Music Production 101: DJ Phonon

DJ Phonon is looking to build on an amazing past year, with a load of releases and new music planned for 2018. With his intricate and unique production style, we wanted to learn a bit more about how he makes his tracks sound so special. We caught up with Phonon to get some answers! Hi Phonon, thanks for taking time to talk to us about the production element of your career.

Can you tell us about how you got involved in producing?

I have always loved playing music from a very young age. But, as I got older I wanted to travel more, but carrying everything wasn’t really practical. Having the ability to use my laptop as a mobile studio. This is when I started getting really into composition and production.

Are you a self-taught producer?

I started learning how to use DAW’s in college and university, but that was a little while back now! Everything has come on so far, so I would say yes!

How do you develop your music production skills and talents?

Practice, nonstop creating, YouTube, Blogs, forums, master classes and most importantly – listening! Where do you get your inspiration from when producing new music? I couldn’t exactly say. Emotions, the place or country I’m in, listening to, or watching, good artists, films, biographies, documentaries, people and life I guess!

What’s the typical process you go through when working on a new tune?

I aim for a general genre and tempo usually around 128bpm, then try to start with some chords using a preset sound like a Rhodes or piano. Once I find a good chord progression, I lay a basic drum track down followed by the bass. Then I will play with the ideas and sounds and build it up layer after layer. After time, I start to thin the track out and keep what I think are the best bits!

Do you have a favourite technique to start songs off?

Usually chords, but depends on the genre.

When you are producing, what are your number one plugins and equipment?

I use Cubase 9.5 AND Reason 9, which has some great plugins and VST instruments! But I like using Serum, Retrologue, Helion’s FLUX, Reaktor 5, Massive etc.

The Equipment – UR22MK2 Audio interface with an sm57 and 58, Sennheiser hd650 headphones, Yamaha hs7 monitors, Akai midi keyboard and my HP ZBook workstation laptop.

What’s your favourite synth?


And your favourite sample pack?

I try to make my own!

Do you have any routine plugins for mixing and mastering?

IZotope Ozone 5 and 6

What plugins/equipment is on your master channel?

IZotope Ozone 5 and 6 Magneto 2 Vst Limiter

How long does it usually take you to complete a new track?

Around a month Which traits do you think make a great producer? Open minded, creative but also a realist.

Finally, what can we expect in terms of new music from DJ Phonon?

I’m really hoping to write as much music as possible this year and I have already started a new album! I intend to continue to develop as a composer/producer, and I intend to keep on progressing and defining my style.

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