Photo Credit: Philippe Levy
Since 2014, the year of the release of his first EP ‘Through The Circles’ on the Her Majesty’s Ship label and his participation in the Red Bull Music Academy (RBMA) in Tokyo, alongside Palms Trax, Zebra Katz, Xosar or Alejandro Paz (with whom he released the collaborative EP ‘The Line’), La Mverte continues to walk both the studio and stages with regularity.
Now, La Mverte is set to present ‘Alchemy Calls’, his latest EP, and with it, the launch of his own label, Les Enfers. To celebrate the occasion, the artist shares 5 tips to keep yourself grounded in the studio.
1. Take the time, take your time
Time is one of your most precious resources while trying to make music. Few exceptions aside, nobody’s begun making music with the skills, the instruments, and tools that were dreamt of at that moment. It takes time to build your taste, to know what you want, and what you need to achieve your tracks. It takes time to try, fail and learn from those failures, but also to experiment, think on your previous experiences and try to go beyond. Make time to practice, whether it is instruments, music theory, mixing – even if it’s not perfect, practice will help you make music more fluidly, it will also allow you to think about your music, maybe inspire you, and give you ideas about how to re-use some of the techniques for your own music, for example. Depending on your schedule, goals, and life in general, try to schedule your work sessions and practice sessions, making them a rendezvous you cannot miss. Regularity and consistency are keys! The more time you will spend in the studio, the more you will achieve.
2. Find your way: Make your sound personal
With the democratization of the production tools, everybody has access to more or less the same resources, either VSTs, plugins, software, etc. Depending on the music you want to make, and the way, try to find the best instruments and tools for you. The quest for building your sound has not to be the reason for selling your house, though. For example, if you can’t afford vintage analog synths, why not use VSTs and send them into analog effect pedals to twist their sound and make it yours? Take the time to browse the internet, find the tools you want and make them yours, one at a time. Slowly but surely, you will grow your own arsenal, and your sound as well. New gear will expand your creativity and fuel new ideas, but it doesn’t have to be the only trigger. Otherwise, you will be trapped.
3. Don’t feel guilty
Life in the studio can be pretty tough sometimes, and it’s important not to be too hard on yourself. Funny thing is that I usually tend to be, but as I write it, it seems so obvious. There will be times where ideas will not flow, where you’ll play badly, won’t be in the mood, you name it. Don’t punish yourself – we are all humans after all. You can still try to use that time for something else. Listen to music, try to analyze how the tracks you like are made. Practice an instrument, read a book. One of the tips I use the most when feeling stuck is to go for a walk. Exit your studio and go wander for 30 minutes or more. You will then come back with a clean slate, fresh air, and new thoughts, which can help you to go over the past blocks. Be kind to you. Don’t feel guilty when the planets are not aligned.
4. Find your way: Workflow
There must be as many ways of making music as there are musicians, so it is very important to find your own way. Will it be programming VSTs with your mouse or tweaking knobs on your analog synth, it is capital to find the way that is the easiest for you. Ideas can be very elusive and simple to lose that you have to catch them as soon as you spot them. For that to happen, your recording process must be simple to use and choices easy to apply. For starters, I couldn’t recommend more to invest in a patch bay. It will allow you to quickly connect your sound card and instrument outputs to effect pedals or external processors without having to unplug/plug everything every time, helping you to make the idea flow from your brain to your recording station.
5. Don’t feel guilty (to steal)
The road to making music is paved with the best intentions. Though, stealing ideas from the records you listen to can help you! When you listen to music, try to have a notepad at hand, and don’t hesitate to write down what pops up in your mind. Did you spot an interesting drum pattern? Did you notice how intertwined were those synths? How was this texture obtained? Keep your notes and, when in doubt or looking for ideas while composing, don’t hesitate to go through them. Sometimes, it will trigger something that will help you make a step forward in the finalization of the track you work on, bring new and out-of-the-box ideas to the table, unlock a situation or simply bring your inspiration. Do it and make those ideas yours!
La Mverte releases his new EP, ‘Alchemy Calls’, and simultaneously inaugurates his recently founded label Les Enfers on Oct 29th. Pre-order your copy here.