Music Production 101 with Sam Allan

Emerging New York City based DJ and Producer Sam Allan has been making some huge waves in his home city of late, thanks to his impressive release catalogue and perfectly crafted DJ sets. Armed with his unique blend of House, Tech, Progressive and Trance flavors, Sam is the mastermind behind hits such as ‘Outer Limits’ (read the review) and ‘Vesper’, making Dubai based label The Groove Society Records, a sub label of Sony Music, his home in the process.

As well as spending countless hours in the studio creating some of the scene’s freshest new tunes, Sam can be found behind the decks at some of NYC’s most prestigious clubs and venues, supporting names like Bob Sinclar, Sander van Doorn, Deniz Koyu, Bingo Players, Chuckie and Cosmic Gate along the way.

For this interview session of Matt Caldwell PR’s Music Production 101 Series, they sit down with Sam and talk about his work in the studio. Here’s what he had to say.

Hi Sam, 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?

SA: I got involved through a friend, he brought all the equipment and I found myself never wanting to leave his house, so I had to buy my own. I never went back [laughing].

Did you take any production courses/lessons or are you a self-taught producer?

SA: Learned with my friends and I learned from a few private lessons and tutorials on YouTube.

How do you develop your music production skills and talents?

SA: I developed my music production skills through DJing and listening to a lot of my inspirations.

What’s the typical process you go through when working on a new tune and can it get frustrating at times?

SA: I try to imagine myself in a club and what sounds will really hit me if I were on the dance floor.

Where do you get your inspiration from when producing new music?

SA: Constantly being inspired by all different genres of music that can tie into Electronic Dance music. There isn’t just one place I can say.

What are your favourite production techniques?

SA: I really like to start building the groove on the drums first afterwards I just try to figure out a melody and keep working the flow, I try not to get stuck with one element.

When you are producing, what are your go to plugins and equipment?

SA: Waves, iZotope, Softube, Soundtoys, my speakers and my computer, that’s it.

What are your top 3 synths?

SA: Massive, Spire and Sylenth.

What’s your favourite sample pack?

SA: I really like the sample packs from Vengeance.

Do you have any favourite plugins for mixing and mastering?

SA: Ozone, Alloy and Trash are good plugins to start a mix and master.

What plugins/equipment is on your master channel?

SA: I usually use Multiband limiter on the master from waves also the multiband compression.

How long does it usually take you to complete a new track?

SA: 1 month or less, it depends on a lot of things though.

Which traits do you think make an excellent producer?
SA: Patience and not being afraid of trying new things.

Finally, what can we expect in terms of new music from Sam Allan?
SA: I have a lot of exciting new music coming out this year. I have my first vocal in the first works with a very well known vocalist that I’m really excited about. I will be releasing some new singles along with remixes and collaboration with some DJ friends. So stay tuned!!

Publisher’s Note: For those that are just learning about Sam, we at BEATSELECTOR Magazine wrote a piece speaking of Sam’s triumphs and inspirational life lessons in the music business and in life. Read the article here.

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