http://www.kmag.co.uk/editorial/features/710 Spectrasoul have risen steadily through the ranks of the drum & bass scene since their first release in 2006. 2009 has seen them release quality tracks on labels like Critical, Shogun, Exit and Metalheadz. The guys obviously know how to make a tune, so we asked them to share some of their technical knowledge with us. How do you approach a tune? We usually start with beats. We get some nice bits of percussion and a group of hits and then steadily begin piecing them together. It's key to note that we usually use as few drum parts as possible, i.e. make the sounds do the work. Don't just throw in loads of layers of breaks and percussion because it will eventually sound cluttered and won't hit quite as hard. What time of day do you work best? Normally between about 2am and 6am. We can sometimes sit in the studio from dinner time, but the magic only seems to begin in the early hours. Where do you get your inspiration / motivation from? Everyday experiences and other genres of music. We listen to very little drum and bass. At the moment we are really into Flying Lotus, Dorian Concept, and the others within that glitchy-hip-hop genre. It's hard to pinpoint exactly where our ideas come from. What do you do when you're not feeling inspired? Other things. When writer's block hits, it's better to just get on with other things. To be honest, it's important that you don't spend every waking hour in the studio because things very quickly become stale. If something isn't working, then leave it, go out and do something else. Or, maybe collect some new sounds or samples. Where are your studios set up and what are they like? We both work solely on laptops. We live some distance apart so it makes sense that we work separately and bring our ideas together in our Brighton-based studio. To be honest, as long as you have some decent speakers / headphones, it's quite easy to produce decent music. Our studios are very very basic. Do you start a tune from scratch, or do you usually have a drumset / template / etc to work from? Always from scratch, but we do have some key sounds that we can call upon as and when we need them. These are predominately drum hits. What's the boring, workhorse plug-in / piece of kit that you use all the time? Logic. We tend to use only the built in plug-ins but we also use Camelphat and Predatohm. Which sequencer do you use and why? Logic. We love it. It's simple and easy to use. There is no real reason other than the fact that we feel very comfortable using it. The software you choose to use is really not important as long as you feel comfortable using it. Any advice you can give us regarding mix-downs? Use your ears. It takes practice to know how something should sound when doing a mix. The best way is to get a tune sounding as good as you can, then test it on a loud sound system. If that isn't possible then test it on every CD player or home stereo that you can. This will help you to hear what sounds good and what doesn't. What do you know now that you wish you had known when you started out? Nothing really. We have really enjoyed the whole learning experience, and that is what makes it fun. What do you have coming out soon? We are working towards a project for Shogun. We have just signed exclusively so an album will be in the pipeline in the next few years. We have taken a short break over the summer and we haven't written much. Our Metalheadz 12" should be out before the end of the year, which we're really looking forward to. This year we have had a huge output, so we're beginning to refine and approach next year with a different attitude.