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Rampa on the making of 2018 tension-tweaker ‘Purge’

Rampa dishes the secrets behind his Keinemusik smasher 'Purge'

  • Interview: Gavin Herlihy | Photo: Paul Krause
  • 15 January 2019

What inspired the track and how did it begin?

Drums come first in 99 per cent of my tunes. The kick is the most important part to me, so I spend quite a lot of time on the right tuning.Usually I just play around and decide on the go what I like and what I don’t. I collect a lot of parts and at the end I kick out all the ones that are not 100 per cent necessary. If I have to think twice about whether I want to keep a sound, I kick it out. With ‘Purge’, I had a rough beat and was playing around with various synths to find a melody. I recorded a few takes on the Juno 106. After I did a basic arrangement, I layered the melody with midi notes and tested some different sound layers with software synths. Then in the club, I played the rough version a few times and the melody stuck in my head for a week or so. I knew I wanted to release it but I didn’t like the afrohouse-sounding drums on the first version; I wanted it more techy and simple to contrast with the loose, weird melody. I was lazy and it took me a while to finish it. When I got a release deadline, I finally made it.

What instruments/plug-ins did you use?

I put some tracks through my outboard FX: Space Echo reverb, TEIL1 delay and old guitar amps to get more dirt into the tune. I also love to use software synths and plug-ins from NI, Arturia, Soundtoys and Fabfilter. I’m a lazy bedroom producer, so don’t judge me! So drums first, then melody, then arrangement, then FX.

Do you have a routine when making tracks?

I love to record and put tracks through outboard FX in the studio and then go home to my couch or my bed to play with it some more for the arrangement and mix. I do all the final mixing and mastering at home on my laptop speakers and Apple earplugs as I’m so familiar with them. I check the attacks with my hands touching the laptop. When I feel the kick with my hand I know it has enough punch in the club. I also check the stereo picture and volume of single tracks. I prefer to listen on very low volume. I use a lot of side chain, especially on high frequency tracks, things like shakers, noises, hats. I love to copy patterns in random bar structures like 5,5 or 3,2. I rarely [loop] four or eight bars so random things happen and it’s not so predictable. Then when I shape the arrangement I try to bring the breaks back to a ‘logical’ arrangement.

‘Purge’ is out now on Keinemusik

Check out Rampa's studio setup in the gallery below

Doepfer LMK2+

Amp for NS10: Quad 606; Midi keys; Studer a779 and microphone patch; Adam s3x; McONE-B; NS10; MacBook: Arturia / Waves / Native Instruments plug-ins

Adam s3x; Ableton 10

Avalon AD2022 , 2x Chandler Channel, Universal Audio 565 Filter, DRM1 MKIII; Acoustic Element

Knas; Pearl Syncussion; TEIL1; RNC1773 Compressor; Olson Spring reverb/amp/distortion; Roland DC-50; Roland RE201; Eventide Space

Micro wave XT; Novation Drumstation & MamMB 33; Special Unit to Impress Visitors; TC electronic finalizer & Mam vocoder; Lexicon mpx110 & Ibanez dd1000; Ibanez UE400; Ibanez AD202; Patchbay

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