Flume with a view
Rarely does a star rise at such a pace as Flume's. Also known as Harley Edward Streten, he's been on the fast track to the forefront of dance music.
The high calibre of the people who collaborated on his self-titled debut album - the likes of Chet Faker, Freddie Gibbs, Twin Shadow and Wu-Tang’s Ghostface Killah, to name just a small selection - is testament to the regard that the young Australian producer is held in.
Future Music magazine recently got a good look inside Flume's Sydney facility, where they checked out the gear that he uses to create his off-kilter electronica.
“Most of the gear I have is pretty standard stuff,” he explains. “Because I’ve literally just set up my studio there are still bits of kit I want to get.”
Discussing his approach to music making, Flume says: “It’s really important to have good mixdowns and stuff, but I do like an element of imperfection in things. Using shitty samples to build something makes you get creative and experiment.”
Flume is a Live user now, but he began by using FL Studio. So, why the switch?
“For me, it’s more just a case of whatever works,” he says. “I know a lot of people who’ve stuck with FL Studio and they’re making amazing stuff. The only reason I switched to Ableton was a friend who I share the studio with introduced me to it. At that time, FL Studio couldn’t do a lot of things that Ableton could, so I gradually weaned myself off FL Studio, although there are still things I like about FL Studio more.
“At the end of the day I feel like it was the right move, but if he hadn’t inclined me towards Ableton I would still be happily using FL Studio and making strong music regardless.”
Teenage Engineering OP-1
Flume is yet another lover of this off-the-wall synth/noise maker, describing the OP-1 as “a lot of fun and great for experimenting.”
It may have a place in Flume's studio, but he confirms that this Ableton Live controller really comes into its own when he's on the road.
“I don’t really use [the APC40] for production, more for the live shows and when I’m programming stuff for the live shows.”
“I like NI Guitar Rig as an effect on things like vocals,” Flume explains. “I do that quite regularly. It’s great running things through the amps, and even if I’m not using much distortion you can get some really cool, different sounds.
“I use [Sugar Bytes] Turnado a fair bit, and my favourite software compressor is Cytomic’s The Glue. I know Sylenth1 back to front so I can make any sound on that now... it’s the one synth I really know well.
“I bought Spectrasonics' Omnisphere recently, which is a lot of fun, even though it’s probably about to destroy my CPU as I made the mistake of installing it all on the hard drive!”
Native Instruments Maschine
It's no surprise to see Maschine in Flume's studio but, as yet, he hasn't really got the most out of it, he tells us.
“I’ve never really learnt it properly so I don’t tend to use it that much,” he explains.
Novation ReMOTE 25SL
Novation's popular compact MIDI controller serves as Flume's keyboard. And don't try and pretend it's yours, because he's got his name written on it.
Flume's studio is relatively small at the moment but, like most of us, he has plans to expand it.
“The next thing I really want to get is a Dave Smith Prophet 12,” he says. “I like the idea of being able to turn away from the laptop and mess around on a separate piece of kit. I don’t currently have a synth I can do that with.
“I want to get one of the Mackie Big Knob controllers and some other bits and pieces. Once I’ve got the Prophet 12 I’ll just take a bit of time to learn everything about it properly before I get something else.”