Kilter has been playing his hip-hop and bass music infused sounds to adoring audiences around Sydney over the last couple years. Having just signed to EtcEtc (an offshoot of Ministry of Sound), it’s looking to be a promising year for the young producer. Kilter will be talking production at our upcoming Input event this saturday, so we had a quick chat about how he makes his tunes and whats been getting him out of bed recently.
What are 3 great or interesting tracks you’ve added to your collection in the past month?
J.U.D. – Therapy
I just love the vibe of this track. J.U.D. describes it as Dream Trap and I think that is pretty spot on.
Jonas LR – Cockiness
I’ve found myself getting heavily into garage/bass music recently. Love the Rhianna sample, punchy chords and that bass. A fun track.
L D R U – Tropic
Sydney based producer, L D R U takes quite a few cues from Flume particularly in his use of samples (a pan flute i think?) in his melodies. Its a tropical jam with a lot of cool sounds floating around.
What is your usual setup for making music?
At the moment I am running Ableton Live Suite 8 on a Macbook Pro (which is starting to struggle!). I also have a AKAI MPK49 which is a great all round production tool as it has both drum pads and a keyboard. To listen I have a pair of Sennheiser HD380s and am looking to pick up some monitor speakers too!
From your live setup, what is your most used piece of gear and why?
My live set up is all hardware with a Roland SP404sx and a MicroKorg. The SP404sx is the core piece of equipment in my set up as I use it to trigger samples, vocals and the other parts that make up the body of my music as well as being able to play live drums with the pads.
What do you mostly work with, Audio or MIDI?
MIDI. Even when I was doing a lot of sampling for my more hip hop orientated stuff I would load up the audio files into a Drum Rack to play out the samples. Only in a few cases, such as One For Me when I needed to warp the speed of the sample, did I use actually chunks of audio. Once I’ve got my head around the MicroKorg i’ll definitely be looking to take audio recordings directly from the synth.
What are some of your favourite features of Ableton Live?
Coming at electronic production from a classically trained background, the thing that I love most about Ableton is its spontaneity. I can quickly put down ideas using loops, correct any mistakes and then lay it down in Arrangement view. When I’ve used other software, having to draw in and program sounds was always a bit of a barrier in my creative process.
What’s your favourite new feature in Live 9?
I know its probably not the flashiest feature but I am so glad there is now visual feedback in EQ Eight. It is great to be able to see what frequencies are being affected.
What’s your favourite 3rd party plug in and why?
Sylenth. While it may appear daunting at first, especially to someone with little knowledge of synthesis, it is a versatile and incredible sounding tool.
There’s a lot that goes into making music, what part of the process do you enjoy the most?
Not trying to sound narcissistic but I think my favourite part of the process is actually playing it to other people. Because there is so much work that goes into making music, appreciating the finished product is definitely the most satisfying part.
You have a distinct sound, who and what influenced this and where does your main source of inspiration come from?
I kind of reached my own sound from three different directions. Very early on I discovered dudes like Hudson Mohawke, Samiyam and Flying Lotus which got me really into the beat side of things. Adding to that one of my close friends was a massive hip hop head and through him I found J Dilla, De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest etc. And then recently i’ve been listening to a whole lot of dance and house music, from the early Chicago stuff to new sounds from Disclosure, Bondax and Jamie Xx.
I would say my own music is sitting awkwardly between all of that!
What are the key factors for getting your songs to completion?
I actually think its whether I am having fun making the song. I think the average life expectancy of my musical ideas is around an hour or two. Once its past that point they normally get finished.
That said if a track is taking a very long time and I am getting stuck down in small details I can often get fed up with it and push it to the side to work on other things.
Kilter joins the lineup of producers and industry figures presenting production and career tips at INPUT, Saturday May 11.
Grab your tickets, here at
EDIT: This event has passed, get tickets to our next INPUT: A Music Producer’s Conference event here.
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