We­hbba

Drum­code 2017

Future Music - - DVD & DIGITAL -

We join the Brazil­ian beat­maker in his stu­dio to watch him de­con­struct Fake

Brazil­ian bomb­shell We­hbba (aka Rodolfo We­hbba) has been steadily ris­ing up the ranks of techno roy­alty over his decade-long ca­reer, with re­leases on Tronic, Soma and Suara along the way. Most re­cently he’s ap­peared on Adam Beyer’s ubiq­ui­tous Drum­code with his trippy, omi­nous Fake which can be found on the com­pi­la­tion A-Sides Vol­ume 6. FM caught up with Rodolfo in his Barcelona stu­dio to find out how he cre­ated his Drum­code de­but.

How did Fake come about?

“It came out of nowhere. I was just watch­ing TV, and be­cause I have the lux­ury of hav­ing a home stu­dio. I was able to just run in there and get started! I had the idea of mak­ing this re­ally harsh lead sound that wouldn’t change note or any­thing. Once I got that sound, the in­spi­ra­tion for ev­ery­thing else came re­ally quickly; there wasn’t a bassline or any­thing, just drums full-on all the time and the lead sound. Then I did the polishing touches… it was kind of a fast track to write, but very slow to treat later. The post-pro­duc­tion was long!”

Why was the post-pro­duc­tion process so time-con­sum­ing?

“It took a long time be­cause I was just kind of ‘brush­ing’ the ideas in; I was just tak­ing them as they came. I had the idea of the lead recorded, but I didn’t know if it was sound­ing as good as it should. Then I recorded the drums, just do­ing ev­ery­thing su­per-fast. As the ideas came I was just record­ing, record­ing and record­ing. I didn’t re­ally care about how the stuff sounded while it was be­ing recorded. So mak­ing it fit to­gether later was a big chal­lenge, and it took al­most like a year to get the sound to where I wanted it to be!”

How long did the ac­tual com­po­si­tion process take?

“A cou­ple of hours – like three hours?”

Amaz­ing. What chal­lenges did you face in the post-pro­duc­tion?

“The first chal­lenge was to get the lead sound to work on dif­fer­ent sorts of sys­tems, be­cause it was too wide. It was tricky to man­age it,

es­pe­cially for club sys­tems where they have a very nar­row im­age so lots of sounds get lost if they’re too wide and have neg­a­tive phrase cor­re­la­tion and stuff like that. So I had to elim­i­nate one of the chan­nels and work with the other one and try to make it wider. Get­ting it to match the sound that I had ini­tially was tricky. The next chal­lenge was the drums, be­cause I recorded them so fast and I didn’t re­ally care how they sounded to­gether. They were com­ing from dif­fer­ent drum sources; I used this re­ally old Roland drum ma­chine the DR-110 – it’s ana­logue but it’s kind of a toy drum ma­chine – and I also used the Roland TR-8 and the Elek­tron Ana­log Rytm, so they are very dif­fer­ent. I didn’t treat them or play them to­gether. I was just lay­ing sound af­ter sound on top of each other, so I didn’t re­ally care about how they sounded to­gether, and that was a big chal­lenge to make that fit as well.”

How do you de­cide on the bal­ance between mak­ing things sound good in mono and stereo?

“That’s a very tricky ques­tion. It de­pends a lot on each track of course and the ma­te­rial you have; you have to pri­ori­tise what is go­ing to make a big­ger dif­fer­ence when it’s in stereo. So the lead kind of has to be big and wide be­cause it’s a main el­e­ment of the track, but of­ten times it’s bet­ter to have the main el­e­ments in mono

“The first demo I had of it was a big pile of sounds to­gether and it didn’t make a lot of sense. I wasn’t re­ally too happy with that sound! But be­cause the track was good I was like, ‘Okay, it doesn’t mat­ter’. It had the strength it needed to work even though it wasn’t sound­ing as good as it should.”

so that it sticks out and it’s right in the mid­dle, which is the case with vo­cals for ex­am­ple. Nor­mally they are right bang-on in the mid­dle be­cause they need to poke out of ev­ery­thing else. So it’s very tricky to de­cide on th­ese things. I try to be­have my­self and not make ev­ery­thing too wide so they will all sound good ev­ery­where. Be­cause most of the mu­sic I make is club-fo­cused, I tend to make stuff that will sound good on club sound sys­tems and fes­ti­val sound sys­tems and that kind of thing. The sim­pler the bet­ter it is for those sys­tems I think; it’s eas­ier to make them sound good any­where. So I don’t re­ally go crazy about the wide­ness and stuff like that!”

How do you man­age to get a full drum sound while also hav­ing other el­e­ments in the mid­dle of the mix?

“It’s more about the re­la­tion­ship with fre­quency. Once you get pretty good sep­a­ra­tion with the fre­quency range of each el­e­ment it makes it eas­ier to have a lot of things in the mid­dle. The first demo I had of it was a big pile of sounds to­gether and it didn’t make a lot of sense. I wasn’t re­ally too happy with that sound! But be­cause the track was good I was like, ‘Okay, it doesn’t mat­ter’. It had the strength it needed to work even though it wasn’t sound­ing as good as it should. But get­ting those fre­quen­cies in the right spot made it eas­ier to have ev­ery­thing not opened up so much in the stereo field.”

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