SoundShock: Well, let’s start from the beginning before we get into any technical questions. Who is Crvvcks and how did the musical journey begin for you?
My name is Joe, I'm from a small town in Nottinghamshire, UK and I am currently living in Leeds, studying music production. I've always been a big lover of music. I started producing when I was about 14-15 years old. I'm now 22.
Mixing & Mastering
At times, there are few elements playing in your tracks, but the track still sounds full. Are there any specific techniques that you use to get this full and clean sound in your mixes?
It can be quite cliché to say but in most cases "less is more". Something I've learned quite a lot in recent years is you really need to think of each element in a track as a jigsaw piece. The way you fit them into your mix can define the clarity of them.
Mixing the volume levels of your track is one of the most important and overlooked parts of the mix. Do you have any specific tips for gain staging or how to get a balanced mix through mixing the volumes of your elements? Any specific mixing numbers? (Do you but your sub at -11 dB, kick at - 7?)
I must say I do have quite an orthodox way of mixing haha. Mixing tracks are a very important part of making a track. In most cases, I do like to go by my ears. One technique I have tried using when I'm stuck with mixdowns is the use of Pink Noise.
What are your go-to effects and processing chains at the moment and how do you use them in your tracks?
I've recently started to use some of the Soundtoys plugins, they are really sick!
Your tracks arrangements are engaging and continue to evolve from start to finish. What are some techniques you use to evolve your arrangement throughout the entire track and avoid having your dB sound boring and predictable?
Thanks! I think when it comes to the arrangement of your tracks, one thing that helps to make it less boring is the addition and subtraction of elements. I think in most electronic based music these days you would see many examples of this. Drums are also a really good way to make your tracks interesting.
It seems like even just having one sound that does not belong, can turn a professional track into an amateur one. How do you go about choosing complementary sounds for your tracks?
I think for the most part, in order to make sit well within a track, it is important that you make sure that they are in the right key of the track. When I start a track, I like to make sure that the kick I'm working with is in the same key as the chords and bass line.
Writing & Music Theory
Electronic producers have a hard time with music theory. Either they don’t know what to learn or how exactly to apply the theory. If you use theory when writing your tracks, what specific parts do you use and what would you topics do you feel producers should know?
Music theory is a very important part of being a producer. Even if its just the basics. Knowing when notes go into a scale can really help when it comes to working with vocals and doing remixes.
Many producers draw in midi notes with their mouse. This can lead to a stale sound that lacks those small little intricacies that real instrumentation and live playing provide. Do you have any tips for getting a real sounding instrument if you are just programming in your musical parts?
Things like Velocity and Portamento really help to make chords sound less robotic. In FL Studio there is a really cool feature called Piano Roll Strum that slants your every note within a chord to make it sound more natural.
With so much of the music sounding similar out there right now, how do you develop a signature sound that is true to you and expresses your own unique voice?
I think as an artist you should always make the music that you truly love. Being open-minded and getting ideas from music outside of your genre can really help with being unique. As stated before I think sampling yourself and recycling elements of your own tracks really helps to develop your sound.
I think as an artist you should always make the music that you truly love. Being open-minded and getting ideas from music outside of your genre can really help with being unique.Crvvcks
Is there a technique or two that you consistently use when producing tracks? If so, what are they?
I think one technique I more or less always do is sampling myself. If I make a track, I will always grab a part that I really liked and add it to my sample pack. I feel this helps with workflow and it helps develop your sound as an artist.
Where do you find inspiration? Also if you are working in the studio and get stuck. How do you get past that point?
I get my inspiration from all sorts really. I think in order to be unique it's important to take inspiration from other styles of music. I really love to use jazzy chords.
What is the hardest part of producing and how do you work around it?
At times I feel the hardest part of producing is getting writer's block haha. One thing I do in order to work around it is listening to new music and try to get re-inspired.
When you are at the finishing stages of your track, it always seems like you can take the track further and further. This often just leads to overproducing. How do you know when your track is done and what sorts of processing, arranging, and mixing do you do in these final stages?
Whenever I finish a track, I think it's important to get a 2nd perspective. I live in a house with multiple other producers so we always try to bounce off each other and give each other pointers on certain parts of our tracks.
Marketing & Branding
Labels and curators are getting sent hundreds of tracks every day. How do you get your demos heard when they are receiving such a huge quantity of music?
Its very cliche but the harder you work on your sound and production the more change you will get of people noticing you. Rejection is also a key part of making it!
What is next for Crvvcks? An album? EP? Any shows?
I'm working on a bunch of new music. I also have a remix for Tiesto which is coming out very soon!