Down the Production Hole with Robert Dietz

Words by: Lisa Loco
Posted: 21/6/10 13:36

Frankfurt's Robert Dietz is next to join us on our quest to find out more about the production skills of today's DJs. Named as one of Beatport's 'Artists to Watch' in 2009, with one of his biggest successes including 2008's 'Shunsower', on Cécille, Robert has also released tracks across respected labels like Deep Vibes, Running Back, Be Chosen and Air London. And supporters of his deep techy house productions include Dubfire, Reboot and Loco Dice, in addition to label leaders like Nick Curly.

Next this month Mr Dietz strikes out with a new two-track EP debut on Cadenza, Home Run (encompassing 'Soup Opera' and 'Aurel in Wonderland'), which is limbering up to be one of his most passionate productions to date. Meanwhile, in-between headline sets at venues like D-Edge, and touring the world, you can also catch him playing various dates for Cadenza Vagabundos at Pacha.

So what of his production techniques? Well, read on to discover more, because, as a former student of economics, Robert recognises the sum of his music exceeds its technical processes. And consequently here he reveals a focus on results - making it clear that his (Ableton Live) approach to music making is as much to do with ideas and energy as his modi operandi...

First, can you tell us something about your frames of reference/what you think makes for a high quality electronic sound recording?
Well it's difficult to say how you achieve an excellent sound - everybody has his or her own ways of getting good results or perhaps they just don't care about it... At the end of the day, the music, the idea and the inspiration are the points that matter. But in my personal opinion a warm and organic sound, and a wide and differential spectrum of frequencies makes quality. Loudness is less important than dynamic and balanced EQ'ing. As well, of course, it is quite important that the result sounds good on different speakers and sound systems. If you produce music that can only be heard on an outstanding expensive sound system, you missed something very important.

What's your current music production set-up like?
Right now I'm still working with a pretty basic set-up, which, due to space reasons, contains not a lot of hardware. My computer and control unit is a PC with Ableton Live 8. For me this is the best software to work with at the moment. I'm combining Ableton Live with products from Native Instruments, like Maschine, Kore Player and Kontakt. As a hardware drum machine I use the Elektron Machinedrum, the Nord Rack 2 as a synthesiser, and I just built up a little modular system by Doepfer, which is an absolute playground for adults, bringing loads of fun with strange and weird tones. For a better sound I'm working with the Universal Audio UAD-2 card and the plug-ins of Neve, which emulate the old studio classics, with great compressors and EQs. My monitor sound system is pretty easy as well, M-Audio, but I'm changing to Klein & Hummel O300D at the moment.

What is/are your most essential tool/s of the trade within that set-up?
Ableton Live is the essential tool for me, because I'm almost doing everything with it, creating sounds, loops, recording hardware, using effects and plug-ins. As a matter of course it is not the ultimate for everybody but so far I have achieved very good results with it and I love the workflow.

Can you reveal a secret about your production technique/s?
I like to make basslines and subs out of almost every sample, just by transposing the sound, and working with filters, EQs and compressors. It's pretty easy. Try with a vocal, for example!

Do you have a general top tip for budding producers?
Again I have to say that it is the result that counts, and not the way you got to it, as we are still talking about music. But try to work with both hardware and software, to learn everything about the whole way of producing music. I think you can be very creative with some machines, especially by turning knobs, pushing buttons and by loosing yourself in doing something unexpected.

Finally, what's your take on the future of electronic music production?
For sure it will concentrate more and more on working with software. Nowadays there are so many opportunities and amazing software solutions that you don't even need any hardware anymore. It is just a question of your own attitude and generation. I grew up playing with toys and only got used to computers later on. That's why I still prefer to touch and work with something hands-on, and not just by tapping the track pad. You could compare it to being with a girl, do you just like to see her on-screen?

Robert Dietz
25 June - No Name Club - Timisoara, RO
26 June - Rex Club - Paris, FR   
27 June - Motoboat - Wiesbaden, Hessen, DE    
02 July - Fresh Weekend - Galicia, ES   
03 July - Fuse Beach Festival - Zeebrugge, BE
09 July - OHJU CLUB - Vejer Costa - El Palmar, ES   
10 July - Johnny Mauser - Lüdenscheid, DE
11 July - Cadenza Vagabundos at Pacha, Balears, ES
16 July - La Dune - Montpellier, FR   
17 July - Club Ohm  - Ulm, DE
23 July - Holy Jones - Liverpool, UK   
24 July - Tartana - Follonica, IT   
30 July - Club Deep - Maraska, HR
31 July - Open Bar Club - Ostia, IT   
01 August - Cadenza Vagabundos at Pacha, Balears, ES   
06 August - Cocoon Club - Frankfurt, Hessen, DE   
07 August - Dance Valley - Amsterdam, NL    
13 August - Rainbow Warehouse - Birmingham,UK   
28 August - Blaue Lagune Open Air - Wachtendong, DE    
29 August - Cadenza Vagabundos at Pacha, Balears, ES   
10 September - Cafe d'Anvers - Antwerp, Antwerp,BE   
18 September - Storm the Fort - Hull,UK   
25 September- Arma 17 - Moscow, 495, RU
26 September -
Cadenza Vagabundos at Pacha CLOSING - Balears,ES

Robert Dietz Latest Charts -


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