Do you even archive? Loradeniz

Loradeniz is an Amsterdam-based pianist, composer, producer, singer and DJ from Istanbul. She attended the Red Bull Music Academy in 2018, has been a regular mainstay of Red Light Radio and has performed across Europe as a DJ, soloist and with a supporting band. 

Coming from an education of classical piano, she moved into composing new music and producing which eventually led her to play her solo performances over the past years: translating her piano compositions into synth melodies with soothing vocals and electronic drum rhythms. Her 2019 EP, Moon in Florence, is a masterclass in avant-garde pop music.   As a DJ she’s versatile, navigating seamlessly from deep grooves to ambient sounds, exploring the links between different sounds and styles. 

We definitely have our eyes on her and with a diverse background like this, we just had to ask her: do you even archive?

How do you manage your digital files? Do you use Rekordbox or iTunes or another tool? Do you keep backups of your digital audio files? 

I collect and categorise all audio files on an external hard drive which has another back-up. As for the DJ sets, to manage playlists, I run the tracks on Recordbox, where I use the tags for detailed categories. On one backup the tracks are categorised by my monthly purchases, whereas on the other one they are categorised by genre. 

How does being a trained musician inform your archival practice? Is this something you were taught in the conservatory or did you have to figure everything out yourself? 

My archival practice was mainly classical music for a long time, from my early years until my twenties. Later, it took a diverse shape when I started studying new music, digging into Ircam’s archive, composing as much as raving. I have always been surrounded by musicians, and music mentors whilst also having diversified music lessons. I guess that, as a conclusion of these interactions,  I learned active listening and gained a certain perspective towards what gives specific qualities to a tune. Oh well, what sounds good/not good is very subjective, but I think it’s good to be able to think up and analyse what’s going on within the music. This way of thinking and expressing yourself could be helpful to bringing your unique sound to fruition. Speaking of what’s been taught in the conservatory, surely no one ever referred to any other genre than classical music there. If archival practice needs let’s say three steps – listening, picking and organising, then at the conservatory I learned to be organised whereas after the conservatory I learned to listen. I’m still learning new genres, and the variations within them. I figured out, and still do, most of the archival practice myself. 

Do you tag your material/ give it metadata like “slow jammy” “fast banger 3am stuff” “morning set sunrise ambient”, bpms, genre, label etc.?  What’s the thought process behind these tags? are they evolving or you try to be strict? 

I use tags for the content of the tunes like, deaddark, darkalive, percussive, experimental, vocals and so on. This way, without listening to the track, I could already have a general idea about the vibe. On Recordbox, I prefer not to think in genres as I like mixing them up. Also, sometimes I use the tags to describe the possible situation that the tracks would fit in such as opener, buildupper, peak, mixtaped or radio. The thought behind the tags is to make life and gigs easier, however they sometimes don’t. Sometimes I’ll tag a track ‘deaddark’ only to find out (after some time) that I don’t find it that dark anymore. Tags are good but they might be misleading at times, so I also like to make playlists. I have two types of playlists. One type is for specific places I’m playing at and considering the possible vibes. Usually, this type of playlists are quite extensive and when they become too extensive, I divide the playlist and sort it by bpm and/or mood. I keep the playlists that I think worked well during gigs. The other type of playlists are for my monthly purchases I usually go with month and mood titles e.g. APRairy (nothing heavy) or APRsolid (clubby). I’m totally baffled after trying to explain it, so yes the thought process has been evolving and it’ll keep altering.

How do you go about defining certain presets, tracks or versions? Do you stick solely to numerical titles or do you get creative with adjectives i.e. reverb good, roomy, dry v1.2? Is there a rhyme or reason to the terminology you use for these definitions? 

That changes from software to hardware. I use basic descriptions with software presets such as GodRvb, MamaVox, DeliDly, etc. I use Mama for the warm effects, God for the big reverbs, Deli for the weird stuff, and the numerical extensions come after which is where it starts getting messy, but it’s easier to figure out which is what on a software. Usually, I like to have a fresh start with the presets, but I also like keeping my favourite ones saved, just in case. If using a certain plug-in could be a good idea later on then I tag them on Ableton. I kind of suck at categorising the names on hardware in the first place. The moment I name it, it makes so much sense that I never try finding a different one, and in time neither the names or the numbers mean anything. I usually end up making new ones, so then I started taking my time naming them more descriptively. I’m trying to keep the track names simple and clear. 

You must have a backlog of past tracks that either are works in progress or have been abandoned. What kind of folder structure do you use to manage your production library – are they organized by time period, style, potential album etc. What about titling about labeling stuff you’re working on and their different versions? 

I’m not a producing machine so it doesn’t get that messy on my desktop or external hard-disk. There’s always been a particular inspiration, a period of free time, or a specific event behind evoking a new track. I name each track differently either based on the most repetitive word, its vibe, or the idea that got me started (like – badbass, choir vibe, Am-G Jam). If I keep working on a project, it gets more detailed in time and so the name changes to something else eventually. When I don’t want to take time to name it, I go with Tape1, Tape2 and the edit additions come after e.g Tape2Edit4. I save all the new projects on my desktop and once a month I make folders and keep back-ups. Folders are named after the months or special occasions. The tracks get their final names when I’m totally done with them.

What do you wish you were better at or is there a tool / software you wish existed that would make your life easier? 

There’s nothing really that I wish I were better at, but I have hopes for the future. I want to get better at mixing my music and to lean towards more minimal productions. Being able to open more than one project on Ableton would be convenient at times or a software that guides me through the smartest “next steps” on a current mix – e.g. you import the reference track, then the software lets a certain plug-in highlight the knob you should adjust. Like a virtual mixing guru. Considering the time and patience I spend on my mixes and the breakdowns I have to go through after, this guru would be really helpful.

Have you ever lost any material that was never backed up? What and how? 

Only once, during one of my first encounters with Ableton for an assignment that I started working on a day before the deadline. I spent a few hours recording samples and the rest of the day editing. 12 hours of work, perfectly done in one day. After making many unfortunate decisions to remove some files, the next day it was gone! Since then, I collect all and save.