Our very own Roman himself had a chance to stand waterside and have a chat with Dutch DJ Jay Hardway at ADE 2018. Jay tells Roman how he uses primarily FL Studio and trusts his ears for what sounds good when making music.
Q: We just saw you, and speaking about your production in fl studio and you were actually using Mac so the first question from me would be, did you switch to Mac after you saw that FL Studio is supporting Mac or have you always been using Mac? Just tell us how that works.
Jay Hardway: Before this I used Windows on my Mac and then put FL Studio on it, then I bought a new PC which I have in my studio, so I work from my PC, and then I, then the Mac version for Fruity came out, so I had to put that on my Mac Book. I travel with my Mac Book, of course, so my PC has Windows and yeah now I work mostly on my PC anyways, but for this it's nice. On the road, I can use Fruity Loops.
Q: So it's working properly for you now making the PC compatibility?
Jay Hardway: Its really good, you can open a project with, its the same. If I save something in Windows and I open it in Mac it's the same. No Problem. I was surprised that it worked.
Q: Same here, Same here, I've never tried it. But It's pretty cool. Could you tell me a bit more about your past, not the whole picture but like, for example, if you could share info with me like what was your breaking track, was it your "Wizard" track you did with Martin Garrix or was it "Wake Me Up", sorry "Wake Up"?
Jay Hardway: Well, I had "Wizards" with Martin Garrix of course and before that, I had some tracks on forums that is how me and Martin met but I think the track that really gave me more of um a solid base was "Electric Elephants". Of course, "Bootcamp" was good "Wake Up" was good for my career but "Electric Elephants" was like ok this guy you know, he could do it. So hey man were going to play this track and that kinda launched me, put some solid base.
Q: Like a fan base?
Jay Hardway: A fan base, but also under a, like a community. Like the DJ side, all the DJs were like hey man I know you from that track.
Q: It was a great track like the sounds that you used inside were kind of unusual so that is why a lot of producers and DJs liked it a lot, I remember that for sure. Do you remember, how much did you spend creating this one, like was it weeks, months, days maybe?
Jay Hardway: Uh, weeks actually. I was um, how did it happen, I was watching Hardwell's Ultra 2013 set that is what the project is called Hardwell ultra 2013 and then I was like ok I had some inspiration and then came up with the melody
then I think 2 weeks later I had a version I could play and after a couple weeks I send it to W & W that was the first one I sent it to and they were like we are going to play it everywhere and they played it the whole summer.
Q: So you sent it to W&W before you sent it to Spinnin A&R?
Jay Hardway: Yes I think so, or at the same time.
Q: The version that you sent them, for example, was it already fully mixed and mastered?
Jay Hardway: No it was my own master and mix. If you hear the 2 its mastered by Wired, the final one. But if you hear the 2 there are some differences, its details(small) like a non-producer would not hear the difference.
Q: I understand that you mentioned Wired, are you still using Wired Masters, they are based in the UK. Are you still using them for your new tracks?
Jay Hardway: Eh, sometimes. I didn't use them for every track but sometimes like "Bootcamp" I did myself.
Q: Are there some tracks you want more mastering, some you don't, where its fine like this or ....
Jay Hardway: Yeah it's always just the details.
Q: Now if you could share with me some of the plugins you are using for the mastering channel like for the mastering chain?
Jay Hardway: Ozone.
Q: Just Ozone?
Jay Hardway: Sometimes just Ozone, sometimes EQ. I use to have but I don't have it anymore the Waves plugins
limiters and stuff. What I try to do is, I prefer to keep it empty and make my tracks sound good and if anything, give it a little boost with Ozone. But what I sometimes also do is I put Ozone half way and then your track sounds different so then so you are mixing differently. I always try to make sure that what I make is the end version of the sound.
Q: That makes sense, Perfect so just a few more questions about plugins what is your favorite synthesizer plugin like any plugin.
Jay Hardway: I really like Omnishpere, Synthmaster, Diva, analog sounds cool.
Q: You are not using Serum or Nexus?
Jay Hardway: No its because I like sounds that are...
Jay Hardway: Unusual or more warm, more like organic, like an organ. Serum is like really loud like you can use it but I prefer a bit less hard sounds.
Q: FX plugins, are you using the native ones in FL Studio or maybe some 3rd party ones?
Jay Hardway: EQ fab filter, ProQ. I tend to use basic Fruity ones, Its just a habit. I started using Valhala Room for a year which is really cool and I mean stuff like reverb you can really make a difference with a good plugin and EQ may be the way it looks or of course the sound but especially when you are starting out with a simple EQ you can do a lot of things.
Q: I saw a tutorial with you on EQ where you speaking about "Wake up", the track, you said you are not using compression that much because you aren't sure how it works?
Jay Hardway: Like for me I am not technical at all so I just do stuff. I just twist the knob and it does this. I do that until, it's like compression its such a technical term, a technical thing so it's not my thing to get to figure out how it works and if someone told me or someone I saw "use it like this and you don't use it like that" I am not too technical. Whatever sounds good.
Q: Using your ears, it's amazing. So Jay thank you so much for your time.
Jay Hardway: Yeah, thank you. Cheers.