Whether you’re a hardcore junglist or a drum & bass novice, Noisia’s meticulous sound design and enviable technical prowess is undeniable. Over the past decade, the talented Dutch trio, which includes Nik Roos, Martijn Sonderen and Thijs de Vlieger, have created an instantly recognizable, yet wholly unique sound, crafting an impressive array of weapons along the way, including 2005 titan “The Tide” and 2010 monster, “Diplodocus.”
Taking part in a Reddit AMA on Advanced Production recently, Noisia touched on a range of technical topics, discussing their creative approach in the studio, the best advice they’ve received, the legendary artist they most want to work with, favorite new gear and more.
Because your time is precious, and we happen to enjoy making lists, we combed through their answers, culling the top 10 insights from their extremely informative Reddit AMA for you below. Enjoy.
Nosia’s creative process: experimentation vs. mapping it out
“It’s both really. A lot of our sounds come out of just experimenting. But sometimes it’s very deliberate and planned too. So that’s a great question.”
Their specific approach to creating drum loops and breaks
“Mostly these days, we make our own ‘sampled breaks’ in Superior Drummer or have Superior Drummer running live in the project.”
Regarding the rumor that Noisia, Spor and the Illuminati produced Skrillex’s Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites
“Haha…Sonny made this on his laptop in our recording booth in our previous studio. We were in the next room when he made most of it, and we didn’t do anything.”
The rules they use for achieving their superior, crystal clear bass sound
“There aren’t many rules but I can think of two things that I do adhere to; a. The lower the frequency the more power it requires in your master bus so cut out any bass not needed. b. Try to bring out the thing that the track is saying. It might take a while to figure out what this is exactly, but once you do you can focus your whole mixing process around that as opposed to following standard rules. For example, a squelchy bass sound needs to be forward in a groove-based minimal tune, but if you’re using the same sound in a melodic tune, mix it differently.”
How they know when a track is complete
“We sometimes leave tracks for years before we decide it’s time to finish it. We don’t throw away stuff. We have bounces going back to 2002, but some stuff is deliberately unfinished.”
The best advice they’ve been given over the years
“Fight your enemy where he isn’t” —Sun Tzu
Creating the soundtrack for the 2013 video game Devil May Cry
“[We had] much more freedom because it didn’t necessarily have to ‘work on the dancefloor.’ And it was really cool to write themes specifically for characters. Different to writing only for your own expression.”
Noisia’s favorite hardware/software right now
“Serum is a great new synth. Also the Crane Song Avocet is getting a lot of mileage. We’ve got a sub-37 and a big modular, messing around with analog synths is so awesome.”
Mastering their tracks themselves
“Yes we do ‘master’ ourselves. We only use external mastering for consistency on album or EP projects, or as a second set of ears.”
The artist they’d most like to collaborate with
Catch the full Noisia Reddit AMA here, and, in case you missed it, check out a recent podcast below, celebrating a decade of Noisia’s D&B label Vision and their retrospective release, Ten Years of Vision Recordings.