THE FAVORITE MUSIC PRODUCTION TOOLS OF JAY TRIPWIRE
What is your favorite piece of hardware gear to work with and why?
My favorite gear is hands down- drum machines. If you are inventive with a drum machine you can make more than just standard drums, I write sub-bass, strange bleeps and bloops and other parts of the track that wouldn’t be specifically thought of as drums. I like to make sounds, and I name them strange things, currently I’m into noop noop glung sub-bass made from pitching a kick drum on the Cycles that has big decay and 23% attack.
Right now my holy trinity is the Elektron Cycles, the Korg ER-1 and the Drum Brute Impact my lady was nice enough to leave here.
You can really create a good groove and cover a wide range of how it’s gonna move the track just off 3 drum machines, you run some knob movements to what parameters sound best and you are set to play other stuff on top.
I have owned so many different drum machines over the years that they tend to have a shelf life with me, I get a sound going with a setup, then replace one at a time and switch it up. When it comes to drum machines I treat them like I am Elizabeth Taylor and they are my husbands, discarded, used and on to another one!
Is there a specific VST plugin that radically changed your workflow?
Reaktor. I have hardware gear and kinda cover the bases with sounds and general stuff, but Reaktor does things none of my gear can do. It’s kind of like you go from being spanked to anal bead rip cords.
And much like anal bead rip cords-you can get some really unusual sounds out of it. It’s very in depth, and once you get into the workflow and spend a lot of time with it, it becomes up to your imagination what you can do, again- just like anal beads.
Do you have a specific process when it comes to creating tracks. For instance, do you start with a beat or with a melody?
I like to start my jams at night, smoke a good sativa and fire up the drum machines. I get all 3 to a point where it has a backbone. From there it’s the bassline, then I move towards little add ons, like talking backwards goblin type shit, and little robots possessed by the insect lord. From there I go thru some sounds for drones and chords and just play a bunch of stuff. Once I get that main idea down I go arrange it and make sense out of it. I fill it in to make it interesting.
Sleep deprivation and weed make a great combo for getting music to sound like it would to people on drugs in a club. Let’s never kid ourselves, it’s kind of the target audience.
If you get make a track and get stuck, really stuck, remix it, or erase all the things you played, you already got the patches sounding right, you just do different stuff and that usually eliminates that. Never get attached to something you made, attachments in music lead to misery.
Which aspect of music production do you feel you excel at?
I think I capture this mythical fairy tale rave sound. It’s kind of esoteric, has elements of the cosmos to it, its deep and trippy but its danceable.
I’m able to translate the story in my head into something you can hear.
Recently I made a song and it’s about this Creature, it’s inspired by my lady, in my mind she is this kind of sexy Gizmo type Mogwai.
She is down by this river and these goblin hunters chase her thru the woods until they catch her in a net. They drag her to this grey stone temple where this kind of deity is waiting. He scratches the creatures head until it presents its hind quarters and is mounted by the deity.
Translating that kind of insanity to a song is what I excel at lol.
Your best advice to get that kick drum pounding?
Use an analog kick drum, tune it to the right tone of your song get the decay just right so it sits in the pocket. You don’t want it to be too soft or too loud, reference other records you play out that you know sounds perfect in a club. If you don’t DJ, then listen to Djs at parties, you have to network anyhow, being a home nerd only goes so far. If you hear shit you like, find out the song and figure out where the sounds lie for reference.
Out of all the productions you have made, what would be your personal favorite?
They all have a time and a place and something attached to them. I have no favorite, I make music for other people really; I get a story in my head and just channel it. Every track has its flaws, it has its vulnerability.
How bout I tell you my worst ones.
There’s a remix I did of Gabriel Black that in hindsight is terrible, a remix of Vernon and Dacosta on Tronicsole that I think is terrible now when I hear it. I made a few vinyl mistakes, and I usually made those because I cared about other people’s internet opinions.
What is the best advice you have for other producers in the game?
I have many unpopular opinions, I will share them.
You make music because you are inspired, and create stuff. Sometimes no one gets it now, maybe they get it later and maybe works you love are never understood until 23 years after your death by 11 people, still it’s something.
Never dwell, your feelings have no matter, others either resonate or they don’t. Just cause you think you made something, the value is soo subjective, you might hate it and its a big hit, and the things you love no one really likes. If you are doing this artistically then its going to be that way.
If you are making tracks based on commercial ideas then that’s cool, it’s not art though; it’s content and product.
You have to decide whether you make art from your heart, or product designed for sales. If you make product then do not pretend you are an artist, be a commercial entity and own it, make t-shirts with your face on it and butt plugs with your label logo.
If you make art, be prepared for rejection, heart break, sadness, self loathing, pain, and suffering. Those things help you make great music. To do art means you suffer somewhat. Keep at it though, never stop, let it consume you. When things are tough you work to the point of almost killing yourself because of your obsession with a project. As someone who has been thru many ups and downs, a tough time requires you work yourself to death. You pour so much into it you usually end up getting up from it and have another bout of interest. Remember if you die, your music is worth more- have a will.
Another thing, is move to major city, one known for music, that has gigs and industry and other artists to talk to. Things will open up better for you I think.
Also get good at social skills. If you get flown around to gigs, you eat dinner with people, don’t be a quiet dead fish of an artist and be nice and grateful.
Part of this wonderful experience is you meet all these great people, but if you’re all quiet and shit you won’t make friends. And you possibly won’t get invited back, because who the fuck wants to hang out with a wet piece of cardboard. There’s plenty of amazing artists already who are also great to be around.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
This music is my life, its saved my life. I eat sleep and breathe my craft. I’m a broke down piece of meat, but I wouldn’t trade the life experiences I had for anything.
Where can people find you online?
Google seems to work. I’m about to sell my dirty socks and DJ sets on ONLYFANS.
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