Not to be confused with the Amsterdam-based Baron of Techno Dave Clarke, we’ve got our own techno producing Dave Clarke here at MMS!
Hey Dave! Thanks for sitting down with us today. How did Auder and Kortzer come about?
It’s a pleasure! A couple of years ago I bumped into a mate I used to go to school with at a party and we got got talking about music and going out etc. After that he started showing how to DJ and we’d mix tracks together at pre-drinks before we’d go out, and that’s what really got me into techno and DJing.
After a long time of trying to think of what to call ourselves Auder & Kortzer was created!
Fantastic! Are you Auder or Kortzer? In terms of producing music, how did that start to fit in?
I take the role of Kortzer! The more music I listened to the more intrigued I became about how some of the sounds and styles of music were created. It was around this time leading up to my A level exams, I asked myself the question ‘what do I really want to do?’
After a lot of consideration I decided that I was going to do music production at Midi School instead of taking the road to uni, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision.
So the tracks you’ve rolled out so far – can you talk us through them?
My idea and inspiration behind this track was mostly from Zadig, a french producer. Thanks to you Lucy he signed a record of his I own, The Stellar Hunter EP. He wrote on the sleeve “music from outerspace!” This gave me the idea to give my own take on outer space & I tried to generate a feeling of suspense and uncertainty.
I used a Roland JD800, Korg MS2000 and a variety of different plugins to make this track like Alchemy. I find Alchemy really good to create your own sounds using the LFOs and different wave types and tend to use it a some point or another in a lot of my productions. Learning about how to compress sounds has really helped me make my tracks tighter and in this track I’ve used Native instruments Solid Bus Compressor on my drums as well as the other sounds.
I made Lulla as part of a structural task for my course. I had to choose a song that I liked, use the same structure and the same number and type of instruments. The track I choose is a very heavy driven techno tune so I decided that I’d make mine to be a more melodic and hypnotic type of techno.
In all my productions I try to generate some kind of emotion, as when you listen to music you should always be able to feel something.
That’s what I tried to do when creating the main melody that comes in, I was hoping to make a melody that in a way comes out and talks to you even though that probably sounds bit weird! Making this taught me the importance of using reverbs on sounds to make them much wider and interesting especially in techno.
I really really enjoyed making this! I was trying to make a song that was heavy, driven and industrial but that’s really not what I came out with! I was feeling really chilled out on a Sunday afternoon when I started this and is probably why I never got the heavy industrial sound I was looking for. When you listen to it I hope the mood I was in comes out. The percussion side of things is done using samples through battery which is another plugin I like to use for my productions.
This was the first song I ever made at the school and I didn’t really have much of a clue what I was doing which is really evident when I tried to mix it down and have found about a million different busses completely unlabelled! I’m revisiting it at the moment and tidying it up with the skills I’ve learned since then, so I hope for it to be finished very soon.
My inspiration for this came from both Regal and Ben Klock. My idea was the emulate the acid sound of regal and the excellent percussion in Ben Klock’s Subzero, particularly the “noises” he uses as they create so much atmosphere.
Unfortunately I don’t have a set up at home only my laptop, Korg Volca bass and midi keyboard so I do nearly all my work at the school.
I often come up with ideas just before I go to sleep so I start a track off on my laptop and get my idea down so I don’t forget it then continue it at the school.
The day you take home a phat synth for your home studio will feel all the sweeter from putting the time in at MMS! It‘s really encouraging to hear that you’ve kept focussed and made the most of the Midi School studios and equipment, that‘s what it’s there for!
Is there holy grail to finishing tracks – have you got any tips?
I know I’ve been dreaming of a 303 for a while now! When I was first starting I found it very hard to finish tracks simply because I’d never finished one before so it’s hard to know exactly when a track is finished when you have such little experience. I think no matter how experienced you are it will always be hard to finish a track because it’s hard to say ‘yep, I’m satisfied with that’, for me anyway I always want to try an make it sound better. Sometimes though this can be more of a hindrance as you’ve heard the tune so many times that you might start to think ‘no I don’t like that’ and start deleting stuff.
My advice would be when you’re writing a track make sure your structure is solid. It’s a lot easier to write melodies and other parts in once you’ve got the skeleton of the song together rather than doing the structure as you go along. If you do this you’ll find ideas come more easily as you have less to think about at one time.
I’d suggest starting off with your drums, then for example build the intro, breakdown, verse etc until you have a song start to finish, then start to add in other sounds. You can always go back and change the beat, number of bars etc as your idea develops.
You should find that with the structure down the whole thing seems less daunting and things start to flow much smoother. I’ve found that starting of with a solid base makes finishing the track a lot easier! Oh and label everything this will also make finishing a lot less tedious and stressful!
What are you working on beyond this?
As far as these tracks are concerned, once they’re mastered then I’ll start looking at some labels to send them into. I have a few in mind so we’ll see what happens, but hopefully soon enough they’ll be released!
I’m also looking into putting my own night on with a couple of friends but I wouldn’t be able to to give a location or a date as it’s all still in the early stages.
At the minute I’m more focused on learning more about production and getting my tracks sounding better in better.
Is there any advice you’d give to people looking to produce music?
For Midi School students, my advice is just be make the most of the opportunity while you can. Make sure you put as much time into it as you possibly can, and get the staff to show you new productions techniques etc. You definitely get out what you put in with this kind of stuff – practice is key!
Don’t get disheartened early on when you can’t do things, you’ll get there eventually! This blogpost I think is really good advice to anyone.
For anyone thinking of attending MMS, I can say that the equipment is excellent and in abundance. I feel really lucky to have had tutors with such a level of knowledge and experience.