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DSF Q&A Sessions 17: Vaccine

hardware, software, tips and tricks
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Postby deadly_habit » Tue Nov 23, 2010 8:58 pm

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Vaccine is the production alias of Christine Clements. Having been involved with the promotions end of the industrial rock and IDM music scenes since she was a teenager, and running drum & bass and dubstep record labels with her husband, ASC, writing her own music - after she'd been promoting other people's for years - was a logical progression.

Drawing inspiration from synaesthesia and her melting pot of musical influences ranging from Portishead to Skinny Puppy, Vaccine's style has been recognized as being considerably more melodic and not necessarily as dancefloor-orientated as her male cohorts. XLR8R magazine noted her "subtle melodies and echoed vocals", as well as stating that "(Vaccine's) constructions aren't necessarily main floor rave fodder, but rather, comedown music for the 6 a.m. afterhours." She is also notable for being the first female producer signed to a label in dubstep, Hotflush Recordings, within what was up until then a genre whose producers were almost, if not entirely, male. Her DJ mixes as well have attracted attention for their careful commitment to precise blends, mixing in key, and unexpected multigenre inclusions.

Never one to be confined by formulas or tempo, as evidenced by her DJ mix selection, Vaccine has recently been slinging her talents further afield partnering with elusive but lauded fashion designer Ernte on music for his runway shows, and garnering praise 30 bpm faster writing the melodic, IDM style of drum & bass popularized by Instra:mental and dBridge's Autonomic Podcast series. Additionally, Renoise, her sequencer weapon of choice in both the home studio and live PA setting, has been pushing her as the face of their site on their music player.
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Postby deadly_habit » Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:18 pm

thanks for doing this again. to get things rolling and to get the obvious out of the way care to give a quick run down of your kit list both hardware and software?
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Postby qwaycee_ » Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:33 pm

would you mind explaining how you're using renoise in a live setting? how well does the program lend itself to that kind of use?
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Postby JemGrover » Wed Nov 24, 2010 3:58 am

Hi Vaccine, I'm curious as to where you source your drum sounds from? (if it's not giving away too much of the magic, aha)
Just happened to check, and 'Breathless' is currently #1 most listened to track on my iTunes... I love your work! Simply amazing.
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Postby wub » Wed Nov 24, 2010 8:46 am

For your live/DJ shows, what MIDI controllers do you use, and do you actively dislike touching your laptop whilst playing?
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Postby clemsonheadies » Wed Nov 24, 2010 4:59 pm

oh snap! I was at that show :) loved your set that night, when I went around to the side and saw you were using ReNoise my fucking jaw dropped lol.

Onto my question.. what's your favorite type of music to produce, to DJ, and to listen to?
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Postby 3za » Thu Nov 25, 2010 12:21 am

On average how long do you spend on a song? and how is the time split up(mixing, arranging, ect)?

Also can you explain a bit about your workflow?
Last edited by 3za on Sun Nov 28, 2010 1:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Mushroom Buttons » Thu Nov 25, 2010 3:39 am

Hi Vaccine. Are you a doctor or a medical student? :D

It's great that you can juggle between that and making/performing dope music!
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Postby Basic A » Thu Nov 25, 2010 4:32 am

qwaycee_ wrote:would you mind explaining how you're using renoise in a live setting? how well does the program lend itself to that kind of use?


Im curious about this too, because I love to see DAW's being used in a performance setting that arent ableton haha. Shows some creative use of kit.
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Postby drdeft » Thu Nov 25, 2010 10:29 am

Thanks for doing this !

