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09 February 2011

Rank 1 Interview

Dutch trance duo Rank 1 are without a doubt one of the most influential names in the trance scene for many years now. Nonstop2k talks with Piet Bervoets and Benno de Goeij about their music career and producing. Hi guys, where in the world are you right now?

Piet: Haha, good question! At this moment I am home, just home sweet home, which can be very nice too!

Benno: I have been on the road for almost two months, so it’s good to be back home as well! How long have you been coming to Nonstop2k?

Piet: To be honest, I have never heard from it before..... I am not a die hard internetsurfer. I use the internet when i need something, but not for much more.

Benno: I have to admit I haven’t heard of either. I do use a dutch producer and synthesizer forum once in a while though, good to share some tips and hints about synthesizers every now and then. We haven’t used any midi files actually, since I rather create the source. I hope we haven’t compromised the interview now? ;) You two have been active in the Trance seen for 14 years now. How has Trance evolved within the years and where do you expect electronic dance music to go in this new decade?

Piet: We both are doing it for some years now yes :-). I think that electronic dance music will stay for a while, it will only change again. Some producers are always looking for new sounds. Some people like that, some people don’t. And I like the changes in the music scene....

Benno: Chances are high that future of EDM will be even more blended than before. As a lot of producers are not really thinking in limitations anymore I feel a lot of styles will be combined to form new ones. Where do you get your inspiration to make such great music?

Piet: It’s the mood and feeling...

Benno: I get my inspiration from a lot of different sources. Sometimes it’s that one simple radio hit record, sometimes it’s an interview with experimental musicians doing all sort of weird stuff, while another time it’s the first chord that I play that automatically generate the rest of the right melody in my head. That’s the nice part of music, there are no rules or boundries! What are your top three synths to use in the studio?

Piet: Since Benno is more the studio freak, he has the perfect tools for you.

Benno: Logic’s ES2 for it’s simplicity: It never hangs and does the job well. Sylenth1 for it’s unison mode: fat sounds but still CPU friendly. Massive for it’s flexibility: it is a modular synth capable of making almost anything from the most atmospheric pads to the fattest basses imaginable. Do you have any tips/tricks for new producers?

Piet: Believe in yourself and never give up. Produce music you like! Music will always be a personal taste!

Benno: And don’t try to find out the wheel yourself. Making music together can really speed up the process, and as an extra bonus: it’s more fun as well! How do you go about mixing down and mastering a track?

Piet: About mastering I think Benno and me have the same vision: A few people on this planet know how to master a song. It should be done by a professional. We have never mastered a track ourselves. Leave that to the people who know how to do that.

Benno: Mixing is something you need to learn. There are certain tricks though that can really be handy to make a dance track sound good. Here’s one I still use every now and then: if you are unsure about the low end, lay your hand on the speaker and feel the vibrations. The kick should always feel like the heartbeat of the track and should be louder than anything else. Benno, we heard your working on a soundest or two. What synths are they for and when can we expect to see them on the market?

Benno: You are well informed! At the moment I am working on a NI Massive soundest for Freshly Squeezed Samples. It’s far from finished, but I’m already using it a lot on the current productions. It’s such a diverse synth that it’s now possible to make the most diverse soundest available. It’s a collection of sounds that I often need in a track with a few (8) shortcut controls to tweak the most important features of a sound. We have 300 patches so far, but we are aiming for a lot more. I think it will be available in a couple of months. If you could repeat your whole career all over again, would you change anything?

Piet: No way! I would be having the same fun as I had before!

Benno: Same here, in my opinion it’s not useful to judge yourself to hard on decisions made in the past. They were at that time the best ones to make :) Which artist do you anticipate will be the next big thing?

Benno: Our paranormal capacity is not really what it used to be. ;) You two, without a doubt, have come a long way. During your journey, what is the weirdest thing that ever happened to you with a fan?

Piet: Well, I must say that I was worried a little bit when a girl started crying in front of me. Later I found it that she was just happy to meet me :-)

Benno: I never get bored by signing a driver’s license and such. Also it’s an amazing honor if somebody is having a tattoo of our work for life! What do you do in your free time?

Piet: I dont have much free time. But if I have some, I spend time with my lovely son!

Benno: My whole life is free time. I don’t really feel making music is a job at all. But aside from music hanging out with friends playing squash, PS3, snowboarding and my dog Fonzy are the things that make me happy. Before we finish, is there anything you’d like to say to all your fans here at Nonstop2k and the rest of the world?

Piet: I hope everybody keeps on enjoying the music and that people open up their heart for new dance music as well!

Benno: Thanks for you support throughout the years! It’s your support that makes new tracks and music possible! Thanks for your time!

Piet: Thank YOU!

Benno:My pleasure!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for a great interview. I love Rank 1 and their work, especially what work Benno have done.