His soundscapes are as involved as his storming beats and bass, and in this exclusive video excerpt from Paul's masterclass for Computer Music's D&B Focus 2014, he demonstrates how to make atmospheric pads with a few samples and some sophisticated processing.
You use two 'found' sounds in this tutorial. What kit did you use to record them?
"I used a Zoom H4n. It's a great bit of kit; the sound quality is amazing for the price."
What kind of found sounds are good for atmospheres such as the one in your video?
"Bell-like tones and chimes are good, such as wine glasses from the kitchen, or wind chimes and large pieces of metal. I normally layer things like the sound of the sea or some general ambience to give it texture as well."
What synths do you use to create pads? And what about processing and effects?
"Alchemy is great for layered, textured pad sounds. Razor seems to have a really deep, wide and rich sound to it, which is great for pads. I recently started using D16 LuSH-101 for lots of things - you can get great multi- layered analogue pads from it. I use Padshop Pro to add weird bits of granular interest, too.
"I normally start by finding a nice chord to play with, then flick through some string or pad presets in a synth and tweak them around. I'll open a few different synths to build multiple layers of the pad, some playing high notes and some taking care of the lower, warmer sounds. Then I would add in a bit of random texture from a found sound or white noise element using Alchemy or Padshop."
What effects do you like for soundscapes?
"Massive reverbs! Particularly Audio Ease Altiverb and Cubase's RoomWorks. I use the tape delay on Guitar Rig quite a bit; it's great when you automate some of the parameters such as Speed - you get mad pitchshifting."
If you want more drum & bass tutorials, samples and pro producer videos, check out Drum & Bass Focus 2014 from Computer Music, with almost three hours of full exclusive video masterclasses from E-Z Rollers, State Of Mind, InsideInfo, Tyke and more. Plus, there's a free exclusive sample pack from E-Z Rollers, and a free Rob Papen distortion plugin!