In the Studio Hotseat with Jacq
JACQ’s musical education has taken him to the confines of a studio space shared with artists like Rudosa, Dave Parkinson and Tuff London. This has resulted in JACQ gaining support from the internationally revered Toolroom Academy. His application and worth ethic coupled with the knowledge of D.Ramirez and Pete Griffiths have led releasing regularly on Toolroom receiving huge support from the label’s frontman Mark Knight, who has tipped JACQ as the artist to watch out for. We sat down to find out more about Liverpool’s latest underground dance music export.
What is your live DJ set up?
Pioneer NX2 CDJ2000
Pioneer NX2 DJM900
What is your studio set up?
Logic Pro X
Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S49 MK2
Universal Audio Apollo Twin MKII Audio Interface
Genelec 8020D Monitors
Favourite software VST?
Favourite piece of hardware?
My S49 MK2 is my favourite, the menu and scrolls to go through my sounds is amazing and improves workflow significantly. I recommend anyone who is thinking about getting one of these to go for it, they’re great for producing and the Komplete ultimate software has endless sounds and options.
How do you usually start a track?
Sometimes I can find a really hooky vocal or synth arrangement and from there I can hear the vibe of the track it needs and just build on it that way. Other times I start with a drum groove and build an eight or 16-bar loop. Once I have all the elements, I then begin the track arrangement and continue to build the track from there.
How do you finish a track?
When I think my tracks are to a finished standard, I send them to my trusted network these are people who will offer constructive criticism. This sometimes will help me find an extra 20% in the track to take it to the next level. I’m not afraid to hear someone tell me my music isn’t good enough or needs to be amended to help give it the extra edge needed. Some of my productions can be at version 10 before I try to sign them but all the creases should be ironed out by this point. When I’m happy I have my final edit, I look at mastering. This may be done by a label if they prefer to do it themselves, or I get it done through a mastering engineer. Most labels I’ve signed to like to do this themselves but I have had a couple that don’t and will expect me to sort mastering.
Which of your productions to date is your personal favourite and why?
It’s got to be ‘Here In My Heart’, It was my first signing to Toolroom Trax and this label had been a goal of mine for so many years. I got massive support with this track from the label boss Mark Knight and I’ll never forget the feeling of being signed to my dream label. When the track was on promo, Toolroom sent me a video of Mark playing the track out in the main room at one of their label parties in Studio 338. To see the artist you followed for years smashing your track out to a packed club and then the reaction from the people, it went off just amazing!!!!!!!.
What is the most valuable thing you have learnt during your time as a producer?
You need to understand your musical vision, and what it is you want to achieve. It’s about you understanding your sound and how to apply it into your productions. When I started out I spent time breaking down the relevant parts of different genres that hooked me in and learnt how to produce these individual sounds. Once I had developed these variations I made folders like a personal sound pack. This is where I have all my signature sounds that make Jacq. Now I can vary these sounds to suit the track I’m doing at the time but each one I produce has relation to the rest. This detail brings consistency in my productions and also makes my workflow a lot quicker and smoother.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone just starting out learning to produce, what would it be?
1-Pick your preferred DAW and learn as much as you can about it. It’s important to master this as this will help your workflow to become smart and efficient.
2-Don’t overwhelm yourself with loads of plugins, most of the standard ones in the DAW’s are great and good enough when starting out and learning.
3- Master what you have and make templates with your plugins in whatever DAW you have chosen, this will save you lots of time in completing tracks
Brilliant three pieces of advice for the price of one! Thanks for talking with us Jacq.
Thanks for having me guys 🙂
Jacq – Raise My Voice out now on Wh0 Plays Records, purchase and streaming links below:
Listen to the PREMIERE below:
Record Label Links:
Facebook – https://bit.ly/2Hnsm4n
Instagram – https://bit.ly/2HAvcS7
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Soundcloud – https://bit.ly/2xCtgYx
Spotify – https://spoti.fi/2VJLemA
YouTube – http://bit.ly/OFITRYT