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Pascal aka Peter Pahn, from Frankfurt am Main, Germany is a motivated and talented techno producer and DJ. Defined by his timeless ‘marching and driving’ sound; his productions feature his trademark hypnotic self-recorded looped vocals that capture crowds, his catchy melodies epically escalate mood, all while accompanied by his skillfully applied deep baselines that keep audiences grooving.
Debuting with ‘Disefect’ with on the Italian Gain Records, he quickly gain acclaim by winning ‘Best Producer’ for the associated contest of the ‘Gain Series Vol. 16 – ADE Sampler 2019.
Peter Pahn continued to quickly gained worldwide recognition for his ‘Disefect’ track, including receiving endorsements from: Richie Hawtin, Joseph Capriati, and Drumcomplex. Drumcomplex later contacted him offering a contract to produce a remix. The results of this collaboration resulted in the release of his first EP: ‘The Holy Gid’ EP, featuring the excellent Drumcomplex remix of the title track.
In 2019, he joined as a permanent member of Wir sind Verboten (Teenage Mutants), a collaboration of techno artists that are enthusiastic about Peter Pahn’s potential as both a producer and live performer.
To celebrate his new release ‘Rave Revival’ via Tragedie, Peter Pahn shares 5 useful tips to apply on the studio.
1. Love & Passion
Artistic expressions are a creation of live. The artist pours his life-force and breathes spirit into his creation giving this creation its own being, destiny, and expression.
When producers express themselves in this way, the music that they create is ‘alive’. No matter how much skill or technical experience a production has; if it is without love and passion, it will feal ‘empty’ or hollow on the inside.
In my tracks, I can find aspects of myself, and my life and express them through my work. Even if it is my mother’s voice layering into the hi-hats; in a way that no one could recognize. It still helps my workflow, somehow adding to the ‘life’ of my tracks. In one track, I used a beautiful percussive rhythm in 4/4 time from my broken dishwasher that just happened to fall into my ears.
Sometimes my friends send me some sounds, and I like to use them; there is no limits, so be creative!
2. Sound design
Getting that special unique sound that represents what you want to express and fits in ‘just right’ is hard work. Sometimes I will spend hours tweaking my synth or making my hats sound different.
I prefer to use the tools provided by Plugin Alliance, in this pack two of my favourite plugins are: ‘Sandman Pro’ and ‘Byome’, both from Unfiltered Audio. Sandman is also nice for vocals.
3. Make your own templates
Making your own reusable templates is a great starting point for young producers.
For each track you will adjust your templates from one to one to fit them to that unique expression that you are trying to achieve. Having your own templates ready allows you to quickly experiment and develop new concepts within the framework of your own style and history.
In my case, I have set up five kicks in different keys. I will adjust this template to individualize it for a particular track. For example, layering high frequencies for a more clicky sound. Even for my hats I use templates.
4. Group your tracks
Keep order on your computer and within your project files, samples, and source recordings. Regularly make backups, place your tracks and experiments in well-organized folder structures, and keep everything, do not delete even a small idea. Likewise, keep good order within your tracks, color coordinate, and sort your tracks according to their purpose and tone.
The tracks within my Ableton Live 10 project files use the following coordination:
• I sort between dark red for the aggressive ground bass frequencies.
• From there I use a gradient through orange for mid-tones to yellow for high hats and other high frequencies.
• For the synths I usually use black or purple – effects white and vocals blue.
You can juggle with colours. This good order is important things for me to get into an effective workflow.
Of course, my studio always must be tidy, and I can’t have any side projects, otherwise I can’t concentrate 100% on the music and let myself go. Remember the rule: “less is more”, so keep things simple!
5. You have never finished learning
Getting feedback from my colleagues is always exciting and has been incredibly valuable in my progression as a producer. As a newcomer, it is important to get inspiration and feedback from experienced and established artists.
Today I continue to regularly attend masterclasses, most recently I watched Victor Ruiz excellent videos. His insights and tips I continue to find very helpful.
That’s the beauty for me, that you never stop learning! Therefore, I encourage you to continue to learn, keep developing your skills, and continue your own unique path of artistic expression.
Get regularly into nature and other places where you find identity within yourself. Collect yourself and your ideas. Sometimes it helps to draw a picture, make a voice or ecology recording, or take a video of something that embodies what you are feeling. Whatever works. Then go to the studio and start to breathe life into this creation. Now allow that part of yourself, that inspiration that needs expression, to find a natural and representative form in your art.
Peter Pahn’s ‘Rave Revival’ will be out March 26th via Tragedie. Grab your copy here.