Blazey’s Bristol Grime Lowdown / Hugh on November 23rd


Following on from last week’s Circle² Future Sounds: Grime Presets, we found out about the current grime scene in one of the UK’s most musical cities; Bristol. Bristol is famous worldwide for punching above it’s weight in music, arguably making the biggest contribution to UK music outside of London in recent years. The south-western city is perhaps best known for it’s pioneering musicians within dubstep, drum & bass and trip hop, including artists such as Pinch, Kahn, Massive Attack, Portishead and Roni Size.

Unusually, the Bristol grime scene hasn’t yet had the success that’s been seen in London, Manchester and Birmingham, but things look like they are changing. With sell out 1500+ capacity events in the town and a recent feature of 6 Bristol MCs at Wiley’s inaugural grime event, Eskimo Dance, it looks as if Bristolian MCs and producers may soon be set for a bigger platform.

A forefather of Bristolian grime and dubstep, Blazey established the first ever dubstep night outside of London alongside Pinch in 2004. As the head honcho of grime in Bristol, after years of DJing and running parties throughout the City, Blazey is now running Bodynod, Bristol’s largest Garage & Grime event which has seen some of the most impressive line ups within the scene in recent years. We had a chat with Blazey to find out what’s been happening in the Bristol grime scene over the last few years, and which MCs and producers we should be keeping an eye on.

It’s great that a selection of Bristol MCs were featured at Eskimo dance earlier this month. How did that go down?

It went really well, actually exceeded my expectations, especially given that half the MCs had never worked with each other before on stage. The MCs got together prior to the rave and had a practice session, which definitely paid off, just because each MC has their own particular style which managed to gel during the set and translated well to the crowd.

How’s the health of Bristol’s grime scene changed over the years?

Right now it’s strong, it seems that there is just the right balance of Producers as well as MCs, whereas back in the first half of the noughties there was a wealth of MCs, but only a few producers, then in the latter half of the decade until around 2013, there were quite a few established producers but not many MCs making enough noise to be noticed.

Which Bristol grime MCs should we be keeping an eye on?

Buggsy, Jay0117, Slowie, Dash Villz, Double, Gilly, Daran, Chevz, Trizz, Pea Rackz, Scarz, TDot, Big P, and I really am hoping that Bristol legend King Aggi records some Grime soon, that would be powerful.

Im hoping by middle of next year there will be more Bristol talent in the limelight, with hopefully some nationwide recognition of the talent we have down here, it would be a pleasure to see people take note of the vocal side of the Bristol Grime scene as well as the Instrumental aspect of the scene which has turned heads towards the city.

Lastly, I just want to big up Koast for his Durkle Disco label compilation that is hosted by myself in a mixtape stylee, it features a whole heap of vocal and production talent from the city - definitely a good starting point if you want to check the current state of affairs with Bristol Grime talent.

Circle² Future Sounds: Grime Presets / Hugh on November 16th

* All non percussive elements in this track are generated using the Circle² Future Sounds: Grime Presets.

As part of our Future Sounds series, we’ve put together a new pack of presets. This time we’re focussing on an underground genre that is currently experiencing a strong resurgence; Grime.

Grime came to fruition in inner city London in the late 90s and early 00s. The sound originated on pirate radio stations such as Rinse FM and Deja Vu FM, building on the traditions of UK garage, drum and bass and dancehall. It is known for it’s hard hitting percussion and powerful, sharp synth sounds. Current prominent producers in the grime scene include Wiley, Preditah, Rudekid and ZDot.

Circle² Future Sounds: Grime

1. Alien Ensemble
2. Background Pattern
3. Gliding Squares 2015
4. Gliding Squares 2016
5. Muffler Bass
6. Whistle Grit Bass

Download the expansion here

To install the presets, just unzip and paste the folder “Future Sounds - Grime″ in here:

OSX - Application Support > FAW > Circle-2 > Presets
Windows - Program Files > FAW > Circle2 > Presets

Richie Souf Produces Circle² Trap Demo / Hugh on October 22nd

Richie Souf

Richie Souf is a trap producer and certified hit maker from Atlanta, Georgia, whose production credits include stellar artists such as iLoveMakonnen and Rich The Kid.

