DJ/Producer Arjun Vagale leads an interactive workshop in underground techno production, covering topics such as producing and performing in Ableton Live, what hardware and VST’s to use, how to produce on the go, tricks to stay creative, and career advice for emerging producers.
Arjun briefly discusses his long background and active involvement in India’s dance music scene and jumps into looking at the Ableton Live session for his latest popular track, Terrakoz. While the track is very basic, he explains the need for club tracks to be simple and have a strong groove so they can translate well through a wide range of PA systems. He credits the success of most tracks to well structured Kick and Bass parts, and in this case demonstrates how he likes to layer sine bass sounds to create movement.
Native Instruments Maschine is one his favorite creative tools, and he sequences an improvised loop to show how he might start building a track. He also covers sidechaining and volume envelopes and plays with another favorite plug-in, Effectrix.
He touches on the time limits he gives himself when developing an idea for a track, and often decides within the first 6 hours whether or not to continue working on an idea. Many ideas are never completed, but continually moving on to the next one is key to remaining prolific.
Arjun moves on to looking at his more melodic big room type techno track, Consumed. An acid bass sound plays a large part in the track, so to recreate the signature Roland TB-303 sound, he used Acidlab Bassline emulator. Additional sounds were made using the MicroKorg. Sampling and looping random found sounds are also an important process for Arjun, and surprising results can often be found with a bit of experimentation.
Finally, Arjun offers general career insights and talks about the challenges of running a music label while also being a producer and DJ on the road. He offers advice for producers who are just starting out, and he stresses the importance of knowing where you fit in as an artist in order to find the right scene and gain exposure for your music.