On August 1st, 2017 at the EDM Production Discord we held a Q&A with AWE

Here is the transcription of the live session.

When it comes to workflow, what is your typical process from beginning to end? Or does it change up?(edited)

AWE: its changed a lot, i used to do a ton of programming, like just really tryhard drum eqing and stuff at first, but now i just do what i feel like doing. a lot of the time now i will start with a weird sample or some texture i think is cool and run with that

Who do you plan to / wish to collaborate with in the future? Are any of these people artists whose music you regularly listen to?

AWE: I really want to one day be able to work with someone like Purity Ring or Bjork or something like that, thats a dream of mine. In terms of actually what is happening, right now im talking to G Jones about stuff to work on and also have been talking to Space Laces and some others

Often times I'll go into producing a track with the intention of it being dancefloor oriented but will somehow end up with a track that's more about sitting back and vibing out. Do you have any tips for keeping the track dancefloor oriented?

AWE: Oh man i'm awful at that, I don't know. I think its like, do you mean what you would want to dance to or what the "general public" wants to dance to? I know i can write music that I would love to hear on the dancefloor but I'm not sure how generally accessible that is. It's all perspective. If you want to write some big edm bangers I think maybe tutorials on youtube would be good to start with. I'm not a big fan of that stuff

What and who inspired you to start making music and how old were you?

AWE: I was animating stick figure like death arena shit in Flash when i was like 11, and wanted to make "techno" to put in the animations. I downloaded a copy of like FL 4 or something

do you use FL now?

AWE: : yeah been using it like 12 years now. it sucked ass back then tho

its great now

How do you make your perc sounds like the ones in the Arc Flash drop? I really want to learn how to do those, I'm wondering how to make them and if there are any good sample packs to find them in.

AWE: i think i have really weird drum processing habits that are subconscious and I would probably have trouble explaining it. I know i used a bit of Waves Stomp Pitcher on the percs there

If your studio was burning down, what's the one thing you would grab? (can't say pet, laptop, harddrive)

AWE: no pet or laptop or hd? i use a desktop to produce, so that.

(user): thats cheating!

AWE: probably my prophet 12

Do you finish a song in one piece [i think he means session] or do you work on it every day? 2.) Which plugins are your favourite one's in mixing, mastering and synthesis?

AWE: I usually actually only spend like 3-8 hours on a song, usually spread out though.

I finish stuff within that timeframe usually, but i write a lot that doesnt get finished. Usually only like 3% of my started projects get finished.

favorite plugins are waves stuff and FL stock. parametric eq 2 is great.

why do you use so little time ?

AWE: man idk it just happens that way

Do you have any tips for mixing in natural sounds properly (ocean, waterfall, etc) without ruining the organic sound?

AWE: i usually mix stuff like that way too loud because im like tripping on whether i can hear it cause im so used to the song without it if that makes sense

but usually people can pick up on that stuff, dont make it annoying or distracting, people want to listn to music not water samples. if it helps the song include it

also stereo imaging can make a sound pop w/o making it louder

What is your favorite reverb?

AWE: favorite reverb is fl stock reverb or trueverb

What are some tips for when you get stuck on a song, what do you do?

AWE: if i get stuck in a song i throw that shit in the trash. Start a new one.

kind of not joking

i mean if its like worth saving ill come back to it in a couple weeks but i feel like at this point i know if somethings working or not

How did your first years in production feel like?(getting in and fighting the initial frustration)

AWE: I wasnt really frustrated to be honest, i think its way harder now because everyone is producing so its like, a contest. all i had to compare myself to was like professionals and i knew that would take time, so i just was stoked constantly about new stuff

now its gotta be hard because everyone is always doing something and u have these big communities like soundcloud or whatever to look at what contemporaries are doing

do you plan on doing more club music? and where do you see yourself and your music in five years?

AWE: I love philly club and that song was just a goof track but it is super fun to do. I'm not from philly or jersey though, and it is traditionally black music and i am as white as they get, so i don't want to be stepping on toes because i know a lot of the pioneers dont get enough credit in club music

hopefully in 5 years ill be doing something im really passionate about. im not planning anything. something like that. vet, or animal shelter, or wildlife conservation.

i have a lot of pets and i love them, i love animals

wanted to know how you promote your music/established your brand.

AWE: I actually am terrible at promoting myself and my brand, i know that people like herobust or whatever are amazing at that, i could go in depth forever about why i'm not really passionate about "branding" but yeah, i guess somehow im making a living while also hating the general idea of edm branding.

Is it harder to make it without touring

AWE: : yeha touring is the main source of income for most djs for sure

its fucking hard to not tour and make a living

Absolutely loved your eagle soul EP and your follow up Crystals. Any chance you'll be revisiting those musical styles in the future?

AWE: thats a really really hard thing to answer cause for me at least those were really reflections of my life at the time, and ive grown a lot as a person as well as a musician since then. i honestly wouldnt even know how to revisit that sound

What are some of your greatest non-musical influences?

