This week we caught up with the producer responsible for Live Hi-Hats Vol 3. He took us through his Studio Setup & Gear List, the preparation involved when creating a sample pack, and also offered some advice for aspiring producers.

Tell us a little bit about Live Hi-Hats Vol 3 and how you prepared for this release?

“When approached to work on Live Hi-Hats 3 I wanted to create something a little different from the previous packs, I wanted to create something that the user could use to manipulate themselves and also give a true ‘live’ feel to their projects. I wanted to use different environments and spaces to add some true diversity to the pack, I used numerous studios live rooms as well as rooms of all shapes and sizes such as a garage, living room and even the loo!”

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

“I wanted to create a pack with a diverse range of styles and tempos so there was a lot of inspiration for this pack spanning everything from, The Roots, J Dilla, to disco and funk from the Brothers Johnson and D Train,UK Garage and everything in between.”

What was your biggest challenge in creating this sample pack?

“The biggest challenge for me during this pack was experimenting with different cymbals and creating new interesting hi hats that didn’t sound too weird, like using two 20” rides together as a pair of hats and making sure what I was hearing was what was being recorded, but lets be honest that just fun!”

Tell us a little bit about your current studio setup.

“For this pack particularly as I mentioned above I used many different studios and spaces so the core was my Macbook Pro, and my UAD Apollo MkII Twin as my interface which enabled me to integrate into all the spaces I was working in seamlessly. A lot of the pack was created in one of my favourite studios in LA, Revolver Studios in Thousand Oaks, which houses a beautiful Vintage Neve 8128 w/GML 56 Channel console once used on Michael Jacksons ‘Thriller’, which has some of the nicest preamps I’ve ever heard, they add some much warm to a source.”

Top 3 favourite pieces of gear?

Vintage Gefell UMT 70S, I use this thing on everything! However, this was the first time using it on hats and it didn’t let me down. It’s a simple mic which just works in all situations.

For this pack there were a couple of sets of hi hats which stood out 14” 60’s Zildjian hats for  a creamy as ever, however, some tiny 9” hats I made up out of a 9” Istanbul Mehmet Bell and a 9” Istanbul Mehmet Splash were tremendous!

Neve 32264 Compressor these are so punchy and clear they just make everything in the world alright!”

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

“With the vision of this pack being raw true live feel there wasn’t much in the way of unique unconventional production techniques, maybe the odd strange mic placement like placing a mic in a bin in the corner of a garage, or playing two different sets of hi hats quite far part and only micing 1 set, but nothing too crazy!”

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

Protools is my current go to although I do have a love for Cubase, although protools is the standard in most of the studios I frequent so it makes sense for me to stay familiar with that. As for plugins, Valhalla Vintage Verb, and Shimmer are my go to reverbs, they’re just so smooth versatile with a great user interface and you can get get great results very quickly. SoundToys the whole bundle is great but use micro shift  and echo boy a lot, Fab Filter, and I love the UAD Roland Space Echo too.”

Any tips or advice for aspiring producers?

Don’t be afraid to get weird, and try something that may seem odd, and with allow the character to be present in recording any source, clean can be boring!”