This week at ByTheProducer, the public got to ask away on the forum as we look at Norwich-based DJ Upgrade to get a better understanding of his production methods and business perspective. Along with his energetic (and somewhat comical) livestream with T>I over on Goat Shed this month to raise money for the NHS, Upgrade has also recently released on RAM records with 2 heavy-hitting tracks “Thunder” and “What It Means”.
We took the best five questions, read them all on our forum now!
Pockney: Any advice for getting the name out there a bit?
Upgrade: Keep grafting and don't delude yourself. You'll make good music and you'll make music you think's good but its shit. It's all subjective but listen to honest people and try not to pester the people you want to work with. Going out and supporting the artists makes a huge impact in regards to this. Say hello in person after the rave and you'll be more likely to get a response from a person they've met in the flesh and not just online in a message. (Right now its kind of difficult but for future reference).
Hedex: In the long list of speakers you’ve probably owned in the past, what would you honestly recommend for an up and comer?
Upgrade: I've seen endless threads about what the best monitors you can get as a beginner and I have to laugh. Some of the tunes most of us love were probably made on a laptop on a train or in a set of headphones at 4am so don't get too worried about having the best or the most expensive.
Learning the perimeters you work in with audio will have better results in production than a fancy pair of monitors. Personally, I'd recommend Yamaha HS5's/7's and a decent set of headphones... that's what I've used for the last 4 years or so and they wont break the bank.
Slixx: What’s better, Serum or Massive?
Uprgade: I use Massive regularly! I've messed around with Serum but I've found I know my way around Massive's UI like the back of my hand so I default to it a lot.
CDKDNB: Hi, I was wondering what sort of audio effects or techniques you would suggest to beef up jump up style basses?
Upgrade: I'd recommend layering your synths. Make another layer with a new synth with a different tonality. Remember to record the combined synths down to one audio file then keep playing! It's my favourite part of making music I think!
Heist: How old were you in this picture Sam?
Upgrade: Hahahahahaha that’s me stood behind you @16/17 next to the guy in the junglist top… legend in the game you are Jim
Make sure to tune in fortnightly for new Q&A’s with some of your favourite artists in the scene by heading over to the BTP forum! We would like to thank those of you involved including Upgrade himself. Make sure to check out his social links and see some of the other questions asked down below!
Upgrade Q&A article (Full):
Make sure to drop a follow on Upgrade’s socials too:
Full article by Chris McKenna for BYTHEPRODUCER.com