100 - Johny Maandag
Artist Interviews 🎶 Studio Tours 🎛
Hello music people 👋
We got to 100 issues 🎉🥳 Showing how people from our community think and work is useful and, in return, helps everyone else in the community grow. Thank you guys. On to the next 100 ⚡ - Giannis
Today in the spotlight, Johny Maandag
Coming from Belgium, he started learning Ableton just before the pandemic. Having a technical background he also loves to create his own virtual instruments 🎶
You can support G.A.S. Newsletter
If you’re enjoying these studio tours & the interviews, chances are your friends will enjoy them too. Help me reach more readers, and grow this community, by sharing this issue:
Who are you and what is your relationship with music?
I’m Johny Maandag and I live near Brussels, Belgium.
I started learning Ableton shortly before the pandemic. I downloaded the free trial and watched a lot of YouTube tutorials and I immediately fell in love with the endless possibilities.
Music making is purely a hobby for me.
My main source of income comes from my job as a front-end developer.
Because of my technical background I also got into Max and started created my first Max for Live devices. I really like the idea of making your own instruments and use them directly within Ableton. Such an amazing feature.
Which piece of equipment in your studio is essential to your production process?
I started my journey with Ableton and I couldn’t live without it anymore.
Hardware might help me with sound design and to come up with ideas. But in the end it will always be transferred and processed in Ableton.
What is the least expensive piece of gear that gave you the most results?
The Koma Field kit, although it probably didn’t give me the most results it’s definitely the piece of gear I had the most fun with. With the field kit and the contact microphones I can transform ordinary everyday objects into instruments.
Walk us through your process for creating and producing music.
Every time I’m in front of Ableton my process is somehow different. I try not to have too much routine since it can disturb the creative flow. Sometimes I start with creating the pads, other times I start by laying out a drum beat. I try to not think too much but just try to move forward as fast as possible.
“Don’t overthink shit” dixit Kenny Beats.
When I don’t have inspiration or just want to jam I turn to my dawless setup and play around with the Octatrack, Syntakt and my Modular Rack. I also have days where I purely focus on sound design then I try to create some interesting patches on the Korg Minilogue which I save as presets for later use.
What is a production technique that you always come back to?
I love using granular effects (Arturia Fragments, Portal by Output) on vocals, drums, etc. It can be great to transform drums into an extra percussion layer or transforming vocals in transition effects etc.
When I use vocals I like to pitch them up or down a bit, just to make them a bit different than the original.
And reverb, reverb, reverb… I really like to use lots of reverb :)
How would you describe your style?
Since I love so many genres it’s difficult for me to work within 1 specific style of music. Sometimes I feel like making House other times I just want to make UK Garage or Ambient music. So it has been difficult for me to create my own signature and personal style.
What is a big challenge you have as an artist?
As an “artist” we all want our music to be heard. In this day and age with so many music being released everyday it’s difficult to get noticed. I try not to think too much about the end result but try to enjoy the process of making music as much as possible.
Has building a hardware setup changed your perspective on music or life in general?
The last 3 years I purchased and sold a lot of hardware. It made me realize that buying new and more gear won’t make you a better musician. I feel like the more gear you have the more you get distracted and the less you actually make music.
So I’m kind of attracted to the idea of a “minimal setup”. On that note I consider selling most of my gear and only keep the stuff I really love.
One tip on how to spark creativity?
Going outdoors, I really like to go outside and make same field recordings.
A book, movie, article, or album that has inspired you?
I’m currently obsessed with the album “Compro” by Skee Mask.
Where can people find more of your music and connect with you online?
In Case You Missed It
For jams, knob-twists and pad hitting videos go to G.A.S. Instagram
Do you know someone who would like this email? Forward it to them 📤💗
As a means to support G.A.S. Newsletter, affiliate links might be included in the issue. If you make a purchase through them, I get a commission with no extra cost to you.