"Connecting the story": How Martyn made ‘B.C.2’ - Tech - Mixmag

"Connecting the story": How Martyn made ‘B.C.2’

Bass specialist Martyn on the making of his Ostgut Ton whalloping ‘B.C.2’

  • Interview: Gavin Herlihy | Photo: Josh Sisk
  • 4 October 2019

What inspired the track?

I don’t like to spend too much time in the studio. I’m not a person who endlessly jams away until things happen randomly. I am, however, always listening to music, sampling, organising samples, or recording ideas I have into my voicemail. Usually I have a few sounds or samples in my head, then when the idea becomes more concrete I start making it.

On this one, I was working on my live set and fooling around with parts from an older song. I sped them up for a drum ’n’ bass part towards the end of the set and thought it sounded cool, so I wrote a little bassline in Logic. For a lot of my bass sounds, I use either a Moog Minitaur for rounder sounding basses or my Sub Phatty, which is more aggressive-sounding.

Usually I record a bunch of takes with different settings and then decide later which is suitable. After the bassline, I made the basic beat using a sample folder that my brother, who’s a drum ’n’ bass producer, gave me.

Read this next: "Make it feel like the walls are caving in": How Overmono made ‘Daisy Chain’

How did you finish it?

Once I feel I have a few basic elements in Ableton Live, I record everything and continue in Logic. My tunes usually start out sounding quite dry. I hardly use any plug-ins; most of the reverbs and delays and some low-pass filtering come from outboard FX. I love my Eventide reverb, and use several different delay pedals. All this comes together on my desk and is recorded back into Logic.

During the making of a tune I constantly move around the arrangement. This means a lot of listening to the entire track and not getting too stuck on details. Once the ‘story’ is there, I spend time connecting the various parts.This particular track has a lot going on, so it was hard to give everything its space in the mix while keeping the energy. It took me a little while to bring the pads in correctly, but it does create a nice moment once they’re in.

A thing I do when mixing down tracks is to group together elements that are similar and balance those separate channels/buses. The mixdown becomes a lot easier to manage. I avoid plug-ins that do too much to the original signal – I’d rather just use a little bit of compression and limiting – but that’s about it.

Read this next: "Work all the fucking time": How Marie Davidson made 'Work It'

Check out Martyn's studio below.

Roland JX-8P

Kill Woody Allen delay; Way Huge Aqua Puss; Electro Harmonix stereo memory with Hazarai delay; Eventide Space; Electro-Harmonix Small Stone; Moog Moogerfooger; Jahtari Monotron delay; Moog Sub Phatty; Allen & Heath ZED24

Akai APC40 MK2 (for live performances); Kawai K1m

Read this next: "Controlled coincidence": How Kasper Marott makes his rave-fuelled techno

Focal CMS65 monitors; iMac; a cat; MOTU 828X; Korg MicroKorg XL

My daughter’s bongos

Technics RS-1700

Martyn’s ‘Odds Against Us’ EP is out now on Ostgut Ton

Read this next: Get the best of Mixmag direct to your Facebook DMs

Mixmag new issue
Next Page
Newsletter 2

Mixmag will use the information you provide to send you the Mixmag newsletter using Mailchimp as our marketing platform. You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us. By clicking sign me up you agree that we may process your information in accordance with our privacy policy. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.