Down the Production Hole with Mark Henning

Words by: Lisa Loco
Posted: 4/2/10 11:19

Down the Production Hole with Mark Henning Next up in our Down the Production Hole series is Mark Henning. A Brit now based in Berlin, who DJs an oddball brand of house + techno all over the globe, from his local Panorama Bar to London's Fabric. He can also be found performing live, with this year's gigs including Lux in Portugal and Watergate in Berlin. He produced his debut artist album, Jupiter Jive, in 2008, on Soma, and has since released prolifically on a string of other labels, including Vitalik, Clink, Hypercolour, Frankie and Cynosure. Mark's recent projects include a remix of Mike Monday's ‘Catnip', plus The Right Time EP - the title of which seems to sum up his approach of late. Indeed, he's a talented guy, and, as we find out, he's also a fan of Russian producer Anton Zap, really loves his old analogue synth, and wants to warn everyone against the CICO system. (That's crap in/crap out, for any non-techy types out there!) Anyway, check him and his production advice out, below... .

First, can you tell us something about your frames of reference/what you think makes for a high quality electronic sound recording?
Hmm, tough question... can I even answer that? People can have totally different sounds and yet both can sound good in their own right. Personally, I like tracks to have depth/space (so using reverb creatively and a nice selection of sounds across the frequency range), good width and a solid bottom end. It's totally obvious to me when a producer has spent the time to finalise a nice mix and has used good quality sounds. Listen to Anton Zap's tracks and you'll know what I mean.

What's your current music production set-up like?
A desktop PC, running Ableton, FruityLoops [now called FL Studio], Sound Forge, and various plug-ins. A Roland Jupiter-6, Jomox 888, Jomox T-Resonator, Acousta analogue mixing desk, and a crash, ride and hi-hat drum set.

What is/are your most essential tool/s of the trade within that set-up?
I wouldn't be able to live without my Jupiter-6 and 888 drum machine.

Can you reveal a secret about your production technique/s?
I probably go through 20 different kicks, 30 claps and 40 hi-hats on every track - swapping them out until I'm happy. I think I'm ill.

Do you have a general top tip for budding producers?
Don't use cheap, shitty samples. It doesn't matter what sequencer you use if you use crap. Crap In = Crap Out. Spend a large portion of your time looking for quality samples and interesting software/hardware. So much music these days sounds cheap, thin and obvious. It will set you apart from 90% of what's out there.

Finally, what's your take on the future of electronic music production?
It's getting easier and easier to produce electronic music - my granny could make a techno track using today's tools. Doesn't mean to say that she should be though, or has a clue about making a track that has soul, groove or something ‘special' about it. On a less cynical note, I'm looking forward to seeing more advanced controllers, for example to make live music more interesting. So things like touch-screens, motion controllers or even 3D projection tools.

Mark Henning

05/02/10 - Cleer @ The Cut - Newcastle, UK
06/02/10 - Zoo Club - Geneva, Switzerland
08/02/10 -25/02/10 - HOLIDAY!!
27/02/10 - *LIVE* @ Watergate, Berlin
03/03/10 - Bonito House Club @ Tresor, Berlin
19/03/10 - Make Me @ The Russian, London
20/03/10 - Fingerprint @ Spektrum - Manchester, UK

07/05/10 - Product @ Bar 54 - London, UK

Latest releases & remixes
January: remix: mike monday - catnip (om records)
February: remix: lee jones - closed circus (cityfox)
remix: silverclub - 5 minutes (factory foundation)
May: mark henning & den - la galaxia ilorona (trapez)
June: mark henning - stax and sax (swing!)

Playing now: The Right Time Original Mix
"The Right Time EP" on Hypercolour

Mark Henning Last Charts here
Mark Henning Bio here


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