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17 April 2011

7 Skies Interview

While rolling landscapes, fine dining and traditional beauty might be the trademarks of the Italian experience, clubbers the world over would argue that Mr. David Boldini (better known as 7 Skies) is doing more for great first impressions than any gourmet dish or scenic vista ever could. Nonstop2k stops to chat with 7 Skies. Hi David, what are ya doing right now?
David: Well I literally just finished (4 / 5 Days ago) a new remix for none other than Above & Beyond that I'm really happy about, the track took quite some time and really sucked away lot of my social & private life during the making so now I'm just taking a couple of weeks off to rest my ears and dedicate my time to other stuff other than the unz unz. Anyway if you want a more specific answer right right now I'm in bed with my iPad doing this interview :P What can we expect from you on the production front this year? Any new productions in the pipelines at the moment?
David: other than the previously mentioned remix yep, I have a track I've started a month ago with Mike Koglin, I flew to London especially for this collab, still a little drafty as we haven't had much time but I'm planning to get back to it very soon, I also have a few more ideas sitting around that I really have to start and work on, it's a little hard to do everything when you have another job and a million other projects, "luckily" I sleep 4 hours a night... What do you enjoy most about music production?
David: where there is a lot of stuff I enjoy (as well as a lot of stuff that pisses me of)
But I think that what gets me all the time is the way a minute your track is playing in your little studio maybe also pissing off some neighbors cause the volume it's too loud, and the minute after you send it to the label and it's all around the world, I guess the best thing of music production is that you have a chance of being heard and loved eventually. Do you have any hobbies outside of music?
David: I have lots, but I usually tend to turn them to work, for example 6 years ago I started going to a local gym here where I live and now I get to work there as a trainer, I love messing around with Photoshop creating interfaces and I got to design the interface (and sounds) of a very popular synth app for iPhone and iPad (Nlog Synth if your wondering) then I love photography - and believe it or not, along with my girlfriend, we got our shoots published in a book. I like to mess around with web stuff, code web design etc, love cooking, I do as much sport as I can and of course I love nice movies and TV series. What track would you say was your biggest breakthrough?
David: I still think Caffeine is the best piece of trance music I've done so far, and it has been my 1st sign on Anjunabeats so I see it as something extremely special. It takes true commitment and practice to get to the production level you exhibit. Can you tell us about your worth ethic and mindset that got you where you are today?

David: Well as I wrote on my blog a few times, when I started making music I was 12, completely inexperienced and without Internet.
I, by a series of coincidences, got hold of a copy of Cubase (at that time it was Cubase Vst 32 I guess) but had no Internet nor had a good English knowledge so to find and understand a tutorial at that time was impossible for me. This forced me to learn how to explore a software or a synth and experiment with sounds as much as I could in order to get something close to the tracks I was so in love with.
I guess that "limitation" at that time is what shaped the way I work now, I tend to design each and every sound my own because when I started you couldn't find trance sound banks around, all you could do was to just make sounds yourself and this is what I learned to do and what I still do every time I make a track or a remix. If we walked into your studio what would we find?
David: Dust & mess, but experience teaches me that this is something you’ll find in each and every studio you’ll walk in.
Other than that a MacBook Pro wit tons of legal (!!!) Plugins, an apogee duet, virus ti snow, Roland JP 8000, Clavia Nord lead 2, some midi keyboards, Roland ds7 speakers, and a chair which people tend to underrate in a studio context, but you sit there for hours and hours sometimes and if you have the wrong chair the damage that can cause you can be very serious (ok now I'm talking like when I'm working at my gym).
Anyway, as you might notice, everything in my studio is very portable (except of course a few things) this is because my gf is Australian and quite often I leave my place to stay in AUS for a while so having a studio that fits in my luggage allows me to work no matter where I am on the globe. What are your top 3 synths to use in the studio?
David: I'm sure many of you know what I'm going to answer...Strobe of course is what's helping me shaping the 7 Skies sound, then ES2 and for the 3rd place there is a big war between Jp, Virus and Sylenth1 Do you have any production/mixing tricks or techniques to give to the aspiring producers out there?
David: a few, the most important is of course to Use your ears, I wrote a long post about this on my blog (, followed by don't be afraid to spend more than usual on something, with all these videos on YouTube (yeah I put some on as well) and books and tuts, we think we can get the key to success just by watching/reading. Videos and tutorials are a GREAT help but they should be taken more like clues rather than facts (if this makes sense). Last but not least, be patient! I worked on lead of Sun and Moon remix for over a month, I designed over 15 different sounds and layered and compressed it and eq-ed it over a hundred times before I got it right. Where do you get your inspiration to make such beautiful music?
David: wish I knew really!
I'm a really "hard to be inspired" dude if you can believe it, I guess my biggest problem is how picky I am.
Anyway I'm not a musician, I'm taking piano lessons now but till a few months ago I didn't really know what I was doing, as I said I never really understood how some melodies came out of my head. Sometimes it's just playing a few chords and then the melody comes right away and sometimes there is a lot of trying melodies and stuff until something comes out. It depends.
I'm a good listener though, sometimes I pick sounds that surround me and I transform them into music. I always have some device that allows me to record ideas that I can then put into a song. So yeah can't really tell I have a go to way of making music, I just listen and use my imagination as much as I can :) We've seen quite a few releases from you. Any plans for an album anytime soon?
David: Not really, I've been around for sometime but I'm still relatively new to the scene and if I'd make an album I'd really want it to be the result of a good amount of experience in studio and in the clubs. If you had to choose, would you rather lose your ability to see or lose your ability to hear?
David: God what a negative question! :P

