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FLASHMOB'S PRODUCTION SECRETS

This the part we talk all things tech with some major players at the forefront of the electronic dance music scene. Now running solo, Alessandro of Flashmob holds forth on his technical endeavours as we try to get the scoop of some of his closet kept production secrets...

What was the first bit of kit that you bought?

“First peace of kit was my Nord Lead 4. At the time I didn’t now really how to play it properly or use it but I loved the sound I heard on all the demos etc.”

How do you create killer basslines?

“I sample a lot or use one of my Moog synths. I prefer to sample to be honest cause then I can be more creative. That is the thing I love the most in the studio; being creative.”

When it comes to creating the groove what are you using?

“I love my Maschine a lot to be honest. I love playing the grooves live and trying all the ins and outs of the elements to see what fits best 'til I find the right balance for the groove.”

What is your process for creating a thumping kick drum?

“To be perfectly honest I like to sample a lot, 'specially when it comes to kicks these days. I cannot afford to work on a kick for 24 hours like I use to. I simply don’t have the time. I have many kicks I created in the past that I use too.”

And your go-to synth of choice?

“I love Moog a lot; simply for the sound and for the fact you can really shape it greatly without changing the so recognizable Moog sound.”

There is a lot of debate on hardware V software. What are you views on this subject?

“You need to be creative and have fun, wasting the minimum time possible, so you need both in my opinion.”

Name a few of the most important bits in your studio set up?

“I’ll start with my speakers; Focal Twin 6Be along with the CMS50s for the mastering, The Roland JX-8P Synth for the pads and chords, Audioscope Spectrum to work on frequencies etc and, last but not least, my Rane XP2016 mixer which is essential since everything goes throughout this baby before any track is finished for Distortion or/and Saturation…”

Quickly going back to one of your earlier tracks ‘Need in Me’, can you explain to us how you went about getting the vocal?

“Ha, that will remain a secret, sorry...”

Okay lets talk about another track ‘Brick House’, once again how did you go about recording the vocal on this one?

“Ha, you’re still not getting it out of me. Another secret I cannot reveal…”

Let’s move on then... to the groove and percussion, how did you lay that down?

“Just playing about really. In those days, we had just changed our name from a previous project called Egostereo. We really were in a period of musical growth, I simply had the need to have fun and I think that 'Need In Me' was the result of that. It came from a real desire that’s why it’s such an emotional tune.”

There is a catchy synth riff that runs throughout the track, what synth is that from?

“Korg Trillian if I remember correctly.”

Have your production methods changed since ‘Need in Me’ and ‘Brick House’?

“They have changed totally and I have been through so many phases I can't remember them all. But mainly the result is that you always end up going back to the beginning wanting to have fun and using simple things in a more knowledgeable way of course. I like to keep things simple.”

Your productions have a lot of space, is it important that you allow space for the different elements to breathe within a track?

“To be honest, this was a thing Danny loved more than I did when he was part of Flashmob. Of course space is important in tracks but let’s say it’s not one of my first concerns.”

But it is important to keep dynamics in your tracks?

“Yeah, for sure, simply cos if not they sound bad and as soon as you play them on a proper system, they sound funny for those who understand music.”

Why did you decided to release a selection of DJ tools on the Little Helpers Label?

“Simply cos before Danny left the band six months ago we were working towards new sounds, and we thought that to make a sample library and some tools would be a good idea. It was research time whilst developing new sounds and experimenting with new things. and what a better label than Little Helpers for that. I have other artists from the Flashmob LTD that are going to deliver other Sample Libraries too.”

And finally, one production tip for the readers? 

“Have fun and don’t get too technical. Like anything in life, if it creates emotions the job is done.”

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