Artist Focus: Nikola Gala / Gavin Burke on August 9th

Nikola Gala

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

My real name is Nikolaos Galatsopoulos, I am 33 years old and I am
Greek. I produce music since 1998, mainly dance music, usually Techno and
House for the last decade. I have worked with labels such as Ibadan
Records, Plastic City, Rekids, Freerange and Octopus Records.

What inspired you first to start making electronic music?

The electronic music it self, I was around 15 when I listened to
Prodigy’s first album and I remember it sounded very fresh to me and
immediately that sound captured me, later it was Jungle, Drum’n’Bass and
Trance music. I was already a computer geek and I found out a program
called “Fast Tracker 2“ which was quite easy to start making music with
it, it didn’t require you to have lots of knowledge, so I did my first
steps with it.

How does this translate to your music, is it an influence?

I can’t say Prodigy is an influence to me any more, but certainly music
on it’s own is the biggest influence to me since I started.

Tell us about your studio setup?

Really simple,I prefer to work “in the box”,but still I have a couple of
synths on my desk like my old “Nord Rack 1“ and a Virus Ti2, other than
these I work with a few Vst plugins from Native Instruments. Lately I
started using 2 vst synths Circle and Aalto, which are both great and I
feel I can do full tracks with just the two of them. My DAW is Ableton
Live v9 and I work with PC, desktop and laptop. I also use an RME Fireface
800 as an audio interface which is connected to my Yamaha HS80M speakers.

When writing a track, what is your process? ( do you program drums
first? Do you sit down at a set time and say “Now I’m making a track” or
spontaneously rush to a your studio…)

A little bit of everything I would say, usually I go to my home studio
daily,I work with a template in Live which has already loaded some of my
favourite drums,soft synths and around 5-8 busses.When I am running out
of ideas I listen to some tracks from my dj bag and I try to copy (or
some times sample) ideas/groove/sounds from them which will eventually
lead to something new.

Do you follow the latest developments in music technology?

Absolutely, I visit blogs and forums daily, also I follow some very
interesting Youtube channels.

What are the biggest issues you have with music technology (if any)?

I have no reason to complain,there’s so much great stuff out there and
every now and then new stuff pops out,either hardware or software,maybe
a small problem I have is that with so many plugins
(commercial/freeware) out there I find it very tough to limit my self by
using only a few of them and so my work flow is constantly
changing(which is good and bad at the same time), I am trying not to
install new plugins but they keep coming, companies and developers never
stop. But please don’t stop, surprise us!

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