Richie has put together the following track using sounds exclusively from Circle². This one’s sure to get your subs pumping!

Keep up to date with Richie Souf



Producer Spot reviews Circle² / Hugh on October 13th

Producer Spot gives Circle² a five star rating!

Producer Spot

“So, how do you feel about when someone uses the words Synth and Berlin in the same sentence? Well, if you are like me, you should at least, feel curious if not excited! Berlin is a city which has a very long-term relationship with synths, (Berlin school anyone?), so, when I check the Future Audio Workshop’s website and see they claim Circle2 -its newest synth- to be “A powerful, easy-to-use synthesiser”. Designed and programmed in Berlin, well, I just wanna try it ASAP!”

Read the full review here.

Artist Focus: Gage / Hugh on October 12th

Photo by Theo Cottle

For our readers who are not familiar with you yet, please can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do musically?

I’m Gage, I come from south London, studied in Bristol and now I’m constantly in between the two cities. I’ve been making music for about 10 years and started to take producing seriously around 2011.

Can you tell us a bit about your studio set up?

I work completely inside the box using Logic Pro X. I’ve tried to take in more hardware but I find that I work pretty quickly and engaging with something more physical can disrupt the workflow. I often create tracks in headphones and dedicate a certain amount of hours a week to sit down at my monitors and mix down the weeks work.

Your sound design work often blurs the line between sampled percussion and synthesised elements. Which sound design techniques do you normally rely on to create this effect?

It depends on the sample that I use. I spend a lot of time filtering through sample packs and finding sounds that appeal to me so that I have a pool that I like to select from when composing. Sometimes I’ll manipulate or transform samples or layer a synth/white noise on top of them and then can incorporate automation within the synth as well as within the effects on the sample.

If you experience a creative block in the studio, do you have any particular rituals that get the inspiration flowing again?

Information overload usually, I’ll try to listen to as many new or archived podcasts/radio mixes as possible. I also like to watch lectures on mixing and mixing techniques and sometimes I’ll need to create something to practice a technique on.

What would Gages’s one sentence of sound design advice be for aspiring producers out there?

Picture the world your sound exists in.

It seems like a little while since your last original track emerged in full online. Where are the best places to hear your new dubs at the moment?

I’ve been testing a few bits on the Crazylegs shows on Radar Radio over the last few months. 

What’s up next for you musically, any releases etc in the pipeline?

I’ve had two remixes come out recently - of dJ J on Crazylegs and of Mr Mitch on Gobstopper and I’ll have an original track appearing away from home later in the year. I’ve been working on my next solo project for a while, trying to get the best pool of music possible so that I can put something together that I know I will stay proud of. 

Follow Gage




OS X 10.11 El Capitan / Hugh on October 7th

El Capitan

Those who updated to OS X El Capitan may have found themselves unable to authorise Circle following re-installation. Fortunately our development team were able to make a quick fix and Circle² 2.0.2 is now available.

Circle² 2.0.2 can be downloaded from here.

Artist Focus: Soldado / Hugh on September 30th

This month we sat down for a chat with up and coming trap producer Soldado.

Soldado Logo

For our readers who are not familiar with you yet, please can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do musically?

Yea, I’m Soldado. 17 years old, born and raised in the UK. I’ve been producing for just over 2 years and have made songs / work with guys people such as Gucci Mane, iLoveMakonnen, OG Maco etc. Outside of music I’m in my second year of sixth form college.

Cool, so are you studying music / production or are you self taught?

Self taught. Never went to music college, just trial and error to be honest. Not that I’m knocking any institute like that - I just didn’t go through that myself.

Can you tell us a bit about your studio set up?

FL Studio for sure. It looks like a video game when you’re making music on it, all the lights and patterns. The visual side of it makes it that much better for me. Hardware wise I’m on an HP laptop and a pair of Sony overhead headphones. It helps me to keep things portable so I can make music anywhere.

Yea that makes sense.

Being portable helps with the inspiration. Same room you’ll get tired of ideas or start recycling. Being in different places is like adding a different flavour to your music, know what I mean?

It’s unusual to see a UK based producer so active in the US trap scene. Have you always been more drawn towards producing US rap music than the rap subgenres of the UK (grime, road rap etc)?

