For our latest installment of the Music Production 101 series with our partners over at Matt Caldwell PR, Ecuador based DJ and producer Gozzo talks about everything there is to need to know about music production.
Hi Gozzo, thanks for taking time to talk to us about the production aspect of your career. Can you tell us about how you got involved in producing?
Gozzo: HI! Thanks for this interview! Well, at first when I was 14 I started to play drums in Rock Band PS3 videogame haha. Eventually my best friend told me to take some drum lessons at the Conservatory of Music. Seven months later they shut the doors on us due to bankruptcy. Nevertheless, I started looking up for a great teacher with no luck at all. One day when buying some drumsticks, the salesman recommended me to a guy called Frank Guerrero (Yamaha International Drummer). So I took lessons with him for 4 years and he introduced me to some key aspects of feeling the groove and not just playing drums. After that, I took some piano lessons for over a year. At that time I felt that something was really missing, so I started to search for a Music Production teacher and found Daniel Sais (Ex – Soda Stereo member). He introduced me to the basics and taught me how to use Logic Pro X (So far I was using Garage Band to arrange some loops) While studying Economics at College, I founded a Modern Music School called TMS with my partner Frank (At first we had lessons of many instruments, now it is focused on composition and music production) I started to make some music with Amalia Cárdenas (Local Artist – Singer and Teacher) and learned a lot! That was a crucial point in my life as I decided to become a Producer rather than an Economist.
Are you self-taught producer?
Gozzo: Mainly on technical aspects and creating hooks ideas. Deeper concepts such as groove – music theory – Bass Dynamics, etc. I had to learn from a lot of people including my friends who don´t know anything about the music process.
How do you develop your music production skills and talents?
Gozzo: By creating new projects whenever it´s possible. I try not to follow step by step other producer’s music process. There is nothing more gratifying than listening to your own original work. Always tell my students to focus on their identity rather than their sound engineering; the last thing will come eventually.
Where do you get your inspiration from when producing new music?
Gozzo: I need to be totally relaxed; my mood definitely affects my compositions. I am more a trial and error kind of guy; my creativity works better that way. Sometimes my ideas just come in a dream and that´s it. My advice is to do as many things non-music related as possible.
What’s the typical process you go through when working on a new tune?
Gozzo: It depends, if it is a remix I start to get all chords just right with a simple piano and then start experimenting with sounds and rhythmic patterns. If it’s an original track, it really depends on the mood of the track. For chill songs I prefer to start with the melody and for party songs I always start with the beat.
Do you have a favorite production technique?
Gozzo: I think that pushing your boundaries on every production is what gives the extra touch to the song. Always trying things that you are not comfortable with.
When you are producing, what are your go to plugins and equipment?
Gozzo: I love the synths from Native Instruments and Output, Logic pro X default synths are very useful too. I use M3 -8 Studio Monitors and a Native instruments Interface (Komplete Audio 6) and a 27 inches iMac Core i7 2014 model.
What’s your favorite synth?
Gozzo: Substance by Output.
What’s your favorite sample pack?
Gozzo: EDM Risers and Drops V3 from Loopmasters.
Do you have any favorite plugins for mixing and mastering?
Gozzo: For mixing, I prefer to use Native Instruments Dynamics processors and Logic Pro X factory plugins. For mastering, by far iZotope 7.
What plugins/equipment is on your master channel?
Gozzo: Everything is inside the box, adaptive limiters; EQ; and of course iZotope 7!
How long does it usually take you to complete a new track?
Gozzo: A month most of the times.
Which traits do you think make an excellent producer?
Gozzo: Accept critics. Try different things. Collaborate with a lot of people. Being passionate about making music. Not producing just for earning a lot of money.
Finally, what can we expect in terms of new music from Gozzo?
Gozzo: I am at Demo Stage on a project called My Dharma! I think you will love the sound design and hooks from this song. It is definitely one to listen to and dance. Just stay tuned!