Amtrac may have been rocking it since 2008, but the past few years have put him on the fast track to dance superstardom.
Since the release of his debut LP Came Along in 2011, the DJ/producer has built a dedicated following with his knack of crafting endlessly groovy tunes capable of keeping a dancefloor bumping until the early hours of the morning. Having recently toured with Kaskade and Kygo, his smooth blend of pulsing bass and garage-inspired vibes has caught the ear of many a dance fan.
Now in possession of a fiery armory of high-profile remixes—including reworks of Axwell^Ingrosso, Alesso, Zhu, and Elliphant—in addition to his fine-tuned originals, the Kentucky native is spilling his top production tips for aspiring musicians everywhere.
“Record about 20 minutes of playing something—synth, guitar, bagpipes, etc.—then just loop a few bars and cut and paste that badboy up for a good while. I always come up with some premium loops using this method.”
“Don’t have the best monitors on the planet? No worries, just be sure to listen to your work through as many sources as you can before putting out the finished product. I use about 4 different things before I feel good to go, including TMA-1 Studios, Sennheiser HD-280s, Rokit 8s, and don’t ever underestimate the almighty laptop speaker.”
LAY IT OUT
“I like to track out as much as I can before I even attempt to go back and EQ and fine-tune anything. With at least a good 3 minutes to work with, I find it easier to get a feel for how the track is going to flow.”
“Do you have a track that you are really into but just don’t know what to do with it? Try this out. Get ahold of some acapellas, ideally ones with a lot of melody. Start laying those all over your track. Usually something fits right in there and it becomes something else. Then you can choose where to go from there, record a synth line in that melody, chop it up to where it doesn’t even sound like a vocal, or just go gung-ho and clear the sample.”
“I don’t use any soft synths, but I do rely on a few plugins that can really help beef up your production.”
Voxengo Stereo Touch
“Great free stereo imager.”
“The best reverb I’ve heard to date. It sounds amazing.”
“Really great phaser/flanger in there.”
“Still my favorite filter; you can really make it do what you want with ease.”
“I always keep notice of my levels and never throw anything on the master until the very end. If you can get your track sounding flame when nothing is on the master, the finished product is going to be that much better.”
Just because you aren’t doing something the way everyone else does doesn’t mean it’s wrong. That usually means you’re onto something. Get weird and find your own workflow!
Listen to Amtrac’s remix of Jack Garratt’s “Chemical” below and go to AmtracMusic.com for more information.