Inside The Track with Roberto Rodriguez

Helsinki-based Roberto Rodriguez has been producing music for almost 3 decades, from humble beginnings attempting to recreate Acid House as a teenager in the late 80s through to his current position, sitting on over 100 releases.

We dive ‘Inside the Track’ with Roberto Rodriguez for his latest release ‘Broken’


Congratulations on your ‘Broken’ release via Swedish Brandy Productions. How is it being received in your sets? & How areother club DJs responding to the release?

Thanks! I’m pretty excited about finally showing the release to the world” It’s been working like a charm in my DJ sets. I’ve been playing the track well over six months now and every time I play either of the tracks there seems to be a bump in the floors energy. The tracks seem to do their trick. My DJ friends seem to love it as well which is nice!


Tell us more about the track ‘Broken’. What was the main inspiration behind it and what prompted the musical direction on this?

The main goal for me was to move away from the melancholic vibe that surrounded my previous release ’Survive’. Even though the theme in ’Broken’ is about broken hearts, the overall vibe is super optimistic. Full on party vibe. Sound wise I steered towards more organic sounds. I wanted to get some distance to typical house music drums such as the usual suspects 909, 808 and 707. The drums here are quite minimalistic actually. Only the kick, rimshot and a few shakers.


NOTE: Click the images for large versions


Production wise, what is it about the ‘Broken’ that makes it work?

Its the correlation of the minimalistic drums, the chords and the rolling bass. The vocal snippets working as a glue that sticks everything together. All this combined it makes a super groove that makes me dance. The chords and the bass doing most of the heavy lifting in shaping it. I tend to add too much stuff in my productions and I always end up stripping them down or mixing stuff way in the background. Its always my goal to make things work with as little elements as possible. Here I made it work with under 30 tracks. Hahah, not that little, but in my standards it is. Surprisingly I didn’t use almost any of my hardware stuff on this one. Made it mostly all in the box. For the bass I used U-HE Diva software synth. The main chords come from TAL U-NO-LX Juno emulator synth. Some choir pads from Korg M1 plugin and Logic’s Wurlitzer 240V for the piano solo.


Is there one machine, program or technique that characterizes your sound?

I’ve learned a bunch of tricks and techniques over the 30 odd years i’ve been making music i’ve used all of the DAWs and recorded a bunch of music without computers. But I can’t pinpoint a one specific one that would characterize my sound. I do still use a lot of samples and bits I sampled and recorded during the 90’s with Akai samplers and MPC’s. Nowadays I use Machine and EXS24 sampler for the playback of those. Maybe that can provide a specific sound. The greatest tool in any producers workflow is between he’s/ her ears. So I think my signature is more in the groove and the melodies and how I utilize my studio as a whole, rather than one particular piece of gear.


What is the one piece of kit that you simply cannot do without?

Would be easy to say my iMac 5K, but when I think about it, I could easily live without it and still make good music. The real answer would be a perfect tie between my Yamaha DX-100 and my Oberheim Matrix-1000. I’ve used there guys in almost all of my productions in the past 10 years.


Any advice for your fans on how to make it in today’s fast paced game?

Trust your ears. Do your own thing. Don’t believe the hype. Use gear or software that works best for you. There are no shortcuts.




Roberto Rodriguez (Manolo) – Broken/Be Yourself is available on Traxsource: HERE.


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