Well if I'd be deaf I couldn't make any music, and let's forget for a second about Beethoven who composed operas wile deaf, edm is a little different in this case. Even if you are a genius in music and you know how a melody sounds like even if you can't hear it there is plenty of other stuff that must be heard. For example, the sound itself - if you compose an opera for piano and strings you know how the sound will be even if you can't hear it. If you make a melody with a synth you will need to create a sound that makes the melody even better and create an interesting bass sound and groove and a series of elements that cannot just be simple notes with random sounds.
Sights, well 18 hours a day front of a screen are taking a toll on it, thank god I still have a rather good sight even though I wear glasses, but can't imagine a world without a "face", as I wrote above, I'm a good listener but also a good watcher, I love to look around discover small little details that maybe other people wouldn't even notice, it's a way to be inspired too.
Not being able to see would also make it very hard to work with softwares (let's just say it d be impossible).
So if I'd lose one of them I'd probably hang myself as my life wouldn't have much of a meaning anymore. If you could collaborate with any artist, alive and active, right now who would it be?
David: Super8 & Tab or Oliver Smith. They are my heroes and they have the ability to surprise me whenever they kick off a single or a remix. Do you have a day job? Or are you doing music full time now?
David: Trainer at Aktiva gym :) Where do you see yourself in five years?
David: Considering the iPad after a year from its launch has now a dual core CPU I can safely say in 5 years I ll be flying around the world making music on the plane with logic pro 15 on my shiny iPad 7 and with no system overload...well I have doubts about the system overload, but pretty sure about the rest. Well honestly I have no idea, I hope somehow I'll manage to do this for the rest of my life, it's very hard these days but I’ll do my best. You also have your own sound design company, Standalone Music. Any future releases we can expect this year?
David: yeah I’ve been working on a soundest for Strobe for a while. Then again, tracks and work make it really hard, but it's getting there.
The biggest thing though is a project I've been for over a year. It's a sample based soundset which will work for Kontakt and probably even exs24. I'm basically recording sounds from a lot of synths, hardware and software, note by note trying to deliver a big library with sounds that the only way to have would be by owning a 100,000 bucks worth studio.
It's an exciting and challenging thing, but it's such a big thing that is literally taking ages. Lastly, what are your goals for 2011?
David: Release a few ideas I’ve had on my Hardisk for way too long and get some good gigs around. I'm playing in LA next week and I think this could easily be the highlight of my 2011, but I wouldn't mind if I'd have some more coming :) Thanks for taking time to chat with us David! Best of luck throughout the year!
David: thank you for the interview; I hope it wasn't too boring to read :)

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