In The Studio w/ Dirty Secretz
Beginning life in 2008 as a production duo, Leicester, UK-based DJ/Producer Dirty Secretz is now the sole venture of enigmatic producer Richie and flying solo certainly hasn’t hampered the flow of this particular sound. With his productions, remixes and bootlegs being spun by some of house music’s biggest names, it’s undeniable that Dirty Secretz is a cat that deserves to be regularly let out of the bag.
His latest project “In My House” is out now Exclusively on Traxsource via Whartone Records. So now was the perfect time to catch up with him and get insight into what studio tools he works with, in the next instalment of ‘In The Studio’
Get “In My House” on Traxsource: HERE
1) What equipment do you have in your studio? (full studio kit list).
I’m mostly in the box for my set up, the way I have always worked best!
On the hardware side….
• KRK Rokit 6 G3 monitors – Always had KRK, rock solid.
• M-Audio Axiom 25 keyboard.
Only need the 25 keys and this one as been with me since the start.
• Native Instruments Maschine MK1
When the keyboard doesn’t do the job, it’s great to jam beats in on the Maschine.
NOTE: Click the images for large versions
3) Give us some insight into your production process. How do you typically begin constructing a track?
A track usually comes about from an idea I’ve had away from the studio or sometimes just from a single sample or sound. I never start a track with a template, it’s always a blank canvas which I throw musical ideas at until something starts happening. I move quite quickly when making a track, generally I like to go from scratch to a basic arrangement in about an hour because if I’m buzzing about a track it just happens and there’s no point in forcing it if it doesn’t. If it takes longer than that and I start to lose attention and then I know it’s not right. I always concentrate on getting that hook, something individual to that track – whether its a bassline, melody or even a certain percussion line – from then on it’s easy to build around it.
4) What piece of studio equipment or production process defines your sound?
I think it’s probably my creative use of samples, rather than using various plugins & synths, I use a lot of samples. I have a sample collection going back 20 years spanning all areas of music and it’s hunting through them, picking out unique samples and using them in different ways which I think gives me my sound. I really like getting in there and cutting sounds up, manipulating, deconstructing them and then reconstructing them again in another way. I like to think I’ve got an ear for a hook so it’s always fun searching for that.
5) What piece of hardware/software has elevated your production to a higher level and how?
For me it’s probably Ableton. I’ve used many different DAWs over the years: Sonic Foundry Acid, Fruity Loops, Logic and more I can’t remember. But none of them have given me the flexibility and the power to put a track together so quickly. The fact I can drop samples in, start messing around with them and come up with an idea so fast gives me so much more inspiration and energy than using any other DAW.
8) What list of artists have influenced your sound?
Everyone has their own definition of house but for me that sound is , , , , and I could go on. It’s not about commercial hits or cooler-than-cool pretentiousness, it’s just house music that really gets you moving. Fantastic hooks, jackin beats, memorable melodies. I try and take all of those qualities into mind when I’m making a track.
9) What are your 3 favourite productions?
For me this is probably the 3 tracks that I’m most proud of…
- Everything [Whartone Records]
For me this felt like my biggest track to date, something I always loved playing out and always made an impact.
- A House Thing [Skint]
One of my first releases on Skint and a track I still love playing out now.
- Beta [LS City]
Roger Sanchez heavily supported this track and it is what lead to me getting signed to Stealth Records, a massive milestone in my career.
10) What handy studio tip would you pass on to producers out there?
There are so many tips I wish I could have given my younger self. Firstly, FINISH tracks. It’s great you have 15 half-finished ‘amazing’ tracks on your hard drive but they’re not going anywhere, finish them off!
Also, take no as an answer. If you make a track with a record label (or a few) in mind and they reject the track, it may be that it isn’t good enough. This will happen, not every track you make will be a masterpiece but don’t just settle and put out a track on a lesser record label – have standards for yourself and it will pay off in the long run. Without rejection you have nothing to work on!
11) What new production should your fans lookout for at Traxsource?
My brand new single on Whartone ‘In My House’ is on Traxsource now along with new remixes I’ve done for Hitiras, MC Flipside and CJay Swayne.