DJ Seen talks to Viper Recordings artist Smooth about his background, his involvement in the new Prime Loops / Viper Sample pack compiled by Smooth and Bmotion, production tips and future releases!
Make sure to scroll to the end for a free download of some of the sounds from the sample pack and also watch artist L.A.O.S put together a beat in 5 minutes using sounds from this sample pack!
Please tell us a bit about yourself, for example where are you from? At what age did you get into producing drum and bass? And what led to your working relationship with Viper?
Hi my name is Luka Per also known as Smooth/Telekinesis. I come from a little village Prevoje which is based in Slovenia. I was 17 years old when I started making music and about 18 when I began making drum n bass.
So I have been making it for about 12 year’s give and take. I was actually drawn to drum n bass when my friend dragged me to a D&B party. And after that moment I just couldn’t stop making drum and bass, I think I must have been about 6-7 years into producing when Brendan hit me up, on at that time very popular AIM. The funny story behind that was that Pete (NC-17), who is now my good friend, hit up Tim Viper, who works at Viper and told him that I’m this 17 year old Russian kid who makes sick music. The fact was that I was actually about 24 years old and from Slovenia; at the end of the day he did make me a huge favor and connected me with the people that are now not only my label but also my family.
Can you tell our readers about this forthcoming Viper Recordings/ Prime Loops Official D&B Sample Pack Vol 1?
Yes I sure can! I have been using Prime Loops sample packs in the past so doing this big Viper pack with them was just a natural choice. I wanted to basically make sure I cover all types of sounds. So the pack includes a lot of variety, from happy radio stuff to darker and heavier stuff and I believe people will likethat, especially when I looked at it from a personal perspective. When I am hunting for samples I just love it when I find a nice sample pack which has a lot of variety, mine includes a lot of heavy basses, nice pads, big chords and drum packs (single shots and breaks).
How did you get involved with the project?
I always actually wanted to do a sample pack of my own because I had a lot of questions on my fan page about my production and also if I will ever do a sample pack. And when I was contacted by my manager, Asad to see if I want to do a sample pack for Viper & Prime Loops, it just made the perfect sense.
Have you always been interested in sound design?
Yes I have actually. Before I was doing full time music I was working in a post production studio. Mostly I was recording and mixing TV commercials and dubbing cartoons. But every now and then I had a chance to work on a movie. So there I actually learned a lot of stuff about sound design. I did a lot of atmospheres, sfx and foleys. It is definitely different to sound design in music though. In a movie you are guided by the video but in a song you have no other guidance than your mind. So in a lot of ways it’s more fun to just design something that was literally made up in your head.
What was the most exciting part of putting together this sample pack?
Hmm that’s a tough question. I guess the whole process was fun. But I reckon for me the most exciting part will be when people get their hands on it and hopefully they will be satisfied with the whole package.I know a lot of producers will appreciate it, well at least definitely the ones that like our sound. Because for me, making a sample pack is all about giving something back to the producers that supported me over the years.
I hope the samples we made will help them with their production.
Which type of sounds were your favorites to make?
For me it’s always the most fun to make what the name of the genre already states. Drum and bass. I love to go in on some drums and obviously getting the bass to sound gnarly and huge, is just priceless.I just love going crazy with all sounds. I don’t need to eat or drink anything; I can just completely drift away when I’m making music.
What kind of gear, analog or digital did you use to make these samples?
I have no analog gear really. I make it all with soft synths. For instance for basses I generally love to use Massive or Serum. For pads and leads I tend to use Sylenth1 or synths like Predator. And also for raisers and other sfx I very much like going to Sylenth1. I think it has a really nice control surface and I am just really used to it so I guess that is the most important at the end of the day.
I’ve noticed some of these are basically ready to be used in a track as is! How do you feel about other D&B producers using these sounds and do you think this will spur a bunch of Smooth’s and Bmotion’s?
Yes the general idea was to make samples that work with each other. So yeah people could definitely combine a lot of different samples/loops together and the drop of the tune would be done. But I reckon a lot of producers don’t want to sound exactly like me or Bmotion. And even if that would actually happen I’m personally not worried about it because it is my passion to always try to sound fresh and new. That’s why making music is so fun; you always do different stuff and push the envelope as much as you can.
Anyway, I would very much like to hear what people make out of these samples!
What advise could you give budding producers to utilize the sample pack and create a sound of their own?
I guess it’s all about how and what samples they use. I guess when it comes to drums I would say it’s definitely about layering it under their own. When it comes to other sounds I think it’s all about putting their own effect chains on them and maybe going crazy with samples in a sampler and not just putting it in a tune as is. It’s all about experimenting with the sounds.
Any advice you can give the readers regarding mix downs? Do you master your own tunes?
For me the best advice when it comes to mix down is that you need to question yourself what are the most important things in a tune. Pretty simple advice but it helped me a lot. Less is more when it comes to melodic content for me.
No need to complicate and put like 4 pads and 3 different melodies on top of each other. And the rest is up to your ears. And if you don’t give up, eventually you will get there and you will “sort of” get what you wanted out of the tune.
Yes most of the times I do master my tunes. Generally we send all my tunes to mastering and then when we get the masters from engineers back we listen to them and decide if it sounds better or not. So it really depends. For instance my last two singles were mastered by me.
What is next for you on Viper?
I am actually just finishing the next two singles! So there is a lot of new stuff from me coming very soon. Been really deep into the dance floor vibe lately but I also have something very big and melodic coming up! So I am very exited to unleash all my new tunes and see the reaction!
Any shout outs?
Yes. Thanks for having me on the interview! And thanks to Viper for all the support and obviously thanks to Prime Loops for making this happen!