Canadian-based producer Galen has been using Splice for several months now. In addition to releasing finished tracks, Galen also releases works-in-progress to solicit feedback and collaboration from the Splice community. In this interview, we catch up with him to learn about some of his favorite plugins, influences and more. Sign up for Splice to collaborate with him and explore his work-in-progress entitled “Electro-Trance” below.
Splice: Can you tell us how you got started producing music?
Galen: I first started producing hip-hop around 2 years ago but could never really figure it out. About a year ago, I happened to come across Zedd’s 2014 Ultra Music Festival set on Youtube. I was so mezmerized by his music that I decided to try producing some progressive house using FL Studio. I was really bad at first but as time went on I began to learn different techniques and gained more confidence within my production.
Certain artists like Nicky Romero, Dubvision and Audien really helped me develop my techniques by remaking a lot of their songs early on when I began producing. I tried to get my hands on whatever production info I could find and apply them to my mixes. Soon enough, I began using less and less presets, began understanding how plugins actually worked and how to apply them, etc and basically just started getting a grasp on production. In my opinion, the most important aspect of production that I still follow to this day is to create as much music as you can. It just really helped me get comfortable with producing and keep progressing every time.
Splice: Can you tell us about your work-in-progress “Electro-Trance?” How did you get started in the creation process?
Galen: Actually, that song/riff/drop began with just playing around in FL Studio writing chords. I had writers block at the time so I was just playing around with some sounds trying to make anything that would sound good. I ended up with this cheesy long chord progression that just stuck. Eventually, I just started bridging the gaps in the chords with some samples I had floating around. The key was just to have really unique samples and process some differently than others. The whole project was basically all in one run. I just felt pretty good about the project after a couple hours and decided just to upload it to Splice and see what others thought.
Splice: Why were you excited to release the track to the Splice community?
Galen: It was a pretty big change from most of my normal productions. I hadn’t really done anything like that, released or unreleased, so I wanted to to get some feedback. I wanted people to see also how some of the tracks were processed and also left dry, and just generally let people see my workflow.
A lot of the sounds in that song were left dry. I personally don’t work with a crazy amount of compression unless I’m gelling layers or processing drums so a lot of my mixes rely on volume levels which was a pretty big part of the track and it felt like a basic mix I was pretty satisfied with. Looking back, I wish I could have asked for collaborations on that project.
Splice: How has Splice changed or improved your workflow?
Galen: I have my project folder set up so every project I start gets uploaded to my Splice, just because it makes it so much easier to access tracks on the go and still be able to show people the layers and the makeup of those tracks. I usually follow up with an audio preview which is probably the feature I use most when I’m going to be away from the studio for a while. I also love that I can back up all my projects on Splice in case my computer fails.
On top of that, there’s also nothing like knowing you can completely move a project over to another computer within seconds if need be. AND THE EASE OF COLLABORATING! I don’t even think I need to say anything on collaborating with Splice…
Splice: What are some of your favorite plugins or sample packs? What do you find yourself using most often?
Galen: I try not to use too many effects in my tracks but usually when I do they tend to be a lot of the same plugins just because they’re what I’ve become accustomed to. Favorite plugin is probably ValhallaVintageVerb simply because its incredibly versatile and really easy to use.
Camel Crusher is definitely a close second simply because it can do anything from limiting to dirtying up a synth to compression, all at the same time. In terms of synths, Sylenth1 is home, although I did just download the Serum demo so that may change. I’ve been using Sylenth1 ever since I first started producing simply because the learning curve was so easy. There’s so many Sylenth1 tutorials nowadays which makes it a breeze to learn and develop your synthesis skills and techniques.
Splice: Anything else you want to tell us? New music projects in the works?
Galen: Right now I have a few projects that I’m just finishing up which will all be out within the next couple weeks. I’m working on a few collaborations including some with a couple users I met through Splice. I’m also working on A BUNCH of new original tracks as well as a few remixes. This summer will be filled with releases and I can’t wait to share some of these new tracks via Splice so be on the watch for those. HUGE thank you for the support lately, a lot more to come!