Studio Focus: Yaleesa Hall / Hugh on August 1st

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

My name is Yaleesa Hall and I work and live in Amsterdam. I started doing music a while ago, but only releasing it on vinyl over the last 3 years. The label I work closely together with is Will & Ink, also based in Amsterdam.

What is your current studio set up?

Most of my work is done in the box, but I do use a lot of hardware as well. I have done a few records together with Malin Genie on Will & Ink. For that we mainly used Eurorack modules in combination with an Ebbe & Flut filter. And then editing and adjustments are done in Ableton.

When working on a track, what is your process?

Most of the time I start to look for sounds that are interesting to listen to. Sounds that have a character on their own. When I find something I like I then start to play with parameters and try to record many different sides to the sound without degrading its core characteristics. I have a folder of recordings, over 500 now, with only synths, drones or just hihats that I think are worth developing into a track. After this proces I start with the rhythm section. When this is all in a stage I’m comfortable with I then spend way too much time on mixing levels and eq’s.

How do you normally go about sourcing and designing sounds for your music?

I use synths. Some in the box and some out, like a Juno and Eurorack modules. Its a long proces of adjusting LFO’s, envelopes etc till I have something that I like.

I’m not afraid to sample either, but I sample mainly my own recordings - this way I limit myself. So instead of staying in the midi phase and keeping adjusting little things, by sampling I have less parameters. That is perfect to get an idea finished. I have to admit I also sample from my vinyl collection. But, I don’t use it one on one in my music of course.

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

Redo all the cables haha. No really, that keeps me busy for at least an hour. And cleaning. It resets my mind. Another trick is to remix myself. I just open an old project, re-save it, and start deleting and replacing tracks. This way I don’t have to push myself to start from scratch in times of a creative block, and I can still work towards something new.

Mixing down can often be frustrating when starting out in production, what advice would you give for getting tracks ready for the club?

Tough question. So much things that I picked up along my years of doing this. From talking to other producers or trying your own renders out in clubs. If there is one thing it would be practice. Finding frequency spots by ear is something I was taught maybe 8 years ago. But it still took me 8 years to finally understand what was meant by it.

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