In The Studio with Hauswerks
Until about 2012, talented Leeds (UK) based producer Hauswerks (a.k.a Colin Barratt) has been one of the unsung heroes of electronic music in the U.K. This ranges from his own productions and remixes to being the engineer behind so many established names, including Doorly, Steve Lawler, Mark Knight, Filthy Rich and many more throughout the years!
After well over a decade spent honing his skills in the studio, his production style (of Unforeseen fills, off-kilter samples, warping vocals & infectious grooves) is now paying off, with releases on labels like Suara, Viva ltd, Resonance, Azuli, 303 Lovers and more recently he has teamed up with Jaymo & Andy George’s label, Moda Black for a volley of EP’s. These releases have started the demand for his skills behind the decks at some of the world’s best clubs and events.
With recent releases on Moda Black and Secret Life Records out now on Traxsource and ahead of his ep’s/remixes due on Viva ltd and Resonance Records, gives us an exclusive tour of his studio & interview about his kit & production methods in the next instalment of ‘In The Studio’
What equipment do you have in your studio? (full studio kit list).
- Computer – 27“ 3.4 GHz Intel Core i7 imac – Love the iMac series, powerful, reliable and a great big screen ideal for the arrange page of your DAW.
- Speakers – Dynaudio BM5’s – sat on some Adam Hall studio monitor stands…..love these babies, been working on them for over 10 years now!
- Amp – Samson servo – 260
- AU – Akai EIE pro although upgrading to a focusrite or new UAD very soon…
- Midi Keyboard – Oxygen 61
- Headphones – V-Moda… I like to reference the bottom end in my tracks in these as i go along.
- Storage – two x 1TB Maxtor external Hard drives.
- DAW – Logic X
- Synths – U-he – Diva and Zebra 2
- Rob Papen – Predator and Sub BoomBass
- Arturia – Minimoog and ARP2600.V2
- Native instruments FM8
- Effects – Ohmforce Bundle
- Fab filter – Volcano2 and FF pro L limiter
- Melda Production bundle
- Rob Papen RP delay
- Tone Boosters Bundle
- IK multimedia – T-Racks 3
- IZotope Ozone bundle.
- PSP Vintage warmer
NOTE: Click the images for large versions
What is your favorite piece of equipment to use in the studio & why?
My fav bit of equipment has to be Logic X – as i am very much a software based producer this is what makes it all happen for me. I’ve been using and loving Logic for over a decade now, in my opinion it has the best in-house plugins, effects and synths etc, and more importantly, a great quality of sound and in-depth functionality. I recently upgraded to the latest version ‘X‘…which I’m very happy with thus far, such a great program and always improving!
Give us some insight into your production process. How do you typically begin constructing a track?
I generally start with laying down some beats and build from there. If I’m working with a big vocal or a remix or theme of some sort then i’ll often build around that ensuring everything is kept ‘in vibe’ of where i want to take it. Once i have a good backbone/groove and idea rolling (say 16 bar loop with maybe a little drop to test the ‘kick-in’ impact of what I have going) I’ll then move onto the arrangement process, this is the time consuming part for me, ensuring everything is brought into the track in the best possible combinations/methods/structure. I like to fly through at first when in the zone and vibing as i go then once I’m reasonably happy with the structure and content I will go back into the track and do what I call the ‘tarting up’, little edits flicks n flares and attention to details to give it that finishing touch before moving onto the final mixdown and mastering process.
What piece of studio equipment or production process defines the Hauswerks sound?
I wouldn’t say one piece of equipment in particular defines my sound as such, more so the years of experience wracked up making and engineering different styles and sounds for myself and various other artists has led me to where I’m at now and the sound I produce. I like things rough and raw and more organic sounding rather than shiny, poppy and polished so the sampling process and choice of samples I use to build ideas from will play a big part in that.
What piece of hardware/software elevated your production to a higher level & how?
I’ve recently started using the Izotope plugins range, in particular the ozone 5 – Dynamics and Imager on my final mix, these have opened up the path to a more spacious and all round better sounding end product. It beats any other software stereo imager iv used before hands down. You should deff check it out if you haven’t already!
What fresh equipment have you recently added to the lab?
The most recent edition to the studio is the oxygen61 midi keyboard, my old one was a mere 2 octaves and recently died, this one is 5 octave…..goodbye constant ‘transpose’ tapping :)
What are your essential studio supplies (food, drink, cigs etc)?
Essential studio supplies – It’s gotta be my coffee machine and king skins ;) they are my ‘always on-hand’ oh…and spare batteries!! Nothing worse then your mouse or keyboard conking out half way through a late night session!
What list of artists have influenced your sound?
Wow…well thats quite a long list! from over the years to narrow it down its gone from the likes of The Prodigy, The Chems, Ronnie Size and to “”:http://www.traxsource.com/artist/3696/todd-terry, “”:http://www.traxsource.com/artist/17478/timo-maas, and people like and in the techno world to more recently , Sis and whome I all have a lot of respect for in terms of production quality.
What are your 3 favourite productions?
My 3 Fav productions to date….ok so I’d say ‘Clockwerk’ I released on Suara several years ago now has a special place for me, along with ‘Puppet Factory’ which featured on my first EP with Moda Black and got me my first Pete Tong radio 1 play and more recently ‘Listen to me’ purely based on the fact that a bit of a child-hood hero – Todd Terry has been smashing/charting it! :)
Listen to me
What handy Hauswerks studio tip would you pass onto producers out there?
Studio tip – A tip from me….if you’re mainly working with software like myself, pick a select 2 or 3 top quality soft synths to use within your DAW and really get to know them properly, its easy to get carried away and start stockpiling new plugins and never really getting into the nitty gritty of them. If you master a select few of the best suited to your style you will find yourself getting a more creative and distinguished sound!
What new production should your fans be on the lookout for at Traxsource right now & soon?
You can check out my new remix of O.C & Verde’s – Fugazi!…. it’s just been released on Pete Goodings ‘Secret Life Music’ imprint. :)
Hauswerks latest artist EP “Listen to Me” out now on Traxsource.