September 24 2015
Undoubtedly one of Australia's fastest rising trap producers, Oski has risen to trap fame, with a bunch of standout releases including a recent collaboration with incognito trap lord UZ, as well as an outstandingly nostalgic remix of The Backstreet Boys' mega hit 'Everybody', along with an archive of solo releases and edits that have been played by every major trap artists on the circuit. While trap music is showing no signs of slowing down, the career of Oski's is certainly about to blow up. Mastering his own style of production, Oski is known for his dank AF (don't worry if you don't know what that means, we've got a definition here records that can range from trap to jersey club and everything in between. As a familiar face in Australia's bass music scene, Oski has joined numerous international headliners on support duties whilst touring Australia.
Getting ready to 'keep it 100' on the Turn Up Vol. 1 – Trap Club Tour, Oski has shared his golden rules for trap production for all aspiring trap producers who are trying to mould their own unique sound.
If you are using samples (which most of us do) for things like drums and percussions then it's paramount that you pick your samples correctly. As a recording artist there are a few factors to take into consideration when picking your samples.
1. Is it a good/clean recording?
Ideally your samples need to be as clean as possible so that you can do with them what you please without compromising the integrity of the sample.
2. Will it be a pain to mix down?
This really varies from person to person, but it's something you might want to consider. If you're picking samples that have things like reverb or digital clipping baked into them then (depending on your skill level), you might have a tough time trying to mix them down. This one kinda goes hand in hand with point #1.
3. Does it carry the transients/dynamics I need?
Is it punchy enough? Do I want it to be punchy and in your face or do I want it sitting in the background more?
4. (Optional) Is it in/close to the key I'm?
This one's optional because some producers like to start with drum beats and don't generally consider things like keys when trying to lay down basic kick/snare patterns. Although if you do know what key you will be working in, then take into consideration how much you have to warp/transpose your sound to get it sounding right in whatever key you're in.
These are all just tips and an experienced engineer can usually work with what he/she is given and make it sound great… but why would you need to spend hours trying to fix up a dinky sample when you've got another few hundred thousand possibly amazing samples lying in your browser?
The biggest advice I can give to any Trap/Bass producer is to learn how to make your own sub. Although there are some dope packs out there with great 808's and subs I feel it's really important to know how to make and process them too.
I usually start with a basic Sine wave in F (a lot of large sound systems will have trouble going below F) which is at exactly 43.65 Hz. I'll bounce out around 30 seconds of straight sine wave so that, if need be, I can pitch it up without using a warping algorithm and still have enough sample to play with.
From there, I like to add distortion to give it some upper harmonics and depending on the vibe I want to capture I can either choose to give it a decay in volume using Ableton's fade tool or leave it as a sustained note. At the end of the chain I usually like to throw a low pass filter with a wide roll-off at around 200Hz. Compression isn't necessary.
A lot of producers like to use sidechaining to ensure that their mix is punchy and that all the right elements come through at the right times. Although it's quite a handy tool I would encourage you try other methods when using them on basses and kicks. Your sub is very sensitive and any colour added from a compressor with a hard sidechain could really mess with the release stage (after the kick hits and the bass comes back in) of your sub.
A great work around is to give your sub some track delay and automate/modulate the volume slightly so the sub hits a few milliseconds after your kick hits, but also has a slight fade in. Ableton has a nifty fade tool that lets you adjust fade its and fade outs on audio clips.
If you're using a synthesiser for your sub bass (like massive, serum or operator) then make sure to adjust the attack on your volume envelope accordingly. Also make sure that it's set to trigger so that with the beginning of each note the envelope will restart.
So these are just a few handy tips and tricks to use when you're out there writing the next banger! Thanks for reading!