Vaelocity (Jeroen Vaelen)

Please tell our readers a little bit about your background.
I am a Belgian Songwriter and Producer signed to Blanco Y Negro, BIP Records (Universal Music Publishing), One Seven Music (Sony Music Denmark), Atlast Media, Digital Empire Records etc.

I started with songwriting in 2012 after I bought a lovely Mayson guitar. Later on I started producing more and more of my own music. In august 2018 that passion for producing just exploded and since that period I produce around 30 hours each week. This combined with a passion for mixing and mastering makes me wanna do one thing: Making music for the rest of my life. My latest songs have been supported by Nicky Romero (Protocol Recordings), Hardwell’s Revealed Recordings and so forth. I also entered the top 80 of most streamed Belgian EDM/House artist on Spotify.

What is your favorite piece of hardware gear to work with and why?
I am more an ‘in the box’ producer, but if I have to choose, it has to be the ‘forbidden’ KRK speakers. I’m am so used to these speakers combined with Sonarworks Reference to correct them, that mixing becomes more and more easy.

Is there a specific VST plugin that radically changed your workflow?
The most important plugin that changed the game for me is the Sonarworks Reference plugin. The way it corrects your speakers is just a life saver. This combined with an acoustically treated room was the turning point in my mixes and production.

SoundID Reference for Speakers & Headphones Utility by Sonarworks
SoundID Reference for Speakers & Headphones Utility by Sonarworks

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 with playing the piano or guitar and just writing songs. When having the chords, verses and chorus, the production is going fast. Normally I work between 20-40 hours from writing a song to the final master. When having a vocal that touches your heart, the production becomes natural.

Which aspect of music production do you feel you excel at?
As you can hear in my songs, I like to use a lot of vocal chops in the drop. I see a vocal as an instrument. And you can be so creative with vocals chops, that I just like that the most. But sometimes a song doesn’t ask for a vocal chop and then it is just that chorus or synth that can make the drop work. If a sound can touch me, I choose it and I don’t change it anymore. When it sounds good and it touches you, just keep it.

Your best advice to get that kick drum pounding?
The less frequencies playing at the same time in the low end, the better the low end will sound. So I process my Kick , Sub Bass and Mid/top Bass all separately. The sub is always in mono and has a ‘stronger’ sidechain than the mid/top bass. I use a mid/side EQ on the mid/top bass where I process the mid and sides in a way that it fits the kick and the rest of the instruments. I also use sidechaining on almost all sounds that can interfere with the kick. Sometimes it is just a touch, sometimes it is more aggressive. I would say, just use your ears and check that low end separately.

Out of all the productions you have made, what would be your personal favorite?
On May 7th I will release my new single ‘Fly’ (signed at Blanco Y Negro). This is a really special song for me. While writing this songs, i felt something special. And also that vocal chop in the drop came out quite cool. When listening back to all my music, this one touches me the most.

What is the best advice you have for other producers in the game?
The journey to success is a like a marathon. I takes a long time to see the finish line. I am working every day to get 1 step further. And one day i will see that finish line. Keep on working hard and enjoy every second of it. Cause at the end the journey will be more beautiful than the destination.

Is there anything else you would like to share?
Help each other instead of being each other competition. Share the love of music and support each other. We are all in this together. And with love and respect, you will succeed.

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Sonarworks Reference