Audeze interviews electronic producer and DJ Rumpus

Rumpus is an award winning Canadian electronic Producer & DJ. Powered by live drums and one-of-a-kind productions, Rumpus’s eclectic style has been flexing speakers on an international scale, with recent appearances at major festivals including Shambhala, Burning Man, Lightning in a Bottle and Shipsomnia in Ibiza. He’s released music on Insomniac records, Club Sweat and Westwood Recordings to name a few.
 
 
"The LCD-X’s have been an absolute game changer for my production. My new mix downs are cleaner than they’ve ever been..." - Rumpus
Here's our talk with Rumpus:
Can you pick out any favorites from your work that you're particularly proud of?

‘Feel the Beat’ would for sure be my top pick. The song was super fun to write (collaborators: Neon Steve, Volac, Rhiannon Roze) and got signed to a dream/bucket list label ‘Insomniac Records’. It’s had great success and gathered over 3 million plays on Spotify to date since its release. Another track I’m proud of would be “I Get Down with Aliens”. For that tune (besides the drums and bassline) all the sounds were created using a Kaossilator pro. It’s got a ton of unique audio that was recorded, chopped and manipulated all to sound like noises you would hear in a UFO or outer space somewhere.

How would you define your main role on most of the projects you work on these days?

I write, record, produce and engineer all of my songs. Mastering I usually leave to my mastering engineer, but other than that I am involved in the process from start to finish. Occasionally if I feel I’m struggling with a part of a song or mixdown I will reach out to other producer friends for help or advice.

How did you get started in music? What kind of music did you listen to while growing up and how has that progressed?

I originally grew up on punk rock and touring for about 6 years in my band. I loved punk but I also had a keen interest in electronic music on the side. When the band broke up I turned to a solo career and moved all my efforts into creating electronic music. I’ve been doing that now for about 8 years and loving it more than ever!

Can you name any factors you feel majorly influenced the course of your musical life? Heroes, role models, moments, interactions, etc?

I started playing drums when I was 12 years old but wasn’t really into it because it was just me at home practicing alone in my basement. I loved Rage Against the Machine more than anything, I would even camp outside the music store the night before the release of their new albums just to be the first person to get it. Once I got to high school I met another kid in my class that played guitar so I asked him what kind of music he liked. He told me his favourite band was RATM! After school that very day we were setup in my parents basement jamming RATM covers until the sun went down. That for me was when the fire was lit and I've been doing music ever since!

Can you briefly describe a moment of frustration from your past work, and what you may have done to overcome the obstacles? Would you approach it differently now?

I used to be afraid to ask for help if I was stuck on something like a song section or a mix down. I looked at it as a failure if I couldn’t do it all myself. Over time I realized that the end goal is to make the best record I possibly can, and if that means I need to reach out for some assistance, that’s not a failure at all! That’s just wanting my creation to be the best it can be and I should be proud of the process no matter what it is!

Is there any gear you find yourself turning to most when working on a project? What are some of your favorite tools/instruments recently?

I produce mostly “In the box” with Ableton, but I do have a Moog Subsequent 37 that I use as well. Recently I’ve been using a “Less is More” approach to my plugins and gear, trying to master the stuff I have rather than always reaching for the newest plugin. I use Albeton's glue compressor, saturator, overdrive, and echo quite regularly. For 3rd party plugins my main go to ones are: Oxford Inflator, Soundtoys Decapitator, Gem Dopamine, Standard Clip, and FabFilter EQ3, Saturn2 and L2.

Do you have any words of wisdom for people who might aspire toward a similar path for their own careers?

Just keep working hard, be consistent, be patient and don’t worry about what anyone else is doing, and don’t compare your success to theirs. Hard work pays off… their are no shortcuts, just keep learning and progressing, and I’ll say it again…. just be patient! It will come.

How long have you been working with headphones, and how do you typically use them in your workflow?

I have a pretty good studio setup but I find more and more I am having to work outside the studio due to a very busy tour schedule. The best way for me to stay productive is to be mobile with my ability to create and compose without sacrificing quality. So over the last few years I have been turning to headphones more and more for my productions. No matter what though headphones are always where I do the final stage of my mix down to make sure everything is sitting just right.

How have your Audeze headphones affected your work?

The LCD-X’s have been an absolute game changer for my production. My new mix downs are cleaner than they’ve ever been and even opening old projects I'm hearing things in the mix that I couldn’t pick out before with my studio monitors or old headphones. The clarity I'm getting from them is translating great on other systems from everything including the car, earbuds, laptop, and PA speakers. It’s also been great to have the mobility to take them with me and be able to work on projects anywhere I go. They’ve enabled me to get a lot more work done lately even when not in the studio!

Can you tell us what you've been working on with them so far?

Since I’ve been using the headphones for the last few months I’ve already completed a new EP as well as 2 singles with a funky Basshouse vibe. Can’t wait to play these new tunes on a big festival system.