Blog Serano

‘Viewmasters’ received: “The Invitation”.

Every now and then, I get the distracted in the studio. Over time, some bad habits became tendencies. One of them are the longstretched hours I tend to have in the studio, mostly in one session. Even though I am aware that this is not best practice, its what kept me creative throughout the years, often finding an out-of-the-box idea caused by dedicated focus. The grind then leads me to deviation which in my case often gives me inspiration of the fertile kind. In the end, more often than not, this results in a concept worth working out.

“Being a producer is being able to reinvent yourself for every track.”

Inevitably, without external stimulants, one can not really birth ideas or concepts. Finding these stimulants is a personal search I believe. I’ve had colleagues in the business who would just sprout ideas on the spot whenever you asked them to. Those were rare cases though. Others have a process. This can be a variety of things: listening to other peoples’ music, watching some TV, taking some vitamines, playing ball,… the list goes on.

For me, being a producer is being able to reinvent yourself for every track. And for doing that, I need to be able to have a broad scope on music. Obviously, the harder styles like tek-, hard- and rawstyle, will always be ever present on my day-to-day listening charts on Spotify. But for those who look closer, my Spotify playlists vary alot in genre and artists. It may come to no surprise that this reflects on the production side of things as well for me.

When the grind is getting too real, it’s time to get creative for me. Without exception, this means changing the genre and the BPM for me. Given that my heart beats at 150BPM, the switch to trap and hip hop is easily made. 150BPM equals 75BPM when you produce your tracks in halftime. The same tempo, but the opposite, more laidback feel right? I don’t know your opinion, but I can most certaily get down with that! After getting that out of my system, I can listen with more clarity to what I’ve been producing more previously and have a much easier time pinpointing the problem parts, the inadequacies or shortcomings of the production.

One more thing that occurs to me rather by accident, are friggin’ earwurms getting stuck in my head. They haunt me! But I can’t blame them, its their sole purpose and they do it beautifully. Recently ‘Stranger Things‘, the Nextflix hitseries cast in the eighties, brought back that reminiscent sound from that era. I must plea guilty, neither I could escape it. The soundtrack is ever in my thoughts and I truly believe that in 20 years when you would ask me about an eighties sound, I would refer you to this soundtrack while there are vastly more accurate answers at hand.

In the next upcoming week, I will be hosting the ‘Viewmasters‘ in the studios for a weekend long creative session and the finalization of a few tracks we prepared at our previous Bootcamp Winter session in France.

To invite these lovely creative individuals, I took the persistent earwurm of ‘Stranger Things‘, and created it into a worthy invitational sound card.

The track itself is a demo I made recently during one of these creative escapades. The ‘Stranger Things’ sound is not a sample, but was played on the ‘Access Virus Ti‘ on a patch that I made myself. By using the amazing analog emulation filters available, combined with the wavetable sounds coming out of this amazing synth, the bell sound from the original was fairly recreated to fit its purpose. The chords played in the theme are generated by the classic, but still powerfull and amazing, Lennar Digitals’ ‘Sylenth’. Patched as a 1-part, double 8 voiced, detuned sawtooth, filtered and precisely resonated to give that old synthopia resemblance we got used to in the eighties, but with a modern twist this time.

I still stand behind my earlier statement in the end. Postcards are so last decade, wouldn’t you agree?

This track, ‘The Invitation – Bootcamp 2020 with Viewmasters’ is exclusively available via streaming through

Music Techno

Derauhe performs live studio jam session

It was in the early afternoon when the studio doorbell rang on january first. A new decade man, with a new fresh perspective has come to our shores. On local shore, it was ‘Derauhe’ at the door who came by to check in with us. Nothing out of the ordinary, given that he actualy has the access codes to the complex. But he also brought a curious bag with him which caught my suspicion. I had no idea what was to come.

“Nothing sounds better than a nineties hardware synth!” – Derauhe

After the mandatory celebratory greetings for the new year, conversation quickly went over to what one another did last night. It turned out, our dear friend ‘Derauhe’ went to a retro party. In contrary to what you may expect of these types of parties, it turned out that this was a proper one. From the first filtered basses outside of the venue, provided by Robert Armanis’ ‘Hit hard’ classic, Derauhe was treated to a trip through memorylane taking him from the early rave to the nineties’ mesmerizing melodic synths of the hard dance genre.

Nostalgic feelings struck the lot of us. The former glory, we once had the honor to witness, it seems is no more. Nothing is as edgy these days, nothing as creative even though back then they had way less resources at their disposal as we do now.

It’s the curse of the digital age. We have virtually endless amounts of processing power at our disposal. An unlimited amount of high quality samples are readily available via Splice, Sonoiz and the lot. And yet we all keep getting trapped in the same 16 bar loop. The big problem there is, our bar loops all sound the same sonically with virtually any diversification.

At that point, the bag that was brought in earlier by Derauhe, was getting opened while the conversation continued. No cliché got spared, but none had is hard as the “Preset way of working” we have nowadays. The argument for it being that it would confine you into a limited possibility range. In the old days, someone like ‘Push’ would have been obligated to manually configure new patches on top of his stock presets and there was no ability to download presets on the fly.

Et voila! Derauhe established a base for the surprise of the day: an Access Virus B in mint condition! The predecessor of the iconic and marketshaking Virus. Even though it is the second generation, it is a treasure to have. And we were going to have a go at it for the afternoon.

The result of this session is a lovely dub techno track that was recorded live into its current form as the “Studio jam session”.