We caught up with TVR new recruit Rocky Miller and delved deep into his knowledge and influences of Production.
Hey Rocky, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to do an interview with us. How are you today?
Great!! I just finished a new song that is getting remixed by some of the team including ‘Invinta, Tribal Injection and Lee Bryan DJ‘ so its very exciting. I also Started my new gig with Strictly House its a live broadcast and I have a time slot every Friday.
How did you get into producing music?
I got into producing during my early 20’s. I was in love with the sound from synthesizers; the sounds I heard from the theme song from the old Dr Who show.
My buddies took me to a Rave at the State Palace Theatre in New Orleans Louisiana. It was a Disco Donnie productions event, look him up they made a movie about him and the Rave Scene.
Its where I saw Rabbit in the Moon for the first time. I liked the show and the fact that I saw a dude making sounds on a big synth.
My friends ordered turntables and I ordered the Access Virus B desktop synth, and plugged it into a Yamaha RM1X sequencer and a Nordlead 2, and a Roland MC505 groove-box. I made a tape cassette and me and my friend listened to it, I was so proud of my crappy music!
I took my hobby a step further as I got older, and took some production courses and learned how to clean my sound, then make it dirty again!
Where do you draw inspiration from for your music?
Listening to different styles of music, watching production tutorials on YouTube, playing with a new sample library that I just downloaded… All these are things that help me kick-start the process. I think this will differ from person to person, so it’s all a matter of finding what works for you.
If you ever get stuck finishing a track. How do you overcome it?
I will copy and paste my 4 bar loop into a full 7 minutes worth of repetitive sounds. Then I delete parts and repeat this till I make my first mix down. I put that in my DJ software and let it show me the key of my song. Then I get back into my project and try to create rhythmic patterns that are in the right key with my song. Then I repeat this.
Do you have a production tip that you would like to share with our readers?
Listen to your song next to the best songs in your Genre and compare your sound with them. If your sound is not as good then you must continue to learn your craft. If your music is not as good as the music you listen to, then just keep at it.
What piece of studio hardware or plugin could you not live without and why?
My sequencer! When I moved into the realm of software sequencers, I started off with Cubase, then Logic, then Presonus Studio One. Without that I’d have no music.
Your music always features dark sounds and raw sounding 909 drums. Do you have any tips on creating them?
I start with my drum machine. Then I synth out my Kick drum using Sonic Academy’s drum synth called Kick 2. Then my bass is usually a filtered kick from the same VST. Then I open Reveal-Sound Spire VST. It reminds me of my Access Virus. I really put time into my drums and percussion sounds. When you consider the Drums and percs are the driving force of Techno its really important that these sounds are good enough to listen to on their own. I use saturation distortion on all my drums. I also add a track of white noise to create the hiss sound of recording external gear.
Would you advice other producers to use a dedicated mastering engineer or to master their tracks themselves?
For now, I master all of my own tracks. I consider this my job as a producer. So my advice would be, if you are able to do it yourself go for it.
Thank you Rocky Miller, it has been a pleasure talking to you. We hope our readers have enjoyed a deeper insight into your workflow. We wish you all the best with your up and coming releases.
You can check out Rocky’s latest release with us here.
Rocky also has a three track EP ‘Vortex’ ready to rumble and is available for pre order now –
Interview conducted by the TVR Team.