrad, and Flume. As this style is mainly focused around the melodic riffs and licks, I spent a good day or so properly listening to and recreating some of their ideas. After that, I felt I had a good grasp on what worked and certain sounds I could create.

Was there a different approach between Future Soul 1 and 2?

With this pack I tried to incorporate some more lead riffs. I was playing around creating sounds in Xfer Records’ Serum and found that it’s a lot stronger than Massive when making lead sounds.

I found that some of the best tracks in this style had simple sounding riffs with lots of subtle modulations and effects happening that keep them from sounding boring. I also didn’t want the main melody parts in each kit to just be pitched vocals, as great as they can sound.

What were you listening to during the creation of this pack?

As well as the previous artists mentioned that I was listening to for melodic inspiration, I listened to a lot of Dr.Dre, specifically his drum beats.

He has a great way of carefully layering interesting sounds together to create laidback, swung grooves that sound full and work well in this style. His drum hits are also very tight and punchy, and I learned a lot about snare sounds in particular by analyzing his music.

Were there any challenges to overcome during the production process?

I decided to use Serum for the first time for the majority of the sounds in this pack, purely because I think there is a lot more potential for sound design. It took a while to get to grips with at first, but it ended up making the whole process a lot more interesting.

I found that I was using a lot less insert FX on the instrument channels as the sounds sounded stronger from Serum. A lot of the time I was “chucking” on unnecessary effects, but I found myself taking a step back and thinking ‘does this sound really need this,’ which helped me a lot with regards to keeping things simple.

Any upgrades to your studio since we last spoke?

Apart from Serum, no. I did, however, use a few plugins that I had in my collection but rarely messed around with, such as the Native Instruments Guitar Rig plugin in the ‘Electric’ kit.

Do you feel your production skills have grown since your last release, and if so, how?

I think working on this release was a great learning experience with all the new sound design techniques I tried to implement. There’s a lot of really great sounds in the tracks being released in this style currently, so I learned a lot from studying them.

I also learned a lot about melodies. Pomrad’s music, in particular, is full of lots of arpeggios and clever chords, so spending the time to break those down and trying to understand the thinking behind them also helped a lot.