Hotboxx is a DJ and music producer based in Miami with more than 10 years of experience under his belt, during this time, he has garnered the attention and support of the biggest names in the Electronic music world, getting the opportunity to play alongside acts like Fred Everything and Trick Daddy, as well as perform at Miami’s most popular venues like Treehouse, LMNT and Racket. His experience and unmatched talent are displayed with every fresh release he puts out. While he keeps working in the upcoming releases scheduled for the near future, we asked him to share some of his insights as a music producer as well as give some advice to those starting out their music production journey, here’s what he said.
Hello Hotboxx how are you?
I’m doing well, thank you.
What would you say is the best set of gear to get for setting up a home studio?
Personally, I keep my studio somewhat simple but it is enough for me. I have a Maschine
MK3 and a fully weighted keyboard. To me, that is more than enough and really lets me master the few pieces of gear I have.
Which DAW would you recommend to someone starting out?
I started with Reason but now, I use logic or Ableton. Although I loved certain things about Reason, to me, Logic and Ableton are a bit more user friendly, practical and seem to accomplish similar things with less effort. So, I would recommend Logic or Ableton especially for those looking to produce electronic music.
Do you use samples? How do you think anyone can make the most out of a sample?
I do, but I don’t like to use them because most of the time I try to manipulate the sample either by chopping it up, transposing the pitch, or changing the BPM. I would recommend doing same so that you can use a common sample but you make it unique to you and your production.
Which plugins or effects are your favorites?
I use many of the stock plugins within my DAW but I also use Kontakt, Maschine, Arcade, and Loop cloud. I try not to over complicate things but there are so many good plugins out there it’s tough not to use some, it definitely helps push projects to the next level.
Which part of a track do you like starting with first?
For the initial loop, I like to start with either the bass or a synth or keys melody, but this depends on the kind of vibe I am going for.
To elaborate, if it is a track that I want to try and make more upbeat, to play at a high energy club, something more driving, I tend to start with bass and percussion. On the other hand, if I want to make something more melodic or groovy, I tend to begin with a synth or keys of some kind.
Do you have a book or video recommendation for a beginner music producer?
Not really a book, or video in particular but, I would definitely say YouTube is amazing and can basically teach you anything you need to know to get started. I used YouTube tutorials many times and most have been extremely helpful and have helped me develop as a producer.
What piece of advice would you say is important to remember when producing music?
Keep it simple. Don’t try to overcomplicate the track and give your ear breaks every hour or two to make sure your ears are fresh and you don’t add unnecessary layers just because your ear got too used to the loop.
What would you say is a good thing to do or element to add in a track to make it perfect for a live performance?
I wouldn’t say necessarily an element, because every track is different. But I would definitely say the mix and master are crucial, so make sure before playing a track at any event that there is at least a decent mix and master so it sounds good in reference to another track that you may be mixing in.
How do you keep yourself inspired?
Working with other artists is huge for me to keep me involved and inspired, going to shows and seeing some of the producers I look up to perform really is inspiring, and helps me gather fresh ideas for my projects.