Interview with Nick Stoynoff
As we stated earlier on our Facebook page, more great things and interviews will come at the end of the year. So here it is. Meet passionate producer from Chicago USA speaking of some everyday things in his life. Get a glimpse of what is he working at this moment and enjoy his thoughts about music. Meet Nick Stoynoff.
1. Hi there dear Nick, we are really grateful for the interview opportunity you gave us. I know that most of the people already know who you are, but again, there are some minority of people who don’t. So, can you explain to us who really Nick Stoynoff is ?
Not a problem, thank you for the opportunity! I am a 24 year old Chicago based EDM dj/producer. I have been dj’ing for a little over 10 years and writing music for 3. I have a weird affinity for documentaries (mostly conspiracy/conflict related), used to play golf competitively, have been trying to quite smoking for 2 years, enjoy tasty beverages, and I think owls are a waste of time…there is more, but I don’t think anyone wants to hear my list of fears
2. How does your story about music started ? Something from the childhood or… ?
It’s an interesting question that I never really confronted because my introduction to music evolved somewhat organically. As a kid I was never really engaged in music so to speak, it was just something that existed. It wasn’t until 11 or 12 years old that I started to discover electronic music thanks to a good friend, Sam Padrul, who introduced me to it and from that point I was hooked. I went out and bought several compilations, most notably the entire Tranceport series and a few GU comps which more or less kick-started my ‘career’ into music. Shortly after I picked up a set of turntables and began digging for records on the weekends, practicing for 4-6 hours or until I ran out records! I actually went to great length, predating digital distribution, to obtain records that were being featured in some of Oakenfold’s 98-99 sets and other mix comps at the time. (i.e limited Perfecto releases, white labels, rare pressings featured in essential mixes..etc) Looking back into that period I think it was a valuable exercise that has served as a great tool for me today not only as a dj but when going through the thousands of records available through various digital outlets. Then came the point several years ago when I wanted to add the production element, initially as a means to separate myself from other dj’s but it eventually evolved into something I love doing for myself. [CLICK CONTINUE READING FOR FULL INTERVIEW]
3. Except being a great producer, do you have some other, everyday job ?
Haha, yes there is definitely a day job. I think if you ask most producers out there they’ll tell you that they have something to fall back on financially. Even if I was at more prestigious/globetrotting level there would need to be some sort of supplemental income or safety mechanism in place..unless of course I did 126 tour dates a year, then that would be a different story!
4. Let we continue with the production subject. How can you describe your sound ? What is the main source of inspiration when making a track ?
I suppose it comes from the early inspiration and exposure to the ‘proper prog’ days and its something that whether intended or not presents itself as an influence in my music. More often than not people compare my sound to the early GU days with some driving atmospheric themes. There isn’t a single source of inspiration, but I would say nature, cigarettes, and loads of coffee
5. Moving to the next question, can you tell us what program do you use for production ? I bet that some people would love to know what synths and plugins are you using ? And also, do you use both software and hardware or just one of them ?
Ashamed to say I am still running Logic 8 rewired into Live 7, but it works! For me its the best method in terms of work flow and efficiency. Honestly, Logic has amazing stock plugs, great sounding dynamics as well (you could write an entire track with just the stock plugs) but I do use a few Native Instruments plugins, Rob Papen plugs are great for creating nice airy sounds, and some of the other usual suspects. Honestly I have come to be a big proponent in streamlining ones’ arsenal of plugs. If I could offer any advice, focus on developing a great set of dynamics to process everything. At the end of the day it comes down to developing a good ear for your listening environment, proper compression & equalization, and really taking time to understand how sounds work with one another. I don’t care how many plugins you have or what outboard gear you have, if you can’t master the above then the rest is useless. That being said I don’t have any outboard gear, just a pair of Rockit 5’s and an Axiom 49 key midi controller.
6. Can you describe us the typical day of Nick Stoynoff ?
I’ll describe a typical studio day: wake up, turn on phone, emails emails emails, fire up the Keuring my awesome girlfriend bought me, smoke a cigarette(s), some more emails, fire up logic/ableton (read CNN/Reuters/Reddit while waiting) and then work until I am satisfied. I want to be able to go to bed at the end of the day knowing that I was not only productive but that I learned something in the process.
7. We would all want to know how it sounds when making a track from start to an end. Can you write up, in brief, process of making a track?
Sure. Typically I start with a melody or prominent supporting element. I don’t really understand producers who start with bass lines. I don’t remember anyone walking out of a club humming a bass line But from there I usually focus on a theme or certain vibe I am after. I may have a cool pad sequence looping at 126 but will then discover it sounds better if I bounce it down at 85 bpm and then re import it back in to Logic, running it at 126 soaked in reverb. The resulting effect is this really dimensional pad/synth that I can use as a building block. That’s of course one example, but typically I’ll focus on the most climatic or main theme of the track and working around that. Then when I am happy with where everything is sitting I start moving into arrangement and fragmenting the parts of the loop I made across the track, which usually leads to other ideas. From that point I am at a completely different place then when I started. That being said, I always use one rule when writing: There Are No Rules!
