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November 5, 2018

'Acustica have ruined my life'.

Meet Eddie Bazil, the sonic mastermind behind Samplecraze. Eddie’s professional musical career started during his teens, when he became a programmer for some of the most notable Electro/New Wave and Dance/Rap bands of the time, including AON, DJ Shadow, Juice, Pet Shop Boys, Spandau Ballet, C Campbell, Bobin, Paul Dee, Jets Orchestra, DJ Krush and many more.

Eddie, before we start the interview, I must admit I brought no Minstrels. Is there any chance we can still make it?

I am not sure we can proceed at this juncture. I need time to evaluate my relationship with you.

[Hours later] Your credits and experience are so extensive that it is hard for me to decide where to start. Let's begin with your outstanding work as an author and your latest book, 'Mixing Hip-Hop'.

Thank you so much for the kind words. Thank God for drugs huh? 'Mixing Hip Hop' has been a delight to write and the content submitted for the book was excellent. I really do enjoy writing technical books as I get to play with all the latest plugins and it is through this extensive usage that I am able to form an unbiased and learned opinion of what works and what doesn’t. Suffice to say, Acustica plugins have ruined my life. Whereas I used to be able to select plugins based on like for like comparables, with Acustica I am left no such choice. The plugins are unique in that there are relatively no comparables available on the market.

I have read all of your books. Loved them all, but Low End has become my all-time fav. Give us 3 tips on how to get your low end to sit right in the mix.

1. Work the frequencies around your primary sound.

2. Keep your bass and kick in mono and cocoon the mix around them.

3. Alternate between using dynamic equalization instead of compression. It is far easier to set up a frequency conscious side-chain with a dynamic eq that cuts through the required frequency range than trying to ‘duck’ the same frequency using a compressor. Analog or digital? Still worth debating? I wrote an article 15 years ago when I was but a young ‘un about the limitations of emulating hardware in a restricted environment. My main gripes were processing CPU speeds and real-time access of offline code. However, that view has changed over the years with the advent of better coding and higher spec’d machines. Acustica is the only genuine algorithmic company that I know of that has made huge strides in the world of true emulations versus processing. There will always be a market for hardware analog as the interaction between producer and hardware has always been intimate and personal. It is easy to get excited about turning knobs on hardware whereas mouse clicks just don’t seem to cut it.


How have Acustica's plugins helped your workflow?

Most emulation plugins are static captures in that the algorithms can represent a single instance of an event at a given time. To fully capture any hardware analog unit it is imperative to represent the emulation in real-time. Harmonic distortion, op-amp ratings, warming of valves and so on all contribute to how a certain piece of hardware ‘sounds’. Acustica is the only company I know of that have neared the mark of capturing the essence of the hardware comparable and for that reason alone my mixes have the edge that I could only ever achieve with hardware. I am also a great fan of channel strips and having a plugin that houses all the required dynamics in one plugin has helped my workflow tremendously.

You are known for your ability to take any sound and mangle it to your will. Any tips for the aspiring sound designers out there?

When I first began experimenting in the sound design industry I realized very early on that you simply couldn’t duck and dive your way through creating a sound without some grounding in physics. You had to have some level of understanding of the physics of sound and basic electronics. I always recommend to all my students to read up on some of the science behind how we perceive sound, the attributes of a waveform and the electronics behind the processes used. If you then couple this with learning the basics of subtractive synthesis you will have a strong platform to work from. It is only when you need to up your game that you need to learn about other forms of synthesis like FM, S+S, Additive and so on. Internet and networking in the audio world. Tell us one thing you love and one thing you hate. Networking has never been easier thanks to the internet. Now I can simply click and send a newsletter to the 8 million users I acquired from Manjur in Nigeria. However, the internet is not regulated in terms of content and we have some very poor resources for knowledge that seem to appear everywhere thanks to clever marketing. We need a reliable monitoring and accreditation system in place to help the end user to attain the highest level of education in their chosen field.

Is the future of music bright?

In terms of song structuring and musical content, the answer is no. The industry always goes through peaks and dips in terms of musicality and we are going through a dip at the moment. However, in terms of audio production, we are going through a purple patch. Technology is cheaper than it has ever been, more accurate than it has ever been and easily and cheaply accessible to us all. It is a great time to be a producer.

Discover more about Eddie's work on his website and make sure you check out all his books.

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