On a trajectory to becoming one of the most exciting talents on the scene today, Sander Wilder has emerged within Electronic Dance Music with a diverse and fresh sound. Bringing a new and vibrant aura of originality to the genre, this talented Producer and DJ continues honing his craft to present a unique sound and production style, sure to see him reach new heights with each new release. With a focus on blending elements from the Melodic House, Techno, and Progressive genres, Sander Wilder’s signature sound showcases his passion and love for Electronic Music, as he delivers both energetic and powerful soundscapes. Today, we invited him to tell us more about his approach to music production, and share some tips and tricks he’s learned along his career so far.
Hey Sander! How are you today?
Hey there, I’m quite good thank you for asking. Thank you very much for giving me this opportunity.
To aspiring Producers, can you briefly explain your music production setup? What software, hardware, and instruments are essential for your creative process?
My basic hardware setup is based on a pair of JBL 305 monitors, AKG – K702 headphones, a Focusrite Audio Interface, and NI Komplete Kontrol 61 Keyboard all connected on a Mac Ecosystem. For software, I’m more into Logic Pro X, but I still use Ableton Live as well. I’ve spent almost 10 years on Ableton Live before switching to Logic Pro X.
What role does sound design play in your music production? How do you go about crafting unique and captivating sounds for your tracks?
Sound design was one of the starting points when I entered the music production world. Over the years I’ve experimented a lot with signal processing, learned different synthesis techniques, and I’ve used my technical knowledge to achieve desired sounds. In summary, proper sound design entails layering & fitting all of them into the specific context of my tracks.
Can you walk us through your typical workflow when starting a new track, from the initial idea to the finished product? Are there any specific techniques or steps you find crucial?
My creative process can be quite random, as I don’t have a strictly defined path. Sometimes, I just make an initial drum beat/loop with some additional instruments, this is a process that’s still evolving, and sometimes I’m just playing around with a controller keyboard some solo acoustic piano riffs. At some point, something triggers a potential starting idea and I’m starting from there. If everything is in place, I’m trying to make a complete initial structure, from this point I’m deciding if the idea is worth being structured as a full production. If I’m going further with the core idea, the process is more connected and I start to add new layers and effects. I start to be more involved on mixing stages and I’m trying to establish from the beginning a good volume balance between channels. Somehow, on this stage, the creative part is blending with technical/mixing stage and even an initial master chain (switching on/off), to be able to compare how final dynamic processing is affecting the entire mix. I’m working in this direction till I feel that I’m close to the final material. At this point I’m deciding If tracks are in the right place and ready to show them to the world.
Mixing and mastering are critical aspects of music production. What are your best practices for achieving a clean and professional sound during these stages?
As mentioned above, it is important to establish from the beginning a good volume balance between channels and after that, start to add effects based on needs, like EQ for cutting unwanted frequencies on low end, start using compression carefully when is needed, have every instrument with its own frequency space and making space for each instrument in the mix with EQ or dynamic EQ, and more other useful effects. It’s hard for me to explain everything needed here, but this, let’s say is a good starting point. And more than anything, the proper sound and samples selection can do wonders in the mixing stage as well.
Many producers struggle with writer’s block; how do you overcome creative obstacles and stay inspired when working on music?
Honestly, I think that there is no need to force things when there is a feeling that you’re not able to craft something new, or start questioning if you’ll ever get out from under writer’s block. The good news, like everything in life, is writer’s block is not permanent. Start doing things which can feed your inspiration, go out, have fun, travel, see new places, experiment new things, overall enjoy life. All of these things can make you ready for new ideas in the future.
Collaboration is common in the music industry, and also opens up new creative avenues; can you share your experiences and insights on collaborating with other artists, and how it influences your creative process?
Lately, I’ve been mostly following my path solo, but when I had some collaborations in the past, I thought it was interesting how different perspectives can blend. In the future, I want to explore some new collaborations with other artists on the vocal or production side.
What advice would you give to beginners looking to improve their technical skills in music production?
I advise them to study by themselves, and to experiment. In the meantime, if they’re able, to attend some good production online courses or tutorials, it can help a lot with their progress. In my case, I’ve learnt everything by myself, with feedback, and a slight amount of external help. Things have changed presently with a lot more information available. To summarize, the most important thing is their determination and curiosity. Being a self-learning person is a must in this field.
In your production, you often blend different genres, how do you approach genre fusion, and what tips do you have for producers who want to experiment with their sound?
I’ve experimented in the past a lot with my music, trying to find my own musical signature, and somehow on my side, the melody was one of the most important aspects in music. This is why a blend between all of these substyles was my focus, because I need melody & harmony, I need groove and I need atmosphere, sometimes I need more energy and intensity. All of these styles mentioned above are giving me everything I need. It was lot of work and personal introspection to understand better my musical direction and now I embrace the results.
As an advise for other producers, I encourage them to experiment new sounds and follow their ‘inner gut’ but not become too experimental. It is better to have a balance for remaining relevant and slightly innovating.
Music production has evolved significantly with advancements in technology. Are there any specific tools or software plugins that have had a profound impact on your production techniques?
There are many plug-ins which improved my sound and technique, for synths, Serum & Spire are the top ones for me right now. IZotope Neutron is a good addition to my workflow, and the effects from EchoBoy is a very nice addition as well. ValhallaRoom Reverb is a very good one as well. The list goes on, but I’ve pointed the most used recently.
Lastly, for those looking to pursue a career in music production, what are some essential lessons or insights you’ve gained throughout your journey that you’d like to share with them?
The most important lesson is that learning never ends and it is normal to have ups and downs. The most important thing, if you really love music and want to expand your journey, is don’t give up and remain active and curious.
We finish this interview thanking Sander Wilder for his time and openness sharing insights into his music production process, as well as for sharing some advice for fellow music producers. Make sure to follow him across social media to remain updated on his releases and upcoming projects as he promises more music to come.
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