Charity Strike interview
FX: What projects are you currently working on?
BS: Right now we're trying to get our 2015 releases set up so all we're doing is producing, originals and a few remixes here and there. We actually just finished a pretty dark festival remix of Faithless - 'Insomnia' to kick off our new retro remix series which we're really excited about.
FX: How has your music production progressed to where you are now?
CS: We've been focusing on consistency and trying to make clean, playable tracks. The way these songs translate onto the dance floor is the most important thing for us. Big systems can really magnify a mix, the more we play out, the more opportunities we have to test our music on a larger scale than our home studio.
FX: You guys are divided by geography (Northern and Southern California) - how do you manage to work together?
CS: Yeah, we see each other about every other week, and when we are apart we share .zip files back and forth.
FX: What FXpansion products are you using?
CS: We've used Strobe and recently just got hooked on Bloom. Strobe's layout is great - you can build sounds from the ground up really quickly. Bloom has been really cool for achieving movement. We like to emulate what we would do live on a Pioneer DJM800 with the FX and noise - Bloom has given us endless freedom.
FX: Do you have any tips or tricks you’d like to share?
CS: With Bloom we bus out all of our build/rise instruments to a channel hosting Bloom and automate the intensity of the effect - modulating the size, amount, feedback, and overall Delay mix. Next we run this into an EQ and draw in a hi-pass filter sweep up to 200-500Hz over the last 4 bars of the measure.
The same effect can be achieved with any part of the track that needs more movement and dramatic effect, like intros or outros. You can even start by choosing a preset you like and simply drawing in the overall Delay mix starting from a relatively low amount and working your way up.
"We bus out all of our build/rise instruments to a channel hosting Bloom and automate the intensity of the effect - modulating the size, amount, feedback, and overall Delay mix."Charity Strike
FX: Where do you find inspiration for a track?
CS: Anywhere really. We draw a lot of our inspiration from indie rock melodies and guitar-based music. Then we pretty much just build around that.
FX: How important is sound design in EDM and what do you look for in synthesizers to get the most out of your production?
CS: Sound design plays a huge role in dance music, it's what makes simple, sometimes single-note, melodies sound more unique, appealing, and intense. Sound choice and having an understanding of how the sound is going to translate in the mix is also very important; knowing how to choose the right samples for your song can make all the difference and save lots of time during mixdown.
Interview: December 2014