On his latest album, Black Boulder, Berlin-based producer and DJ Carsten Aermes aka Phon.o explores the vast terrain between post-dubstep, bass music, 2-step and deep house. In this interview he reveals interesting production details and provides a complementary Live Pack that includes many of the sounds used on the record. ...
For his bass-heavy, atmospheric beats, Christian Andersen - aka XI - takes a hands-on approach. Christian's custom sounds in Operator and loose sequencing in Ableton Live give his music a uniquely human, individual quality.
Every synth patch in Christian's music is made in Operator, from scratch. "I like to see how it goes," explains Christian, "so with Operator, I find the layout simple for combining different waveforms and then running them through each other in different [algorithms]." For Christian, Operator becomes a direct and malleable extension of his ideas: "the process is as organic as you could want it without being able to manipulate the sound with your bare hands," he says. Try out a selection of Christian's personal Operator patches for yourself:
Download XI's Operator patches
Timing tends to slip in a very human way in Christian's music, due to his unique method of sequencing. Christian creates his beats in Live's Arrangement View, allowing for minor shifts in timing. "When I am creating a layered snare sound," he explains, "I will turn the grid off and move things around ever so slightly to get flam out of my drums." For Christian, the grid is a rough template: "I don't work completely unquantized ever, but I also am not a slave to the grid."
Learn more about XI at his official website.