Future music and Trap producer Snavs is no stranger to EDM spotlight. Having released on Monstercat, Tiesto's Musical Freedom, and the iconic dance label, Spinnin' Records, this Danish producer has his eyes set on global fame. Snavs signature sound of beautiful vocals, euphoric super saws, blistering basses, and emotional cinematic breakdowns is sure to impress you. This weeks production based interview is sure to get you into your DAW inspired and ready to produce, so don't miss out!
SoundShock: What made you want to start making music and get into production? How have things changed since then?
I’ve always been really into listening to music for as long as I can remember, but in high school I was bored in class so I cracked Logic and started producing in class. Now I’m living off of producing and playing live, so things have changed a bit!
When starting a new track, at what part of the arrangement do you start at? Also, how much of each section in the arrangement do you complete before you move onto the next section?
It’s really different from session to session. Also, what inspires me varies a lot. Sometimes I’ve got this really banging bassline in my head and the session starts out with that and then the beat. Sometimes I’ve a hook that I’m building from and other times I’m in studio with a vocalist and it starts from their melody. I bounce from session to session to keep the flow going so I’m not forcing anything. I'll usually work on the session that is the most inspiring to me at that time.
Many of your tracks contain vocals. How do you go about processing the vocals and mixing them in so they take center stage of the mix?
Well it’s not always center stage of the mix. Again, it varies from session to session. Sometimes I want the vocals to be more atmospheric and other times it’s a lead melody so I focus in on that in the mix. It’s all about listening carefully to find the right spot in the mix for the vocal. The most important thing is making sure the vocal frequency is not clashing with anything. Obviously tools like compression, EQ, etc. are great to for getting the perfect vocal. It’s also important to make dubs all panned to left and dubs all panned to right to get the width I like on the vocals.
Your future bass and trap songs have larger than life drops. Are there any specific techniques that you use for choosing, processing, and mixing these sounds to get this larger than life sound?
Layers on layers on layers and make sure that none of them clash in the same frequency range.
Arranging tracks is another sticking point. Producers get stuck in that 8 bar loop and can’t seem to break out of it. What are your techniques for expanding your ideas out into a full arrangement?
I don’t have a certain way of doing it. I listen to break or the drop and I imagine where to go on the next eight bars. Normally, I like to start with the breakdown because I’m best at making these big cinematic breakdowns. Since I have the hardest time creating the drop, I've been starting there as I know the breakdown won't be a problem to create later on. If I’m getting a bit stuck in a session, I move on to the next one. I’ve always got quite a few sessions on the go as it helps me stay creative and not get hung up on a specific part for too long if something’s not working quite right.
"I bounce from session to session to keep the flow going so I’m not forcing anything. I'll usually work on the session that is the most inspiring to me at that time."Snavs
When arranging your song it can be difficult to keep listeners interested from start to finish. What are some ways you can keep the listener engaged in the arrangement and have it flow smoothly throughout the entire track?
Often my drops are different from each other. This can mean that some listeners love the first drop, some love the second, or some love the third drop. I’m not thinking about what the listener thinks. Whatever direction inspiration is taking me at that particular moment, I run with. I’m thankful that people keep listening to my music, but I’m not following a recipe. I’m following my inspiration.
How do you go about choosing complementary sounds for your drops and how do you sequence your drops ?
In my opinion, you need to constantly develop your sound and avoid getting stuck in a specific vibe or sound. First of all, I make sure I never use the same sound in a drop. I always try to keep it simple unless it’s future bass. Then it's layers on layers
What are your go-to effects and processing chains?
Valhalla room reverb and XFER Dimension expander are my go-to effects.
All of your drums cut through mix perfectly and carry a lot of weight and punch to them. Do you have any specific drum processing and mixing techniques to get your drums this punchy and clean sounding?
It's all about finding the perfect side-chain balance and of course, the perfect kick and bass match. I like to layer my kicks with small stomps.
Over your career, you have released tracks on many big labels. Do you have any advice for producers looking to get their music heard and signed by big labels?
Work harder. Boring advice I know, but it’s all about hard work. Keep track of which directions the labels go and who’s becoming more successful so you push your tracks to the right labels. The electronic market moves quickly so you need to always be up to date.
In today’s music industry, building a dedicated fan base is important to the success of your career as an artist. Many artists starting out or even artists that have been releasing music for awhile struggle to grow an audience and reach a large number of people with their music. How did you grow your audience when you were first starting out and what advice you give artists looking to build a following?
I believe it is beneficial to me to be consistent with my sound, not follow any trends, but still keep it fresh. I’ve seen other producers following trends, and if you listen to their catalogue you get confused and there is no red line. It’s about building your profile and not following trends hunting the next big hit. At least that’s what I believe.
With nothing but killer productions on your Soundcloud and releases on world renowned record labels, you must have something exciting lined up for the future. What’s next for Snavs?
Tiësto just did a remix of one of my tracks and rest of the year will be lots of touring, releasing some collaborations, and some of my own tracks. Plus, I’ve done a remix of a big tune that is about to be released, so keep an eye out for that!