8. For the time on the scene you have really a bunch of great releases behind you. What can we expect from Nick in the coming months ? We heard some beautiful previews on your Soundcloud account. Are they maybe some singles from the upcoming “NOFF!” album?
Thanks! Been really grateful and fortunate to have had some cool opportunities come my way. As far as the near and foreseeable future is concerned I will be releasing an EP on Proton Music, wrapping a few remixes, preparing to have an original released on Mango Alleys forthcoming comp, and working on a few other items. Just recently, I was commissioned to do a mix compilation (first one for me) which I will have some more information for shortly.
In regards to the ‘album‘previews’ (which I took down because I don’t want to give too much too early) I will be revealing more once its fully materialized, but yes the album is well in the works. I will say that it won’t be a typical club record, it will definitely have a well rounded structure to it, featuring a few talented vocalists, and reworks as well rearrangements of older tracks of mine. The idea is to showcase more than what I have done to date, I want to demonstrate my versatility and other influences as a producer not just 10 standard club tracks. Lastly, I should mention that it has a home as far as a label concerned, but I’ll reveal more in the coming month or so
9. If you can choose 5 DJs / Producers that you admire the most, who would they be ?
Top 5 DJs
- Dave Seaman
- Paul Woolford
- Carl Cox
- Hernan Cattaneo
Top 5 Producers
- Charlie May [Perfection]
- Carl Craig
- Henry Saiz
- Amon Tobin
- Guy J
10. Top 5 tracks at the moment:
- Apparat – Candil De La Calle
- M83 – Splendor
- Carl Craig – At Les (Original Studio Mix)
- Guy J & Henry Saiz – Meridian (Original Mix)
- Scuba – Never
11. Besides production, are you spinning records as a DJ ? Any upcoming gigs worth mentioning ?
Yeah been itching to go out and play more. Recently teamed up with Groovecollection bookings based out of the Netherlands, so I am hoping to start directing some booking requests that way! I actually have a gig coming up December 3rd at Vision Nightclub in Chicago. Will be on opening duties for Kenneth Thomas, should be a fun night!
12. The rise & development of internet made a global problem concerning selling music. Lots of music is spread through blogspots & forums and producers/labels can hardly make any money? What are your thoughts about that?
Ha, ugh..I don’t even want to go there, but I suppose it needs to be addressed. I think the question that needs to be asked is, what is the function/purpose of labels in today’s market? Independent artists are suffering from a sales standpoint but what has happened to their exposure? Has the exposure translated into more gigs or alternative revenue streams? I think we ( the independent community) need to come to terms with the fact that labels and their artists need to start reinventing their approach to making money and start looking beyond Beatport. The money to be made is in syndication, publishing, licensing, and commercial royalties…not hoping to sell 30 copies of a release on Beatport. Labels/forums/blogs are technically the same thing these days, they act as a quality control or filter to boost artist profiles and with any luck drive their bottom line. Blogs are labels, just presented differently and without a financial motive. Trust me, it sucks not being able to make money off releases or even have a decent advance thrown your way, but as an independent artist you need to be honest about what your expectations are. If you want to make a living writing dance music, great but don’t expect it to happen just through a few releases. Doing commercial work for film/tv, sound design, or doing music for film are amongst some of the things you would have to consider if you wanted to keep working in the industry, but that has its limitations as well. If anything I hope more services emerge which allocate artists a larger share of what they are entitled to (i.e soundexchange) or developing a more transparent system of paying artists for performance royalties. Going to war with zippyshare is not going to resolve anything, you need to think in terms of root problems, not peripheral ones… I think the future of the community needs to advocate for better services and apply the necessary pressure to encourage reforms that would lead a more balanced system.
13. We are almost at the end, so our question would be, how do you see Nick Stoynoff in future ?
Well, on a lighter note I see Nick Stoynoff continuing to write the music he loves, working on his album, and hopefully playing more gigs!
14. Time to finish the things up. Do you have any final words for PHW fans ?
Yes, a massive massive thank you to everyone that has supported/promoted my music…means a lot to have that level of support and gives me the encouragement needed to keep having fun! Really excited to share more news and releases, but until then thank you for all the support and the opportunity to share my music with you!
It’s been a great pleasure to have an opportunity to speak with you. I really hope to speak soon in future. Take care and we wish you best luck in the upcoming period. Cheeeeeeeeeeerios!
November 29th, 2011