I would say so. I like some UK artists like Skepta, JME, etc., but I’ve always had US rap as a heavy influence. My dad gave me my first Wu Tang CD and from there it kinda just snowballed, having me check out old school and new school artists. I love both of them but the US has this vibe that I love.

I’ll always love the US scene, because of how it evolves, and the love I’ve been shown from it.

For such a young producer, it’s impressive that you’ve already worked with heavyweight artists such as iLoveMakonnen. Could you tell us a bit about how the collaboration came about?

I remember how Dodging 12 came about exactly. It was like 12AM in the UK and I couldn’t sleep. I got onto my laptop and on Twitter. I saw Makonnen had put up an email saying he needed beats. This was all before Tuesday, before Verification, OVO, all that. I sent him some packs and he followed me back, DM’d me like “send me more”.

We were talking through there casually, and I send the beat for Dodging 12 and he replies back on the email with that beat like “Yessss! Dodging 12!!!!! This is the one!”. The beat was actually originally called that.

From there we released it and it got such great feedback, so we dropped the remix with Yung Gleesh and Fredo Santana on Drink More Water 5. I remember Makonnen telling me he showed Drake the song and that Drake liked it. That was a good day.

Yea, I can imagine that must have been a great feeling.

It was motivational. It just made me want to work harder at getting better with everything I do on my beats. People still tell me they listen to that song to this day. I was talking with an artist the other day and he just found out I producing Dodging 12 and went crazy. It’s cool seeing the song still hold weight, even now.

It’s had a crazy amount of views on YouTube etc now.

It’s all a blessing. I keep it moving though. Gotta look to the next song, the next project etc.

If you experience a creative block in the studio, do you have any particular rituals that get the inspiration flowing again?

For me, I use other media. If you watch a good film, good show or do something like that, you are able to transfer it onto beats. Sample digging is also a good way to get through a block. To be honest, I’d just say things like playing PlayStation, going on Netflix, looking at different things can help.

Yea, I guess it can help to refresh the situation completely.

That’s my ritual anyway. If I can’t make a beat, I’ll relax away from the laptop for a bit - do something else and then go back, open a fresh session and be ready with some new ideas.

What would you give as a one sentence piece of mixdown advice for aspiring producers?

I’d say see each track as unique. Don’t look at numbers and levels like “oh I have to keep it between this number and that number”. Fuck that. Each song is individual - sometimes what works on one track will sound horrible on another. Don’t go about having a one mix fits all approach, take it one at a time and your work will be good.

What were your initial thoughts on Circle²? Are there any certain features you like in particular?

The visual side of things. The GUI, interface, whatever looks crazy. The presets that it comes with are great. The presets that come with it a great - tried a number out straight after I installed it and they were amazing.

I like the simplicity of changing the waveforms in each sound too - the blending between two of them to create a new waveform to drive the sound.

What’s next for you musically? Any releases coming that you can talk about?

I’ve been working. I have an EP coming soon with Larry June called “Route To UK”. That’s all I can really speak on but after a few conversations I’ve had over the phone these past few weeks…. I can’t wait to surprise you guys with the new work.

We’re looking forward to it. And finally, where can we keep up with you online?


My music is always up on Soundcloud. You can nearly always reach me through Twitter or IG. Twitter mainly though.

Thanks a lot for your time Soldado.

Any artists looking to collaborate with Soldado should contact him on Twitter at @SoldadoAudio

Free Circle² Preset Expansion: Future Sounds - Trap Vol. 1 / Hugh on September 30th

* All non percussive elements in this track are generated using the Circle² Future Sounds - Trap Vol.1 Expansion presets.

Our new free preset expansion is here and guaranteed to get your subs rumbling! This time we are focussing on the sounds of trap.

This powerful 8 preset expansion contains all the bass, lead, and pad sounds you need to create the next smasher!

