This week we sat down with the talented producers behind the left-leaning, Half Step Bass.

1. Tell us a little bit about Half Step Bass and how you prepared for this release.

We started with listening to a lot of different half-step artists to see what was happening lately. The whole style is such a fun and interesting experience while being technical at points. But since Ibrahim (Modern Noise Machine) produces half-step and me being a big fan of this particular kind of music it was not something of complete alien nature to us.

2. What got you inspired during the creation of this pack? Any particular influences?

I would say that Ibrahim’s (Modern Noise Machine) latest demos that he has been sending me along with his releases got me more excited about this kind of music. There are other influences as well as the heavy-hitting champs Noisia, Ivy Lab, Eprom, Alix Perez and Kursa.

3. What was your biggest challenge in creating this sample pack?

Surrender!: Getting out of our comfort zones to experiment with different ideas was definitely a challenge along with trying new approaches to everything we already knew about. 

Modern Noise Machine: I work as a full-stack developer from 9 to 5. Being only able to work on this pack in the weekends and/or after work made everything more challenging. At some point felt like I had two jobs but it was worth it!

4. Tell us a little bit about your current studio setup.

We produced the pack all in the box then took our samples to big studios to process them there. Also grabbing our friends vintage tape machine really helped us with our little experiments.

5. Top 3 favorite pieces of gear?

1. Ableton Push 2

2. Shadow Hills Compressor

3. Roli Seaboard

6. What’s a unique, unconventional production technique that you would like to share with our readers?

Surrender!: I don’t really know what would be “unconventional” at this time and age as we came a long way with all the processing power now we possess in our computers. I would love to point out that people seem to think that their favorite artists produced “that” sound with just 1 soft synth. Re-sampling and processing your sounds are a big key player here, especially with modern productions. Don’t be scared to take different approaches to your sounds by throwing them into a whole stack of plugins to process them or even splitting the frequencies and layering them with your original sound after you process each range of frequency differently. There are no rules. 

Modern Noise Machine: Randomizing! Probably one of the most unique approaches that you can try these days. You can create randomized wavetables and import them to Serum to create different patterns of rhythm and then post process them with things like tonal/granular delay and vocoders. You can get some interesting sounds out of it. Results can vary from a bass sound to a cool percussion sound or a stab. That’s the fun part of it! Then you can slice or re-sample these sounds and save them to be used in your projects for more flavor. Your options are limitless.

7. What DAW do you normally use, and what are some plugins you typically use?

Surrender!: I work with Ableton Live. Some of my favorite plugins would be anything by FabFilter, iZotope, Sample Magic, u-he and Arturia. Xfer Serum is also highly appreciated. Also let’s not forget to show love for Sonic Charge, kiloHearts and Sugar Bytes, they have some really cool plugins as well! 

Modern Noise Machine:  Fruity Loops 11. I usually use the stock plugins that come with it but my go to plugins would be Togu Audio Line’s (TAL) free plugins along with OTT by Xfer, Sugar Bytes Effectrix and Serum by Xfer.

8. Any tips or advice for aspiring producers?

Surrender!: I know this is going to sound extremely cheesy but Rome wasn’t built in a day. You have to push yourself to get better and be relentless. The good news is that with YouTube and other outlets you can learn things faster than ever. But dedication is the key here, so don’t give up and push yourself to learn new things and never be afraid to try new approaches. The other advice I can give is to limit yourself. Don’t try to produce with 50 different plugins and 100 different sample packs. Choose 10 plugins you love and 10 sample packs and go from there. Sometimes by doing that you learn more.

Modern Noise Machine: Presenting yourself is as important as the music you produce. Using social media to your advantage while keeping a steady release flow will definitely get you an audience which will allow you to be more driven. Like Surrender! mentioned, patience and dedication is the key.