For the eleventh edition of Studiotalk we introduce New York based DJ/producer Avision. Real name Anthony Cardinale, which is a name you may already know from big releases on Toolroom and Session Womb. Fortunate to grow up around the rich club culture of NYC, and influenced by the sounds around him, Avision now finds himself helping to usher in a new wave of techno for the New York scene. Over the last year, he’s had releases on a range of influential labels like Mark Broom’s Beardman Records, Carl Cox’s Intec, Victor Calderone’s Matter+, Carlo Lio’s On Edge Society, and Inmotion LTD. Support for his productions has been coming in strong from techno tastemakers like Carl Cox, Nicole Moudaber, Chris Liebing, Pan Pot, Paco Osuna, Joseph Capriati, Carlo Lio, Ben Sims, Sam Paganini and more.
We caught up recently to chat about the music production side of his artistry and take a tour of his New York studio. Avision has as kindly shared some of 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?
My studio process is fairly simple, my go-to pieces are usually my Korg Ex8000, Nord Lead 2 and my Korg Minilogue. For software, I’ve been going to the new Roland Cloud plugins and I always pull up my Native Instrument Komplete bundle, preferably Battery 4. I also must say Logic X has some amazing built-in plugins that I always like to mess with too.
2. I can see you have invested a lot of time into acoustically treating your studio. Can you talk me through your room treatment? and what advice would you give to someone looking to get the best sound from their room?
My room treatment was done by my Dad, he custom built this studio. When he built the room, he put a lot of treatment in between the wall to get rid of the outside noise. My room is a completely dead room. Inside the studio we have some bass traps in each corner of the room, as well as some treatment on the front and back walls.
Some advice I can give if you’re looking for the best sound for your room is I would find the best spot for your console, and speakers. Typically you want to come off your wall about 2 feet. Speaker placement is always a major factor when you’re building your room, make sure nothing is coloring your sound.
3. You have been releasing music on strong labels for +6 years between your most recent project Avision and your moniker Anthony Cardinale. How did your music production journey start? and what advice would you give to new producers looking for their first label signature?
I got into making music around the same time I started DJ’ing at 13 years old. I remember telling my Dad that I wanted to make my own remixes, and that’s where it all started. My Dad (singer, piano player) had been sequencing music for his wedding band at that time and from birth I always had a studio. I grew up in a music household, and grew up playing drums and piano.
4. I have played many of your productions in clubs over the last couple years, I always find your work a dream to mix in and out of. What tips and tricks have you got for producers that are stuck in the loop, struggling to work out what the best way is to arrange their parts?
The biggest part is getting past that 4 bar loop that everyone starts with. Usually, I’ll get a groove going and once I have the main element there I’ll start working on the structure and arrangement. I usually start stripping down my parts and seeing how I can start my track off. Usually I have all I need in that 4 bar loop to at least get some structure down.
5. You have had some amazing remix work on the likes of Inmotion Music, OFF Recordings and MATTER+. When you get the stems sent over from the label what would be your usual approach to making a remix?
My first approach when I get the remix stems I’ll listen to all of the stems thoroughly. After, I see what parts I really liked and see how they were used in the original. Then I start my own groove and go through my usual routine, from there I’ll incorporate the remix parts and see where it takes me.
6. Out of your original work a stern favourite of mine which I've played out a many of times is your track ‘Free Your Mind’ that was released in May this year on MATTER. Its that strong vocal hook and groovy baseline that makes it for me. Talk me through the process you followed to create that track? What tips and tricks have you got to achieve that sound?
Thank you for the support :) Free Your Mind is actually one of my favorite productions I’ve done. It’s everything I want my sound to be, deep/heavy, groovy, and uplifting. I remember I had the main drum parts down, I played my bassline on the Nord Lead 2 and knew that this record is going to be solid. I was inspired, I kept going and got the track done in a few hours. The vocal happens to be my voice, I don’t know how I came up with it but it just came to me. One tip I can say for this record is simplicity. Every part in the track compliments each other and is the right part for the right time.
Avision - Free Your Mind (Original Mix) [MATTER]
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7. When it comes to studio day, ready to start a new project, what would be your structure for making a track?
I always start with a blank project, I either grab one of my own kicks or I make a new one. I like to start fresh every time. Once I get my kick I work on a groove and go from there. Usually, once my main groove is down I try to start coming up with my lead, from my lead I will then start layering. I also tend to mix as I go so I don’t have to stress my mixdown as much after I’m done. Once I finally complete my track I then go back and touch up a few things. From there I then throw a quick “DJ Master” to play the track out in the club and give it a test. If I like it I leave the track alone, if I feel like it needs a touch up I’ll then go back and fix what’s needed.
8. Kicks & Subs tend to be a tricky topic to master as it’s the club that really shows how its sounding. What tips & tricks have you got for producers wanting to get their Kicks & Subs club ready?
It took me a while to get the Kick & Sub club ready. I think it’s important to let both breathe in the mix, a good eq, some compression and sometimes saturation. I believe a good mixdown is the trick for your Kick & Subs being club ready. I usually work everything around my Kick when I start to do my mixdown.
9. What advice would you give up & coming DJs and producers wanting to break into the industry?
Be humble, be patient, and work your ass off. Network, build relationships, and most importantly care about your craft. Nothing will ever be handed to you, you have to work hard and when you think you’ve worked hard enough, work harder.
10. With your strong output of productions, have you thought about setting up your own imprint?
I have definitely thought about it, and it will happen when the time is right ;)
11. What’s next on the release front for Avision?
ALOT lol. I have a full release schedule for the next year. Be sure to look out for my first vinyl coming out in September on Ben Sims’ Hardgroove. After that I have an EP coming out on Alan Fitzpatrick’s label We Are The Brave, and a track for Cassy’s new Kwench Records.
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Cera Alba - Deep Tech Movement.
Cera Alba’s love for underground music came from the vibrant club scene of Leeds, and was heavily influenced by nights such as Back to Basics, Dirty Disco, and Louche. After a season spent in Ibiza a passion became a calling, and Cera began to develop his sound with a dedication towards the highest standards possible. Never one to be stereotyped in one genre, he often pulls on a wide range of influences when creating his music.
Cera Alba’s dedication has seen him become a well-established DJ in the UK and across Europe. Releasing regularly on the hottest underground house and techno labels including Hot Creations, Toolroom, Moon Harbour, AVOTRE and Abode Records. Over the past few years he has played at some of the best clubs and venues in the world including Space Ibiza, Watergate, ADE, Hideout Festival, Sankeys Ibiza & many more.
Deep Tech Movement contains 92 track ready drum loops with all the essential variations to ensure they provide both backbone, groove and vibe for any new track. Having loops broken down into kick free, percussion only, tops etc not only provides flexibility, but also the ability to combine loops easily for fresh new beats and a continual inspiration.
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