Hello There Folks. This is the 2nd Edition of “Production Talk”. This time with Zenon Record’s Sourone. Hailing from Poland, Sourone is the project of Michal Kalinowski. You can hear all kinds of influences in Michal’s music as he fuses a wide variety of genres. If there was one word I could use to describe Sourone’s music it would be Glitch. Out of all the Zenon artists Sourone stands out to me as one of the glitch masters. Especially coming from a gltich background myself listening to artist like Aphex Twin and Squarepusher I can definitely hear the influence. Sourone has produced two full length albums plus a million different EP’s of various styles and many many tracks for VA’s and traveled the world performing his unique blend of psychedelic electronica. I hope this interview will give you an insight in Michal’s method of madness in creating his seriously awesome music.
1) How long have you been producing music? Before electronic music production did you have any other experience as a musician and how has it helped you?
I’ve been tweaking sounds since 2006 – so it will be around 13 years. I didn’t have any musical education and any theoretical background before that – but was writing graffiti and drawing a lot when i was a kid. That perhaps gave some aesthetic primer before i started to produce music.
2) Which Daw do you use and did you use any others before what you are using now?
I basically work with FL Studio since the beginning and I feel I got the chance to grow and develop with this DAW. Right now (FL 20) it has all the features I could ever need. I wouldn’t change it for anything else – that’s also probably because I am bit lazy if it goes about moving to new software. I don’t feel need for that anyway 😛
From other sequencers I use Ableton but only for live performances.
3) Regardless of genre can you tell us some of your most inspiring influences that had a profound effect on your vision of music and also what elements of their music catch your attention and why.
I am trying to grasp the inspirations and ideas from various areas – one of the most powerful was progressive and psychedelic rock. It’s difficult to type all the artists that influenced me but that was definitely : Tool, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Jefferson’s Airplane, Can and Rishloo. From electronic music nowadays I love to listen to experimental music like glitchy and jazzy Badun. I also love Quebrus’s creations – offwordly sound designs, it works on imagination. I don’t listen Psytrance much, but when I do I do it at the parties/festivals. Along with decorations it’s very immersive experience and it definitely brings inspiration.
4) Do you believe the quality of sound from using hardware synthesisers is superior to software plugins? Please detail your reasons behind your answer.
I haven’t used hardware that much in my life, so i can’t really tell – but i am aware that present Virtual Instruments are powerful enough to compete with hardware.
Of course real knobs are real knobs and nothing will replace the fun behind it for a lot of producers. I was always computer nerd though and loved to draw them automation’s “inside the box” and also rarely use midi controller while producing 🙂
5) Do you use hardware? If so, what do you have and what do you like about it?
As mentioned above – not really. I don’t own any hardware – but had opportunities to play with some (Nord Lead and Virus Ti) – enjoyed it, but don’t see the necessity of having one.
6) What are your favourite software plugins and why? (These can include stock plugins from your DAW.)
My main weapons are : Reaktor (i use all bunch of native ensembles and also ones made by NI community – they’re freakin dope!), Razor (ensemble for Reaktor but worth mentioning separately), Serum (the possibilities of shaping and modulation of wavetables here are just mindblowing), Sylenth – love this one because I can work so fast with it and it’s awesome for quick “froggy squelches”, Massive, Harmor – this one is stock synth from FL Studio and one of the best synths ever in my opinion. Very powerful sound and you can resample the synthesis you made inside of the Harmor as a waveform. I also use whole bunch of cool FX – my favourite is Turnado, but there are many more.
7) Mac or PC and why?
PC – never had need for Mac and i cannot explain that – i am just PC person and that’s all 😉
8) What are your techniques for starting a song and turning your ideas into a cohesive story?
There’s no rule. Sometimes i start with beat and bass and building on top of that. But as well sometimes starting with ambient and melodic textures that grow to something more driving and there comes intro which evolves to main thing.
Depends on the mood really.
9) What would you say are the essential methods to mixing to create clean and dance floor worthy premasters?
It’s very helpful to check what is using which frequency range as visible and aesthetic form and try to save up decibels on unnecessary frequencies by cutting them away.
In dancefloorish music is important to have strong and driving basslines/beat but it’s easy to forget about all the cool stuff that also pushing it forward like leads, atmos etc. I am trying to find a balance between that. I am not sound engineer though and it’s hard for me to give any professional advice. If it sounds good – then it’s good.
10) Is their something within music production that you believe you have a particular talent for and can you give some insight to help share this with others?
I am not sure if i have any special talent in any of that – but I love to edit abstract sounds previously prepared on synths and I mean cut the shit out them hehe.
I also love to get crazy with automations.
11) Can you please detail some freaky sound design tip or tips that perhaps our readers havenít thought of trying before. This can be anything you like.
One of the things I realised that contrasts within the aesthetic form do the work. And also to not be afraid to do some crazy unexpected actions, experiments.
Sometimes slight breaking the rule opens the door to new discovery.
12) What would you consider to be essential career advice to any young producer trying to get ahead in the modern world.
Just love what you do/do what you love and it will manifest through art you create – if it will truly do, you will surely create something that people will appreciate and get successful.
13) What are your dream studio items or setup that you have not got yet or maybe could never afford.
Probably some high end monitors from Barefoot hehe. Basically my aim is to get proper full pro studio with acoustic treatment and buy all the software i need (slowly getting there).
14) How important is it to have integrity in your chosen style of music or is it ok to try and make a copy of already popular music? How important is it to be true to yourself when to be booked on a main stage means to create something more coherent to the masses and thus perhaps compromising yourself a little?
I have never created anything i didn’t want to create or hear and the stuff i made comes from the heart. If it doesn’t give me fun to create i am just abandoning it. It’s awesome to have gigs and actually be able to make for a decent living from music but it will never goes against my sense of taste. Who knows – maybe one day i will find myself writing some mainstream/commercial music – yeh but for now i don’t feel it.
15) Can you suggest some listening material to help open the minds of our readers and introduce something new that can inspire them.
From the stuff I lately discovered Detox Unit caught my attention – extremely good and tasty electronica. Check out also Crunch (a collab project of Tipper with Mike Wallis), Quebrus (hyperdimensional music), Badun (glitchy jazz), Secret Frequency Crew (quirky and squelchy but melodic glitch)
16) A final motivational word from you to the aspiring producer.
Have fun with creating and enjoy the ride 😉
I hope you enjoyed reading some insight into one of my favourite artists on Zenon Records. Please be sure to check the rest of the blogs on my website. I have another interview with Hedflux and lots of useful blogs for music producers. If you are an Ableton user or interested in learning how to up your music production game or want to learn from the beginning you can read all about my lessons and courses also by browsing my website. Thanks for reading :—) Daniel aka Dirty Hippy (Zenon Records)