Do you got something to say about your label to someone wanting to make one ?
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Postby AlexC » Thu Nov 25, 2010 10:34 pm

I'm going to be honest I'd never heard of you until now but I like what I'm hearing.
Recently I've been trying to make deep and chilled out tracks.
With just a sub bass I have a lack of low-mid/high-bass frequencies in the mix.
What do you normally fill up these low-mid frequencies with, making your tracks sound full but still chilled?
Thanks for doing this by the way.
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Postby legend4ry » Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:08 am

I was going to ask to see a screen shot of fever but since you use renoise, it'll not make much sense! (haha)

I absolutely adore your studio mixes, so do you really think about them cause they really do have a a sense of journey and brilliant progression or are they just on-the-spot kind of things?
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Postby Ldizzy » Fri Nov 26, 2010 5:15 am

thank u so much for doing this :)

1) Most of ur drum lines contain artifacts reminiscent of the whole dnb way of doing things. a lot of dubstep artists happen to put the regular reversed snare somewhere but urs always make me think of a forgotten dmc routine from 2034 that would be found in deep cosmos... soemthing really unreal... with all sorts of reversed, chopped bits thru.. in a deep sea of delay and reverb...

hows ur workflow on drums? do u process drums from zero as u make a track, or do u set drum processing sessions that allow u to affect tiny bits of weird resampled artifacts and then drag and drop them to ur projects? do u mix them alongside or do u put ur groove and melody together and then mix ?? u have really unique drums.

also, are ur drums classified by sources (samplepacks) or u just have that big kick folder against that big snare folder.. i have too many drums and dont know how to classify them :(

2) what do u use for verb and delay? whats ur favourite verb/delay plugin?

3) ur tracks sound crazy warm... does it come from cleaver, not too agressive eqing ? (as in letting bass mingle with the mids and his and not cutting every part of the spectrum apart from the rest so much)... see, i tend to realize more and more that lots and lots of sharp eqing ruins the vibe of a track and i was wondering what was ur opinion on the subject.

4) hows ur sub when compared to ur drums?? do u side chain it? ur drums have so much hugeness, yet ur bass is immense too... something i cant understand really :P

5) do u keep ur master bus clean? do u apply saturation to ur final mix??

Answer as specifically as u feel comfortable to do :) and sorry for asking that many questions :?

again : thank u!! :D !!

good day !
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Postby little boh peep » Fri Nov 26, 2010 5:53 am

Some very rich questions in here, thank you guys for being so considered in what you ask - I'm out of town right now for Thanksgiving and a gig tomorrow, but I'll get to these in good depth once I'm back at the end of this weekend.
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Postby Ldizzy » Fri Nov 26, 2010 5:58 am

happy thxgiving :) rock em at the gig!!!!!
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Postby pdomino » Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:27 am

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Postby glottis5 » Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:23 am

Do you think there's much of a future left in the subby 140 bpm halfstep sound? I see a lot of dubstep pioneers moving on to other sounds, whether it be 2-steppy/housey/jukey/brostep/whatever type stuff and i was just wondering what kind of role you see for the classic dubstep sound in the future.
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Postby hasezwei » Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:41 am

finally! now that's a Q&A i've been waiting for :D

apart from the usual big ups and compliments, whats special about most of your tunes is that everyone i showed them loves it, even the ones who dislike electronic music or dubstep specifically. oh, and your mix for hotflush is definetly in my top 3 mixes of all time. still listen to it at least once a week, pure vibes. :4:

now, my question... to be honest i dont have a specific question, but maybe you have some cool production related advice for us? maybe something you wish you knew when you started producing.

okay, one specific one: on the high grade mix of fever, what exactly did you do to the bass? it really stands out from anything else i've heard, really powerful.


ok, that's it. thanks for doing this, bigups from germany :t:
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Postby 2nd chance » Sat Nov 27, 2010 8:25 am

Big ups for doing this :W: Really appreciate it.

How do you treat your subs? Pure sine, something more, eqing, sidechaining,...?
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Postby therapist » Sat Nov 27, 2010 7:15 pm

How did you come about to making the autonomic sort of stuff? Do you think it's going to be a move from a lot of dubstep producers? Seems a lot of producers from dnb originally are heading to that sound now from dubstep.

Any words on that bass part in fever? I love it. Is it a synth or some crazy compression giving it that percussive, sucking sort of sound?

There's a chance none of that made any sense.
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