The 211th episode of our 12 Questions segment features producer Vitaly Shturm.
1. How old are you, where are you living and how long have you been producing and Djing?
– Hello. Thank you for the questions and your sincere interest to my personality and music. I am 30 years old. I`m from the Russian Federation and if to be more exact from the small town of Petrozavodsk. I began producing my first demo tracks at the end of 2000 and also in 2000 I started working as a DJ. At the very beginning I was playing Detroit Techno, Electro but then switched over to Progressive House.
2. Where do your musical roots lie, what are your first memories of electronic music and when did you know you wanted to persue it seriously? Are there any particular productions or artists from the past that really made you think to yourself “ this is what i want to do.
– I made up my mind to be a producer about 10 years ago. I made a lot of demos but I didn’t have enough time and that’s why I couldn’t carry them through. Nowadays I’m using that material in my tracks. Once I simply decided to be a producer and release my own tracks because I had been recording different podcasts and guest mixes for various radio shows for a long time.
3. How difficult was learning to produce for you in the beginning? Did you take any Audio Engineering programs or production courses to help you out or are you pretty much self taught? And did anyone give any advice early on that really helped?
– At the very beginning it is always really hard to do anything. At that time it was more difficult to produce than it is now. As for DAW software there was no difficulty in using them because first of all I read manuals. It really helps and I recommend reading manuals insistently to all beginners. I can be called a self-taught man by right. My advice to all people who have just begun producing electronic dance music: don’t be afraid of experiments! The most difficult question to my mind is: «In what software to work?» Nowadays there is a lot of good software. You just need to try different soft and make up your mind what is more easy-to-use for you. I began working in Cubase but soon switched over to Ableton Live because it was easier for me to orientate and work there. Though the main working principle of most sequencers is: producing and editing. Here it is very important to decide on the direction. Don’t follow the fashion, follow your soul! For example, a lot of musicians like the sound of tech house, but when they mind the rating they decide to produce trance music. This is a big mistake! And one more important thing: your sounds and samples are your individuality. Don’t forget the theory and learn the art of mixing.
4. What parts of the production process do you find the most difficult and what comes easiest for you? When you do hit a creative block what helps you through it?
– To begin with, the process of music production is rather labor-intensive work. The most difficult for me is the process of mixing. It takes the most part of my time, but it is necessary to get the sound that I need.
5. What`s a normal day like for you? Do you have a job outside of electronic music? And what do you like to do when you`re not working on music?
– I work 2 days a week as a boiler room operator. My free time is mostly devoted to my family. But when night comes I start producing that’s why I sleep little. I rarely play to the audience as a Dj in my city because people here don’t understand the sound that I like.
6. Apart from electronic music what other genres do you listen to and who are your favourite artists outside of electronic? And do these genres or artists have a direct effect on your own production?
– I listen to everything absolutely. I really like how Pink Floyd and Pat Metheny sound. But I can’t say that they influence the process of production.
7. What was the first and last physical (CD, Vinyl, Cassette etc.) piece of music you bought?
– My first cassette was the album by The Prodigy – Experience (1992). It is one of my favourite bands. I like what they were doing earlier and what they are doing these days. My first CD was the album by The Chemical Brothers – Dig Your Own Hole (1997).If to be honest I find difficulty in replying about the last CD. I began collecting Vinyl a bit later and as I remember my first Vinyl was promo Vinyl «Horizons» by James Holden in remix by Way Out West. As for the last Vinyl I can simply say that there is no one. I have been continuing to collect Vinyl these days. Next in turn is the Vinyl from the label of Yoshitoshi Recordings, from the project Autokat – Gimme The Beat. If I am not mistaken the track of 2001. I like it a lot because it is an unreally cool track.
8. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
– Ordinary things are out of my style. Rash and unexpected behaviour always amazes (laughing).
9. Which producers in your opinion get consistently overlooked?
– I find difficulty in replying this question in fact.
10. Which producers consistently inspire you? And where else does your inspiration come from?
– I don’t want to single anybody out because we are friends with most producers and also on good terms. All of them have their own individual peculiarities. But I really like the sound by John Graham (Quivver), Henri Hurtig (Cid Inc), Dale Middleton and Guy Mantzur.
11. There are countless producers out there trying to find their way and create their own unique sound, what advice do you have for them?
– More experiments with the sound of course and also follow your feelings! But the main thing is faith in yourself and then you’ll make it!
12. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
Chicola – Addikted (Guy Mantzur Remix)
Vitaly’s ‘The Feelings’ is out now on Clinique Recordings, you can purchase the release: here