Interview With Kutlo: DnB Tips, Workflow, Techniques & Creativity

Interview With Kutlo: DnB Tips, Workflow, Techniques & Creativity

When did you start with Drum & Bass, and why?

If I remember correctly, I found out (in a way that I started to look it up) about Drum & Bass around 2008. Like almost every other kid, I was playing games in my free time, and at that time, I was playing the newest Need for Speed. The soundtrack was full of DnB tracks, and they were outstanding – especially Spor remix of “Stompbox” by The Qemists. Never in my life, I have heard such sounds.

What’s your most favorite synth plugin?

This must be the most generic answer ever, but it is Serum. Such a powerful synth. But I also like stuff from u-he, and recently I started to use a lot of emulations of hardware synths as Prophet 6 or OP X PRO-II.

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Do you have any analog gear? If yes, do you using it often?

I do not have any, but I would love to. I work just with my laptop, USB interface, and pair of studio monitors and headphones currently.

Do you make your own mastering, or it’s a label that does the job?

I wouldn’t say I like to master my own tunes, but if there is no one other who can do it better, then I do it myself. This means sometimes it is mastered by someone else, sometimes by me. Mostly it really depends on the tune and the label. For example, I mastered my tunes for Eatbrain and Blackout but not for Delta9 – Kodin is making such good work there that I let him master my tune “Up and Down” too.

What’s your favorite production technique?

I am a big fan of 80s style synths or techy style synths. So you might hear it in my tunes pretty often. The production technique that I love the most is making a simple patch that no-one will ever use and turning it into an organic sounding kind of sound. I try to replicate hardware imperfections and add slight noise, small tuning changes, pitch sliding, etc.

Also, I can use my favorite plugin to do this – RC20 Retro Color by XLN Audio. Such a perfect plugin to make your synths warm and silky. Besides that, normal processing as any other Drum & Bass producer. Sometimes too much distortion, saturation, sidechain, or transient shaping by multiple plugins.

How does your workflow look like? Do you have a formula on how to produce tracks?

My workflow is really changing every day, and it can be just a simple idea in my head and writing it down in the DAW. There is also inspiration from other music that I listen to. The idea of using a formula for me is a no-go, but I think every producer works in some kind of pattern and also me. To be fair, it depends a lot on my mood and a track I am trying to make, but I usually start with the melody/the hook or the drums.

Did you ever think of making music in some other genres?

I already did some other genres. I did an internship at a company where I made music and sound design for games or ads. From soundtrack music, pop music, rap instrumentals to ambient and voiceovers. The secret (works for me) is to try to make other genre music and keep the techniques from there you like the most and use it in your main production. That is how I mostly work, and it proved to be the best way for me. I am not losing interest in Drum & Bass so much, and it can help me built my unique style.

Interview With Kutlo: DnB Tips, Workflow, Techniques & Creativity |

What’s your most favorite DNB track?

Tough question, to be honest. Recently I feel like I am not into Drum & Bass as much as I was before, and I am more into kind of mainstream electronic music as Rufus Du Sol, Cassian, or Odesza. In terms of songwriting of Drum & Bass, I really like Culture Shock – Rennaisance. From the production side, I love Synergy sound, older tunes from The Upbeats, or newbie Tom Finster. There is too much good music out there, and people should not listen to only one kind of music genre.

When do you feel to be most creative?

When I am not in the “studio,” to be fair. Lately, I started to feel motivated and creative in my full-time job, which has nothing to do with music production. The urge that I cannot make music and I can only think about it is too much, haha. The bad thing is that thinking about making music is so much easier than producing itself.

That is why most of the time, when I’m finally able to produce after a long day at work, I do not make anything sounding good. But sometimes, simply sitting and doing is the best strategy for me, and you have to work on creativity.

How does it feel like to be a DJ and producer in one person?

Supernatural, at least for me. The main thing is that I started with DJing sooner than with production, and I can enjoy both for sure. Music production embraces my introvert side and DJing in reverse the extrovert. It’s like a healthy balance, and both affect each other.

I think in a good way as making the arrangement of the tunes to be DJ-friendly or making the drops dancefloor-friendly. Another side is that I can try out the tunes that I am working on a big sound, test the people’s reactions, and show them the tunes that are not so much popular or made for the dancefloor.

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How do you manage your time to produce music and then reorient to play the music on the gig?

As I said, it goes hand in hand. The funny thing is that nowadays, without gigs, I am not so pushed into finishing the tunes. With gigs, I was pushing myself to make myself a playable version with a good mixdown as soon as possible. With time it was pretty hectic, but with good motivation and time planning, it is possible.

What would you recommend to upcoming artists and rising talents?

– You do not need expensive gear to make good music and invest a lot of money into equipment. For me, it was always about investing time and working a lot. Also, try to use reference tracks, help from the other producers, and take your time away from the music as well. It is not a race.

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