Swiss DJ - Alex Price
Zurich, Switzerland is where Producer/DJ Alex Price proudly calls home. From his early start at 15 as a Hip Hop DJ, to now composing, engineering, mixing and producing dance music hits like Young Love at his own studio. He sat down with us recently to explain how he uses Sonnox plug-ins to put the magic into his music!
What inspired you to make music your career?
Growing up, my sister listened to Rap and Hip-hop music so I was introduced to artists like Biggie Smalls and Total. I realized pretty early on that my voice wasn't fit for rapping so I started to create my own music and DJing from vinyl. In 2003, I started diving into the fundamentals of French house music. I started using Fruity Loops, a Boss DR sampler SP-303 and Native Instrument libraries like Battery and Komplete.
I then worked for Sony Music in the promotions department and had the pleasure of working with world-renowned artists such as Usher, Shakira, Pink and Raphael Saadiq.
Now I have my own studio and am concentrating on my own songwriting and producing, collaborating with various songwriters and singers from all over the world. I recently mixed the Official House compilation for Switzerlands's number one dance music festival, Street Parade, and my track Magic Moments is the official Street Parade anthem for the festival this year kicking off on August 29th.
What artists influence you?
I love a good melody - Hall and Oates, The Beach Boys and other classics from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Daft Punk inspires me and N.E.R.D's Pharrel Williams is one of the reasons I started making music. I also respect fellow Swiss DJ's s Andrea Oliva and Jimi Jules discography's. I have a lot of love for classic 90's house music from Chicago and New York. One of my favorite dance tracks ever is Crystal Waters'Gypsy Woman - I could listen to those chords all day.
How do you maintain creative energy?
Generally it's people, friends, good music and even movies that inspire me to create great music. I don't think you can feel creative all of the time though. Sometimes you go to the studio, like today and it's so hot and I was a little bit unmotivated. But it's important to go anyway and just start playing with a great sound and before you know it you're on the next track. Don't think about it, just do it.
Tell us about your studio.
Everything is digital, all in the box. I like using a big screen and fat speakers. I have a Mac Pro, Logic 9 and X, three sets of speakers: PreSonus Sceptre S8, 2 Behritone C50A, a pair of passive Genelecs and I use an Akai MPK 49 as my keyboard. I record demo vocals at my studio and work with singers from London, New York and Nashville. Music platforms like SoundCloud are really great for uniting with like-minded artists.
How do you use Sonnox plug-ins specifically to achieve your desired sound?
I feel like the Inflator (Exciter Plugin) is the ultimate plug-in that I've been looking for. I use the Inflator on so many things. If you have a mix and sometimes there are those elements that you think should be more 'in your face', and you want to take them to the next level - the Inflator will take it there! You don't have to use it too much, just a little bit does the trick. There's nothing like Inflator - it's second to none.
I use the Oxford Reverb on lots of things. l use a long reverb after a drop, if I need a few added seconds, or if I need something smaller, I'll use a short reverb on percussion instruments, claps, or vocal shouts. Also, the warmth button in the Dynamic section, it's like saturation - I love using it on the bass. Lastly, I use the Oxford Limiter on my master bus as a reference master.
Why do you use Sonnox plug-ins?
Sonnox is a classic brand. It was there when I started making music, it's still here and it's still good. They have low latency plugins that will continue to work in the next ten years. You can do everything with them - great Reverb, EQ, Inflator and the Dynamics is crazy, When it comes to the fundamentals of mixing, it's all you need!
Interview by Jacqueline Smiley