Coffee Machine to Acid Synth: A conversation with ARTICI

To date we’ve done 9 RE:VIVE workshops. For those of you that haven’t been to one they’re epic sprints of forced creativity. Producers of all skill sets and styles come in and are given a sample pack of archival sounds followed by a crash course in sound design. From there everyone is plugged in for 2-3 hours and have to make a track (or as much of a track as possible) using only the provided sounds. Every sound requires some level of sculpting and sometimes there’s hours of material to sift through. The whole event is an exercise in critical listening, decision making, composition and stamina. Everyone walks away with something new, and while we encourage all the producers to finish up their tracks and send them over we rarely ever hear from them again (ghosting much?).

Every now and then the workshops lead to new friendships and partnerships. See for instance Mill Burray or SAE instructor Torgue. Today we sat down with Dutch up-and-comer ARTICI who got his intro to sound design and field recordings at our ADE Sampling Workshop and has grown exceptionally in the months since then, incorporating his own field recordings into his floor filling brand of techno.

This is your 3rd track I believe for RE:VIVE, when you started producing was sound design and sampling field recordings even on your radar? 

Yes I believe so, I think it’s the second track I shared on my SoundCloud, but I made a couple more tracks with the samples you guys provided.

When I started producing I always tried to create my own unique sounds. When I started producing I began with no knowledge in FL Studio and didn’t have the gear or hadn’t even heard of the possibility to record field samples. When I later switched to Ableton Live 9 I started experimenting more, that’s how I ended up at the workshop conceptual sampling during ADE and fell in love with the possibilities of field recordings and using archival samples.

What’s the most useful trick or approach you’ve learned through working with these sounds that has become a regular part of your production process?

One trick I learned is to approach the sounds and samples you have in your track differently. I find myself re-recording sounds with a bunch of effects on it again and again to get a more unique sound. As well as understanding the power that a single waveform has, you can make almost everything out of a sample as long as you know how to use it. I think that is the best trick I learned working with those sounds.

Which sound are you most proud of creating? 
This must be my favorite question. I think the sound I made during the ADE workshop must be my favorite. I made a very dirty acid bass sound using a sample from a coffee machine. I still use that bass whenever I make an acid track.

When you’re listening through field recordings or sounds, are there any things that you immediately gravitate towards? 
I’m mostly looking for little sounds in the background. Those are the most beautiful. You can use those sounds for synths, drums or FX which gives them a wide variety to use.

And we ask everyone, do you archive your work? 
I’m not totally sure what you mean with if I archive my work. All the sounds I make which I’m proud of I save them in my own Ableton library so I can use those later. Even parts of a project I save to use in other tracks or for live purposes. But I don’t think I archive my work that well, would be a good idea starting to do that.

Image via the Nationaal Archief, Public Domain