AWE: maybe my biggest influence is the movie Blade Runner, but a huge part of that is music for me

tim and eric awesome show was hugely influential when i was younger

lots of video games too

What's the proper way to layer bass sound without having that phase cancellation ?

AWE: you could bounce to audio and have one maybe stretched to like 106% on "tonal" stretch so the low end is in tact

it would change the shape enough to not phase, but would probably keep the character of the bass the same

just stretch it enough to like 103-6%, then reset pitch to 0

I personally love doing remixes and just wanted to get your take/process on them, how do you choose the track and whats your typical process like?

AWE: do i like the track? am i getting paid?

usually the two questions i ask myself to be honest, hahaha

if its something im just choosing to do then like if i have a super sick idea and know i can pull it off, then yeah.

How did you make those roars in Noisia & Phace Program?

AWE: listen to the original :wink:

i didnt make anything

You seem to do a lot of behind the scenes work as well as your own artistry - what's a project you worked on that you're very proud of, yet some people may not know you even did it? Also, how did you first make connections with artists that needed production, not being on the tour circuit?

AWE: ive worked on a lot of stuff for people, but im not sure i can like openly talk about it on here, i've done a lot of work with alison wonderland that i really like though

connections in the music industry are seriously just the most random thing. sometimes people just attatch to you or whatever and you have to roll with it

How did you get your first background job like that?

AWE: i was doing session drum work and i handed a cd to a guy there of stuff i produced

i was like 16, and he liked it and i ended up selling some beats to a big artist. Then he liked it and i ended up selling some beats to a big artist. Then i met djemba from teamsupreme and he was in that world.

it all added up

What do you like to use to make leads to your songs? Serum? Omnisphere? Digital instruments? What's your favorite tool to use?

AWE: i used to be super into synthesis and would work on it forever but in the last couple years or so i kind of just liked to find textures i liked, i work more on feeling now, like i hear some sort of weird sound i like in a sample and just really try and let myself roll with it

i have serum and stuff, and if i have to make a synth i will, but i just like warmth and organic sounds a lot

so do you just use samples?

AWE: nonono, i like rip random vinyl or movies or soundtracks or like youtube anywhere

how do you get a clean sound if you're ripping it?

AWE: I don't. I hate clean sounds.

Do you use presets?

AWE: ill use presets if its like something i dont need anything unique for

Do you flatten sounds to audio and if you do, what percentage of progress on a track do you make the transition into working with mainly audio clips?

AWE: i used to do it a lot more when i had 20 synths running, but i use a lot of audio now and i dont find mysself needing to nearly as much

so less reliance on soft synths?

AWE: yeah for sure

i just use whatever comes up in my browser you know. i love just doing whatever when i make music

You appear to have a bit of experience with both changing genre and branding. When making these choices, what were the factors you felt were most important in making a successful transition?

AWE: im really like not super into "producing" now i just kind of have the language down, so i just break all the rules lol. u gotta learn em to break em

like my old dubstep project to this one? yeah i mean i think i was just kind of excited and young, now i would definitely put more thought into it.

i wasnt anything close to "part of the industry" at the time so i had no idea how to "brand" a new identity

i just fuckin went for it

Pinapple on Pizza?

AWE: yes

Hey, I was wondering, what is your typical routine everyday? Do you find a certain time of the day works better for you in terms of music production?

AWE: i live in an apartment, well a duplex.

so i cant work late unless i want to use headphones which i usually dont.

so yeah daytime. like i dont have a day job so i try to work on this like a day job. im not always successful but i try

You've been at this for a while, what skill as a producer are you working on improving the most?

AWE: hmm, i really want to get better at letting one idea sit in one song, and not packing a song full of ideas

i think songs tend to compete with themselves when that happens, the best tracks are one great idea

how do you balance that with the song becoming too repetitive i guess

AWE: i think subtlety is important and overlooked

maybe just have a single thing about it evolve slightly, or u know bring in a nd tease out things slowly.

just listen to tnght record, every song is one good idea, u know?

When you first started, did you know which style of electronic you wanted to make? Or did you explore mutliple styles. Oh, and what kind of headphones do you have

AWE: oh when i started honestly it was like everyone called it techno.

like, no one knew the genres. it was like 2006 ,here listen to this you'll have fun

What's something you strongly believe in that most producers today would disagree with you about when it comes to making music?

AWE: i think soundcloud should die, and also i think that raves are boring and edm is actually super boring and needs some sort of facelift or something

: If your production career was a video game and you had 10 skill points where would you put them in these catagories:

Mixing: Promotion: Instrument skill: Time management: Collaboration:

AWE:

Mixing: 4 Promotion: 1 Instrument skill: 2 Time management: 1 Collaboration: 2

isnt instrument skill like the most important?

AWE: im not amazing at playing an instrument

im a drummer. im ok

thank you AWE for listening to all our deepest darkest fears and hopes

AWE: thanks for having me!!t was great