Inspiring interview with Phaeleh
There are lots of (young) dubstep producers focusing on being the hardest and the loudest, but dubstep also has a deeper and more melodic side unofficially called: Ambient Dubstep. With artist as Pinch, Phaeleh, Burial, Scuba, Kode9 and lots of others, this sub-genre has become well known around the world.
Today I’m talking with Matt Preston, also known as Phaeleh (Pronounced as: fella), who is one of the leading ambient dubstep producers. Matt is a well respected producer in the scene who knows what he does and has his own style. For a long time now Phaeleh has been one of my favorite artists. Every time I listen to one of his tracks I become totally relaxed and relieved of my stress and worries. This is something only few artists can accomplish on me.
Phaeleh will talk about what studio equipment he uses, about when he started and he gives you some tips on how to become successful.
Have fun reading the interview and let’s hope you learn something from it!
(image from: fabriclondon.com)
Interview with Phaeleh
Tell us something about yourself
My name is Matt and I’m a Bristol based musician who produces under the name Phaeleh.
How did you come up with the name Phaeleh?
Elements of it came from other words, but I essentially chose it because I liked the shape of the letters and the overall look of the word.
What made you want to become a dubstep producer?
I never at any point set out to be a dubstep producer. I’ve always made a lot of music in different styles and still do. I think it was just the deeper sounding stuff I was doing around 140bpm which first got noticed, so I think I started making slightly more of that so I could send it out to DJs. Most of the early Phaeleh sets recorded actually have more breaks, garage and dnb in than dubstep.
When did you start producing?
I’ve been using Cubase for about 16 years now, though only really got into production when I was about 18 or 19. I didn’t actually take it seriously until I started the Phaeleh stuff, which was in 2006.
What gear were you using back then?
Pretty much the same set up I use now, though got through a few computers and speakers since then. Essentially based around Cubase on a PC, using some outboard synths and guitars and my focusrite compressor.
What is your current studio equipment?
- Inta Audio i7 Sample Station (Six Core 3.2Ghz, 64Gb Ram, Windows 7)
- Event TR8XL Monitors (about to replace with some Opals)
- Presonus Firebox
- Line 6 Pod 2.0
- Focusrite Compounder
- Nord Lead 2 Rack
- Mackie 1402 VLZ3
- Waldorf XT
- Korg MS200
- DRM Vermona DRM1 MkII
- JHS Drum Synth
- Korg ES-1 Sampler
- Doepfer Pocket Dial
- PRS Custom 24
- Plus lots of guitar pedals and random noise making machines.
Image of Phaeleh’s studio
What plugins do you use?
Alchemy, a lot of waves plugins, Voxengo EQs, Ohmforce stuff, a few Native Instruments samplers and a lot of free plugins I’ve collected.
What are the 3 best sample packs you use?
The stuff I use the most are folders of sounds I’ve put together over the last 10 years, but have recently been enjoying a lot of the string and vocal packs from Loopmasters, they’ve been really useful working on the new album.
Real Strings 3 – ‘Dark Moods’ is the brand new sample pack of stellar quality loops by Pete Whitfield. These authentic samples were recorded in Pete’s studio where he records real strings for major labels, TV companies and radio/media companies as a highly sought after arranger.
This pack includes:
- Over 2Gb
- PDF Scores Included
12 Different Arrangements containing:
- 102 Cello Ensembles,
- 102 Solo Cello Loops
- 102 Violin Ensembles
- 102 Solo Violins
- 24 Piano Loops, plus
- 12 samples of each instrument recorded for the soft sampler patches
- 432 Rex2 Files
Loopmasters have teamed up with Phaeleh, one of the most musically gifted producers working in the current Dubstep scene today – and are proud to present his first release with us entitled “Ambient Dubstep”.
This sample pack includes:
- 24Bit Quality
- 50 Bass Loops
- 69 Drum Loops
- 30 FX Loops
- 50 Music Loops
- 10 Pad Loops
- 10 Vox Loops
- 21 Percussion Loops
- 6 Guitar Hits
- 20 Bass Multi Sampled Instruments
- 19 Synth Multi Sampled Instruments
- 99 Drum Hits
- 3 Synth Stab Multi Sampled Instruments
- 240 Rex2 Files
- 57 Soft Sampler Patches For Kontakt, Halion, Exs24, Nnxt And Sfz Formats
If you could choose anyone you want, who would you love to work with?
I’d love to produce something with Maynard James Keenan on vocals, or for collaborative composition I’d love to work with Philip Glass, Brian Eno or Steve Reich.
Do you have any advice for young dubstep producers trying to be the next
I’d say always do your own thing and don’t get caught up in trends or trying to emulate other people, as by the time you’ve caught up the scene would have probably moved on. Be prepared to put the work in, it’s rare people get lucky breaks, and putting in the hours will give you an advantage over slightly lazier producers. It’s worth having a thick skin, as labels will ignore emails, people might tell you the music is rubbish and you’ll never get anywhere, but it’s important when stuff like that happens to use it as motivation to raise your own game. I spent years being told no labels would ever release my music, but I stuck with it regardless as I love making music, and luckily it’s worked out pretty well in the end!
Do you have anything else to say?
Can’t think of anything!
Ok so this was the interview with Phaeleh, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
Want to know more about Phaeleh? Just follow him on:
To end this great post you can find our (Phaeleh and me) favorite tracks, made by Phaeleh:
NATS’ favorite track:
Phaeleh’s favorite track:
Thanks for reading! You’re always welcome to post your thoughts in a comment.
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