Audio was nice enough to give us the opportunity to ask about his love for Virus Recordings, what 2013 holds for him, and how he balances such a busy life!
Dose: Can you please introduce yourself and tell us how you’re doing tonight?
Audio: I’m Audio from Virus Recordings from the UK and I’m good! Glad to be back in Canada after a year!
Dose: Glad to hear! This year marks the 15 th anniversary of Virus Recordings and knowing you’re a fan and family member of the label, what are your three favourite Virus tunes of all time?
I’ve known the answer to this one for a long time!
1. Ed rush & Optical – Fixation
2. Ed Rush & Optical – Pacman
3. Ed Rush & Optical – Satellites
Dose: Good choices, so we know Audio isn’t your only project. You also produce dubstep under the name Pixelfist with Mackie, Lorne, and MC Stapleton. Can you shed some light on how the group came together?
We were all really good friends, I’ve known Mackie since Resonant Evil days, Lorne I’ve known since before then and has been one of my best friends since forever. Stapleton and I just smoked some good weed and got along together!
Dose: Being a four man group, how do guys manage to share and build ideas with one another with such busy individual schedules?
Audio: Well all those guys work during the day and I’m the only one doing music full time. Pixelfist is getting there, but I push the buttons in the studio so they have to get past me!
Dose: So you’re the one cracking the whip and directing the flow?
Audio: I’m a bit of a bastard! If I don’t think the sound is a good idea I’ll just be like “nah, nah, nope” and I’m trying to talk them out of their idea! For me, I’m thinking five or six steps down the song and they might be thinking one or two steps down the song so I’ll be like “no, It’s gone past that, it’s going this way” and that’s just how it works. Although if the guys come to me with an idea such as how the drums should sound, I’ll take that idea and put it into action and we’ll debate if it works or not.
Dose: Your productions have notably intricate drum patterns, do you have any percussive background?
Audio: Nope! None at all, but for me the drums come first and are the first thing I listen to. The kick, the snare, how they groove, and from there I’ll make the bassline. The drums for me are the backbone of a track so they have to be rigid, they have to be slammin’, and if a pattern isn’t working for me I’ll spend a lot of time getting them to work the way I want them to.
Dose: You first started out with Reason and Acid when they came out, do you still use those?
Audio: No, I strictly use Studio One by PreSonus for about the past two years now.
Dose: Any major differences between the three?
Audio: Just a wider, fatter, and overall better sound. I grew accustom to Studio One, it’s good.
Dose: We noticed you’re someone who really utilizes the maximum capabilities that software can offer and that you’re not afraid to use sample packs which is something some producers look down upon
Audio: Yeah not at all you know I encourage the use of sample packs because that’s what they’re out there for. With that said, you just don’t use them blatantly. You might hear a track of mine and go “fuck that’s from that sample pack!” To me I’m thinking “oh that works in the way I want it to and now the song sounded the way I want it to.” You have to tweak the sound in a way that’s your own, but I have no problems using sample packs.
Dose: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received and who gave it to you?
Audio: Mackie! His best bit of advice was to finish a song! Don’t sit on a 32 bar loop for a month, finish a song! Do an intro, a drop, middle and an end! Then do another song, and another, and another, and so on! He taught me that from a very early age and it just worked for me and I would focus on constructing rather than staring. What happens is you get bored, you get looped out from listening to that bit so much and what you thought was really cool an hour ago has become boring to you.
Dose: Good point, being someone who frequently samples movies, what was the last movie you saw and what’s your one word review?
Audio: I just saw Here Comes the Boom, it’s that comedy where the guy does the UFC fighting!
Dose: Your one word review of it?
Dose: We don’t doubt that! When is part two of the “Headroom” tutorial coming out?
Audio: I won’t be doing a part two of that tutorial, but I will be doing another tutorial! I’m going to try and break them down into specific sections and perhaps do one on like taking an old break and using it how I do or something.
Dose: Cool, one question we like to ask is what are your thoughts on live drum and bass acts?
Audio: They’re cool, but I personally have no desire to explore the idea. I’m old school and I enjoy being behind the decks. I’ll watch it and I’ll enjoy it, but it’s not something I would pursue or get involved in. I’m a big fan of the tight, quantized sound. That’s just me.
Dose: What does 2013 hold for Audio?
Audio: This year I’ve got an EP coming that I can’t say on what label and I’ve got five remixes coming. You’ll hear a few tonight!
Dose: Can you share what remixes you’ve done?
Audio: I’ve done a remix for Dom and Roland for their remix album, a remix for Black Sun Empire (Lead Us), and I’m in the process of remixing Smashface by Jade and Rymetyme, and a couple others that I haven’t finished yet.
Dose: Nice! We look forward to hearing those! Being a family man, how do you manage to balance studio and family life?
Audio: Well I’m lucky my wife has been there from the start. We’ve been married since I was nineteen, so eight years now. She knew when I was sitting in our flat with my head the other way from her with headphones on as she’s trying to talk to me and I can’t hear her that’s what I needed to do! Luckily I put the work in and my life changed and now I’m around all week. I pick my son up from school every day and I do a lot more things than the nine-to-five dads do. I make sure to spend that quality time and when my son goes to bed, I go to the studio!
Dose: Right on! What was the first tattoo you got?
Audio: That! *Points to Virus Recordings logo on his left wrist* When I was eighteen!
Dose: Was that after you saw Ed Rush at The End in ’97?
Audio: Yeah! Not many people believe that! They go “nah bollocks!” I had that when I was working in an office! I’d be the guy in the clubs going “fuck! That’s Ed Rush on stage!”
Dose: That’s awesome! It’s funny because just last week on BBC both Ed Rush & Optical admitted they come to you for production advice! How does it feel that the pioneers of the sound come to you!?
Audio: Yeah Matt (Optical) comes round and asks “how you get that to sound like that!?” and I’ll be like “well….I did this, this, and this!” It’s great though, they’ll send me stuff and I’ll send them stuff and that’s what it’s about. There’s healthy competition between us!
Dose: It’s nice to give your heroes advice!
Audio: Fuck yeah man! I mean it’s Optical! The guy’s been round since ’89 ghost writing for people and they are that sound! For me it’s an honour to class them as friends! When my phone rings and I see its Optical I still get giddy like a teenager!
Dose: That’s what we love about you! Thanks for the interview opportunity!
Audio: Thank you and no problem!
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