Producer Sessions 008: 13 releases bass-heavy ‘Old World Order’ EP and answers questions about producing [Interview]
Producer Sessions is a series from Dancing Astronaut meant to shine a brighter light on the producer community. Each volume will guide producers towards professionals in their field.
13 released his Old World Order EP off Mad Decent, which was produced exclusively with analog gear including a Moog Sub 37, Behringer Model D, and bass guitar. The two-time REZZ collaborator, on “DRUGS!” and “The Crazy Ones” off her Certain Kind of Magic album.
The incognito artist is known for his eerie sound design and bass heavy tilt, having toured with REZZ on part of her her Certain Kind of Magic tour. Old World Order is a three-track EP that features the previously released and body trembling “Uppercut,” the slashing “Lost Voices,” and the ground quivering “Rude Boy.” He joined Dancing Astronaut for an exclusive, producer-centric interview on his process, top gear items, and more.
What was your go-to synth for the EP?
A lot of this EP is based on resampling my sound design, I find it more freeing. I like being able to warp and reprocess sounds to achieve unique results.
Any special VST that really took the production home?
It’s hard to pinpoint one, but I feel like my Moog Sub 37 & bass guitar really breathed life into it.
Which song took the most work and why?
That would have to be “Uppercut.” Once I got the initial idea down, I knew it was going to be a special one. From there I became obsessed with perfecting it. Also having the sub at 32.7hz made mixing the track a little bit of a nightmare.
What influenced the name “13”?
The more I progressed with producing, the more I found my sound, which went in a dark/sketchy direction. I felt like the number 13 reflects that sound because it’s generally thought of as an unlucky number; however, it’s also considered a lucky number in some cultures. I strive for contrast in my music. You’ll definitely see more of this in future projects.
How would you define your sound?
I’ve gone through so many musical phases. I’ve listened to pretty much everything under the sun, but the one genre that’s stuck with me since I was a child was hip-hop. I found once I started letting my hip-hop influences shine in my production, I started to get my own unique sound. It’s shines through in my drum patterns in almost all my songs.
What DAW do you use and why?
I use FL studio. One of my good friends Dan introduced me to it back when I became interested in producing, and I’ve stuck with it since. I’ve considered switching to Ableton, but I’m comfortable with FL.
What is your production process like?
My production process is a little chaotic, I don’t start with anything in specific. I’ll go through a whole bunch of different ideas before I finally settle on one, it usually starts with some sort of phrase that catches my ear. I typically have days where I’ll solely only work on drums, leads, fills etc. Then I’ll sit down and find one I want to elaborate on, and more often than not I’ll have another idea that fits right in with it.
What was the most difficult sound to conquer on the project?
The drums on “Lost Voices” was a tough one. It was clashing a lot the subs, but I loved how full it sounded. Finding the balance between the two took me awhile but thank god for multiband transient shapers.
Do you have any unique studio habits?
I’m not sure if this is unique, but if I’m stuck on something, I’ll stay up late and use sleep deprivation to my advantage. I’ll take ideas into a completely different direction than I normally would. Then the next day, I’ll sit down with a more focused and rested mind and tackle it head on.
You’re playing Beyond Wonderland in March, what can fans expect from your set?
Expect a heavy, bass-centric set with lots of hip-hop mixed in. Also expect lots of unreleased tunes from yours truly and friends.
What is next for 13?
My team & I have a lot of exciting things planned for 2019. Expect more music, audio/visual releases, and shows. There’s so much happening right now, and I’m beyond excited to share it all.