DJ Zinc Q&A
Matthew Brady – Interested to know if Zinc realised 138 trek this was going to appeal to the UK Garage scene and start a new trend in that sound with the Bingo releases?
Zinc – No not at all – when I made it I sent to a few people (Klaus was one of them) and got a pretty good reaction – but then a few months later the pirate dj‘s picked it up and it became popular in the garage scene
Josh Trenerry – Hey mate, hope you’re well. What’s your view on Independent/Major record labels nowadays? Would you say they are beneficial to up and coming artist or even an established artist?
Zinc – Cheers Josh. reckon for the massive majority its better to just do it yourself, the benefits the majors bring is diminishing as the technology develops. I guess at a certain level they can help with international distribution, and a good a+r person is really useful. But it’s not like the old days when they dictated everything.
William Martins – I’d love to know more about your track creation process.
What comes first? The bassline? Break?
Also, how do you go about structure and arrangement?
Zinc – Beats (usually really rough, just for a start), then bass, make a bassline I really like, then add elements and work on the beats till I’m happy. Then arrangement depends on what I’ve done up to that point, but being a club DJ for so long usually means my arrangements are pretty standard.
Matthew Brady – Oh and Alex Mills is one of my favourite vocalists. How did the collab with her on My Energy go down. Did the track come first and the vocals follow? How was the vocal recording process?
Zinc – My manager knew her so he set up the session – I made the track as a demo in advance and then we went to Sony studios to record the vocals, then I took the session away and finished it.
Jay Kaufman – Speed garage never did much for me, but for whatever reason, the less wobbly bass house (typically UK producers) is a sound I really dig. American producers of this sound seem to swear by Massive for all of those aggressive wobbly mid-bass sounds. Frankly I can’t stand that sound and find it grating. I’ve enjoyed some of your Bingo releases. What are you using bass-sounds-wise?
Zinc – Absolutely anything – I use maybe 7 synths regularly, incl serum, massive, avenger, trilium, bass master, and so on, but then I’ve got a Moog, Juno, sh1, and a few other hardware synths that I use too, but also I use samples old and new. So basically, anything!
Louis Peake – I would also like to know any tips or tricks he’s willing to share on bass. His basslines in dnb and the crack house stuff were always unique, warm and tight. Anything on bass technique would be great.
Zinc – I don’t know what difference it makes, but I put stuff through hardware – my bass buss usually goes through a loop trotter monster with a parallel distortion mix, then through a retro 2a3, then through a manley summing mixer, smart compressor, massenberg eq. I reckon you can replicate most of that in the box and it would be 95% there.
Sam Brenchley – Hi zinc thanks for the music, starting out mixing and looking for tips and tricks for mixing low end, I’m really struggling in this area.
Zinc – Thanks! I use eq and sidechain to avoid frequency clashes – using multi band side chain really cleans up my mixes!
Eddie Bazil – Zinc, what’s your master bus saying dude? Be interested to know how you structure your MB chain.
Zinc – Hmmm, before it gets into the box it’s usually out of manley summing amp, into gml eq then smart compressor. Then I record back into bitwig, and send the pre to Klaus. I usually try a pre-master, and occasionally the mhe says ‘ I won’t get it much better, save your money’. But usually they do get it much better, and its something I consider to be money well spent! For my self master it changes, but usually it goes eq, buss compressor, eq for shimmer, stereo management, slight distortion, tape emulation, limiter.
Sebastian Sebmund Sebbery – Big ups Zinc! For having done music for so long what inspires you these days? What’s your favourite music outside of electronica?
Zinc – Jazz