Producer Q&A – Geiom

How cool is that gig flyer? I got it from Geiom’s myspace. Looks like an advert for some 1940’s French Cinema – loving it.
Anyway, we’ve managed to get Geiom to answer our producer Q&A’s. Geiom has been a fixture on the electro and bass scene for a while now, running the consistently classy Berkane Sol records (who have just dropped number 14 – Sugar Coated Lover by Geiom, and remixed by Brackles & Shortstuff), and he’s just had a release on Double Science too. Really chuffed to have him answering these – he’s a sick producer and well known for his clinical, classy production.

How do you approach a tune? Drums first? Melody?

Depends, but usually drums first.

What time of day do you work best?

I can get vibes anytime! its always best to do stuff like organising sounds/samples or anything that involves rewiring the equipment during the day though.

Where do you get your inspiration / motivation from?

Large cash advances. No seriously, everything – a street argument I might have seen, the last dance I went to, films, interesting food. If I’m working with a vocalist a lot of the direction often comes from them.

What do you do when you’re not feeling inspired?

Get crunk, reprogram synths, send bits into my ancient sampler, switch to another tune. If none of that helps, eventually give up and do something totally different for a bit.

Do you start a tune from scratch, or do you usually have a drumset/template/etc to work from?

You can possibly tell from my music that I always start from scratch, which probably makes life a lot harder but I think it helps to make each track sound individual

If you got a chance would you write pop stuff for a major label (if the money was good?)

I think we’re already making our own pop with songs like Sugar Coated Lover (!). Major labels – what do they mean these days really? They are mostly just an advertising machine using the internet to hype their MP3 ‘products’ – which are usually only available – on the internet. I think the independents who actually support vinyl or at least CD’s are far more relevant these days.

What’s the boring, workhorse plugin/piece of kit that you use all the time?

No audio equipment is boring to me…..but of course my analogue mixing desk is always the centre of any piece of music.

What’s the coolest bit of kit you’ve got and do you actually use it much?

Maybe my quadraverb 2 – its an 8 part effects unit that you program yourself. Its easy to get lazy and use plug ins but that unit sounds instantly better than most plug ins.

Do you mixdown your own stuff? Reckon there’s a stigma around this?

Always mixdown my own stuff. I can maybe see the point in letting someone else do that part but its not a road I have ever been down. Some of my stuff is quite intricate, I’m not sure if someone else could do the mixdown for me.

What production technique do you think is really overused / annoying?

Overcompression. Get your mix right in the first place, then you don’t need so much compression. People seem to have forgotten about the simple volume control – if a tune is a bit quiet – get out of your chair and turn it up! There’s a lot of cheesy sidechain going on just now too. It’s a cool trick, but it don’t necessarily make a tune sound good.
What do you know now that you wish you had known when you started out?

I think that music is a lifelong journey, I learn new stuff all the time, it would be less fun if I’d known the answers at the start.