For the sixth edition of Studio Talk, we introduce Raito, who in my opinion is one of the most exciting producers around. French born Médéric Martin has been releasing dance floor weapons since 2015, with signatures on Boys Noize self branded imprint BoysNoize Records and Carl Cox's Intec. We caught up recently to chat about music production, where he has shared with us some his top tips & tricks and go to bits of kit.
1. Talk me around your studio set up; what are your go to pieces of hardware & software?
I use Ableton on my Macbook Pro with Sennheiser HD25 headphones.
I don’t use a lot of VSTs. My favourite VST is SchOPE from Stillwell. It doesn't generate sound but gives visual information about dynamics.
2. You have had some big releases on Boys Noize Records over the last couple years. How did that signing come about and what advice would you give producers wanting to get their tracks to the right DJ’s/labels ears?
As Raito, my contact with Boys Noize started through my friend Louis aka Madame. He told me that Alex was looking for some bangers to play at Hard Halloween before Skrillex so I sent him my track Aftershock and he then released it. I kept sending Alex some stuff and it ended up being the 3 BNR Eps that you know. My contract with BNR is technically over now but Alex’s label makes me feel at home musically so I hope I will be able to keep working with him as long as our visions match.
About getting your tracks to the the right ears, I think that the only thing to do is to make music that you really love. Music that is you, per say. Since I’m doing this, I always ended up being in contact with people who makes music I do love like Boys Noize, Frankie Bones, Virtual Self…
3. I have always been a big fan of your productions. It’s that blend of old school UK Hardcore and modern techno which sounds big in a club. Writing music for the dance floor can always be tricky. What tips do you have for anyone wanting to get their tracks sounding strong on a club sound system?
Making tracks that just sounds strong in the club is pretty easy I think. Just copy the sound of beatport top10 techno or something.
What’s more interesting to me and probably harder to make is music with personality and a modern banging sound. I think that most of modern banging club music lacks personality while music with personality usually doesn’t have a modern powerful sound. I have admiration for the few artists that manage to get both.
4. More specifically, I often get asked by my students, ‘How do I get my kick drums to sound big in a club?’ Again, could you share with us any tips and tricks you have, for those wanting to get their kicks full and punchy on a club system?
My experience showed me that giving specific production tricks doesn't work for everybody because even if they understand them, they don’t necessarily want them to be part of their personal expression in the end. But here are my tips for banging kicks anyway.
Sample your favourite sound. Filter, amplify and compress in all kind of different order. Then apply sidechain on almost all the tracks. EZ
5. The track that never leaves my set list is ‘Rave 92’, which was part of your EP on BNR last year. I’ve played it on many club sound systems and it always gets a huge response. Talk me through the process you followed to create this track? How did you achieve that sound?
I love the drums on Rave 92. It always goes forward in a DJ set when I switch the bass knobs. For the kick I used the technic from my previous answer. For the oldskool drums I used sample from 90s jungle tracks as well as the samples they were using in the 90s to make breakbeat-hardcore and jungle. The other drums (hats, clap…) are regular powerful HIFI sounding modern drums from popular sample packs.
6. When it comes to studio day, ready to start a new project, what’s your structure for making a track? How do you manage your workflow?
I almost always start with kick/bass and drums then melodies. Sequencing and mixing comes together for me. Arranging comes a bit after but it’s still mixed with the other part of the process. I never finish a track in a day so I always export it as a demo for myself and I come back on it later when I feel like finishing it.
7. What advice would you give up & coming DJs and producers wanting to break into the industry?
I don’t really consider I broke into the industry but I guess releasing everything on limited white labels and not doing gigs would be a good way to do so. jk
Making great music and/or showing off seems to be an effective technique.
Carl Cox @ Ultra Miami 2018 - Track ID: Raito - Innerself (Nervous Records)
8. What artists do you look to for inspiration when hitting the studio?
Artists that always come back being inspiring to me are Burial and Zomby. UK seems to always be one (or several) step ahead of rave music and these two have a very inspiring vision of this music.
Like I told you before, I also love artists that manage to get a banging sound as well as musical personality like Skrillex and Gesaffelstein but I don’t want to copy their sound. I’m inspired by their high energy and the way they translate their different and sometimes unusual tastes into their music.
9. Whats next on the release front for Raito?
I’m currently working on my next EP and I just released a remix of Virtual Self - Ghost Voices that you can check here:
Sacha Lord l One DJ ''wanted 24 buffalo wings and an oxygen tank"