LA-based Tara Brooks has just made her Bedrock debut with the compelling 3-track ‘Eunoia EP’. This supremely talented DJ/Producer is renowned for weaving magical melodies with deep soulful grooves, blending hints of darkness and light, all connected with a steadfast flow of uplifting positivity. Tara’s passion for music is contagious, and her unique sounds and loving energy are perfectly captured in her sophisticated, haunting and healing musical creations. A resident for Desert Hearts and Subtract Music in the USA, she regularly warms up for John Digweed, including at his recent Output (NY) NYE show. Tara always wows crowds at major festivals such as Rainbow Serpent Festival (AUS), SXM, Coachella, BPM, Envision (Costa Rica) and more, and continues to make a considerable impression on the global scene. With a steady flow of original productions and remixes appearing on the likes of Akbal, Kindisch, Balance Series and Exotic Refreshment, and with more surprises waiting in the wings to be unveiled soon, the future is most definitely filled with light. So we thought this a perfect time to dig a little deeper and ask Tara to share her top studio tips…
I don’t have a fancy studio and wanted to share my thoughts on being able to make music with what you have, rather than the most expensive or high-end professional set-up. You can see what I don’t have, but it’s ok, it does the trick. There are so many ways to create and express yourself. Dive in and experiment with a few different DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) until you find what feels right. For example, I use and love Logic. Here are a few of the studio tips and guidelines I live by…
Mood and environment are huge factors in studio production.
Music cannot be forced. Forcing and stress, when feeling disconnected, may destroy your tracks and possibly discourage you. Take the time to listen to other music and sounds that inspire you, meditate or exercise, and you will get back in that special groove. Don’t limit yourself to your home/main studio either, since being in the right mood and creative space can happen anywhere. This means it is important to produce on the road, whether it’s ideas, loops, or sounds. With life moving faster than ever, record ideas as soon as they come to you, which can done simply by using your smartphone, writing out a creative thought, or bringing a small midi-keyboard and laptop on the road. Just as in anything in life, the more time and practice you put forth, the more connected you will feel, your technical skills will grow, and your overall flow will become smooth and less complicated.
Making music is so personal.
For me, the purpose of making music is to express our identities and share our interpretations of sounds so as to create experiences and move people. Unless you’ve chosen to make music for the $$ and can disconnect your feelings and do a job without being connected to the music, then for me, making something I don’t truly feel probably wouldn’t sound right (because I’m sensitive like that lol). I can only make music I love and believe in, because I truly enjoy what I do and it means so much to me. I cannot remix/collaborate on a track I don’t connect with, or at least love the main parts. My advice would be to stay selective and patient. Also be original and, of course, you will be inspired by other producers and labels, but don’t be a copycat. Let those inspirations compliment something unique you create on your own. I’m tired of hearing these trends that sound so generic. I want to hear YOU! Dig deep and create your own sound. I’m always searching for new inspiration and ways to think outside the box, grow and evolve, which I’m sure will take my lifetime hehe.
I love to layer my drums in a way where they’re dancing, grooving and swinging, as opposed to being straight and consistent. MAutopan, H-Delay, and Valhalla Reverb, are my go to plugins. Pay close attention to cutting enough low end to avoid muddiness and clashing, giving each sound its own space to shine. A few of my inspirations for intricate drums include Dorisburg, Jon Charnis, Dance Spirit, Patrice Baumel, and Leafar Legov.
Your studio needs to feel good.
Many care to have a studio full of unique, original, or the latest new synths, to those rare special vintage scores, which truly does give you a wider more creative outlet to make quality music. But, you don’t have to have the most fancy set-up in town. It’s just as important to feel connected and motivated in your environment, as it is having your sound in room tuned properly. Don’t be discouraged if you’re not in the position to build such an extensive studio. At the end of the day, it’s not completely about what you have, but what you do with it. Of course, if you’re mastering your own tracks, it is crucial to have the cleanest, most crisp, professionally treated room and top of the line analog equipment.
Before investing in every new cool synth, try to learn them over the course of a few weeks and really see if you connect to them. Music and creativity come from within, it’s a part of you, it’s your identity – you can’t learn a feeling. I believe we are all born with certain gifts and if you have that natural ear for music, the creativity will pour out of you as long as you exercise and practice expressing it. Buying new gear is addictive and I watch friends, who can and can’t afford it, pile up all these badass synths, then some get neglected and just collect dust (it only becomes another fancy cool pic on Instagram hehe). The point is, whatever you decide to use, whether it’s plugins or a few synths, learn them inside and out, before just jumping to the next new piece of gear. For example, as of now my only piece of analog gear is my beloved Dave Smith Mopho, which I’m having so much fun with, creating fat twisted bass and a cutting edge acidy feel. Synths really are just pure fun to use and you can push endless ideas and adventure out of one sound, making it your own.
Always experiment, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Production is a life-long process. We all have our strengths and weaknesses so remain open to learning from one another – sharing methods, ideas, and approaches will benefit everyone. Think outside the box, let go, and get lost. You will discover your own unique sounds and style, and open up the magic inside you. Most importantly, have fun and let the music do the talking.
Release Date: February 18th, 2019
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