Not all too long ago, rising Canadian techno talent Weska unveiled his plans to begin self-releasing his music via DSPs, to which we premiered one of the tracks from his First Wave EP. While it's never been easier to release music yourself, it's never been more difficult to make yourself stand out. Fresh off the latest Second Wave, we thought it would be interesting to see what all he's using to craft his signature sound. Below, he shares his small but effective arsenal of tools, which proves you don't need much to make great music.
Words by Weska
1) Nord Lead Rack 2X
I do not class myself as a gear head, but I got my hands on this synth last year and I have to say it’s super powerful, and a lovely piece of gear. I haven’t used it that often lately as I have been finishing building my studio and it lives there, however, I am going to dive deep into it this year as now the studio is sounding good. I used it on "Lost On You," which was a track I did with Bart Skils last year, I think on one of the chord risers. It’s got a beautiful sound, all the way from basses to pads. I am super stoked this is part of my small collection.
2) Softube Drawmer S73
I first discovered this compressor when I was studying audio engineering. One day, my professor at the time put it on a track during a class demonstration and I loved its sound. It's a software replica of the Dramwer 1973 multi-band compressor and it sounds great! It can give a synth sound that extra little bit of "crisp," and even more so when used with vocals to give them that slight "air" sound or a touch of clarity. I don't think there's a project I have made recently that doesn't have this plugin on it somewhere.
I had heard about Splice in its early phases when its primary use was a cloud-based project collaborating and sharing platform when I first started producing, and I never got into it. Fast forward to now and I think it completely revolutionized the way I make music. From thousands of samples to rent-to-own synths, I love it. It makes looking for drums and atmospheres in key so much easier than before and has in a way made making music a bit more fun for me. It's also can help get your brain working and trigger ideas in case you're stuck and need some inspiration. If you use your computer to make music and you're not on Splice, go download it right now!
4) Kush Audio Omega N
I need to give Wehbba credit for showing me this one. Thanks, bro! Modeled after the signature Neve pre-amp, Kush has made this wicked plugin that gives digital producers the ever sought after analog "phatness" and "warmth" sound many look for. It's especially great with drums, making them slightly chunkier and rounding off that annoying brightness some cymbals have. It's very cheap, simple, and like the Drawmer S73, I don't think there's a recent project of mine that doesn't have this plugin on it, including "Alpha Rhythm" that came out on Drumcode last September.
One of the first plugins I bought I think, and by far my favorite reverb around. Again, it's super easy to use, BUT it can get super complicated if you want to. If you're looking for a quick spacer it's great to adjust from the default setting, but it comes with a ton of cool pre-sets as well that really show you how useful this plugin can be. Definitely check it out if you're not already on it.
Weska's Second Wave is available now. Grab it here.