Plugin Alliance: First of all, congratulations on recently having your 100th Billboard #1. That’s a pretty amazing accomplishment!
PA: How long has making music been a passion of yours? Are you a ‘chameleon’ of music genres, or have you always been electronically inclined?
Dave Aude: I love all music genres but because I grew up playing synthesizers so I guess I naturally gravitated toward electronic/dance.
PA: What were some of your early musical influences?
DA: Electric Light Orchestra, Yaz, Erasure, The Cars, Stuart Price, The Sharp Boys, David Foster and Mutt Lange were all influences in my youth.
PA: What creative principles have you lived by, allowing you to hone such a defined style and quality in your music?
DA: I always try and keep the integrity of the song and artist in mind when I’m working on a project. I’m also open to hearing what the artist has to say as opposed to “nah this is the way it’s going to be, I’m done”..
PA: You’ve done a lot of high-level artist remixes– the likes of Madonna, Sting, Rihanna and Donna Summer to name just a few. What was it like the first time you worked on one of these A List artists songs?
DA: I feel lucky to wake up every day with the opportunities I am given. Having said that, it’s a thrill to work with "A List" artists, but it’s more fun when the song is great (which is true most of the time with A List artists lol)…. The first big artist I worked with was probably Sting, it was so much fun, Sting ended up touring with my remix version!
PA: You’re known in some circles for the consistently solid sound of your Kick Drum, a crucial part of any electronic music mix. What is one kernel of wisdom you could give to an aspiring electronic music producer who is still trying to find that sound?
DA: Spend as much time as it takes to get the KICK right. Once you do, it will give you the foundation you need to make great music (dance music anyways). Dance is the only genre where this is more important than any other element…..If the kick isn’t hitting you in the chest then no one is going to dance. If no one is dancing, you’re done ;)
PA: When did you join the Alliance?
DA: Last year. I’m always looking for new and exciting tools to help me produce and PA has a plethora of plugs that make my job easier (and fun)! I’m still discovering new ones every day!
PA: What are your favorite Plugin Alliance plugins and how do you use them?
DA: There are SO MANY! A few would be SPL Mo Verb, Noveltech Vocal Enhancer, and BX Digital V2. The Noveltech is usually on my vocal bus, after Ive done all my compressing and eq’ing, this wonderful plug is the frosting on the cake, just adding some overall texture. The bx_digital V2 is a great addition to my master buss. Everyone wants mixes “mastered” these days and this plug allows me to simply sweeten the overall mix! Mo Verb is a very different plug and its cool to have when you are working with original session stems that need to have the reverb more prevalent. What a cool plug!
PA: Name one piece of gear/effect you could absolutely not live without.
DA: Empirical Labs Distressors
PA: Music production has seen huge leaps in technology within the past decade; how do you view this surge in accessibility to tools and techniques that were formerly complicated and out of reach to the average music maker?
DA: More people that don’t have any business making music are able to now lol. No, seriously technology has made my job easier and harder at the same time. I’m working faster than ever before, but there are also so many more options than ever before. If you like to spend money on gear, you need an endless supply of money so start saving up!
Also, the plugs/tools are getting easier to use so the average person can get much better results (that includes me of course) than they did a few years ago so thats pretty cool.
PA: What has changed the most for you in the 15+ years you’ve been doing this?
DA: Technology. I love that technology is such an integral part of making records more now than ever before!!!
PA: In your opinion, what makes a classic hit?
DA: Simple. A good song. Sure producers can make good songs sound better, even to the extent that they have success, but if you have a great song, you have struck gold!
PA: You remix a lot of club classics; on which elements do you focus most in order to keep these tracks as fresh and as hot as they were during their initial glory days? In other words, what do today’s audiences want to hear, and how do you stay up to date on their needs?
DA: I’m just constantly listening to as much stuff as I can (thats the hardest part of my job, finding time to listen to everything) and then taking into consideration what’s hot at the moment and figuring out how to translate that into dance floor magic!
PA: What is one piece of advice for anyone trying to ‘make it’ with their music in the industry?
DA: The single piece of best advice I give to everyone is to be constantly releasing material, whether it be singles, remixes, videos, mashups, bootlegs, whatever. Constantly, meaning weekly, monthly, daily……You’d be surprised how hard it is to simply be organized and actually finish projects, oh and then get them out to the world ;)