“I used to do most of my productions in Logic, and then five or six years ago I started with Ableton in my live setup. The more I learnt about the program, the more I started making music with it.
“For my latest album, 90% of it was produced, composed and arranged in Ableton. To me it has a more organic, natural flow. It seems much faster, too - if you have an idea, it’s quicker to make it happen.
“Of course, you can make a lot of mistakes in Ableton. When it comes to the different elements, you have to be very careful with what you use. Drums should really be within the beat as otherwise they lose their kick, their impact. You really need to handle that program well in order to have things sounding right. So in that way Logic is easier, but in terms of composing, I prefer Ableton these days.”
Apple Logic Pro
“I’ve been using Logic since the mid-90s. I really like some of the stuff that comes with it - like the compression. So, sometimes I make a track, take all the channels, render them down in Ableton and then put everything into Logic and mix it all down in there.
“How much I use it depends on the track - if I want a certain sound that I can’t get anywhere else, I’ll do it in Logic. But it’s become more and more a secondary program in my studio.”
Rob Papen SubBoomBass
“I like all Rob Papen’s stuff, and SubBoomBass is one of my favourites. There are some really great bass sounds in there. The sequencer is a cool, funky, creative tool to play around with - it enables you to have some creative moments just by trying things out. I used it for the bassline on Rock This from the new album - it’s a dirty, farty bass.”
iZotope Ozone 5
“I have a clear idea about how things should sound, so before I start, I put Ozone in on a very neutral level. Then I produce against the mastering, so that everything still sounds as crisp and cool and not crunched or punched, but is already being compressed. In the end, everything sounds the way I want it without afterwards putting compression on it.
“Why do I like it so much? It just makes amazing sounds. If you have a production where the vocals are a little low, you can really get something out of it. And if you use it not for mastering but, for example, put it on some hats or something, you get some amazing stereo imaging - wide open space.”
Paul Van Dyk’s new album Evolution is out now.