Future Deep House Vol. 1

1. Accordion Lead
2. Choir Pad
3. Lead Disto
4. Orchestra Pad
5. Organic Tapper
6. Pumper Sub
7. Square Gliders
8. Tremor Lead

Download the expansion here

To install the presets, just unzip and paste the folder “Future Sounds - Trap Vol. 1″ in here:

OSX - Application Support > FAW > Circle-2 > Presets
Windows - Program Files > FAW > Circle2 > Presets

An Interview with ProducerTech / Hugh on September 14th

Whole introduction and article taken from

Circle2 is the product of a collaboration between Future Audio Workshop and Maynooth University. The result is a four oscillator synth boasting a whole new synthesis method called Vector Phase Shaping (VPS), a unique approach to wavetable synthesis, virtual analog waveforms and a dedicated noise generator.

There are also pre and post filter effects, a feedback circuit, optional single and dual filters that can be run in series or parallel, a master effects section, up to four LFOs, envelopes and sequencers and even an arpeggiator.

Despite being packed with features, Circle2 manages to keep things simple. One of it’s greatest strengths is it’s easy to use, colour coded drag-and-drop interface.

Hugh, from Future Audio Workshop, is one of Circle2’s developers and has been good enough to answer some question for us:

PT Congratulations on a great release. Firstly, what exactly is VPS?

FAW Thanks! Vector Phaseshaping Synthesis is a cutting-edge synthesis technique that was recently introduced by researchers at The Aalto University School of Electrical Engineerings and The National University of Ireland (Maynooth). The method has been further developed for its implementation in Circle2 via an academic collaboration with FAW.

PT What kinds of sounds do you feel that VPS is best suited for?

FAW The horizontal and vertical parameters produce very interesting harmonic movement when modulated, so I’ve personally been using the VPS mostly for wet, moving pads, as well as morphing Reese style basses.

PT How can users import their own waveshapes in to the oscillator?

FAW Custom wavetables can be generated and imported into Circle2 using the Circle Wavetable Generator. Download it here:

PT What kinds of sounds do you feel that wavetable oscillator is best suited for?

FAW Whereas the analog oscillator is best suited for replicating the signature sounds of yesteryear, The wavetable oscillator really comes into its own when crafting harmonically rich, interesting, digital tones.

PT Do you have any tips for users looking to make their own waveshapes?

FAW The Circle Wavetable Generator creates wave shapes from source audio, so I would recommend really experimenting with your source material when making custom waveshapes. The resultant harmonics can be so varied that it’s worth experimenting with a range of sources.

PT The interface is very well thought out. When creating a synth, it can be very easy to get carried away and this can lead to complexity. How do you go about striking a balance between adding in the advanced features that you want but keeping the interface simple?

FAW A great deal of time was spent designing the Circle2 interface with intuitiveness in mind, in order to enable the user to stay in flow. The aim has always been to keep interface as clear as possible, so if the addition of a non essential feature will compromise this, we won’t implement it. Feature creep is a problem for a lot of audio software – it’s something we consciously aim to avoid.

PT One of my favourite features is that the oscillators can also be used as modulation sources. The fact that they’re polyphonic lead me to some very expressive and wonky sounds. Are there any other areas of Circle2 that you can particularly recommend for experimentation?

FAW Circle2 can do some really cool, unexpected stuff. I recommend playing a held arpeggio, and inserting a delay effect with a mix slider setting of 100%. Then try modulating the delay time with an LFO, you can end up with some absolutely mind bending results.

PT Berlin is very much a global music hub – particularly for techno. How does what’s going on around you inspire the products you develop?

FAW We couldn’t be in a better place, the blend of technical and creative minds here is second to none. Being surrounded by so many motivated and likeminded individuals really energises us to keep pushing things forward, and of course it’s fantastic to have access to so many great clubs where we can hear Circle2 in action.

Circle² Back to School Discount Available Now! / Hugh on September 10th


We hope all you students have had a great summer break, and are looking forward to getting stuck into the next academic year.

Due to it’s visual approach to synthesis and intuitive design Circle² is an ideal synthesiser for gaining a comprehensive understanding of sound design and synthesis techniques, and is used in music production academies throughout the world.

Haven’t tried Circle² yet? Download the demo here!

If you study a music related course, or produce music in your time off from studying, then now is the time to grab a piece of the action, until the end of September we are extending a 50% discount to students of all ages.

Just send us a message to with a photograph of your Student ID card, and we will arrange for your discounted copy to be sent over straight away!

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